Polish Dubbed Version of Shrek/Translation strategies and practice

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Domestication[edit | edit source]

According to Wikipedia: "Domestication is the strategy of making text closely conform to the culture of the language being translated to, which may involve the loss of information from the source text." (source: [wiki/Domestication_and_foreignization])
Examples:

  • "honeycomb candy" (type of candy) translated into: "krówka-ciągutka"
  • "junior high school" translated into: "gimnazjum"
  • "SAT exam" translated into: "matura"

Practice[edit | edit source]

Now you have an opportunity to use theory in practice. Try your hand at these fragments presented in the table. First, you have the original line in English, then transcribed line from Polish dubbing and the last column is for you and your version. In this exercise try to reduce the sensation of something being "exotic", "foreign","unknown" for an average Polish viewer and try to come up with names, places, popcultural references that are widely known in Poland.

1. We will start with something pretty easy, meaning national cuisine and typical plates.
In the original Donkey wants to prepare waffles for breakfast, in the Polish translation we have jajecznica.
Do you have other idea? What else do Poles like to eat for breakfast?

English Polish Your version
We can stay up late, swapping manly stories, and in the morning I'm making waffles. Ale będzie ubaw, męskie rozmowy, takie o życiu i o śmierci.

A rano... zrobię jajecznicę!

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2. Next example is also connected with food.
In the original version Donkey talks about dessert called parfait which is not widely known in Poland, so the translator decided to change it to something much more popular in our country, namely: kremówki.
Think about another popular Polish dessert, it has to have layers.

English Polish Your version
Donkey: You know what else everybody likes? Parfaits. Have you ever met a person, you say, Let's get some parfait, they say, No, I don't like no parfait? Parfaits are delicious.

Shrek: No! You dense, irritating, miniature beast of burden! Ogres are like onions! End of story.

Donkey: Parfaits may be the most delicious thing on the whole damn planet..

Osioł: Wiesz co jeszcze wszyscy lubią? kremówki. Znasz kogoś, co,jak mu powiesz: „Ej, chodźmy na kremówki”, to mówi „Nie, stary, nie lubię kremówek”. Kremówki są pycha!

Shrek (przerywając Osłowi): NIE! TY TĘPY, IRYTUJĄCY, KŁAPOUCHY GADUŁO! OGRY SĄ JAK CEBULA! Koniec kwestii.

Osioł: Kremówki to jednakowoż jedno z najlepszych ciastek, ja to wiem. Masz chusteczkę? Pociekła mi na samą myśl o kremówkach ślinka.

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Condensation[edit | edit source]

The main aim of condensation strategy is to make the TT (target text) more economic, more concise. Basically, you have to combine summary and reduction.
Example:

  • "Someone told me I need a browser on my computer." -> "Podobno potrzebuję przeglądarki."
  • "I really don't know what you are talking about" -> "I don't understand you"
  • "How could she possibly known that?" -> "She knew? How?"
  • "He worked under the guidance of qualified coaches at all times" -> "The coaches helped him at work"

Practice[edit | edit source]

In this section you are going to practise condensation technique which, as you have learned, is widely used in audiovisual translation.
Your version should be a summary of the original lines and it should include the initial meaning.

1. In this scene Donkey is looking for the stairs and at the same time he is "motivating" himself.
The whole image here revolves around the stairs and their construction elements.
The protagonist uses a few idioms and phrases connected with stairs.
Try your hand at this challenge - remember to condense this excerpt and to play with idioms, with the whole image.

English Polish Your version
Cool. You handle the dragon.

I'll handle the stairs. I'll find those stairs. I'll whip their butt,too. Those stairs won't know which way they're going. I'm gonna take drastic steps. Kick it to the kerb. Don't mess with me. I'm the master. I've mastered the stairs. I wish I had a step right here. I'd step all over it.

Dobra, ty zajmij się smokiem, ja biorę na siebie schody.

Znajdę je, skubane, i skopię im poręcz tak, że nie będą wiedziały którędy na górę, a co! Bezwzględny będę! Zero litości! Znam karate czwarty stopień wtajemniczenia, nie? Ale będzie jatka, no będzie rzeźnia normalnie!

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2. Fiona explains why she always turns into ogre after sunset.
This is a very detailed story. Try to condense it but also keep in mind the fact that this story is a vital one for the whole plot of this movie. Paraphrase and summarize.

English Polish Your version
It's a spell. When I was a little girl, a witch cast a spell on me. Every night I become this. This horrible, ugly beast! I was placed in a tower to await the day my true love would rescue me. That's why I have to marry Lord Farquaad tomorrow... Before the sun sets and he sees me... like this. To zaklęcie…! Kiedy byłam małą dziewczynką, zła wiedźma rzuciła na mnie urok. Co noc zamieniam się w to! We wstrętnego, odrażającego potwora! Miałam pozostać w wieży do dnia, w który uwolni mnie ten, który jest mi przeznaczony. Dlatego muszę jutro wyjść za Lorda Farquaada, nim zajdzie słońce i pozna prawdę. Tak trzeba. ..........................................................

Reduction[edit | edit source]

Reduction consist of omitting an element from the source text in the target text. This element is considered to be redundant, or even misleading.
Elements that are usually reduced/omitted:

  • repetitions
  • paraphrases
  • self-corrections
  • cohesive links
  • hesitations
  • hedges and modalisers (e.g. "I think that...; "Wydaje mi się, że...")
  • announcements of speeches (e.g. "Czy mogę ci zadać pytanie?")
  • addressative forms
  • linguistic fillers


Examples:

  • "I want to know what I may take away with me, and I certainly don't wanna be accused of stealing" -> "What can I take? I am not a thief"
  • "Malcolm James has a very sort of feminine quality about him that really helped him to like, fill the role" -> His femininity helped him fill the role."

Practice[edit | edit source]

1. We will start with a bit tougher task, namely, first you have to translate the fragment in English and then reduce this Polish translation, so it keeps up with Donkey's talking pace.
Donkey talks a lot and very fast, with very few pauses in between. Remember about that!
What is more, focus on the parts of the utterance that are not the most important, that do not carry the meaning, that are simply redundant.

English Polish Reduced version
Can I tell you that you was great back there? Those guards! They thought they was all of that. Then you showed up, and bam! They was tripping over themselves like babes in the woods. That really made me feel good to see that. ....................................................................................................... ........................................................................
  1. Shrek. Dir. Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson. Dreamworks Pictures, 2003. DVD.