A1 Journal article – refereed
Reprosessing Texts. The fine line between Retranslating and Revising

List of Authors: Paloposki O, Koskinen K
Publication year: 2010
Journal: Across Languages and Cultures
Journal acronym: Across Lang Cult
Volume number: 11
Issue number: 1
Number of pages: 21
ISSN: 1585-1923

Retranslations are a frequent object of study in Translation Studies. They can be used as data for a number of research problems, or retranslation can be studied as a phenomenon on its own. There are no large-scale surveys on retranslation, however, let alone surveys that would be coupled with in-depth case studies, no doubt due to the laboriousness and complexity of the task. Our own interest in the issue started from a small-scale project testing the so-called Retranslation Hypothesis, but gradually our research expanded into a wider range of questions. We have addressed three main areas: the extent and proportion of retranslation in Finland; the motives for and reception of retranslations (publishers, critics); and finally, what happens to a text when it is either retranslated or revised (textual analysis). For this purpose, we have compiled three different sets of data from the Finnish context. These sets consist of synchronic data (retranslations and their reviews from the year 2000), diachronic data (charting the retranslation history of classics shortlisted in 1999 and 1887) and case studies (by e.g. Victor Hugo, Nikolai Gogol, Astrid Lindgren and Juan Valera translated into Finnish). This paper presents an overview of the results of our investigation, argues for a need for a comprehensive treatment of retranslation as a phenomenon, and discusses the implications of textual analysis for the understanding of the fuzzy area between retranslation and revision. The cases presented include Hugo's Les Miserables, Gogol's Dead Souls and Lagerlofs Costa Berling.

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