AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 7, Number 3. August 2023 Pp. 152-174

Maintaining Funny Effects in a Target Language: Translating Humorous Expressions

Department of English Language, College of Arts
Al Jouf University, Aljouf, Saudi Arabia


Translating a humorous language is difficult for translators since even when the intended meaning is translated, the humorous effect may be missed due to the different translation strategies used in translating the text. This study intends to reveal the methods used in translating the language that contributed to the humorous effect in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid graphic series. Hopefully, this study will contribute to the literature on translating Humour into Arabic and determine whether translating Humour into Arabic effectively conveys its intended meaning beyond the language barrier. Random but funny chunks from various volumes were picked as the data source. Leppihalme’s (1997)   humour translation model was used to analyse the data. A reading experiment was conducted with 17 teenagers to rate some chosen translated and non-translated sections to assess whether the methods succeeded. Then the obtained data were also subjected to a comparative mixed analysis. According to the analysis, there appears to be a repeating approach used to translate the text into Arabic, and this method is also used to translate potentially funny parts regardless of what context and co-text could contribute to the sense of humour effect. According to the findings, 37 individuals in both monolingual and bilingual groups thought the given Arabic-translated parts were not funny at all. In contrast, only 12 thought the same chunks in their English origin were not funny at all.

Cite as:

Alkhaldi, A. R.  (2023). Maintaining Funny Effects in a Target Language: Translating Humorous Expressions.  Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 7 (3): 152-174.   DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol7no3.11


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Amal Rakan Alkhaldi:  She is an Assistant Professor of Translation Studies at the University of Aljouf. She obtained her PhD in Translation Studies from Leeds University in 2020. Her research focuses on literary and young adult translations. https://orcid.org/0009-0004-2750-2825