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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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Glossary 245

Extract

Glossary abridgement a strategy in which sections of a text are removed, whether in the original language or in translation, in order to shorten it adaptation to use the expressive language but change the spelling or grammar or some other part of it, perhaps to better suit the target language addition to add new expressive language and/or new associa- tions and/or some other text where there was none before; it can be a way of compensating for deletion, adaptation, or replacement allusion a reference to a pre-existing object (person, book, film, event, literary style, etc.); it can also be called intertextuality back-translation a literal, word-for-word translation of a translation back to the source language, often in order to understand how it was translated compensation to employ expressive language, but in dif ferent places/ amounts than in the source text deletion to remove the expressive language and/or its associa- tions; this may be part of a larger strategy of abridge- ment, and may not be because of the expressive language itself, although it could be dialect a kind of language used by a specific group at a specific time in a specific location domestication to translate a text to make it more comprehensible/read- able/acceptable to the target audience; this can include replacing foreign allusions or values with domestic ones; it means bringing the text to the reader 246 Glossary explanation to add an explanation paratextually or intratextually (a word or phrase in the text, footnote or endnote, introduction or translator’s note)...

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