The present study examines humour in the tenth season of the TV sitcom Friends and its translation from English into Lithuanian. With humour often believed to be culture-specific, humour translation presents a notorious issue in translation practice, as jocular content in the target language is often criticised for being poor and vague. Grounded in Raskin’s (1985) theory of verbal humour and adopting Schjoldager’s (2008) inventory of translation microstrategies, the article examines the components and mechanisms of humour in the source language and analyses the strategies applied to humour translation, focusing on whether the intended humorous effect is preserved in the target language. The article also seeks to establish to what extent humour as used in Friends is culturedependent. The study was conducted at two levels. First, we briefly presented the essence of Raskin’s model of humour, which centres around the notions of script and incongruity, and later applied it to the selected series to identify and analyse the data in the source language. We then supplemented the findings with the identification of jokes in the target language and assessment of translation microstrategies employed in rendering humorous instances in Lithuanian. The findings of the study are believed to further the theoretical and practical domains of translation from English into Lithuanian in particular and, more broadly, contribute to the discussion on the culture-specific worldview.
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Rima Sabaliauskienė, Gintarė Gelūnaitė-Malinauskienė and Jūratė Andriuškevičienė
The ability to communicate in several foreign languages, recognize and understand cultural differences and effectively interact in a multicultural environment has become vital in the modern world that faces intense globalization processes. Linguistic and intercultural competences are essential not only for establishing personal relationships with foreigners but also for developing successful business relationships. At the Institute of Foreign Languages at Vytautas Magnus University (hereafter - VMU IFL), Spanish and German languages remain in the top five of the most popular languages among 30 languages available to students. These languages are chosen not only by Lithuanian students but also by foreign students who come to study in Lithuania. Most exchange students who come to study at VMU choose to study the Lithuanian language as well. In addition to the development of language skills in a learning process, the new concept of language teaching / learning, market trends and the great interest of students and the public in languages lead to the development of topics related to culture and intercultural communication and efforts to reveal peculiarities of the new culture in the common European and native country context. Based on the theories of different authors on the connection between culture and language and intercultural differences, the article discusses the possibilities of using commercials (video recordings of advertisements) to get acquainted with the culture in foreign language lectures. A comparative analysis of examples selected from commercials available online and revealing certain cultural aspects of the three countries (Spain, Lithuania and Germany) that allow to understand the target culture better is presented in this article. The aim is to reveal how a teacher, knowing the theories of cultural differences, can use commercials for the development of students’ linguistic and also cultural and intercultural competences.
A great variety of original audiovisual (AV) texts such as films, television series, teletext, videogames, live performances may include more than one language as an outcome of the director’s initial intension. The producers of the AV texts tend to portray specific cultural aspects with different linguistic variations, which are also related to particular stylistic, pragmatic or discursive functions. In certain cases, translators of such AV texts face serious challenges. One of the thorny problems arises with the adaptation of the multilingual AV texts to the deaf and hard of hearing audience. Different strategies and methods of employing the multilingual AV texts for the needs of the deaf and hard of hearing audience have been adopted in various countries; however, nowadays Lithuania has only taken its first steps in developing a unified system of working out translating and subtitling strategies of the AV texts in general. This article aims at discovering professional translation and subtitling practices along with the norms, criteria and strategies of this specific translation activity in Lithuania and abroad. Firstly, the existing overseas reality of the translation and subtitling of multilingual AV texts is described and afterwards the tendencies within the Lithuanian adaptations of AV texts are discussed.
The article is devoted to the consideration of the factors which influence intercultural communication of Belarusians with people who live in the countries bordering Belarus (Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia) and some countries where English is used as the first official language (the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia and Ireland). The objectives of the research were: to compare cultures of people living in Belarus, in the bordering countries and in the English-speaking countries; to describe the characteristics of Belarusian mentality which presumably create cultural barriers; and to determine the factors that facilitate intercultural communication of Belarusians with people under consideration. The research was based on the dimensions of power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, long term orientation and indulgence (G. Hofstede). Using these criteria, the characteristics of Belarusian mentality were systematically presented; they include tolerance, collectivism, cautiousness, modesty, restraint, respect for traditions and pragmatism. The reflection of the distinctive features of the Belarusians’ outlook in proverbs and behaviour illustrates the differences which can presumably cause cross-cultural misunderstanding. Also, the factors which promote intercultural communication are highlighted. The results of the research may be used in intercultural training of postgraduate students and in-service specialists in education and business.
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