Textual procedures an strategies in the translation of manga and anime dialogue
Howell, Peter Kenneth
This thesis describes the textual strategies used in the translation into English of fictional dialogue, with particular reference to a content area as yet unexplored in Translation Studies: Japanese comic-books and animated cartoons. It does this by means of comparative case studies of the textual procedures used in different translations of Japanese source-texts. The comparisons are of target texts, and are sometimes interlingual in nature (English vs. French) and sometimes intralingual (English vs. English). The analytic approach is stylistic, focusing on the narrative functions of setting and character. The accumulation of case studies reported in the thesis provides new information about general conventions of translating fictional dialogue into English. The findings are that, unlike their French counterparts, none of the English translations investigated in this thesis makes use of intermediate translation. English translations assimilate character voice more strongly than French translations, and the same trend emerges with regard to military and scientific register. However, no overall interlingual difference emerges clearly with regard to the translation of cultural markers. The thesis also provides new insights on specific modes in the translation of fictional dialogue (dubbing, subtitling, and comic-book translation). English comic-book translations domesticate character voice strongly, adding vulgarity, as well as substituting and autonomously creating English dialects. English dubs transform indices of character by inserting jokes, vulgar language, and stereotypical expressions from foreign languages. However in the two cases where English dubs could be compared intralingually, the more recent translations adapt the Japanesed ialogue less than the earlier versions. The conventions of comic-book translation and dubbing differ in these respects from the contemporary prescriptions of literary translation theory. Subtitles are less domesticating than dubs or comic books. Although subtitling may sometimes neutralize stylistic features of Japanese dialogue, recent subtitles released in America use a number of compensatory procedures to create corresponding indices of character in the target text.