The translators' tale: a translator-centred history of seven English translations (1823-1944) of the Grimms' fairy tale, Sneewittchen

  • This thesis explores the backgrounds, motivations and translation practices of the translators of seven English translations of the fairy tale Sneewittchen. It attempts to identify the ‘imprint’ of each of the translators on their translations by highlighting the unique features of each text and formulating explanations for translation practices on the basis of bio-bibliographical research and analysis of translators’ prefaces. It thereby proposes a translator-centred model for research in translation history. It also represents a contribution to the largely unwritten translation history of the Grimms’ tales. The thesis addresses the problems involved in undertaking bio-bibliographical research on translators, the question of the value and reliability of translators’ prefaces, and issues involved in selecting an appropriate research corpus and constructing a corpus-specific translation analysis model. It also provides some insights into the why and how people retranslate texts and contributes to the debate on translation universals. The study demonstrates the complexities involved in seeking to account for translation practices. It nonetheless confirms the hypothesis that translators are ‘active efficient causes’ in the histoiy of translation (Pvm 1998: 160). Individual translators can play an important role in causing translations to be produced and leave a unique ‘imprint’ on their translations The study demonstrates that background information on translators and statements in their prefaces can help to locate this imprint. It also highlights the diversity of the translators’ backgrounds, reasons for translating the text, approach to translation, and attitudes towards the source text, source culture, and target audience. The translators in the study can be compared to storytellers, who shape their text according to time, place, occasion and their own subjectivity. The study shows above all the importance of taking this subjectivity into account, and suggests that the approach adopted here could be used to unite translators, texts, and contexts in translation history.

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Author:Niamh Chapelle
Referee:Jenny Williams
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Year of Completion:2001
Year of first Publication:2001
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Granting Institution:Dublin City University
Release Date:2014/02/18
Tag:Fairy tales; Grimm's tales
Dublin City University, Dublin, Diss, 2001.
This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License :
Dewey Decimal Classification:8 Literatur / 83 Deutsche und verwandte Literaturen / 830 Literaturen germanischer Sprachen; Deutsche Literatur
Sammlungen:Germanistik / GiNDok
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell-Keine Bearbeitung 3.0