Publication details [#54641]

Chiaro, Delia. 2011. Comic takeover or comic makeover? Notes on humour-translating, translation and (un)translatability. In Dynel, Marta, ed. The Pragmatics of Humour across Discourse Domains. John Benjamins. pp. 365–378.
Publication type
Article in book
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins


Academic writings on humour and translation have principally pivoted around the pragma-linguistic aspects of transfer from source to target language/s (e.g. Chiaro; Delabastita; Vandaele). However, rather than exploring the choices, strategies and devices involved in interlingual translation, the present study sets out to examine the main difficulties involved concerning the translation of humour in terms of the basics of transfer of humorous materials such as jokes and more general humorous discourse that may occur in books and films, as well as other forms of public discourse. Additionally, this essay gives an overview of linguistic and cultural barriers that sometimes impede its translation and suggests the notion of diverse “senses of humour” possibly reflected in the lexis of distinct languages. Finally, it will discuss how the act of translation itself is used for humorous means. Overall, the article testifies to the pragmatic nature of several lingua-cultural constraints and issues central to the translation of humour.