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Struggling Translators With Humor Translations

Struggling Translators With Humor Translations
Humor Translations
(Last Updated On: October 30, 2023)

Making people laugh is an art. It comes naturally to some people. They can take a simple story and add humor to it. However, to others, it isn’t easy to be funny. People love funny things. Advertisements that have a bit of humor will attract customers a lot more easily than the ads that don’t. The people of today love jokes and memes. They use them to process even the most difficult bit of information. This is why companies have to use humor, too, in order to stay relevant. But just like there are many standup comedians, and only a few are known worldwide, not everyone manages to do a good job of making people laugh.

Humor in Different Languages:

Languages are influenced by cultures. Even if you are strictly speaking in business language, you will have to keep the cultural aspects in mind. You can’t talk to people in their tongue without learning about their values. When it comes to businesses, the cultural aspect becomes more important. Companies that do not value the culture and beliefs of their target audience cannot make much progress. In order to adjust to a foreign society, they will have to respect the people of that land. And the best way to do that is by valuing the culture.

Humor Translation

Humor in languages is also related to culture. Societies make jokes that suit their beliefs. This is why humor is different everywhere in the world. A joke that makes you laugh very hard may not impress a person of another country; even worse, it can offend them. When making jokes in a foreign language, it is important to keep the beliefs of the target audience in mind. Without respecting their values, you cannot make jokes that are funny to them. If you wish to attract customers with your funny advertisements, then you will have to do your research and make sure you are not offensive to any group of people.

Problems with Humor Translations:

Translating one language into another is a very complex process. You have to keep the cultural differences in mind. You will also have to be fluent in two different languages. You will have to be familiar with relevant terms so you can use them in the translations. Although simple translations are quite complex, they are nowhere near as complicated as the translation of funny content. There are many things that need to be kept in mind when doing humor translations. Any small mistake can make an ad offensive to a large group of people and hurt the reputation of a company.

Culture is the biggest issue when translating humor from one language to another. But there are plenty of other factors too, like the beliefs of people. You cannot make a joke about an American TV show of the 90s that wasn’t shown in other countries of the world. If you use culture-specific words in jokes, you can’t expect them to make every kind of audience laugh. If your audience doesn’t understand a reference you used in the ad, then that’s a failure on the part of the translator. They should make sure that the jokes work in the other language too.

Sometimes, there are no alternative words in a language, and a joke could get ruined. But if a translator uses their wit and make up a similar joke in the target language, they would have done a good job. However, it isn’t easy for many professionals to come up with jokes themselves.

Struggling Translators with Humor Translations:

Humor Translation

All the translators struggle with humor translations. The ones that have become good at humor translations managed to do so after practicing for years. One of the biggest challenges translators have to face after cultural differences is wordplay. By changing the wordplay, the joke loses its humor. But without changing the wordplay, the translation would be impossible. It is up to the translator to change the wordplay while keeping the humor intact. It is a very tricky thing to do but one that can be managed. One thing that translators have to keep in mind when dealing with such tricky projects is that they can’t be accurate in such translations. If they are willing to give up complete accuracy, they will be able to keep the joke in the target language. All they have to do is convey the essence of the joke in the target language. They cannot find this way if they keep trying to be a hundred percent accurate or go for the word to word translations.

Another thing that translators must avoid is overexplaining. If they tried to explain a joke or add footnotes, it would take away the humor of the text. Puns are another challenge for linguistic experts. By keeping mathematical and universally accepted puns, they can convey the humor and complete their tasks too.

Whenever cultural aspects come into play, the job of a linguistic expert becomes difficult to manage. But the only way of getting over these challenges is through practice. Word to word translations must not be attempted in such scenarios, or the essence of the original text will be lost. If a linguistic expert is struggling with humor, they must improve their vocabulary in the target language so they can come up with better jokes themselves. It is only through practice and extensive reading that they can get better at their jobs.

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