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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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Chapter 8 - Conclusion 239


Chapter 8 Conclusion Implications for future research and for translation One aim of this book was to make translators (and writers and researchers and others involved with children’s books in any way) more knowledgeable about the role of power, especially when it comes to children’s literature. In showing how power can af fect translation and translators and in of fering examples of this taking place, this text has raised awareness of this issue. Ideally, writers and translators will use this study as a way of improving their techniques, or at least as a way of reconsidering why they do what they do when they write or translate for children, and researchers will continue this work with their own language pairs and corpuses of texts. There are a number of directions in which both academic and practical work on trans- lation can go from here. Some of the possible future projects include: • Expanding this study to other languages. This book focused on the Scandinavian languages. However, analyzing how the same or a similar corpus of texts has been translated to other languages would help broaden the results and could also give information on how translation is viewed and/or enacted in Scandinavia versus in other countries/cultures. • Comparing expressive language as used in children’s books in a par- ticular language versus as translated to that language. The concept of “translationese” has been bandied about in translation studies (see e.g. Bellos, 196 on “Tranglish”, or “translation English”), which suggests that translated texts use language...

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