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Tracing Cultural Transfer Through Multiple Translation Analysis. The Case of the Swedish 19th-Century Bourgeois Novel in German and Czech

Conference contribution
Authors Jenny Bergenmar
Leif-Jöran Olsson
Published in Digital Literary Studies. International Conference May 14-15 2015, Coimbra, Portugal
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion
Department of Swedish
Language en
Links https://eld2015.wordpress.com/progr...
https://gup.ub.gu.se/file/177950
Keywords Translation, Transculturality, Collation tools, Parallel text alignment
Subject categories Languages and Literature, General Language Studies and Linguistics, General Literature Studies

Abstract

In the last decades, Comparative Literature has become more directed towards questions of transculturality. This renders translations of literary texts an important role as a vehicle not just for the transfer of text and language, but also of ideas and cultures. Digital methods for comparing multiple translations within and across languages might prove to be important for exploring how, for example, a Swedish 19th century bourgeois novel is reframed in Czech translations. The chosen example is A Merchant House (1859) by Emilie Flygare–Carlén (1807–1892) who was one of the most popular authors in Czech speaking regions in the late 19th Century. In this paper existing collation tools are used for comparing two different Czech translations (1872 and 1910), by two different translators. This might both reveal how the gender, context and position of the translator colours the literary text and how the translations are adapted to changing literary trends. Furthermore, parallel text alignment is tried as a method for comparing across languages, since the Czech translation is made from a German translation. Are the Czech translations subject to “foreignization” or “domestication”? Or do they retain the same traits as the German translation, which is the source of the first Czech translation? Does the systematic comparison of multiple translations contribute to the understanding of how texts move from certain gendered cultural contexts and ideologies to others?

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