Translating children’s literature: some insights from corpus stylistics

Anna Čermáková


In this paper I explore the potential of a corpus stylistic approach to the study of literary translation. The study focuses on translation of children’s literature with its specific constrains, and illustrates with two corpus linguistic techniques: keyword and cluster analysis — specific cases of repetition. So in a broader sense the paper discusses the phenomenon of repetition in different literary (stylistic) traditions. These are illustrated by examples from two children’s classics aimed at two different age groups: the Harry Potter and the Winnie the Pooh books — and their translations into Czech. Various shifts in translation, especially in the translation of children’s literature, are often explained by the operation of so-called ‘translation universals’. Though ‘repetition’ as such does not belong to the commonly discussed set of translation universals, the stylistic norms opposing repetition seem to be a strong explanation for the translation shifts identified.  


Children’s literature; Translation universals; Corpus stylistics; Repetition; Keywords; Clusters

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