In 2009, during my last twelvemonth of University, I was asked to join forces to the interlingual rendition from English into Italian of a book for immature readers ( 9-14 year-old ) called Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw ( Kinney, 2009 ) . The book is the 3rd of the best-selling series and it is a diary virtually written by an eleven-year-old kid, named Greg, who tries to depict his life as a misanthropic teenager-to-be. He does so non merely utilizing words, but besides by pulling amusing images which come along with the text, doing this book specific in its genre.
For this commentary I have carefully selected few important transitions from the book, in order to analyze and notice on the jobs encountered and the schemes used, in the context of this book but besides mentioning to the broader field of the interlingual rendition for immature readers. My interlingual rendition was proofread by the official transcriber of the series and reviewed by the editor and a few alterations have been made to what was my concluding version. These will be pointed out and it will be attempted to explicate the grounds for this alterations and to associate them with the most recent interlingual rendition theories in the field of literary interlingual rendition.
The American author Jeff Kinney is the writer of the series. Originally a cartoonist, Jeff began chalk outing out the thought for Diary of a Wimpy Kid shortly after his college old ages ( Hoffman, 2009 ) . In 2004 he decided to print some of his work online at funbrain.com, pulling the attending of 1000 of readers.
Jeff began composing his book for an grownup readership, ready to laugh and unrecorded once more the mishaps of their childhood – this largely due to his fright that a immature readership could non understand that the supporter ‘s aggressive and ‘cheeky ‘ attitude was non a theoretical account to emulate ( Floridi, 2009 ) . It was the editor, so, to make up one’s mind to accommodate the book for a younger audience. This fact partially influences the transcriber ‘s perceptual experience of the beginning text, non as something meant to educate the kids but more as a manner of brand childs laugh about their ain daily life.
Children ‘s Literature and the Role of the Translator
Even-Zohar ( 2004: 199 ) and Shavit ( 2006: 26 ) placed kids ‘s literature in a peripheral place within the literary system, fact that increases the possibilities for the transcriber to pull strings the text in different ways, doing it one of those few Fieldss where we about experience forced to concentrate on the mark text and mark civilization ( Puurtinen, 1995: 60 ) . As suggested by Lathey ( 2009: 7-8 ) , kid ‘s inevitable deficiency of experience and the demand to excite their wonder make the transcriber a existent go-between and pedagogue ( Lathey, 2009: 196 ) , who needs to pull strings the text in order to make full the cognition spread of the immature readers and come up with a mark text which does non tire the kid and maintain his attending awake.
It must borne in head that we are speaking about literature for kids but created by grownups. The authors, the transcribers, the editors, but besides the parents and pedagogues, are all grownups, who decide what kids should read and, indirectly, how these books should be written and translated ( Lathey, 2006: 5 ) . Translators and authors do non merely compose for kids but besides for grownups who keep an oculus on childs ‘ reading picks and are themselves readers of these texts. Pascua-Febles ( 2006: 111 ) defines this as the ‘ambivalence of the readership ‘ which makes the transcriber of kids ‘s literature an embassador of societal, educational and literary values.
Text and images
Another peculiar features of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid is the modern-day presence of text and image. As explained by Oittinen ( 2008: thirteen ) , the relationship between these is inseparable: the images help text being more expressive, while the text helps the reader understand what is go oning in the image ( see lines 4, 9, 17, 29 ) . The amusing strips insert the narrative in a precise context, specifying its clip and topographic point, adding something more to the text in order to assist the reader identify himself with the supporter.
For the interlingual rendition of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid I came across several American cultural mentions which are non likely to be understood by Italian immature readers. I was, so, at a intersection: ‘Should I keep the beginning text ‘s looks and, hence, endanger the immature reader ‘s full comprehension of the text or should I ‘adapt ‘ ( Vinay and Daberlnet, 1958: 39 ) the version in order to travel towards the Italian readership? ‘ Using Venuti ‘s words ( 1995: 19-21 ) : should we take domestication or foreignization?
Many bookmans, including Venuti, Berman ( 2004: 276 ) , Klingberg ( 1978: 86 ) and Schleiermacher ( Munday, 2008: 145 ) knock the domestication of the mark text, sing it as a kind of ‘distortion ‘ ( Oittinen, 2000: 82 ) , a force against the beginning text civilization. Like Oittinen, I think that versions can be sometimes strained but, in several instances, are cardinal in order to vouch the text ‘s coherency and readability. Particularly in kids ‘s literature, the transcriber is required to accommodate those transitions which can set the immature reader ‘s comprehension at hazard due to cultural differences.
Since the supporter of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a pupil of an American in-between school, there are several transitions where he uses terminology unknown to the typical pupil in the Italian scuola media. Greg says that his brother is analyzing for the SAT ( line 3 ) , an aptitude trial which needs to be passed by American pupils in order to come in universities. In Italy there is non such test so I translated it as ‘admission test of university ‘ . As confirmed by Bell ( 1979: 50 ) , while grownups are frequently interested in the foreign, kids merely acquire world-weary and lose involvement. The function of the transcriber is, hence, to do certain that this is non traveling to go on.
There is one instance where I decided to maintain the foreign and that was for the prefixes Mr. and Mrs. in forepart of the names of professors ( lines 16 and 22 ) . Italian kids and adolescents are used to American series set in high school and in the Italian version of these, the prefixes Mr. and Mrs. are normally kept. I so observed with sorrow that the editor, at a latter phase, decided to alter these with ‘prof. ‘ ( Kinney, 2010: ? ) , turn outing the present publishing houses ‘ domestication inclination. I think that in this instance a small spot of exoticness ( Baker and Saldanha, 2009: 4 ) would non hold confused or disturbed the reader. On the contrary, it would hold made them retrieve those American series they used to bask.
In his journal, Greg likes to speak about celebrated Television plans or games he enjoys and these transitions may do different jobs. If the term cited has an Italian opposite number, the equality ( Vinay and Darbelnet, 1995: 38-9 ) is easy to be established. See the Italian equivalent for ‘Freeze Tag ‘ ( line 30 ) , ‘Who licked me? ‘ ( line 31 ) or the ‘borrowing ‘ ( Vinay and Darbelnet, 1995: 31 ) of Twister ( line 30 ) , which is a truly celebrated board game in Italy, excessively. Problems arise when the Italian civilization does non hold a direct opposite number. ‘Sesame Street ‘ ( line 26 ) , for illustration, was non a truly successful show in Italy so I was forced to ‘compensate ‘ ( Baker, 1992:78 ) with the more effectual ‘Teletubbies ‘ .
Register and Linguistic Issues
The writers of kids ‘s books frequently tend to exclude flooring or frightening state of affairss, maintaining in head the ‘teaching value ‘ ( Oittinen, 2000: 50 ) of these sorts of texts. Being Diary of a Wimpy Kid a book addressed to immature grownups ( 9-14 y.o. ) this regulation is non ever applicable. We are covering here with a readership who is non excessively inexperienced about the universe but non plenty grown-up to bear certain types of state of affairs. These type of readership is non naA?ve any longer and can easy acknowledge between bad and good behavior. I agree with the bookman Ronnberg ( Oittinen, 2010: 49 ) who says that it arrives a clip when grownups should allow the kids experience besides the negative sides of the universe, without being ever overprotective. A immature reader is in fact able to understand when a film or a book are invented and non existent and, in any instance, they are able to separate what is right and what is incorrect ( with the aid of grownups, excessively ) . We should maintain in head this when covering with a sort of text like The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, where we can happen a registry and some transitions that can be seen as ‘daring excessively much ‘ . The text is meant to do the kid laugh by demoing him what should n’t be done and do him reflect on what should hold been done, alternatively.
The transcriber should maintain this in head when accommodating the drama on words and pans used by Greg in the book which frequently require a degree of creativeness ( Lathey, 2009: 191 ) in order to come up with imaginative but non excessively puzzling solutions.
There is an interesting transition where Greg talks about the cover his small brother loves which is ‘held together by raisins and bogeymans ‘ ( line 12 ) and he calls Tingy. The term comes, of class, from the word ‘thingy ‘ but pronounced by a babe and so without the hard continuant sound ‘th ‘ . In Italian hour angle decided to interpret it as ‘Tina ‘ , which is the terminal of the word ‘cosettina ‘ ( ‘little thing ‘ ) and is besides a miss ‘s name, underling Manny ‘s fondness to his cover to the point of naming it with a proper name. My pick was non kept by the editor, who preferred to interpret it as “ Cosina ” .
There are besides those instances in which some looks which play on lingual forms non present in all linguistic communications and coerce the transcriber to give up and give up to the untranslatability of the look. One illustration is the name of the set in which Greg ‘s older brother dramas called “ Loded Diper ” ( line 4 ) . The look of class dramas on the uncertainness of the English spelling, nonexistent job in Italian. I was non able to happen any Italian option for the transition and neither the official transcriber nor the editor did. This is one of those instances defined by Eco as ‘losses ‘ ( 2003: 95-100 ) .
Another hard transition was the one where Greg writes about his association football mates make up one’s minding to name their squad ‘Red Sox ‘ ( lines 19-24 ) . Here there are two jobs: baseball is non a celebrated athletics in Italy and no-one knows who the ruddy So are. I, so, needed to happen a name of celebrated athletics squad which contained a coloring material, and that is when I thought about the celebrated rugger squad ‘All Blacks ‘ . When the squad decides to alter the name into ‘Red Socks ‘ non to be accused of plagiarism, the Italian version becomes ‘All Blax ‘ . This is a typical scheme defined by Steiner as ‘compensation ‘ ( 1998: 316 ) which can help us when interpreting this sort of drama on words.