Voices in Translation Bridging Cultural Divides Edited by: Gunilla Anderman

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24 Sep 2007
Translating Europe
Multilingual Matters
234 x 156


In choosing to render dialect and vernacular speech into Scots, Bill Findlay, to whose memory this volume is dedicated, made a pioneering contribution in safeguarding the authenticity of voices in translation. The scene of the book is set by an overview of approaches to rendering foreign voices in English translation including those of the people to whom Findlay introduced us in his Scots dialect versions of European plays. Martin Bowman, his frequent co-translator follows with a discussion of their co-translation of playwright Jeanne-Mance Delisle. Different ways of bridging the cultural divide in the translation between English and a number of plays written in a number of European languages are then illustrated including the custom of creating English versions, an approach rejected by contributions that argue in favour of minimal intervention on the part of the translator. But transferring the social and cultural milieu that the speakers of other languages inhabit may also cause problems in translation, as discussed by some translators of fiction. In addition attention is drawn to the translators’ own attitude and the influence of the time in which they live. In conclusion, stronger forces in the form of political events are highlighted that may also, adversely or positively, have a bearing on the translation process.


This book an insight into various cultural issues in relation to different aspects of literary translation. It devotes a large part to the discussion of play translation from various angles. It raises some very interesting points about this special area of translation, which are very much worth reading and considering. It is a book that is worth reading for anyone who would like to explore or further explore some special aspects of literary translation.

- Leong Ko, The University of Queensland in Babel 57:3, 2011

Author Biography:

Gunilla Anderman is Professor of Translation Studies at the University of Surrey where she teaches translation theory, translation of drama and translation of children’s literature, fields in which she has published and lectured widely in the UK as well as internationally. She is also a professional translator with translations of Scandinavian plays staged in the UK, USA and South Africa. Her latest book is Europe on Stage: Translation and Theatre (2005). She is joint editor of the series Translating Europe.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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