Volume 31, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238



The main purpose of this paper is to analyse jokes containing sexual innuendos in ambiguous utterances from the first two seasons of and their translation into Spanish using relevance theory. More often than not, the ambiguity and sexual innuendos are also reflected in the Spanish versions analysed. Hence, in all those cases, in relevance-theoretical terms, the cognitive effects intended in the source text (ST), including humorous ones, will also be accessible to target text (TT) viewers. It, therefore, follows that the pragmatic scenario is preserved in the TT, sometimes at the expense of a sacrifice in the semantic scenario. In audio-visual texts, ambiguity may also impact the visual channel. Although in some cases the visual component may render the translator’s task difficult, in others it may act as an aid to both the translator and TT viewer, contributing to the yielding of humorous effects.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Allan, Keith and Burridge, Kate
    2006Forbidden Words: Taboo and the Censoring of Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511617881
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511617881 [Google Scholar]
  2. Attardo, Salvatore
    2018 “Universals in Puns and Humorous Wordplay.” InCultures and Traditions of Wordplay and Wordplay Research, ed. by Esme Winter-Froemel , and Verena Thaler , 89–110. Berlin & Boston: De Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Blake, Barry J.
    2007Playing with Words: Humour in the English Language. London: Equinox.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Carston, Robyn
    2002aThoughts and Utterances. Oxford: Blackwell. 10.1002/9780470754603
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470754603 [Google Scholar]
  5. 2002b “Linguistic Meaning, Communicated Meaning and Cogntive Pragmatics.” Mind & Language17: 127–148. 10.1111/1468‑0017.00192
    https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-0017.00192 [Google Scholar]
  6. Chaume, Frederic
    2012Audiovisual Translation: Dubbing. Manchester: St. Jerome.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Chiaro, Delia
    1992The Language of Jokes. Analysing Verbal Play. London & New York: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203327562
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203327562 [Google Scholar]
  8. 2008 “Verbally Expressed Humour and Translation.” InPrimer of Humour Research, ed. by Viktor Raskin , 569–608. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110198492.569
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110198492.569 [Google Scholar]
  9. 2011 “Comic Takeover or Comic Makeover? Notes on Humour Translating, Translation and (Un)translatability.” InThe Pragmatics of Humour across Discourse Domains, ed. by Marta Dynel , 365–378. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/pbns.210.23chi
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.210.23chi [Google Scholar]
  10. Davies, Christie
    1998Jokes and Their Relation to Society. Berlin & New York: Walter de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110806144
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110806144 [Google Scholar]
  11. Delabastita, Dirk
    1993There’s a Double Tongue. Amsterdam and Atlanta: Rodopi.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. 1997 “Introduction.” InTraductio. Essays on Punning and Translation, ed. by Dirk Delabastita , 1–22. Manchester: St. Jerome.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Díaz Cintas, Jorge , and Remael, Aline
    2014Audiovisual Translation: Subtitling, 2nd ed. London and New York: Routledge. 10.4324/9781315759678
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315759678 [Google Scholar]
  14. Díaz-Pérez, Francisco Javier
    2014 “Relevance Theory and Translation: Translating Puns in Spanish Film Titles into English.” Journal of Pragmatics70: 108–129. 10.1016/j.pragma.2014.06.007
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2014.06.007 [Google Scholar]
  15. 2015 “From the Other Side of the Looking Glass: A Cognitive-Pragmatic Account of Translating Lewis Carroll.” InYearbook of Corpus Linguistics and Pragmatics 2015: Current Approaches to Discourse and Translation Studies, ed. by Jesús Romero-Trillo , 163–194. Heidelberg: Springer. 10.1007/978‑3‑319‑17948‑3_8
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-17948-3_8 [Google Scholar]
  16. 2017 “The Translation of Humour Based on Culture-Bound Terms in Modern Family. A Cognitive-Pragmatic Approach.” InMonografías de Traducción e Interpretación 9. The Translation of Humour/La traducción del humor, ed. by Juan José Martínez Sierra , and Patrick Zabalbeascoa Terran , 49–75. Alicante: Universidad d’Alacant, Universidad de Valencia, Universidad Jaume I.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. 2018 “Translation Problems in the Translation of Two Film Versions of Alice in Wonderland into Spanish. A Cognitive-Pragmatic Approach.” InOn the Verge between Language and Translation, ed. by Marcin Walczynski , Piotr Czajka , and Michał Szawerna , 161–189. Berlin: Peter Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Franco Aixelá, Javier
    1996 “Culture-Specific Items in Translation.” InTranslation, Power, Subversion, ed. by Román Álvarez , and M. Carmen Africa Vidal , 52–78. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Gottlieb, Henrik
    1997Subtitles, Translation and Idioms. Copenhaguen: Centre for Translation Studies, University of Copenhaguen.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Gutt, Ernst-August
    1990 “A Theoretical Account of Translation – Without a Translation Theory.” Target2 (2): 135–164. 10.1075/target.2.2.02gut
    https://doi.org/10.1075/target.2.2.02gut [Google Scholar]
  21. 1998 “Pragmatic Aspects of Translation: Some Relevance-Theory Observations.” InThe Pragmatics of Translation, ed. by Leo Hickey , 41–53. Clevedon, etc.: Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. 2000Translation and Relevance: Cognition and Context, 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. 2004 “Challenges of Metarepresentation to Translation Competence.” InTranslationskompetenz: Proceedings of LICTRA 2001: VII. Leipziger Internationale Konferenz zu Grundfragen der Translatologie, ed. by Eberhard Fleischmann , Peter A. Schmitt , and Gerd Wotjak , 77–89. Tübingen: Stauffenburg.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Gutt, Ernst-August. A.
    2005 “On the Significance of the Cognitive Core of Translation.” The Translator11 (1): 25–49. 10.1080/13556509.2005.10799188
    https://doi.org/10.1080/13556509.2005.10799188 [Google Scholar]
  25. Gutt, Ernst-August
    2010 “Relevance and Translation: On the Value of a Good Theoretical Foundation of Translation.” InIn the Mind and across Minds: A Relevance-Theoretic Perspective on Communication and Translation, ed. by Ewa Walaszewska , Marta Kisielewska-Krysiuk , and Agnieszka Piskorska , 267–282. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Haywood, Louise , Michael Thomson , and Sandor Hervey
    2009Thinking Spanish Translation. A Course Translation Method: Spanish to English. 2nd ed.London & New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Jaki, Sylvia
    2016 “ Sie haben feuchte Nüsse ‒ The Translation of Verbal Humour in German Subtitles of US American Sitcoms.” InCrossing Languages to Play with Words, ed. by Sebastian Knospe , Alexander Onysko , and Maik Goth , 357–378. Berlin & Boston: De Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Juckel, Jennifer , Steven Bellman , and Duane Varan
    2016 “A Humor Typology to Identify Humor Styles Used in Sitcoms.” Humor29 (4): 583–603. 10.1515/humor‑2016‑0047
    https://doi.org/10.1515/humor-2016-0047 [Google Scholar]
  29. Karamitroglou, Fotios
    1998 “A Proposed Set of Subtitling Standard in Europe”. Translation Journal2 (2). [available attranslationjournal.net/journal/04stndrd.htm]
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Martínez Sierra, Juan José
    2008Humor y traducción. Los Simpson cruzan la frontera. Castelló: Universitat Jaume I.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. 2009 “El papel del elemento visual en la traducción del humor en textos audiovisuales: ¿un problema o una ayuda?” TRANS. Revista de Traductología13: 139–148.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. 2010 “Using Relevance as a Tool for the Analysis of the Translation of Humor in Audiovisual Texts.” InLos caminos de la lengua. Estudios en homenaje a Enrique Alcaraz Varó, ed. by José Luis Cifuentes , Adelina Gómez , Antonio Lillo , José Mateo , and Francisco Yus , 189–209. Alicante: Universidad de Alicante.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Padilla Cruz, Manuel
    2015 “On the Role of Vigilance in the Interpretation of Puns.” Humor28 (3): 469–490.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Pedersen, Jan
    2011Subtitling Norms for Television. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/btl.98
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.98 [Google Scholar]
  35. Ross, Alisson
    1998The Language of Humour. London and New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Sperber, Dan and Deirdre Wilson
    1986Relevance. Communication and Cognition. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. 1995Relevance. Communication and Cognition. 2nd edition. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Venuti, Lawrence
    1995The Translator’s Invisibility. London & New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Wilson, Deirdre
    2012 Metarepresentation in Linguistic Communication. InMeaning and Relevance, ed. by Deirdre Wilson and Dan Sperber , 230–258. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9781139028370.014
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139028370.014 [Google Scholar]
  40. Wilson, Deirdre , and Robyn Carston
    2007 “A Unitary Approach to Lexical Pragmatics: Relevance, Inference and Ad Hoc Concepts.” InPragmatics, ed. by Noel Burton-Roberts , 230–259. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1057/978‑1‑349‑73908‑0_12
    https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-73908-0_12 [Google Scholar]
  41. Wilson, Deirdre , and Dan Sperber
    2004 “Relevance Theory.” InThe Handbook of Pragmatics, ed. by Laurence R. Horn , and Gregory Ward , 607–632. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Yus, Francisco
    2009 “Visual Metaphor Versus Verbal Metaphor: A Unified Account.” InMultimodal Metaphor, ed. by Charles J. Forceville , and Eduardo Urios-Aparici , 147–172. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. 2012 “Relevance, Humour and Translation.” InRelevance Theory: More than Understanding, ed. by Ewa Walaszewska , and Agnieszka Piskorska , 117–145. New Castle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. 2016Humour and Relevance. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/thr.4
    https://doi.org/10.1075/thr.4 [Google Scholar]
  45. Zabalbeascoa, Patrick
    2005 “Humor and Translation – An Interdiscipline.” Humor18 (2): 185–207. 10.1515/humr.2005.18.2.185
    https://doi.org/10.1515/humr.2005.18.2.185 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error