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Jakub Kubkowski

on 22 January 2013

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Transcript of Idiolects

Translating Idiolects
Private's idiolect - lost in translation
What is an idiolect?
Skipper, as the troop’s leader, often commands the other characters of the series. From a linguistic point of view, this results in use of the imperative with a large number of exclamations and phrases typical for armed forces. These properties of the idiolect are noticeable both in the original version and in the Polish translation.
As the troop's wise guy, he frequently (often even to a fault) uses scientific terms or pseudoscientific expressions of no meaning.

Translating this kind of sophisticated idiolect is a great example of "dynamic equivalence" (translating a sense) as it is often more important to convey the complexity of his speeches, than to translate his actual words to Polish.
The distinctive speech of an individual, considered as a linguistic pattern unique among speakers of his or her language or dialect.
The term's been coined by linguist Bernard Bloch: from Greek idio (personal, private) + (dia)lect
All clear for Operation: Bury the Past.

Teren czysty. Zaczynamy operacje: Pogrzebać przeszłość.

Well boys, mission accomplished.
Requesting permission to...
Permission granted. I think we could all use a little...
Gratulacje panowie. Misja wykonana.
Uprzejmie zgłaszam prośbe...
Zezwalam. Myśle, że wszystkim by nam sie przydała...
Dynamic equivalence
(also known as functional) This method attempts to convey the thought expressed in the source text using equivalent expressions. (sense for sense).
Formal equivalence
The formal equivalence method attempts to translate the source text word for word into another language.
Plutonium-fueled DNAmutatingnature-abominating-monstermaker
Polisyntetycznie-katalizowana-wieloprzebiegowa glukomutogeneza.
It's classic anti-authoritarian rebel euphoria!
To klasyczny przypadek autory-neglekto euforii!
Translation of the name
"Skipper" means "the master of a ship" or "a coach, director or other leader", but it is also in use as a male name (a variant of Skip) and, more often, as a name given to animals.
Thus, in the English version all the characters refer to him as "Skipper" and it is impossible to recognize whether they use a name of him or of his occupation.
In the Polish version the Penguins of his troop adress him "szef", while the others use the original form, which implies that "Skipper" is a given name.
From the point of view of a translator, the most troubling idiolect is the one of Private, as some aspects of it are strictly untranslatable.
The most distinguishing characteristic of Private's language is his British accent. As there is no Polish equivalent of its, in translation it is omitted.
Using one of Polish dialects instead would not appear credible for viewers.
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