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Lingua inglese II - appunti prof Wardle

Appunti di tutte le lezioni dell'esame di Lingua inglese II della prof.ssa Mary Wardle. Il testo consigliato è di "Language to Language" di Taylor. Gli argomenti trattati sono le teorie di traduzione e le pratiche. Appunti basati su appunti personali del publisher presi alle lezioni del prof.

Esame di Lingua inglese II docente Prof. M. Wardle



Cultural differences – Do you fancy a coffee? Ti va un caffè?

In London

Coffee shop > order at the counter (bancone) > large cup/mug of coffee > sit

down > chat for half an hour

In Rome

Bar > pay at till (cassa) > order at counter > small cup/glass of coffee > drink

standing up (5 minutes all)

Cicero, one of the first people to write about translation, distinguished between

word-to-word translation (literal translation) and free translation. He is interested

in style, enriching Latin literature. Every translation has a different purpose.

To drink like a fish: bere come una spugna.

Eugene Nida talks about formal equivalence or dynamic equivalence, that is,

you have to create the same effect created by the original language text

with your translation.

Rhythm (poetry, song, slogan), laughter (e.g. introduce a new joke to create a

comical effect) and length (layout, that is the physical space you have, subtitle)

can influence the translation.

The lamb of God the seal of God

would probably be for Inuits, it is a cultural



Seconda lezione

dog and lead:

Metaphor – the dog can be close or not to its owner, it depends on

what we decide to privilege (original text or translation)

Giochi di parole – difficili da tradurre

The rabbit sends in a little Bill (Alice in Wonderland). Bill is the name of the lizard


but also « conto », in Italian is not a name.

Il coniglio presenta un conticino

Aldo Busi is one of the most famous Alice in Wonderland’s Italian translators. His

dog is a long way far from the original text. He is quite innovative in his solutions.

Senza Billyetto non si può entrare → faithful to the humour, not to literal


Mine is a long and sad tale, Tale tail

the mouse says that. is homophone of


When he says that, Alice thinks it is talking about his tail

It is a long tail, but why do you call it sad ?

On the page, the mouse’s tale has the shape of a tail

Upside down/back to front/inside out

La mia storia è lunga e triste

La mia storia è triste con una lunga coda it’s not particularly funny but it links the

joke and explains the shape of the tail

La mia storia è una lunga e triste coda 2

Il mio è un lungo codazzo di miserie we’ve been faithful to the homophone

elements to English that make sense in the original language but not in Italian

Schleiermacher (1813) – German theorist who writes about translation, his essay is

« On the different methods of translation » st

Basically, there are two different ways of translating, the 1 one is to move the

reader towards the author (e.g. reader towards Carroll)

Sir Williams and Lady Lucas, Pride and

1813 Schleiermacher doesn’t talk about

Prejudice but it was written in the same year of his essay. We can understand that

Sir Williams and Lady Lucas are probably rich people, he is William Lucas, his wife

has become Lady Lucas

Sir William e Lady Lucas,

Possible translation → avvicinare il lettore al mondo di

Jane Austen, leaving as much as possible as it was in the original text.

Other alternative suggested by Schleiermacher : move the author towards the

Don Guglielmo e Donna Lucas

reader →

Sir and Lady Don and Donna.

give us a different imagine from the one given by

This translation was made during Fascism, when there was censorship in

translation. Sir Lady

It depends on the couple of languages we are using : and are words that

have probably been heard various times by an Italian native speaker; but if they

were Japanese words, they would probably be unheard words. So, there is not a

standard rule, we have to consider the couple of languages.

Lawrence Venuti updates Schleiermacher’s theory

Reader >>> Author

Sir Williams e Lady Lucas


Venuti calls that → we’re preserving the different source text.

Author >>> Reader

Don Guglielmo e Donna Lucas

Venuti calls that domestication → you bring it towards the translator/reader’s


Mrs Fox La signora Fox/Volpe would be a domesticating choice, leaving Mrs Fox

would be a foreignizing choice

Usually, we don’t translate people’s names. It was done in certain circumstances

(e.g. Fascism).

Principe Carlo Principe William

- are translated differently because there were two

different translation trends: 70 years ago everything was translated into Italian,

nowadays we tend to use the original forms.

Elements you can be faithful to (or no, it’s a choice):

- Period of ST (source text). E.g. translating Shakespeare or Dante : do we have to

use an old English/Italian form or the current one ?

- Update language ? If there are already a lot of translations, do we need another

one ? In translation, the language need to be updated.

- Retranslation – why the same book gets translated over and over again.

- Unusual collocation (way that words go together) e.g. bianco e nero – black and

white. If I say “it is white and black”, everybody understands but it doesn’t sound


The grey nurse is unusual, there could be a white nurse, or a black one (skin

colour). Woolf put these words together in order to force the reader to create a 3

mental picture. We could directly say « l’infermiera sciatta » but Woolf could have

said « the graffy nurse » ; she didn’t. We have to be faithful.

- Use of repetition. It could be an effect we might want to maintain in our

translation Les testaments trahits

Milan Kundera (1993) - he comments some translations

from German to other languages and then he talks about other people’s

translations about his works.

Bisogno di sinonimizzare del traduttore usando parole che apparentemente non

tradiscono l’autore ma che in realtà sono frutto di una elaborazione personale.

Questa pratica, se applicata in modo sistematico, finisce per attenuare il pensiero


Rhythm and rhyme (poetry, lyrics)

I am sixteen going on seventeen – The Sound of Music (Tutti insieme


Unusual syntax and vocabulary

Quindici anni, quasi sedici Maggiorenne tra due anni

– come traduzioni per

mantenere il ritmo

Language – there are various elements that make it complex to translate

- Register : formal, informal language

- Jargon : words to use with a specific community/meaning (e.g. verbalizzazione at


- Technical language: tends to be extremely specific, we don’t often have

synonyms for this kind of words. You need to recognize these elements/words

- Dialect : one of the huge problems in translations, a regional variety of language.

It is often used to chracterise the people, we have cultural associations with parts

of the country we are talking about

- Non-standard forms : baby talk (conjugate all verbs in a regular way, e.g. I taked

the book); in a book a Spanish character who speaks English might make some

Suspension of disbelief

« mistakes ». → quando leggo un romanzo in traduzione o

guardo un film, se tutti gli attori sono in Spagna non devo chiedermi perché parlino

l’italiano, lo prendo come fatto e basta.


Terza lezione

Examples of dialects, non-standard forms

Trainspotting – Irvine Welsh (1993) set in Scotland, (Edimburgo). The way they

express themselves is different from standard English and from the language we

expect to find in a book. Jargon of drug dealing.

Score: gear:

comprare la droga; roba

A translation into standard Italian would make it lose every dialect connotation.

Cockney (Rhyming Slang) – East End of London, where you can hear the sound of

Bow Bells (St. Mary-Le-Bow). It’s a poor part of London. It is a language that was

born to communicate within cockney in order to avoid policemen to understand

rabbit and pork dog

them. This jargon works thanks to rhymes e.g. instead of talk,

and bone Adam and Eve butcher’s hook Come and

for phone, for believe, for look.

have a butcher’s « vieni a dare un’occhiata ». Today, in colloquial English, to rabbit

on means to talk about something. 4

Tank balance – bank balance (saldo)

George Bernard Shaw (1913) tried to replicate this

Pygmalion (opera teatrale)

The Flower Girl is a typical cockney who tries to sell some flowers in Covent

Garden (once it was like our « mercati generali »)

There is an evolution throughout the play : from cockney to standard English.

Fewd : if you had

Scelta controversa: introdurre traducendo, invece del dialetto presente

nell’originale, errori grammaticali


it may be difficult to translate it, it depens on the type of humour.

Laurel and Hardy

Situational humour (Stanlio e Ollio). It also called slapstick

“schiaffeggiare”, strumento che si usava per dare finti schiaffi. It’s more or less

universal and doesn’t present big problems

Verbal humour – what did the zero say to the eight ? Nice belt. It’s translatable,

so, just because there’s language it doesn’t mean we can’t translate that.

The problem arrives with linguistic humour : puns, worldplay

How do you make a cat drink ? Put one in a liquidizer

We can’t translate these jokes into Italian in the same way. We could

choose another joke concerning similar points.

How do you encourage a bear to eat cheese ? Camembert ! (Come on, Bear !)

Charles Dickens (in a bar) : « A martini, please. » Bartender: “olive or twist?”

The use of language that underlies the jokes is quite sophisticated. You are not

going to be able to translate it literally (almost always), so you’ll probably need to

produce your own jokes to fit the context.

Compensation : you don’t translate the joke where it was originally but you can put

that where it wasn’t in the original text

Visual + Linguistic Humour

Even more difficult

Computer Graphic Image

CGI nowadays changes various « images » that are in

film, TV series, etc. while the old movies, TV series were not changed.

Ads, cards, shop names, etc. we use puns everywhere, especially in English

because the languages allows it thanks to its homophones.

Cultural references :

These things change from a culture to another, therefore there are no direct


e.g. legal or educational system (I got a two one degree), food and drink

noodles rock style)


it’s not just a question of learning vocabulary but of understanding what

something means.

Teoria dello scopo → bisogna pensare all’uso finale della traduzione e farsi

guidare da questo per tradurre. Se so che il menù serve al cliente che non

parla italiano e quindi probabilmente non può comunicare, la funzione principale è

Skopos theory

capire cosa c’è in un piatto e quanto costi.

Moreover, English is not only for English people but for everybody who does not

speak the local language, so it must be as clear as possible.

19/03/2018 5

Quarta lezione

Traditions Romantic Valentine’s Day, treat, 2 bottles Beers, cigarettes 12, calories


9st (stones, unità di peso)

(12h vs 24h) 8 a.m.

- cambio di peso nella traduzione (per l’equivalenza)

- perdita di unità alcoliche th

Martedì 14 febbraio → Tuesday, February 14

It takes for granted we all know Valentine’s Day tradition

GPO : General Post Office

Dead good : informal way for very good

I ain’t never: childish, double negative, American accent. The use of American

gives impression of something false.

Ye: Shakespearian Englishi Ya: American English

1) We have lost the reference with the American English

2) we have lost – dead good – but there’s – sacco – which reproduces the register

of dead good. This is an example of compensation.

3) the flower from purple → red because in Italy purple is linked with death

Bisogna tenere a mente che ogni alfabeto ha un numero di lettere diverso.

Quello italiano ne ha 21, quello inglese 26 (21 + j, k, w, x, y).

Weights and measure

1) metric. In the UK, motorways indicated with M-number


2) imperial (post 1834). Km becomes (1,5 km)

3) US customary units

Hard shoulder: corsia di emergenza.

Yard: 90 cm

Distance: inch/es; foot/foot; yards; miles (spesso il singolare utilizzato anche in


Six feet under = dead

Weight: once (oz) oncia, pound (lb) libbra, stone In the UK, most of the people

think with the imperial system

Liquids: fluid once, pint, gallon NPG = miles per gallon

Temperature : degrees Fahrenheit : 32°F (0°C) – 212°F (100°C) (UK and USA)

Phrases and sayings (they come from culture)

to go the extra mile:

- to do more than expected

if you give an inch, they’ll take a mile:

- dai la mano e prendono il braccio

in for a penny, in for a pound:

- fatto trenta, facciamo trentuno

act your age, not your shoe size:

- don’t be childish !

B. Franklin : « An once of prevention is worth a pound of cure ». Prevention is

better than cure.

The Great Gatsby « ..fifty feet away.. »

1 foot = 30 cm → 50 feet = 15 m. leaving the imperial system is a foregnization.

Thanks to the context, we can leave it because the context helps us.


- a pochi metri da me/alcuni metri più aventi 6

- a quindici metri di distanza/a una quindicina di metri

- a meno di venti metri/a una ventina di metri


- What does it say at the top of an Irish ladder ? « STOP ». To British, Irish are


A fish called Wanda → Italian has a beautiful sound, Russian doesn’t.

In the Italian version, the contrast is between Spanish and French


Quinta lezione

Supermarkets, Freakonomics


Gosford Park – second world war in an aristocratic environment. There is a lot of

social contrast between « upstairs » and « downstairs »

The woman is upset and her husband says : “Do stop snivelling. Anyone would


think you were Italian → exaggerated sentimentality.

Stiff upper lip: labbro superiore rigido (flemma britannica). In italiano “smettila!

Penseranno che sei tu la vedova”.

The Great Gastby - 1925 Fourth of July,

« It was a few days before the and a gray, scrawny (malnutrito)

Italian child was setting.. »

In French, the Fourth of July becomes « La Fête Nationale », this is called

explicitation, in the original the meaning was implicit, while here it’s explicit.

Italian remains Italian.

Censorship in translation during Fascism, even if the meaning is just slightly

negative, it must be changed.

Cesare Giardini translation 1936 was made from French, so he probably didn’t see

Festa Nazionale

Fourth of july but just Fête Nationale that becomes and italien



Changing nationality

The Aristocats

The film is set in France, there are various French words

Backyard: in American English, il giardino che sta sul retro. Yard in British English

può essere il cortile

To roam: vagabondare

Stray/Alley cat: gatto randagio

From English to Italian we lose the sophisticate characterization. It becomes a

Roman cat who is in France.

Specific contraints:

Theatre translation can be divided into two main areas: printed versions and

versions to be produced on stage. The one that has to be translated for the

theatre is commissioned by the director of the play. A translator prepares an

almost literal version of the play, the director adapts it. Often the director doesn’t

speak the source language but he appears as the main translator « translation

of.. » even if he just adapts it.

Performability : you have to avoid tonguetwists. 7

Speakability : sounds that are distincts so that people can understand them


Opera (lirica)/musical (on stage) translation:

Part of the narrative is in the songs

Singability more than speakability.

When performance is not translated :

Surtitles « sopratitoli » with the translation in the local language. E.g. Italian

musical in England

In some new cinemas, behind the seats there are some small screen with subtitles.

Other forms of contraint:

Excescise de style

Raymond Queneau (1947). In the story there are a lot of


The same action in different languages has different onomatopoeias


Neil Gaiman, (Twitter + Novel), 2009. He started writing a story on Twitter

and his followers had to continue that in order to create a story.


Geoff Ryman 1996. A novel set on the train of London undergound : 251

passengers, a pidgeon and the driver. For each person, the text was 253 words.

Constraints based on the length of the text


In general they are produced for deaf and hard-of-hearing (intralingual translation).

It’s not just a case of copying the spoken text. We can’t read as fast as we can

listen, especially if we have to look at the images as well. There are some statistics

that say that people who are deaf from birth read 1/3 slower than others.

The main constraint is the amount of text you can show on screen.

e.g. « there’s nothing more naked than your handwriting ». traduzione letterale

“non vi è nulla di più chiaro della tua scrittura”; shorter “la tua scrittura è molto


Another constraint is the space occupied, it has to go with the image.

e.g. « But he was there with someone ». literally “ma era lì con qualcuno”, shorter

“non era solo”.

There are different ways to represent more than one person speaking. E.g. a little

dash (-) at the beginning, different colours per non andare a capo.

Noises (intralingual) accents

- Voice : SHOUTING, (italics), sarcasm!, #sing.

- Music, songs, lyrics. Do they need to be translated? Not always, often the solution

is to leave the music in the original language and to subtitle the meaning of the


- Break in line (interruzione sulle righe di testo): normally no more than 36

characters on each line, including spaces.

“mio padre dovrebbe assumerti come

capo contabile”

“mio padre dovrebbe assumerti

come capo contabile” → divisione per unità di senso.

“mio padre dovrebbe assumerti

come capo contabile” → your eye doesn’t have to travel so far if your text is

centered rather than justified on the left.


dubbing countries, Italy is one of them with a huge tradition, mostly because of

Fascism when there was a political desire not to import Hollywood films. 8

Scandinavian countries have small populations, so small audience who pays, they

often just subtitle films because it’s cheaper

Cartoons for very young children have to be dubbed because they can’t read.

In the UK films are mainly subtitled, not dubbed.


Sesta lezione

AVT audio visual translation

Constraint: you have to deal with the visual elements

Overlapping levels:

Accents or dialects on screen

Cultural references from the past

Wordplay in song: recreate the humour, the rhyme, gestures

Language in film → you: tu, lei or voi? You choose according to the hierarchical

relationship among the characters. Among children tu, professional people lei, to a

group voi, etc. It’s up to the translator to decide when lei becomes tu. Moreover, in

English there are more polite forms than in Italian: would you mind, please,

etc. in Italian we could use the conditional. It’s a constant decision the translator

has to make in order to make it sound as natural as possible.

Functional subtitles: there are functional subt. Quite often in musicals, etc. There is

no effort to replicate the rhyme, they make it easier to understand what the song

text says

Young Frankenstein Frankenstein Junior

(1974) – in Italian (1974) 9

Retelling of Frankenstein’s story

Howling: ululare; werewolf: lupo mannaro


Inga: werewolf – lupu ululà

Freddy: werewolf? – lupo ululà?

Igor: there! (he indicates with his arm, again overlapping of gestures and words) –


Freddy: What? – cosa?

Igor: There wolf, there castle. – lupu ululà e castello ululì.

Freddy: Why are you talking that way? – ma come diavolo parli?

Igor: I thought you wanted to. – è lei che ha cominciato.

Freddy: No, I don’t want to. – no, non è vero.

Igor: Suit yourself, I’m easy. – non insisto, è lei padrone.

Igor usa il lei e Frankenstein il tu.


Monica: how about Mockolate mousse? (she has to invent some recipes. First

difficult: translate Mockolate. Mock exam means “simulazione”, non the real one.

Not real chocolate, a kind of synthetic product like chocolate) – mousse di


Phoebe: it’s not very Thanksgiving-y – non è da festa del Ringraziamento.

M: how about Pilgrim Mockolate mousse? – e allora mousse di carnevale.

P: what makes it pilgrim? – perché carnevale?

M: we’ll put buckles on. (buckles are one of the typical features one would

associate to the Pilgrim Fathers) – per i coriandoli.

Audio description

Programmes for people who can’t see. Description on top of the dialogue

(intralinguistic translation - explanation): it’s night, there is no light, etc.

Video games: within the area of IT (Information Technology). Lots of different

elements: character who speak, etc.

Software translation: open close, tables, insert, etc. but also you have to translate

some of the features of the programme e.g. if I write “i” in lover case it is

automatically switched into a capital I (it depends on the language I’m writing, in

this case English).

Localization: in IT we don’t talk about translation but about localization. It is paid

more than, for example, literature. L10N (localization, L iniziale, N finale e 10

lettere al centro)

Globalization: G11N

Internationalization: I18N

GILT (dorato) Globalization, Internationalization, Localization, Translation. They

often go together

You have a company like Mc Donald’s. the product must be internationalized, it

cannot be produced the same way everywhere for cultural and linguistic reasons.

When they localize, they present themselves in a different way. If you go to an

Italian Mc and to a British one, you won’t probably notice any difference. But, if

you go to an Indian one, you’ll notice that they do not sell cow meat because cow

is sacred in India. You don’t sell the same product everywhere and, if you do, you

don’t do it the same way; you localize.

Word-processing programmes 10




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7 mesi fa

Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea in mediazione linguistica e interculturale
A.A.: 2018-2019

I contenuti di questa pagina costituiscono rielaborazioni personali del Publisher daniela2603 di informazioni apprese con la frequenza delle lezioni di Lingua inglese II e studio autonomo di eventuali libri di riferimento in preparazione dell'esame finale o della tesi. Non devono intendersi come materiale ufficiale dell'università La Sapienza - Uniroma1 o del prof Wardle Mary Louise.

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Altri appunti di Corso di laurea in mediazione linguistica e interculturale

Partie A: Phonétique et Phonologie, Histoire de la Langue
Appunti - Carlo Goldoni
Appunti e riassunti di lingua francese II Alessia Di Pietro
Partie B: Les déterminants et le verbe, Linguistica Francese I Floquet Appunti + riassunti