Journal of Universal Language
Sejong University Language Research Institue

Differences in the Transference of Humor and Personification in Advertisement Translation

Ying Cui1
1City University of Hong Kong

Copyright ⓒ 2016, Sejong University Language Research Institue. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Published Online: Jan 01, 2017


This study analyses the transference of humor in translating advertising texts and, based on research in a prior study, proposes that the transference of humor is quite flexible in the practice of advertisement translation. The humorous expressions in original texts may be faithfully translated, or deleted, or in some cases humor may be added in translated texts. Compared with such flexible ways of dealing with humor, the translation of personify- cation in our corpus is relatively more faithful. In this paper, we are trying to figure out the implications behind the difference in terms of the treatment of humor and personification in advertisement translation. Similar to the former study, here we will also take the presupposition perspective. When the personification is reproduced faithfully in translations, it can be inferred that translators’ presuppositions about the target audience’s potential perception are the same with those held by the original writers about their targeted readers. This point in turn implies that the original and target cultures are correspondent in those aspects. Similarly, the unfaithful or flexible treatment of humor implies the opposite. In our research we mainly focus on translation between Chinese and English.

Keywords: humour; personification; translation; advertising; discourse



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