Verbal Humor: a Salient Case in Translation and Translatability

A. Effendi Kadarisman

Abstract


Abstract: This article aims to answer the following research question: are jokes and puns translatable? Using a linguistic approach and collecting relevant data (i.e., jokes and puns in Indonesian and English), this article tries to investigate their translatability. A thorough linguistic analysis shows that there are two kinds of verbal humor: logic-twisting humor and ambiguity-manipulating humor. Verbal humor of the first type is in general translatable; for the translation is an act of rendering meaning. Conversely, verbal humor of the second type is typically untranslatable; for the translation is an act of rendering double correspondence: both form and meaning.
Key Words: humor translation, jokes and puns, (un)translatability, arbitrariness principle


Abstrak: Artikel ini bertujuan menjawab pertanyaan penelitian: apakah lelucon dan permainan-kata dapat diterjemahkan? Dengan menggunakan ancangan linguistik dan mengumpulkan data yang relevan (berupa lelucon dan permainan-kata dalam bahasa Indonesia dan bahasa Inggris), tulisan ini mencoba menjajagi kadar keterjemahan humor. Hasil analisis linguistik menunjukkan bahwa humor ada dua jenis: permainan logika dan permainan ambiguitas. Humor jenis pertama gampang diterjemahkan, karena penerjemahannya merupakan upaya alih-makna. Sebaliknya, humor jenis kedua tak bisa diterjemahkan, karena upaya alih-bentuk-dan-makna sekaligus merupakan upaya yang mustahil.
Kata kunci: terjemahan lelucon, lelucon dan permainan-kata, ketidakterjemahan, prinsip arbitrer


Keywords


humor translation; jokes and puns; (un)translatability; arbitrariness principle

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17977/jph.v5i4.10272

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