The Translation of English Financial Humor into Spanish: Cognitive, Linguistic and Pragmatic Issues

José Mateo, Copelia Mateo-Guillén


This paper addresses the translation of financial humor from English into Spanish. However, from a linguistic and pragmatic angle, both languages appear to be worlds apart in the way they approach this specialist language and discourse. English often resorts to various linguistic and communicative solutions in order to allow non-specialist readers understand the intricacies of abstract professional discourses as is the case with financial language. At the other end, Spanish tends to maintain an academic and professional tone whoever the interlocutors. Consequently, non-specialist Spanish-speaking users find financial terms and procedures intricate and difficult to understand. Humor is commonly and largely used in financial English to ease its conceptual load and favor its conceptual and linguistic understanding. Spanish, at the other extreme, very rarely uses this linguistic solution in professional financial settings.

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