Difficulties In Translating Creolized Advertising Text In The Field Of Electronic Entertainment

Abstract

The article is devoted to the study of advertising translation specifics and, in particular, the consideration of problems in translating written advertising texts in the field of electronic entertainment from English to Russian. Within the framework of intercultural communication, the perception of advertising text by recipients belonging to various linguocultural societies is characterized by certain difficulties, and therefore the need for the most productive approaches to its interpretation increases. Advertising is considered as a creolized text, in which pragmatic tasks are solved by means of a set of verbal and non-verbal signs. The functional parameters and specific characteristics of the message advertising as a creolized text require the choice of appropriate translational transformations and translation strategies, namely identifying the main tasks of a translator to develop a method for translating it in line with the modern translation paradigm. As a rule, it is necessary to avoid excessive foreignization in the process of translating a creolized advertising text (preservation of the linguistic and cultural differences of the original text) and extreme domestication (adaptation of a foreign text to make it accessible and understandable in the host culture). Translation of text begins with the implementation of translation analysis, which includes the collection of external information about the text, the definition of information composition and its density, communicative task; identification of the source and recipient. Advertising texts in the field of electronic entertainment are characterized by the informality of the target audience, the presence of specific professional and slang vocabulary.

Keywords: Creolized textadvertisingsemioticselectronic entertainment

Introduction

The rapid pace of the modern world and culture development in the context of globalization places impose special requirements on the means and methods of information transfer, where advertising is one of the most common types of text. Within the framework of intercultural communication, the perception of advertising by recipients belonging to different linguocultural societies is characterized by certain difficulties, and therefore the need for the most productive approaches to its interpretation increases (Driga, 2018; Kiuru, 2018).

Advertising is considered as a creolized text, in which pragmatic tasks are solved by means of a set of verbal (words) and non-verbal (visually iconic, auditory) signs. Creolized text allows a large amount of information to function in a more compact space. In such texts, the illustrative-visual series has a decisive importance on the perception of the text, thus the way of constructing the text space changes. In the opinion of researchers, the most frequent way to create advertising text is the associative contiguity of verbal and non-verbal means that complement each other, with the help of which a more memorable image is created (Zhukova, Tonkov, & Komarov, 2017).

The purpose of advertising is the impact on the reader, the promotion of the advertised product with an emphasis on its individual advantages, which does not have a strict binding to the structure and semantics, which, in their totality of means and techniques, only reinforce and enhance the communicative effect (Alekseeva, 2001), ensuring bright memorization of the advertised product. Redundancy in advertising of visual elements aimed at an emotional response makes it difficult to work on its translation, since “…how an ad looks, often determines how it will be perceived, and this, in turn, will add extra color to the transmitted information and will determine the degree of understanding of the advertiser’s words and trust in them” (Anisimova, 2003, p. 68).

Translation of any text begins with translation analysis. The analysis includes the collection of external information about the text, the definition of information composition and its density, communicative task. It is also important at this stage to identify the source and the recipient, that is the potential audience of the translated text, which implies readers both with background knowledge of the original text (for example, information technology), and those who have only some general ideas about the subject (Alekseeva, 2001). All this has a significant impact on the translation in terms of the choice of lexical units, grammatical and syntactic structures, on the nature of transformations.

The translation of the advertising text is focused primarily on the pragmatic aspect in the aggregate of such factors as the connection of meaning with extra-linguistic reality, speech context, communicative attitude, connecting the statement (text) with the changing participants of communication.

When translating an advertising text from electronic entertainment, it is necessary to focus on a mass audience, only a part of which has deep knowledge in this field. In general, the focus of the advertising product on a wide audience (recipients) dictates a prohibition on the use of special terms, slang and other means in the advertisement text, marking its specificity. At the same time, the considered field does not obey the general rules, since the IT-sphere is characterized by a high degree of globalization, which makes it possible for consumers of the electronic entertainment industry to have certain background knowledge in IT, including professional vocabulary (Kantysheva, Chekan, & Fetisova, 2017).

Electronic entertainment is a widely sought-after product on the global market. Nevertheless, as a result of the analysis of the domestic market current state, we have found out that the products of this field have almost no marketing support from foreign developers, which determines the relevance of the analysis and translation of advertising texts for products in the field of electronic entertainment.

Problem Statement

An advertising text must be included in the cultural environment of the translation language during the translation process in order to fulfill its communicative function. In this regard, there is a need for a holistic rethinking committed within the framework of adaptation, which balances, depending on the translator's intentions, between foreignization (preservation of linguistic and cultural differences of the original text) and domestication (adaptation of a foreign text in order to make it accessible and understandable in the host culture), which are caused by not only cultural, but also economic, and political factors. Nevertheless, although foreignization tries to evoke a foreign sensation, it is necessarily a reaction to some situation in the host culture and may respond to a cultural or political agenda (Venuti, 2001).

Research Questions

The textual material for the study was written advertising texts of various manufacturers of video game products (Langraf, 2008). The advertising of Sega Game Gear, Sega Mega CD, Nintendo Game Boy, Nintendo 64 game consoles are among them (including modifications of Color and Game Keeper accessory), as well as video games for gaming consoles by Atari and Nintendo. Texts are created to promote gaming consoles and video games, as well as for publication in periodicals. Video advertisements were not the object of research, despite the great popularity of this format.

This study is aimed to solve the following tasks: determination of the target audience of the creolized advertising text in the field of electronic entertainment and its specificity, identification of features of the communicative task of this type of text, analysis of the types of information contained in the sought-for texts and their specificity during translation, identification of translation features of the studied type of texts at lexical, syntactic and stylistic levels.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to consider the translation features of written creolized advertising texts for products in the field of electronic entertainment and to systematize difficulties in translating texts of this type.

Research Methods

To achieve the goal, a comparative method was used, adapted to research conditions and allowed analyzing typical difficulties of translation related to the specifics of the original and translation languages. The nature of written creolized advertising texts in the field of electronic entertainment determines the need for the use of opposition with the manipulative potential of foreignization and domestication strategies when translating.

Findings

Consideration of situational factors of the environment of the advertising source text is a prerequisite for achieving adequate translation. For considered advertising texts of manufacturers of video game products such features are in competition with other products of this category (for example, the aggressive rivalry of Sega Game Gear portable game console with Nintendo Game Boy console, in an effort to highlight certain qualities of goods (number of games for a console, a variety of scenarios in the game, etc.). These features define the communicative task of a creolized advertising text.

The communicative task of advertising is to promote the product to the target audience (Adyasova & Gridina, 2017). At the same time, the task may include additional objectives such as distinguishing a product from competitors, paying attention to certain features or functions of a product. Similar tasks influence the content of the translation text. In addition, the communicative task implies shortness and capacity of the content: advertising must achieve a communicative effect in the shortest possible time. Therefore, the advertising text does not contain complex syntactic and lexical units.

The recipient, as indicated earlier, is the target audience of the product, the representatives of which for the most part have background knowledge in IT-sphere and about the market, which allows evaluating the product at its true worth. Depending on the marketing orientation of the advertised product, the text may be directed to a “family” audience and, therefore, have a limited number of specific vocabulary and provocative topics. On the contrary, the text of an advertisement can be oriented to a young, sometimes informal public, contain slang and phraseological expressions, including professional IT vocabulary, as well as provocative topics (sexual overtones, implicit insults, violence).

This orientation is taken into account in the translation process when transferring the stylistic features of the text and the choice of translational transformations. For instance, a common problem in the analyzed text is the choice of reference when translating the word “you” and its derivatives. The generally accepted variant is the plural respectful appeal of “you”, but in the case of a purely informal appeal of “you”, it makes sense to choose the individual “you”, which, in turn, impedes choosing the gender of subject, but at the same time facilitates the implementation of the phatic (contact) function in relation to the informal audience.

Selection of equivalents of lexical units, in particular, related to the colloquial and professional style, should be performed regarding the language usage with an eye to formal and informal terms that correspond to the expression of the original text. For instance, the “pop in [the tuner]” expression, despite the slang meaning of “swing by, pop round”, has the meaning of “podrubit, podtsepit” that is “connect device” in the Russian-language technical slang.

To save the communicative task of the source text of an advertisement in the translated text, it is required to adequately transfer the types of information contained in it:

•Cognitive information performs the denotative function, describes and highlights the individual features of the advertised product. It plays a primary role in advertising texts. Features of the field of electronic entertainment allow bringing the series of proper names in texts. In the case of gaming consoles, they are the names of games or accessories designed for this console. As for the games themselves, proper names describe their content (the names of main characters, game objects, etc.). It is customary to leave these units without translation in the case of game names. Transformations at the form level (calquing and transcribing) and direct translation are applied in the case of accessories and game elements: “Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Taz-Mania, Streets of Rage, Shinobi 2, and Batman Returns”; “Game Boy, Light Boy, Rechargable Battery Pack, Six Game Packs, Game Link and Ear Phones”.

•Emotional information performs an expressive function, vividly describing the features of the product and expressing disregard for competitors. It manifests itself in artistic and expressive means, rhetorical questions, laudatory phrases (for example, “so good”, “the best thing about it”).

•Immediate information contains calls for action (buy a product, pay attention to accessories). It appears in advertising texts in the field of electronic entertainment, manifests itself directly in small volumes, is mostly intertwined with emotional or aesthetic information (Game Boy Color slogan is “Play it loud!”; “but don’t think we’re going to stop there”; “live the game, do not compromise, change the system”, “get your hands on one”).

•Aesthetic information carries artistic images; puns characteristic of advertising texts are among them. This type of information is not so widespread in the field of electronic entertainment, giving way to previous types (“high-speed, fast-firing choppers”, “Gear up” in Metal Gear advertising for NES, “Turn your house into a sewer”).

The advertising layout that is the method of placing and formatting text with non-text objects, performs additional functions that accompany the text of the advertisement, primarily aesthetic, expressive, and denotative functions. Thus, its characteristics affect the content of the translation text. For instance, they select some words or expressions: in Game Gear advertising the layout puts the words colorblind and twelve on separate lines, meaning two negative features in dogs - color blindness and poor intelligence. Such details also need to be considered when striving for adequate translation.

In addition to common translation problems associated with non-standard syntactic and lexical units (conditional sentences, modal verbs of the present tense, multivocal words), there are sentences and phrases to which it is impossible to find a direct equivalent. This implies the need for a holistic rethinking at the contextual (situational) level. Another, more frequent solution may be the imposition of norms and values of the “foreign” culture to the reader, namely saving the original text. For instance, the slogan of “To be this good takes AGES. To be this good takes SEGA” is impossible to translate, as there is a pun, which is rigidly tied to the name of the company, and in the view of this, the slogan does not respond to a translation that is close to the initial version.

Conclusion

Thus, the translation of a creolized advertising text should be carried out in the following way: when the product is perceived, the recipient generally receives a single concept, where both the concept of the verbal text and the image concept are involved in its creation. In addition, the image concept, that is, the same content, accompanied by the necessary emotional background as the recipient, belonging to linguocultural society in which this advertising product is produced. In order to achieve such an effect, the translator must skillfully balance between the “domestication” of the phenomena of another culture and the “imposition” of the norms and values of a foreign-language culture, which ultimately leads to the enrichment of the national culture through contact with the foreign one.

Attention should be paid to the greater, compared to other areas, informality of the target audience, the presence of specific professional, including slang, vocabulary, as well as the more significant role of aesthetic and cognitive information when translating creolized advertising texts in the field of electronic entertainment. In particular, cognitive information includes a greater number of proper names associated with the advertised product, transformations for which depend on the type of the advertised object.

In general, it is worth noting that advertising texts as a genre have several features of development in this field: reducing the share of specific vocabulary, simplifying the content up to brief slogans and reducing the need for adaptation due to the universality of specific IT vocabulary, the desire for globalization and increasing the level of knowledge in IT-sphere among mass audience. This, in the aggregate with the small presence of firms-representative in the domestic market, leads to insufficient prevalence of translations of texts of this type, the desire to foreignization or full rethinking in existing texts at the moment.

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21 January 2020

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Fetisova*, S., Podkamennaya, E., Nevolina, K., Tyurneva, T., & Schurik, N. (2020). Difficulties In Translating Creolized Advertising Text In The Field Of Electronic Entertainment. In D. Karim-Sultanovich Bataev, S. Aidievich Gapurov, A. Dogievich Osmaev, V. Khumaidovich Akaev, L. Musaevna Idigova, M. Rukmanovich Ovhadov, A. Ruslanovich Salgiriev, & M. Muslamovna Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 76. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 948-953). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.12.04.126