The Linguist

The Linguist 53,1

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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compensate for the loss by creating humour in other parts of the translated text. 3 Transcreation of humour. New humorous elements that are not present in the original game are created by the translators from scratch. This allows them to compensate for any humorous content that may be lost elsewhere, but can also increase the overall content of humorous material in the translation. This last procedure, which is a common practice in the game localisation industry, is justified by the aim of video games to be as fun and entertaining as possible, and distinguishes localisation from other types of translation. In Animal Crossing: Wild world, the translators' creativity is constantly put to the test with humorous elements that are culturally and linguistically challenging. Whenever the player catches a barbel steed fish in the English version, the pun 'I caught a barbel steed! I'm not horsin' around' appears. This plays with the meaning of 'steed' as both a species of fish and an archaic term for 'horse': Vol/53 No/1 2014 FEBRUARY/MARCH The Linguist 9 FEATURES In the Italian and Spanish versions, the fish species is translated as barbo, deleting any reference to horses. Instead, the translators found a solution that shifts, but still retains, the original humorous connotation. The two target puns exploit the meaning of barba ('beard'), which is very similar to barbo in spelling and pronunciation. The target puns therefore include an allusion to shaving: 'Ho preso un barbol! Devo rasarlo!' (It; I need to shave it!') and '¡He pescado un barbo! ¡Lleva toda la vida sin afeitarse!' (Sp; 'It doesn't shave for its whole life!'). Many other examples show that both the Spanish and Italian translators use the transcreation strategy. Where the English text says 'I caught a tiger butterfly! The star of butterflies!', the Italian creates the pun, 'I caught a tiger butterfly! The most aggressive of butterflies!', while the Spanish has 'Good job it's not a butterfly tiger!'. Both play on the fact that tigers are aggressive animals: The translation of character names is just as creative. Egbert the chicken becomes the Italian Ovidio, which works as a proper name but also includes an allusion to eggs (ov-). Pango the anteater is transcreated into the Spanish Aspidora, which is close to the proper name Dora but plays on the anteater's physical features, which might be compared to a vacuum cleaner (aspiradora). An analysis of examples from Animal Crossing reveals a pattern that the Italian and Spanish localisation teams followed. In fact, their translation procedures are indicative of a strategy tendency in games localisation professional practice. Instances of humorous material abound in the source game, aimed at and resulting in an entertaining playing experience, which is the ultimate goal of the game. In translation, humour is tackled very carefully. Wordplay is maintained as much as possible in order to produce a localised version of the game that provides as pleasant a gameplay experience as the original, if not more so. Both Italian and Spanish translators have acted as transcreators, freely introducing new humorous material in the translations, and making use of linguistic humour to enhance the target players' gaming experience. This approach shows that the translation of humour in video games shares little with humour translation in many other disciplines. It is not concerned with maintaining sameness with the source text, and allows translators to depart from the original as much as necessary for the translation to fulfill its aim and purpose – that of being funny and engaging for the player. Egbert the chicken becomes the Italian Ovidio, which works as a proper name but also alludes to eggs ENG IT SP I CAUGHT A…: THREE EXAMPLES FROM 'ANIMAL CROSSING' I caught a horse mackerel! Nay!? Yay! Ho pescato uno sgombro! Ora devo sgombrare! 1 (I caught a horse mackerel! Now I have to move out!) ¡He pescado un jurel! ¡Juro que lo pesqué yo! 2 (I caught a horse mackerel! I swear I caught it!) 1 Sgombro is both the Italian equivalent of 'horse mackerel' and the first person of the verb sgombrare, meaning 'I move out'. 2 Jurel meaning 'horse mackerel' and juro meaning 'I swear' are similar in both spelling and pronunciation. 3 Playing with the Spanish proverb 'El huésped y la pesca, a los tres días apestan', with pesca meaning 'fish' I caught a bluegill! Why's the little guy so sad? Ho preso un pesce persico! Verrà dalla Persia? (I caught a Persian fish! Will it come from Persia?) ¡He pescado un pez sol! ¿Se convertirá en pez luna por la noche? ¿En pez lobo? (I caught a sun fish! Will it turn into a moon fish at night? Into a wolf fish?) I caught a yellow perch! Perch in my belly! Ho preso una perca dorata! Chissà quanto vale? (I caught a golden perch! I wonder how much it's worth?) ¡He pescado una perca amarilla! ¡El huésped y la perca, a los tres días apestan! 3 (I caught a yellow perch! The perch and the guest smell after three days!)

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