Translating Comics: Approaches and Common Problems
The translation of works belonging to the comic medium has not been given much attention in translation studies. In general, any work created in the comic medium was analyzed from a textual point of view, while the iconic aspect was either ignored or pushed aside. One of the most common approaches to the translation of comics was, and still is, the constrained approach, which sees any other mode than the textual as an addition at best, and a hindrance at worst. While important, the verbal medium, which includes dialogues, captions, and narration, is not the only vital part of a comic. In comics, words work with images to create a coherent, multimodal work that depends on the reception of both modes in order for it to be understood. The following lecture will focus on selected academic approaches in translating comics, including the aforementioned constrained approach, a multimodal approach, and a semiotic approach. Furthermore, common problems arising from these approaches will be identified whilst citing examples. At the end of the lecture, there will be a discussion about the presented approaches, and a practical workshop where the audience will be given handouts and encouraged to try to translate a portion of a chosen comic page from English into Polish.