Dialect in literature and translation: A study of three contemporary novels and their translators’ strategies

Garanasvili, Kotryna (2022) Dialect in literature and translation: A study of three contemporary novels and their translators’ strategies. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Dialect and non-standard language – including profanity, slang, jargon, colloquialisms – constitute an inevitable part of communication. They are commonly employed both in everyday conversations and in literary works. However, they can also be defined as one of the most marginalized, overlooked areas in linguistics and literary criticism. This issue is elucidated through the exploration of literary translation. The taboo status associated with non-standard variations can often prevent them from being regarded as a rightful part of language. Stereotypes linked to non-standard linguistic devices often result in them being regarded as an inferior, incorrect – and impolite – usage of language. However, writing in dialect and non-standard language performs multiple functions, including the conveyance of socio-cultural and political nuances. It can become a powerful act of resistance, especially in minority cultures suppressed by the dominance of colonial languages.

Conveying these nuances becomes especially important in translation. Dialect and other forms of non-standard language are commonly translated by transferring them into standard language, which results in the text suffering a loss of individual character. A possible solution to this loss is attempting to achieve an equivalent effect in translation using an existing dialect of the target culture or by creating a new one. Regardless, it is also one of the most problematic challenges in literary translation, considering the inherent differences between languages and cultures. Looking into literary works written in regionally and socially marked non-standard language and focusing especially on Scots, Swiss German and Šiauliai Lithuanian dialects, as well as Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting (1993), Pedro Lenz’s Der Goalie bin ig (2010) and Rimantas Kmita’s Pietinia Kronikas (2016) and their translations, my thesis explores the possibilities of linguistic and socio-cultural equivalence between different forms of non-standard language in literary translation in an attempt to find alternative approaches. My thesis argues that translating non-standard language is an essential matter because of the variety of functions it performs in literature and the impact it has on both source and target cultural, social and political contexts, and aims to question and challenge the status of non-standard language and the way it is approached.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing
Depositing User: Nicola Veasy
Date Deposited: 28 May 2024 09:38
Last Modified: 28 May 2024 09:38
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/95311


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