Intentional Manipulations? A Further Analysis of Selected English-Yoruba Humorous Translations


Translation is aimed at reproducing a given text from one source language to another. In view of the importance of the concept of translation, various theories and strategies have been developed in literature to facilitate the activities involved in the translation of texts, either interlingual or intralingual. However, there are cases when the translation of a text is either intentionally or unintentionally manipulated to achieve certain intended or unintended purposes. This essay examines cases of manipulated translations of texts within a language and from one language to the other. The data for the study were some selected humorous translations obtained from the social media (WhatsApp and Twitter precisely). The posts, eleven in number, were tagged with the title ‘Translation 101’ and contained sentences in English language which were humorously translated some into the standard Yorùbá language and others into the Ibadan dialect of the Yorùbá language. The humorous translations could be said to be a play on words which is based on the pronunciation similarities of the normal translations in the Yorùbá language and some words, phrases and names in English and other languages. The theory of choice for the study is the Manipulation Theory adopted by a group of scholars known as the ‘Manipulation School’ (Hermans, 1985). The analysis of the data revealed cases where the translations of the texts were intentionally manipulated to elicit humor for the audience. It concludes that humorous translations are often used by comedians who intentionally manipulate the translations of certain texts for the purpose of comedy.
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