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”Kalla mig inte mamsell!”: En jämförelse av tre skandinaviska översättares behandling av kulturspecifika element i fransk- och engelskspråkig skönlitteratur
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
2016 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
“Don’t call me miss!” : A Comparison of Three Scandinavian Translators’ Strategic Choices in the Translation of Culture-Specific Elements in French and English Novels (English)
Abstract [en]

The present study deals with the work and practice of three Scandinavian translators, namely Kjell Olaf Jensen (Norwegian), Marianne Öjerskog (Swedish) and Agnete Dorph Stjernfelt (Danish). The main question of the thesis is what strategies the translators use when translating culture-specific elements from French and English. Theoretically the thesis positions itself within the framework of Descriptive Translation Studies and draws upon system theories as well as Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology of culture. The method consists of a source text – target text analysis, using a somewhat modified version of Pedersen’s (2007) method identifying seven translation strategies, namely (1) retention, (2) specification, (3) direct translation, (4) generalization, (5) substitution, (6) omission and (7) official equivalent. In this thesis the three former and the official equivalent are categorized as “adequate”, whereas generalization, substitution and omission are categorized as “acceptable” using Toury’s (2012) terminology. Six different types of culture-specific elements are investigated, namely (1) titles, address and professional titles, (2) currencies, (3) weights and measures, (4) literature and music, (5) education, and (6) names. In addition to this analysis, interviews with the three translators were carried out. Results show that there are both similarities and dissimilarities in the translators’ choices of translation strategies. It also turns out that the strategies used to a great extent depend on the culture-specific element in question and hardly ever on the source language. Results also suggest that the higher the translators’ amount of accumulated total capital, the more likely it is that they adopt a heterodoxic translation strategy. Jensen and Stjernfelt are more often positioned at one of the two extremes of the adequacy–acceptability axis than is the case for Öjerskog. Moreover, results from the interviews and the text analyses show that there are a number of norms that govern the translators’ practices. The translatorial practice is to manoeuver in a field governed by norms in order to produce the best possible target texts – target texts that are true to the original and conform to domestic literary standards.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Institutionen för nordiska språk, Uppsala universitet , 2016. , 267 p.
Skrifter utgivna av Institutionen för nordiska språk vid Uppsala universitet, ISSN 0083-4661 ; 96
Keyword [en]
translation, Scandinavia, Descriptive Translation Studies, culture-specific elements, translation strategies, Bourdieu
National Category
Humanities Languages and Literature Specific Languages Specific Literatures General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-280704ISBN: 978-91-506-2542-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-280704DiVA: diva2:916173
Public defence
2016-05-20, Ihresalen, Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3, Uppsala, 14:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2016-04-29 Created: 2016-03-14 Last updated: 2016-04-29

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