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Translating Expressive Language in Children’s Literature

Problems and Solutions

B.J. Epstein

Children’s literature delights in made-up words, nonsensical terms, and creative nicknames, but how do you translate these expressions into another language?
This book provides a new approach to translation studies to address the challenges of translating children’s literature. It focuses on expressive language (nonsense, names, idioms, allusions, puns, and dialects) and provides guidance for translators about how to translate such linguistic features without making assumptions about the reader’s capabilities and without drastically changing the work. The text features effective strategies for both experienced translators and those who are new to the field, including exercises and discussion questions that are particularly beneficial for students training to be translators. This learner-friendly book also offers original contributions to translation theory in light of the translation issues particular to children’s literature.


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Acknowledgements ix


Acknowledgements There are a number of people who assisted me in various ways with this book and I would like to gratefully acknowledge them. The research that forms the basis of the work here was carried out while I was a PhD student at Swansea University. Professor Duncan Large and Professor Andrew Rothwell were my supervisors there and I feel extremely lucky that I was able to work with them. I cannot overempha- size the importance of their close reading and detailed suggestions, and I am much obliged to them for all their encouragement and help. I also thank Dr Tom Cheesman, who of fered guidance during the term when Professor Large was on sabbatical. During my research, one of the authors and three of the translators whose work I discuss in this book graciously answered my questions. Thus, I thank Daniel Handler, the author of the Lemony Snicket novels, and the translators Meta Ottosson, John-Henri Holmberg, and Tor Edvin Dahl. They kindly allowed me to quote from our correspondence as well. The examiners of my PhD, Dr Riitta Oittinen and Dr Lloyd Davies, of fered me a lively discussion and helpful comments, which enabled me to take my ideas even further. The viva experience was very enjoyable thanks to them and to chair Professor Nikki Cooper. The anonymous reviewers and also editor Laurel Plapp at Peter Lang provided me with useful feedback, which strengthened the work here. Dr Plapp was very patient and helpful, for which I thank her....

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