Web Translation Projects/Approaches to Translating Dialect/Colloquialisation

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This strategy is a full interlingual translation into a colloquial variety of the TL. The use of this strategy will identify the speaker normally with the lower strata of the TL society, visible in the fact that they cannot vary the formality of their language to match the situation. It is a variety that is less marginal than, for example, a pidgin, or some hypothetical futuristic dialect, and so this social deixis will be easily inferrable for the TL audience. This happens, however, at the cost of the specificity of the social deixis - the TL readership gains insight into the social provenance of the characters but nothing specific, as for example any identification along the geographical dimension, which may be present in the SL text. This is again a strategy that strives to strike a balance between conveying the SL social deixis but without contaminating the TL text with false intertextuality that would be the result of introducing an actual TL dialect. Colloquialisation is often employed in those texts, which in the original present characters who are members of communities struggling for their rights and differing against the majority[1].


The Color Purple, A. Walker


Kolor Purpury (translation by M. Kłobukowski)

He come home with a girl from round Gray. She be my age

but they married. He be on her all the time. She walk round

like she don't know what hit her. I think she thought she love

him. But he got so many of us. All needing somethin. [...]

I tell Nettie to keep at her books. it be more then a notion taking

care of children ain't even yourn. And look what happen to Ma.

Sprowadził sobie dziewczynę skądciś spod Gray. Dziewczyna w mojem

wieku, ale i tak się pobrali. On stale i wciąż na niej leży, a ona ma minę,

jakby się nie mogła połapać, co się właściwie dzieje. Pewnikiem jej się

zdawało, że go kocha. Ale u nas w domu tyle dzieciów i co i rusz któreś

czegoś chce. [...]

Mówię Nettie: Pilnuj książek. To lepszy pomys niż chować cudze bachory.

I skończyć jak Mama.

Comments This text draws on the Black Vernacular, indicated by non-standard

pronunciation and grammar:

- she be 'she is'

- she walk 'she walks'

- somethin 'something'

- yourn 'yours'

The translation uses language that is indicative of colloquial Polish. The

colloquialisation strategy uses mostly the lexis and syntax levels of language

but small amounts of morphological and phonetic markers may also be

present, such as here:

- syntactic: co i rusz któryś czegoś chce 'somebody wants something all the time'

- lexical: skądciś 'from somewhere', bachory 'kids', pewnikiem 'surely'

- phonetic: pomys 'idea' (standard: pomysł)

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Berezowski, Leszek. 1997. Dialect in Translation. Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego