Proceedings of the 14 th Norddeutsches Linguistisches Kolloquium 2013 in Halle an der Saale
Fictional Orality as a Challenge for the Translator
This article deals with the intricate problem of translating fictional orality. After a short presentation of the notions of “feigned orality” and “fictional orality”, a brief overview of the characteristics of spoken language is given. In the following, several examples of fictional orality are described which can be found in a very successful German novel, namely Walter Moers’ Die Stadt der Träumenden Bücher (2004). For several reasons, this can be judged as a particularly convincing example of applying fictional orality in narrative texts. At the end of the paper, I shall compare French, Italian and Spanish translations of an excerpt from Moers’ Die Stadt der Träumenden Bücher representing striking features of fictional orality. This analysis will illustrate the difficulties of translation into different languages and demonstrate that fictional orality is a complex narrative strategy, which poses numerous problems to the translator.