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Translating Dialects and Languages of Minorities

Challenges and Solutions

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Federico Federici

This book offers a range of analyses of the multiplicity of opinions and ideologies attached to rendering, in familiar or unfamiliar voices, languages known as non-standard varieties. The contributions include theoretical reflections, case studies and comparative studies that draw from the full spectrum of translation strategies adopted in rendering non-standard varieties and reflect the endless possibilities of language variation.
The strength of the volume lies in the wide range of languages discussed, from Arabic to Turkish and from Italian to Catalan, as well as in its variety of complementary and contrastive methodologies. The contributions reveal the importance of exploring further issues in translating local voices. Discussing dialects and marginal voices in translation, the contributors encourage and challenge the reader to reflect on what is standard and non-standard, acceptable and unacceptable, thereby overturning accepted principles and challenging familiar practices.

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FEDERICO M. FEDERICI - 7 ‘Anche questa l’ho in quel posto’: Calvino translates Queneau’s popular language 127

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FEDERICO M. FEDERICI 7 ‘Anche questa l’ho in quel posto’: Calvino translates Queneau’s popular language Introducing Italo Calvino’s notions of creative translation, this chapter dis- cusses some of Calvino’s renderings of Raymond Queneau’s regionalized language in Les Fleurs bleues (1965), with particular reference to popular expressions and ‘vulgar’ expressivity. By pointing out translation strategies and overtranslations of Queneaunian language, I intend to give an over- view of Calvino’s ref lections on language that lay behind his stylistic and poetical choices. Calvino’s own discomfort with the abuse of dialect in literature was expressed several times, yet in the 1960s he used translating as a declaration of poetics by translating Queneau’s colourful, polyphonic language (see Mengaldo 1989; Federici 2006, 2007, 2009). As Eruli also suggested (2008), this translational activity was a challenge, perceived as a way to explore the notion of semantic expressivity that appeared in so many of his writings, but in contrast to Eruli, I would argue that Calvino’s translatorial activity is of quality and part of a well-defined linguistic and stylistic programme. Les Fleurs bleues is a novel vaguely based on the Oulipian principle that strict mathematical constraints support creative writing: from beginning to end, its plot follows two stories proceeding in parallel in dif ferent narrative planes and dif ferent epochs. The story of Cidrolin, who lives in a riverboat in Paris in 1964, intertwines in his dreams with the life of a traveller in his- tory, the Duc d’Auge, from the Valley d’Auge in Normandy. The Duc...

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