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Difficulties in translating humor

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Абитаев Алишер Ержанович, студент 4 курса факультета иностранных языков Специальность: 5B020700 — Переводческое дело, Карагандинский государственный университет имени академика Е. А. Букетова, Карагандинская область, город Караганда

Difficulties in translating humor

Annotation. Research on humor is currently quite relevant and is of interest to many scientists, and from a variety of points of view. Translating humor is no easy task. Jokes can include various national traits that have no analogues in other cultures. There are various difficulties in translating jokes puns riddles and etc. When dealing with jokes, not only the semantic content is important, but also the form. One of the types of humor that you should be extremely careful with while translating it is dark humor.

Keywords: Translating, humor, scientists, jokes, cultures, difficulties, content

Research on humor is currently quite relevant and is of interest to many scientists, and from a variety of points of view. Linguists also did not avoid this problem. Some researchers analyze the humor of a particular author, and some choose a separate genre as the material.

Translating humor is no easy task. Jokes can include various national traits that have no analogues in other cultures, and be closely related to the everyday habits and social attitudes of the people.

Because of this, they are very difficult to convey in another language. And the topics for jokes themselves may be incomprehensible to foreign speakers.

There are various difficulties in translating jokes puns riddles and etc. The main problem that the translator faces is the inability to translate humor literally. Not every joke is universal and understandable to everyone, and a literal translation often not only conveys improper effect, but also simply becomes ridiculous, out of the context of the entire narrative.

When dealing with jokes, not only the semantic content is important, but also the form. Often, jokes make the audience laugh only when they are concise. A detailed presentation of the meaning and comicality of the situation loses all the zest, so when translating, you need to follow not only the humorous content that is understandable to the interlocutor, but also the formal side of its expression.

Humor can also carry the very sound of a phrase, its phonetic component, which for people of one culture will have an associative comic meaning, and for representatives of another culture it can only be a set of incomprehensible sounds, sounds with a completely different or opposite meaning.

The most difficult thing to translate is humor based on a linguistic pun. Such jokes include idioms and polysemical vocabulary, which is very difficult to find equivalents in another language. The pun is also emerging through homographs — words that sound the same, but have different spellings. A striking example is the English joke about extremely tired bike: «a bicycle can’t stand on its own because it is two-tired».

English humor is especially famous for its language game. It also includes jokes based on the very knowledge of the language and grammar. For example, as in the joke where a drowning person asks for help: «I will drown and no one will save me» instead of «I will drown and no one will save me». In such a construction, according to the rules of the language, he is determined to drown so none of the passers bothered him, respecting his desire.

Of course, situational humor is also common, based on inappropriate behavior or retaliatory remarks. Often, the absurdity of the situation arises from an incorrect interpretation of the question. This kind of humor is associated with behavioral characteristics adopted in different cultures.

One of the types of humor that you should be extremely careful with while translating it is dark humor. It is not equally acceptable for all peoples. Jokes about certain topics may be taboo in another culture and cause a bright negative reaction instead of laughter and even reasons for clash of cultures. In such situations, it is important not only to smooth things over in the translation, but also to achieve a humorous effect.

For example, in the work «Day Watch» by S. Lukyanenko and V. Vasiliev, the hero makes the following observation: «Я шел по площади, не ускоряя шага. Несколько аспидных членовозов вырвались с территории Кремля и канули в переулки». The author of the English translation, due to the political correctness, avoids this problem in this way: I walked across the square without hurrying. A line of official government cars snaked out of the Kremlin and tore off into the side streets.
In this case humor creates not only laughter but also reason for cultural conflicts that is why it is so important to study humor in the framework of cross-cultural communication, as an example.

Translation of comedies extremely relevant in our digital era. Comedy films and TV series are filled with jokes. But finding a comedy with a good translation is sometimes very difficult. To the difficulties already mentioned, we can also add specifics of cinema: visual information often prevents translators from conveying humor, since they lose the opportunity to paraphrase the joke and change its content, otherwise it will contradict the action on the screen. Take for example the TV series Friends. The first episode of the second season, Joey and Chandler talk, Joey recalls the age at which he first got a suit.

— I was 16. No 15. No, wait ... when was 1990?

— You have to stop the Q-tip, when there’s resistance!

Q-tip — a cotton swab used to clean the ears. Chandler jokes about how stupid Joey is and he shouldn’t stick the cotton swabs so deep in his ears so as not to damage his brain.

Also joke from the fifth season, which is rather heavily riding on English. Joey came to Rachel’s work to get him an audition suit. Rachel offers him a bag, Joey thinks it’s a woman’s bag, but it suits him so well:

— Exactly! Unisex!

— Maybe you need sex; I had sex a couple days ago.

— No, Joey. U-N-I-sex.

— Well, I ainʼt gonna say no to that!

The bottom line is that the word unisex is very similar to you need sex. Rachel pronounces each letter separately (U-N-I) — it’s like you and I sex. That’s why Joey happily replied, " I ainʼt gonna say no to that!"

After all, not always a funny translation of comedies is an accurate translation. For foreign-speaking viewers, humor often has to be adapted, even to the point of writing new jokes.

So how we can manage ideal translation of humor without losing the main point?

Translators resort to various techniques: changing the structures and lexical content, hyperbolization, emotional enhancement, clarifying the meaning or adding new elements. Finding a balance in the translation of jokes is very difficult. Following the original does not always allow you to achieve a comedic effect in another language, and your own interpretation distances you from the author’s idea.

The main thing is that the translator needs a very fine sense of style and an excellent knowledge of the languages with which he works. And, of course, to have a great sense of humor, to understand what the joke is based on and how it will be perceived.

REFERENCE
1. Lukyanenko S. V., Vasiliev V. N. Day Watch. The night Watch. Twilight Watch. — M .: AST, 2004.— 934 p.
2. Barker L., Barker D. Communication. — New Jersey: Englewood Cliffs, 2007.
3.httpsss://kanobu. ru/articles/kak-raznyie-studii-perevodyat-odni-itezhe-shutki-vserialah-373518/.
4. httpss://feellikeyoubelong. com/whats-so-funny-blog/2013/10/14/birgit-kohls-show-puns-plays-on-words-and-double-meanings.
5. httpsss://friends. fandom. com/wiki/The_One_With_Joey
6.httpsss://sawongam. com/entertainment/10-jokes-that-went-largely-unnoticed-by-the-audience-in-the-friends-tv-series/