Translation of Swearwords in Literary Autobiographies: The Case of Miles DavisMatjaž Praprotnik
, 2012, diplomsko delo
Opis: My thesis focuses on swearwords in the autobiography of Miles Davis. I define them, explain their function and compare swearwords in the original and the translation. My attempt was to argue the appropriateness of the translation and I used the dictionary of Slovene language (SSKJ) and results from the corpora Fidaplus to provide support for my claims. Context and connotation were among the most important criteria, since these often ruled out a literal translation because they are not used in the same manner in Slovene as in English.
A deeper analysis was done on three swearwords: motherfucker, nigger and bitch. The first represents the most difficult challenge for the translator, because it is used in several different ways and can take on numerous functions. A translation for the word does not exist; therefore, the translator had to find several other translation solutions. The analysis has shown that the translator tried to keep one translation solution per function of the word, e.g., pizdun when the word was used to refer to people, and pizdarija when the referent was an object or a situation. However, translating motherfucker often demanded a certain degree of creativity from the translator because it was also used to refer to women or even Davis’ own father, as a means for comparison and as an adjective. It is difficult to find consistent solutions in these cases; therefore, the translator had to adapt his translation to individual cases.
Nigger itself was not as challenging as the previous word, because črnuh has already been established as a prototypical translation in Slovene. Albeit several possible translations, e.g. mrha, kuzla, prasica, pička, translations for bitch still raised doubts in some cases. Connotations were of key importance in this case, because they had to match the original, where they could either be positive, negative or neutral. Kuzla was inappropriate in some cases, because it is always used with negative connotations in Slovene; however, mrha is used with all three connotation possibilities and therefore seems to be the most appropriate translation.
Generally, I found that translating swearwords is difficult because swearing relies strongly on the originating culture, and each culture is marked by different characteristics; these characteristics, in particular, represent a challenge for the translator.
Ključne besede: translation, swearwords, Miles Davis, autobiography, connotation, context
Objavljeno: 14.11.2012; Ogledov: 1513; Prenosov: 77
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