Poprawianie Hamleta – ćwiczenie warsztatowe

Monika Woźniak


The paper describes the results of an experiment in translation carried out during a course attended by a group of Polish and Italian students. The text chosen was a comic sketch A Little Rewrite by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton. The goal was to compare the transfer of a typical gig into two different languages and cultural contexts. It emerged that, while all the students enjoyed the sketch and were amused by it, as soon as they started to translate the dialogue some significant differences arose, both language- and culture-related. In the transfer into Polish, the lack of a recognizable marketing jargon used in the original scene for humorous effect resulted in replacing it with a low register of everyday speech and Polish equivalents were found for a few not immediately comprehensible allusions to British reality. The one distinctive comic feature of the original text, the funny form of addressing Shakespeare as “Bill” was, however, lost in translation due to a different use of such form in Polish. In the Italian translation it was easier to replicate the comic effect of calling Shakespeare “Bill”, thanks to a similar way in which forms of address are used in that language. It appeared, instead, far more difficult, to find a satisfactory equivalent for a low oral register of the original dialogue. Because of the stylistic conventions of standard Italian and also a more rigid attitude towards the rules of translation itself, the final result of the transfer appeared far more polished and toned down linguistically that its Polish counterpart or even its English original.

Słowa kluczowe: sketch, theatre, orality, humor, comparative translation, Shakespeare, Hamlet

Anderman, G. (2005). Europe on Stage. Translation and Theatre, London: Oberon Books.

Michalski, C. (2011). Wojna nuda, „Newsweek” 23.04.2011, dostępny on line http://www.newsweek.pl/wojna-i-nuda,75745,1,1.html (dostęp: 30.05.2015).

Vandaele, J. (2010). Humor in translation, w: Y. Gambier, L. Van Doorslaer (eds.), Handbook of Translation Studies. T. 1, Amsterdam – Philadelphia: John Benjamins, s. 147–152.

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