Linguistics and Literature Studies Vol. 4(3), pp. 221 - 231
DOI: 10.13189/lls.2016.040306
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Equivalence in Humour Superiority and Incongruity Translation: A Case of Three Men in a Boat and Three Men on the Bummel


Irina Pușnei Sîrbu *
Letters Faculty, University in Galati, Romania

ABSTRACT

In numerous attempts to describe the phenomenon of humour, diverse theories have been proposed: ones, revealing its superiority that evolves from aggression, derision, mockery, malice, and abuse; others, focusing on the humorous incongruity contrastive and confusing effects. As far as the superiority theory is concerned, it commenced with ancient philosophers' works like Aristotle's Poetics [1] and Plato's Republic [2] advancing the hypotheses of the malicious or derisive enjoyment caused by ridiculing and imitating mistakes or deformities, continued with Hobbes' theories of laugher regarding it as a "sudden glory" and triumphant "self-applause" over the misfortunate exposed in Leviatah [3] and developed with controversial statements of superiority being too limited and poor a concept without incongruity. Though most authors agree that it is the frustrated expectation that makes the joke or narrative amusing, we support Vandaele's [4] position concerning both theories being complementary. Since humour is a challenging translation area, rendering comic suspense and surprise without exaggerating the humourist's superiority or diminishing his preeminence turns out to be really difficult an assignment for translators. The research question this study addresses is whether translation equivalence may be achieved when transferring narrative humour linguistic, social, contextual incongruities and positive/negative superiority from source to target text. To answer this question, detailed systematic corpus analysis has been done aiming to systematize and compare target language translated versions of J. K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat (1889) and Three Men on the Bummel (1990), to identify humour translation difficulties with concern to incongruity translation (non)equivalence and (non)aggressive superiority. Part of this comparative analysis is intended to determine the transferred comic sense quality, to consider its denotative or connotative target language equivalents which are doubtlessly contextually motivated. The present study results give priority to humorous meaning interpretation achieved by means of dynamic equivalence techniques that justify or criticize Romanian translators' competences of decoding so relative, complex and mysterious a phenomenon as humour.

KEYWORDS
Comic Surprise, Comic Suspense, Narrative Humour, Dynamic Equivalence, Superiority

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] Irina Pușnei Sîrbu , "Equivalence in Humour Superiority and Incongruity Translation: A Case of Three Men in a Boat and Three Men on the Bummel," Linguistics and Literature Studies, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 221 - 231, 2016. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2016.040306.

(b). APA Format:
Irina Pușnei Sîrbu (2016). Equivalence in Humour Superiority and Incongruity Translation: A Case of Three Men in a Boat and Three Men on the Bummel. Linguistics and Literature Studies, 4(3), 221 - 231. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2016.040306.