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Translation of Wordplay in Alice‟s Adventures in Wonderland
Translation of Wordplay in Alice‟s Adventures in Wonderland

Author(s): Andreea Teodorescu
Subject(s): Novel, Other Language Literature, Translation Studies, Theory of Literature
Published by: Editura Universitatii LUCIAN BLAGA din Sibiu
Keywords: wordplay; implicit/explicit pun; homophonic pun; portmanteau word; spoonerism;

Summary/Abstract: The very nature of literary language allows for the presence of language ambiguity in the form of wordplay or puns. Language ambiguity may be exploited in fiction for its humorous potential, in order to create ironical effects, or simply to illustrate a character‘s peculiar way of using language. Translators of literary texts should, ideally, attempt to preserve any intentional ambiguities of the source language text and render them as closely as possible in the target language. The purpose of this article is to discuss various strategies used by translators of literary texts to render instances of wordplay in the target language. To that end, I have chosen to analyse the way two translators into Romanian of Lewis Carroll‘s Alice‟s Adventures in Wonderland were able to cope, to a greater or lesser extent, with the seemingly insurmountable difficulties of rendering Carroll‘s iconic wordplay into Romanian. The analysis of the two translations and their treatment of Carroll‘s wordplay demonstrates that the translation of wordplay is not impossible, and the way it is achieved depends to a great extent on the type of wordplay to be translated and on the translator‘s skill and creativity.

  • Issue Year: 15/2015
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 133-162
  • Page Count: 30
  • Language: English