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Children's Response to Humor in Translated Poetry

On the 12th of December, Alice Ross T. Morta successfully defended a doctoral thesis. The Leiden University Centre for Linguistics congratulates Alice on this achievement!

Alice Ross T. Morta
12 December 2023
LOT Publications

Scholars have argued that while a translator must aim to translate both the form and content of a poem, it is often challenging to translate these with equal fidelity. As such, the translator must choose which of the two to prioritize in the translation. This study explores the effect on the reader of poems translated according to only form or content. Through poetry reading sessions with children, it investigates whether form or content is more decisive in preserving the humorous effect of children’s poems translated from English into Filipino.

In addition, it examines the influence of culture and gender on humor appreciation. While children’s humor has been studied widely from a developmental perspective, little is known about the impact of culture and gender on how children respond to humor in translated literature. The poetry reading sessions also reveal interesting findings about the relationship between preferred language for reading and humor perception, and mode of input and text funniness. They also shed light on children’s own views of children’s literature as well as the role of discussion and comprehensibility on humor response. Other areas that the study probes are the definition of children’s literature and its link to the concept of childhood, current trends in translated literature in the Philippines, and theories of humor and humor in children’s literature.

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