Three Translators in Search of an Author: Linguistic Strategies and Language Models in the (Re)translation of Shakespeare’s Plays into Catalan

Authors

  • Dídac Pujol Universitat Pompeu Fabra

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1515/mstap-2017-0018

Keywords:

Shakespeare, translation, retranslation, adaptation, oral discourse, TV3’s oral standard, Catalan-Spanish code-switching and diglossia, Catalan literary language, linguistic strategies, language models, Gaietà Soler, Anfòs Par, Salvador Oliva, Hamlet, Kin

Abstract

This article shows how the language of Shakespeare’s plays has been rendered into Catalan in three especially significant periods: the late 19th century, the early 20th century, and the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The first section centres on the contrast between natural and unnatural language in Hamlet, and considers how this differentiation is carried out (by linguistic techniques that differ substantially from Shakespeare’s) in a late 19th-century Catalan adaptation by Gaietà Soler. The second part of the article investigates the reasons why in an early 20th-century translation of King Lear the translator, Anfòs Par, resorts to medieval instead of present-time language. The last section of the article illustrates how and explores the motivations why Salvador Oliva’s first (1985) version of The Tempest is retranslated in 2006 using a different language model. The ultimate aim of the paper is to put forward the hypothesis that, in the case of Catalan, Shakespearean translations are both a reflection of the current state of the language and a major linguistic experimentation that shapes and creates (sometimes through a via negativa) the Catalan literary language.

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Author Biography

Dídac Pujol, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Dídac Pujol teaches general and literary translation from English into Catalan at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain). He is a literary translator into Spanish (Seamus Heaney) and into Catalan (James Joyce). His main research interests are the translation and reception of Shakespeare and James Joyce into Catalan. He is the author of several books, among them Across the Frontier: A Dialogic Approach to Literary Translation, Poetry, Language and Identity in Contemporary Irish and Scottish Literature (2001) and Traduir Shakespeare. Les reflexions dels traductors catalans (2007) [Translating Shakespeare: The Reflections of Catalan Translators]. He is co-author of Manual de traducció anglès-català (2003) [Handbook of Translation from English into Catalan]. He is a correspondent for Catalonia for the World Shakespeare Bibliography. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7142-3022.

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Published

2017-12-30

How to Cite

Pujol, D. (2017). Three Translators in Search of an Author: Linguistic Strategies and Language Models in the (Re)translation of Shakespeare’s Plays into Catalan. Multicultural Shakespeare: Translation, Appropriation and Performance, 16(31), 41-59. https://doi.org/10.1515/mstap-2017-0018

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Articles