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Translating Victorian Slang in Taiwan: Telling a Fable in Paratexts

Author/Editor: Chao, Jui-yin

Year of publication: 2011

Place of Publication & Publisher: Translation Quarterly 翻譯季刊 (Hong Kong : The Hong Kong Translation Society), 61(2011): 25-39

Publisher URL: http://www.hkts.org.hk/cgi-bin/pub.pl

ISBN/ISSN: ISSN 1027-8559

Publication blurb:

This paper studies how paratexts are used in a short story and its translation. “A Victorian Fable (with Glossary)”, by Angela Carter, was translated into Chinese in Taiwan in 2005. The story highlights the role of paratext, and specifically of glossaries/footnotes, in framing a tale on two levels. As a compositional technique, the English glossary brings the Victorian scene into a contemporary context; as a translational apparatus, the glosses mediate between the source context and the target readers. The translator’s consideration in rendering the archaic source text is encapsulated in the initial translational footnote, which explains her endeavour to retain the absurdity and awkwardness of the source text. This paper explores the translator’s contentions in two stages.It first examines the semantically and culturally loaded vocabulary of the source text to establish the reliability of Carter’s glossary and its role in shaping the story it accompanies. Subsequently, it analyses the strategies used to achieve the same effect in the target text. 

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