Variation in translations of
Huckleberry Finn into Spanish
Fernando Romeu – [email protected]
Variation in translations of
Huckleberry Finn into Spanish
Different audiences
CLASSIC FOR ADULTS
ADVENTURE BOOK FOR
CHILDREN
Fernando Romeu – [email protected]
Variation in translations of
Huckleberry Finn into Spanish
The same problem
•The Missouri negro dialect
•The extremest form of the backwoods Southwestern dialect;
• The ordinary "Pike County" dialect
•Four modified varieties of this last.
Fernando Romeu – [email protected]
Variation in translations of
Huckleberry Finn into Spanish
The same problem
David Carkeet, believes “Clemens’s recall was imperfect;
his attempt at consistency, at least in Huck’s dialect, falls
short.” Carkeet attributes this
“imperfect recollection” to the fact that Twain wrote
three−fifths of the novel after he had put the book aside
for two years. This led to several pronunciation changes,
particularly in the speech of Huck, in the last three−fifths
of the novel.
Fernando Romeu – [email protected]
Variation in translations of
Huckleberry Finn into Spanish
The same problem
Missouri Negro: Jim (and four other minor characters)
Southwestern: Arkansas Gossips (Sister Hotchkiss et al.)
Ordinary “Pike County”: Huck, Tom, Aunt Polly, Ben Rogers,
Pap, Judith Loftus
Modified “Pike County”: Thieves on the Sir Walter Scott
Modified “Pike County”: King
Modified “Pike County”: Bricksville Loafers
Modified “Pike County”: Aunt Sally and Uncle Silas Phelps
Fernando Romeu – [email protected]
Variation in translations of
Huckleberry Finn into Spanish
Facing the challenge
• Explaining translation decisions in introductions.
• Footnotes.
•Translating just the note.
•Attempting to establish equivalence through TL dialects.
Fernando Romeu – [email protected]
Variation in translations of
Huckleberry Finn into Spanish
Translated varieties
• Obsession with geographical varieties.
• Social varieties not always translated.
• Age and gender varieties.
• Varieties and power relationships.
Fernando Romeu – [email protected]
Variation in translations of
Huckleberry Finn into Spanish
What translators say
Conviene finalmente añadir que,
pese a haberse conservado el
tono coloquial y la libertad
expresiva de la novela en la
versión castellana, se pierden, sin
que podamos evitarlo, las varias
formas dialectales del habla local
a las que Mark Twain hace
referencia en la “explicación”
inicial del libro.
Doris Rolfe
Fernando Romeu – [email protected]
Variation in translations of
Huckleberry Finn into Spanish
What translators say
Una vez más las rígidas normas
editoriales impiden al traductor
reflejar - de suponer que hubiera
sido capaz de ello – la riquísima
variedad de formas dialectales
empleadas por el autor y
comentadas por éste en su Nota
Explicativa al principio del texto.
Fernando Santos Fontenla
Fernando Romeu – [email protected]
Variation in translations of
Huckleberry Finn into Spanish
What translators say
Muchos de estos matices se
pierden, indefectiblemente, al
traducirlos. Tampoco es posible
ensayar, lo que algunos a veces
ensayan, de trasladar al
castellano esas diferencias
dialectales y estos matices del
original.
Juan José Coy (editor).
The translation is Rolfe’s one!
Fernando Romeu – [email protected]
Variation in translations of
Huckleberry Finn into Spanish
Are translations really different?
"Hello, Jim! And skipped out. […]
He bounced up and stared at me wild. Then he
drops down on his knees, and puts his hands
together and says:
“Doan’ hurt me –don’t! I hain’t ever done no harm
to a ghos’. I awluz liked dead people, en done all I
could for ‘em. You go an git in de river agin, whah
you b’longs, en doan’ do nuffn to Ole Jim, ‘at ‘uz
awluz yo fren’.”
(Twain, 1985:94)
Fernando Romeu – [email protected]
Variation in translations of
Huckleberry Finn into Spanish
Are translations really different?
- ¡Hola, Jim! – y salí de un brinco.
El se puso de pie de un salto y me miró con ojos
de loco. Luego cayó de rodillas y juntó las manos y
dijo:
-¡No me hagas daño, no! Nunca he hecho daño a
un fantasma. Siempre me gustaban los muertos, y
les he hecho todo el bien que pude. Vete y métete
en el río otra vez, donde debes estar, y no le
hagas nada al viejo Jim, que siempre fue amigo.
-(Twain, 1989:54)
Fernando Romeu – [email protected]
Variation in translations of
Huckleberry Finn into Spanish
Are translations really different?
- ¡Hola, Jim! – y salí de un brinco.
El se levantó de golpe y me miró con ojos
desorbitados. Después se dejó caer de rodillas,
juntó las manos y dijo:
-¡No me hagas daño, ¡por favor! Yo nunca le he
hecho daño a un fantasma. Siempre he sido amigo
de los muertos, y he hecho lo que podía por ellos.
Vuélvete al río otra vez, que es tu sitio, y no le
hagas nada al viejo Jim, que siempre fue amigo
tuyo.
-(Twain, 1998:72)
Fernando Romeu – [email protected]
Variation in translations of
Huckleberry Finn into Spanish
Research questions
•Role of paratext.
•Are translators consistent and decision-conscious?
•Are translations only used for parody?
•What role does the audience have as far as
translation is concerned?
Fernando Romeu – [email protected]
Variation in translations of
Huckleberry Finn into Spanish
Hypotheses …
• The explanatory note singles this work out from
other works which present the challenge of translated
varieties.
• Geographical varieties in the TT do not have a oneto-one correspondence with the ST.
• Some varieties are not translated and / or attempted
at all.
• Varieties are used for parody effects.
Fernando Romeu – [email protected]
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Variation in translations of Huckleberry Finn into Spanish