Volume 13, No. 3 
July 2009

Juan José Martínez-Sierra

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Index 1997-2009

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  Translator Profiles
Success through Lifetime Learning
by Gerardo Konig

  The Profession
The Bottom Line
by Fire Ant & Worker Bee
  In Memoriam
In Memoriam—Ben Teague, 1945 - 2009
by Gabe Bokor

  Translation Nuts and Bolts
What's Cooking: Translating Food

by Brett Jocelyn Epstein
  Medical Translation
Physician Extenders—Who are they? Are they measuring up?
by Rafael A. Rivera, M.D., FACP
Translation of Medical Terms
by Katrin Herget, Teresa Alegre

  Cultural Aspects of Translation
Cultural Untranslatability
by Kanji Kitamura

  Translation History
The Issue of Direction of Translation in China: A Historical Overview
by Wang Baorong

  The Translator & the Computer
Automatic Translation in Multilingual Electronic Meetings
by Milam Aiken, Mina Park, Lakisha Simmons, and Tobin Lindblom

  Arts & Entertainment
On the Dubbing of Humor: Tidying Up the Room
Juan José Martínez-Sierra, Ph.D.
Doblaje audiovisual y publicidad—Reflexiones en torno al concepto de manipulación
Isabel Cómitre Narváez

  Literary Translation
Chosen Aspects of the Polish Translation of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by Andrzej Polkowski: Translating Proper Names
by Anna Standowicz
A Key Word in Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude
by Dr. James McCutcheon

  Translator Education
Communication Strategies Do Work! A study on the usage of communication strategies in translation by Iranian students of translation
by Sahar Farrahi Avval
The Applications of Keywords and Collocations to Translation-Studies and Teaching—A Tentative Research on the Parallel Corpus of the 17th NCCPC Report
by Dai Guangrong

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  Translation Journal

Arts & Entertainment


On the Dubbing of Humor.

Tidying Up the Room

by Juan José Martínez-Sierra, Ph.D.
University of Murcia, Spain


umor is probably one of the most difficult issues to tackle in translation. More particularly, the matter becomes even more complex if we pay attention to how humor can be handled in audiovisual modes such as dubbing.

Different authors have approached the dubbing of humor from different yet related perspectives. However, as Díaz-Cintas warns, publications on audiovisual translation research run the risk of "being too scattered and fragmented" (2008: 1), which of course also affects publications on the dubbing of humor.

Thus, this paper is intended as an attempt to present publications that, to a greater or lesser extent, totally or partially, deal with the dubbing of humor. The aim is to provide those interested in this subject with a list in which to find the piece of research they need, without having to browse the web or check different databases.

Of course, the list presented here cannot be and is not comprehensive, although highly significant.1 Hopefully, it will undergo future updates. Moreover, it could also be valuable to convert it into a commented bibliography.

The different works are grouped into six categories: 1) articles, 2) electronic articles, 3) selected papers from conferences, 4) book chapters and collective works, 5) books, and 6) PhD dissertations. Within each category, the different items are arranged both alphabetically and chronologically.

1. Articles


Martínez-Sierra, Juan José. 'El papel del elemento visual en la traducción del humor en textos audiovisuales: ¿un problema o una ayuda?', TRANS: Revista de traductología, 13.


Bucaria, Chiara. 'Humour and other catastrophes: dealing with the translation of mixed-genre TV series', Linguistica Antverpiensia, New Series, 6: 235-254.

Chiaro, Delia. 'Not in front of the children? An analysis of sex on screen in Italy', Linguistica Antverpiensia, New Series, 6: 255-276.


Bucaria, Chiara. 'The perception of humour in dubbing vs. subtitling: The case of Six Feet Under', ESP Across Cultures, 2: 34-46.

Martínez-Sierra, Juan José. 'La relevancia como herramienta para el análisis de la traducción del humor audiovisual: su aplicación al caso de Los Simpson', Interlingüística, 15(II): 927-936.

--- 'The manipulation of the text: on the foreignizing/domestication duality in the translation of humor in audiovisual texts', Translation Studies in the New Millennium: An International Journal for Translation and Interpreting, 3: 89-99.

--- 'Translating Audiovisual Humour. A Case Study', Perspectives: Studies in Translatology, 13(4): 289-296.

--- 'Un acercamiento descriptivo y discursivo a la traducción del humor en textos audiovisuales. El caso de Los Simpson', Puentes, 6: 53-59.

Valdeón, Roberto. 'Asymmetric representations of languages in contact: uses and translations of French and Spanish in Frasier', Fictionalising Translation and Multilingualism (Special Issue of Linguistica Antverpiensia), 4: 279-294.


Chiaro, Delia. 'Investigating the perception of translated Verbally Expressed Humour on Italian TV', ESP Across Cultures, 1: 35-52.

Fuentes-Luque, Adrián. 'Reír o no reír, esa es la cuestión: la traducción del humor verbal audiovisual. Estudio descriptivo de un fragmento de Duck Soup, de los Hermanos Marx', Puentes, 6: 77-85.


Delia, Chiaro. 'The Implications of the Quality of Translated Verbally Expressed Humour and the success of big screen comedy', Antares, VI: 14-20.

Fuentes-Luque, Adrián. 'An Empirical Approach to the Reception of AV Translated Humour: A Case Study of the Marx Brothers' Duck Soup', The Translator, 9(2): 293-306.

Lorenzo, Lourdes, Ana María Pereira and María Xoubanova. 'The Simpsons/Los Simpson. Analysis of an Audiovisual Translation', The Translator, 9(2): 269-291.

Martínez-Sierra, Juan José. 'La traducción del humor en los medios audiovisuales desde una perspectiva transcultural. El caso de The Simpsons', Interlingüística, 14: 743-750.


Vandaele, Jeroen. '"Funny Fictions": Francoist Translation Censorship of Two Billy Wilder Films', The Translator, 8(2): 267-302.


Pisek, Gerhard. 'Wordplay and the dubber/subtitler', Aaa-Arbeiten Aus Anglistik Und Amerikanistik, 22(1): 37-51.


Denton, John. 'How A Fish Called Wanda Became Un pesce di nome Wanda', Il traduttore nuovo, 42: 29-34.

Zabalbeascoa, Patrick. 'Factors in dubbing television comedy', Perspectives: Studies in Translatology, 2(1): 89-99.


Diot, R. (1986). 'Chaos par K.O.: un exemple d'incompatibilité d'humour, le doublage et le sous-titrage des films de Marx Brothers', Contrastes (Special Issue on Humour and Translation): 259-269.

2. Electronic Articles


Martínez-Sierra, Juan José. 'Doblar o subtitular el humor, esa no es la cuestión', JoSTrans, 12.


Jankowska, Anna. 'Translating Humor in Dubbing and Subtitling', Translation Journal, 13(2).



Botella-Tejera, Carla. 'La naturalización del humor en la Traducción Audiovisual (TAV): ¿Traducción o adaptación? El caso de los doblajes de Gomaespuma: Ali G Indahouse', Tonos Digital, 12.


Chiaro, Delia. 'Verbally Expressed Humour on Screen: Reflections on Translation and Reception', JoSTrans, 6.


Romero-Fresco, Pablo. 'The Spanish Dubbese: A Case of (Un)idiomatic Friends', Jostrans, 6.


Ruiz-Rosendo, Lucía. 'Problemas, errores y técnicas en la traducción audiovisual: análisis contrastivo entre la versión original y el doblaje y subtitulado de Con faldas y a lo loco', Confluências. Revista de Tradução Científica e Técnica, 4.



Hernández-Bartolomé, Ana Isabel and Gustavo Mendiluce-Cabrera. 'La traducción del humor audiovisual de los Hermanos Marx en Sopa de ganso', Spanish in Context, 2(1).



Hernández-Bartolomé, Ana Isabel and Gustavo Mendiluce-Cabrera. 'Este traductor no es un gallina: El trasvase del humor audiovisual en Chicken Run', Linguax.


3. Selected Papers from Conferences


Chiaro, Delia. 'The effect of translation on humour response: The case of dubbed comedy in Italy', in Yves Gambier, Miriam Shlesinger and Radegundis Stolze (eds.), Doubts and Directions in Translation Studies: Selected contributions from the EST Congress, Lisbon 2004. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 137-152.


Hernández-Bartolomé, Ana Isabel and Gustavo Mendiluce-Cabrera. 'Hacia una imagen más seria de la traducción del humor audiovisual', V Jornadas sobre la Formación y la Profesión del Traductor e Intérprete, Villaviciosa de Odón (Madrid): Universidad Europea de Madrid, CDROM.

Schröter, Thorsten. 'Of Holy Goats and the NYPD: A Study of Language-Based Screen Humour in Translation', in Gyde Hansen et al. (eds.) Claims, Changes and Challenges in Translation Studies: Selected Contributions from the EST Congress, Copenhagen 2001. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 157-168.


Vandaele, Jeroen. '"Each Time We Laugh". Translated Humour in Screen Comedy', in Jeroen Vandaele (ed.) Translation and the (Re)location of Meaning, Selected Papers of the CETRA Research Seminars in Translation Studies 1994-1996. Lovain: Catholic University of Lovain, 237-272.


Zabalbeascoa, Patrick. 'In Search of a Model that will Work for the Dubbing of Television Comedy', in Miguel Edo-Juliá (ed.) Actes del I Congrés Internacional sobre Traducció 1992. Barcelona: Autonomous University of Barcelona, 351-366.

4. Book Chapters and Collective Works


Díaz-Cintas, Jorge (ed.). New Trends in Audiovisual Translation. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.


Martínez-Tejerina, Anjana. 'La traducción de la paronimia en las versiones doblada (1965) y subtitulada (2003) de Sopa de ganso (Duck Soup, 1933)', in John Sanderson (ed.) Películas antiguas, subtitulos nuevos. Alicante: University of Alicante, 49-68.


Chiaro, Delia. 'The effect of translation on humour response: The case of dubbed comedy in Italy', in Yves Gambier, Miriam Shlesinger and Radegundis Stolze (eds.) Doubts and Directions in Translation Studies. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 137-152.

Smith de la Fuente, Carolina, Juan Antonio García-Rojas and María Aranzazu Gómez- López. 'La traducción del humor en el doblaje de la película La vida de Brian', in María del Carmen Balbuena and Ángeles García-Calderón (coords.) Traducción y mediación cultural: refelexiones interdisciplinares. Granada: Atrio, 485-497.


Brehm, Justine. 'Entre la espada y la pantalla. Restricciones y grados de dificultad en la traducción de juegos de palabras para el doblaje', in Frederic Chaume, Laura Santamaria and Patrick Zabalbeascoa (eds.) La Traducción Audiovisual: Investigación, Enseñanza y Profesión. Granada: Comares, 189-200.

Fuentes-Luque, Adrián. 'La recepción de la traducción audiovisual: Humor y cultura', in Frederic Chaume, Laura Santamaria and Patrick Zabalbeascoa (eds.) La Traducción Audiovisual: Investigación, Enseñanza y Profesión. Granada: Comares, 139-151.


Zabalbeascoa, Patrick. 'Translating Audiovisual Screen Irony', in Antonia Sánchez-Macarro (general ed.) and Luis Pérez-González (guest ed.) Speaking in Tongues: Languages Across Contexts and Users, English in the World Series. Valencia: University of Valencia, 305-322.


Whitman, Candace. 'Cloning Cultures: The Return of the Movie Mutants', in Frederic Chaume and Rosa Agost (eds.) La traducción en los medios audiovisuales. Castellón: Jaume I University, 143-157.

Zabalbeascoa, Patrick. 'La traducción del humor en textos audiovisuales', in Miguel Duro-Moreno (ed.) La traducción para el doblaje y la subtitulación. Madrid: Cátedra, 251-266.


Chiaro, Delia. 'Servizio completo. On the (un)translatability of puns on screen', in Rosa Maria Bollettieri Bosinelli, Christine Heiss, Marcello Soffritti and Silvia Bernardini (eds.) La Traduzione Multimediale. Quale traduzione per quale testo? Bologna: CLUEB, 27-42.

Di Concilio, Elena and Lauretta Stella. 'Sol sul mio cadavere: Morto un testo se ne fa un altro', in Rosa Maria Bollettieri Bosinelli, Christine Heiss, Marcello Soffritti and Silvia Bernardini (eds.) La Traduzione Multimediale. Quale traduzione per quale testo? Bologna: CLUEB, 227-242.

Salmon Kovarski, Laura. 'Tradurre l'etnoletto: come doppiare in italiano l'"accento hebraico"', in Rosa Maria Bollettieri Bosinelli, Christine Heiss, Marcello Soffritti and Silvia Bernardini (eds.) La Traduzione Multimediale. Quale traduzione per quale testo? Bologna: CLUEB, 67-84.

Zabalbeascoa, Patrick. 'Contenidos para adultos en el género infantil: el caso del doblaje de Walt Disney', in Veljka Ruzicka et. al. (eds.) Literatura infantil y juvenil: tendencias actuales en investigación. Vigo: University of Vigo, 19-30.

--- 'La traducción del humor de Woody Allen o el arte de dominar la sutileza y la ironía', in Lourdes Lorenzo and Ana María Pereira (eds.) Traducción subordinada (I). El doblaje: inglés-español/galego. Vigo: University of Vigo, 115-126.


Zabalbeascoa, Patrick. 'Dubbing and the nonverbal dimension of translation', in Fernando Poyatos (ed.) Nonverbal Communication and Translation: New Perspectives and Challenges in Literature, Interpretation and the Media. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 327-342.


Zabalbeascoa, Patrick. 'La traducción de la comedia televisiva: implicaciones teóricas', in Purificación Fernández-Nistal and José María Bravo-Gozalo (eds.) A Spectrum of Translation Studies. Valladolid: University of Valladolid, 173-201.

--- 'Translating Jokes for Dubbed Television Situation Comedies', in Dirk Delabastita (ed.) The Translator: Studies in Intercultural Communication. Manchester: St. Jerome, 235-257.


Gaiba, F. 'La traduzione di alcuni aspetti umoristici nel doppiaggio cinematografico', in R. Baccolini, R. M. Bollettieri Bosinelli and L. Gavioli (eds.) Il doppiaggio. Trasposizioni linguistiche e culturali. Bologna: CLUEB, 105-112.

5. Books


Martínez-Sierra, Juan José. Humor y traducción. Los Simpson cruzan la frontera. Castellón de la Plana: Jaume I University.

6. Doctoral Dissertations


Corrius, Montse. Translating Multilingual Audiovisual Texts. Priorities and Restrictions. Implications and Applications. Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Martínez-Tejerina, Anjana. La traducción para el doblaje del humor basado en la polisemia. University of Alicante.


Schröter, Thorsten. Shun the Pun, Rescue the Rhyme? The Dubbing and Subtitling of Language-Play in Film. Karlstad University.


Martínez-Sierra, Juan José. Estudio descriptivo y discursivo de la traducción del humor en textos audiovisuales. El caso de Los Simpson. Jaume I University.


Fuentes-Luque, Adrián. La recepción del humor audiovisual traducido: estudio comparativo de fragmentos de las versiones doblada y subtitulada al español de la película Duck Soup, de los hermanos Marx. University of Granada.


Zabalbeascoa, Patrick. Developing Translation Studies to Better Account for Audiovisual Texts and Other New Forms of Text Production. University of Lleida.


* This research was conducted as a part of a research project founded by the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (Programa José Castillejo).


1 References were last searched in March, 2009.

Works Cited

Díaz-Cintas, Jorge (2008) The Didactics of Audiovisual Translation. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.