Examining the Translator’s Solutions in Backman’s And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer
Ekholm, Miranda (2022)
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This is a qualitative analysis of a translated short story and a comparison between the English translation and the Swedish original. This thesis examines how figures of speech and cultural elements are translated into another linguistic and cultural context, what kinds of translation strategies the translator has used and how those strategies either reveal or hide the translator’s voice. Analyses of translations offer a better understanding of what translations are and how translators work. The material consists of a Swedish short story written by Fredrik Backman, Och varje morgon blir vägen hem längre och längre, and the English translation by Alice Menzies, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer. By analyzing the two texts sentence-for-sentence and comparing the translation to the original, several similarities and some subtle differences but no major changes were noted. The translator’s consistent use of literal and equivalent translation makes her almost completely invisible and it also explains why the translation is extremely similar to the original. There are three reasons for the similarity between the translation and the original. First, the experiences and the emotions in the story are universal and therefore easy to transfer into any language and culture. Secondly, Backman’s writing seems easy to translate, because it is not complex nor particularly experimental but rather belongs to the genre of airport novels. Thirdly, Swedish and English are both culturally and linguistically similar, which facilitates translation between the languages. For further research, analyses of this short story in other languages or translations of other works by Backman could offer more insight into how Backman’s style of writing is translated into other languages. On a more general level, future studies could focus more on the translator’s voice and how the translator’s decisions affect the result.
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