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On the Verge Between Language and Translation

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Edited By Marcin Walczynski, Piotr Czajka and Michał Szawerna

This book explores a range of topics situated in the overlapping areas of theoretical linguistics, applied linguistics and translation studies. The first part of the book comprises five original contributions on topics ranging from general linguistics to applied linguistics while the second part comprises eleven original contributions exploring selected aspects of theoretical, descriptive and applied translation studies.

This book also initiates the publishing activity of the Department of Translation Studies, established at the Institute of English Studies, University of Wrocław, Poland.

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Michel Tremblay in French and Spanish: Translating Linguistic Variation

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Abstract: This chapter focuses on the translation of contemporary French Quebec Theater. Used by playwrights Michel Tremblay and Michel Marc Bouchard, the sociolect joual is a specific language of the Montreal working class. It creates an outward sign of an independent language and culture. Due to its locally distinct features, this sociolect constitutes a great linguistic challenge for any translator of Quebec plays. Moreover, in the case of drama translation, the fidelity to the original play will be seen at the linguistic level and also in terms of the “playable” character of the text. Aiming to highlight the challenge in translating joual on stage and sociolects in general, the author takes into consideration three plays that are placed among the most representative of the French Canadian repertoire: Les Belles Soeurs and Albertine en cinq temps by Michel Tremblay, and Les Muses Orphelines by Michel Marc Bouchard. The chapter emphasizes their translations to French and Spanish speaking audiences. Through various examples of translated passages, the author brings out three different strategies of translating joual. Firstly, one can observe a transfer in the standard variety of the target language and elimination of colloquialisms. Secondly, one can observe the use of specific sociolect chosen by the translator as equivalent to joual. Finally, one can observe translating in the standard and formal language, enhanced with occasional local terms and expressions that make the text familiar to the public, yet still universal.

Keywords: drama translation, Quebec theater, joual, Michel Tremblay, Michel...

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