Does Bridget Jones watch EastEnders or The Love Boat? Cultural and linguistic issues in the translation of chick-lit novels


Abstract - Chick lit is a genre comprised of books chiefly written by women for women. These books are mainly characterized by the tone, which is very confidential and personal, and often relies on the use of colloquial and slangy (and occasionally obscene) expressions, by the use of humour, and by the numerous references to popular culture. This paper aims at analyzing the strategies used in the Italian translation of one of the best-known examples of the genre, Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary, taking two frames of reference. First of all, the analysis will try to identify in the target text the distinctive universal features observed in computer-based corpus translation (Baker 1996), namely explicitation, simplification and normalization. Secondly, it will consider the translation in terms of Venuti’s dichotomy of translation strategies into domestication and foreignization (1995).


Riassunto -

Il chick lit è un genere letterario costituito principalmente da romanzi scritti perlopiù da autrici donne per un pubblico femminile. I romanzi chick-lit sono caratterizzati dal tono confidenziale e personale, dall’uso di espressioni colloquiali e slang (e occasionalmente volgari), dalla presenza costante di humour e dai numerosi riferimenti alla pop culture contemporanea. Questo saggio intende analizzare le strategie utilizzate nella traduzione italiana di uno degli esempi più rappresentativi del genere, ovvero Bridget Jones’s Diary di Helen Fielding, utilizzando due modelli di riferimento. Innanzitutto, lo studio tenterà di identificare la presenza degli universali traduttivi osservati nei corpus-based translation studies (Baker 1996), ovvero explicitation, simplification e normalization. Successivamente, si analizzerà la traduzione secondo la teoria delle strategie traduttive proposta da Venuti (1995), ovvero domestication e foreignization.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v14p209

Keywords: chick-lit translation; universal features of translation; domestication; foreignization


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