Ronia the robber's daughter

an analysis of the translation of Ronja Rövardotter into English

The aim of this paper has been to examine to what extent it has been possible for Patricia Crampton, translator of Ronia, the Robber?s Daughter, to capture and cling to the very personal style in which Astrid Lindgren writes. I also wanted to find out if any adaptations of the text were made and, if any, how they have affected the tone of the book. To fulfil this purpose a thorough comparison of the original text and the translation has been made. The first chapter consists of an introduction presenting the background to my choice of topic and giving a short presentation of Astrid Lindgren and her career as an author. The second chapter treats different problems related to translation in general and to translation of children?s books in particular. Chapter three, the main bulk of this study, contains a thorough analysis of the translation of Ronia, the Robber?s Daughter. The following areas have been investigated: ? translation of proper names ? translation of geographical names ? translation of names for mythical beings in the forest ? shortenings ? enlargements ? cultural context adaptation ? purifications ? metaphorical language ? deviating language ? other deviations from the original text The conclusion to be drawn from this study is that Astrid Lindgren is an author who is very difficult to translate. Her language is colourful, inventive, poetical, and she uses very vivid metaphors. She writes unorthodox and long sentences, divided with commas. The translation uses ?normal? sentences and the language is somewhat more plain and ordinary. There are, of course, alterations in the text, but that is inevitable in translation. It is impossible to give a word-for-word translation and expect it to turn out satisfactorily. Moreover, the alterations made are mostly minor ones, which do not affect the flow and the tone of the original text. Even if the translator has not always managed to keep up with the inventiveness of Astrid Lindgren?s language, she definitely has made a very good translation. She has been able to preserve much of the poetic tone and rough down-to-earth humour which pervades many of Astrid Lindgren?s works and Ronia, the Robber?s Daughter in particular.


Marie Nordlund

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