IRONIC CLUES IN TRANSLATING VERBAL IRONY THE CASE OF \u201cTHE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST\u201d IN MAC.doc - Neskovska Silvana PhD Kitanovska-Kimovska Sonja

IRONIC CLUES IN TRANSLATING VERBAL IRONY THE CASE OF “THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST” IN MAC.doc

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Neskovska Silvana, PhDKitanovska-Kimovska Sonja, PhDIRONIC CLUES IN TRANSLATING VERBAL IRONY: THE CASE OF “THE IMPORTANCEOF BEING EARNEST” IN MACEDONIANAbstract:Translating irony is unquestionably one of the major challenges of translators. It subsumesdetecting irony in the source text, and, then, 'transporting' it in the target text without marring theeffects it is bound to have on the readership.Undertaking such an arduous task, translators need to be equipped primarily with excellent linguisticknowledge, but they also need to have a firm grasp of the various social, political, historical andcultural aspects of both the source and target text.In that respect,the ironic clueswhose sole purpose is to subtly signal the ironic nature of a particularstatement, are translators' principal 'allies' in the process of recognizing irony in the source text. Theironic clues appear in many different forms ranging from lexical and syntactic to stylistic clues.The question this research proposes to put in the foreground is whether translators remain 'loyal' totheir 'allies' and preserve them in the target text. The insights presented in this study are drawn on theanalysis of the ironic utterances found in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnestand itsMacedonian translation, Vazno da si Bogumil,by Dragi Mihajlovski. The results show that with regardto the overall distribution of ironic cues types, there are no major differences between source andtarget, whereas among the strategies used, there is no discerningly dominant strategy.Key words:ironic clues, verbal irony, translating irony, Wilde1.IntroductionIn oral discourse verbal irony is a very common phenomenon and its usage is normally attributed tointelligent and discerning individuals who wish to make a particular point. Its presence, however, canbe spotted quite frequently in written discourse as well.Considering its subtle nature, identifying and properly interpreting verbal irony can be a veryintricate matter in oral let alone in written discourse. Things become even more complicated when oneneeds to transfer it from one language to another. What makes this transferring task particularlychallenging is the fact that verbal irony goes hand in hand with context. In other words, its performanceheavily relies on various socio-cultural, political and, even, historical aspects of the context in which itis used. This implies that lack of familiarity with these aspects invariably leads to failure in deciphering
the ironic intent of the ironist. Furthermore, even if the translator's perceptiveness of all these factors isquite satisfactory, yet, he has to take into consideration the fact that the readership of the target textmight be unfamiliar with them and, consequently, his task is to find a way to contextualize thoseaspects in the target language and in the target text, and, thus, ensure the preservation of the ironiceffect.

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