Czy strategia redukcji może służyć egzotyzacji, czyli gdzie się podziała Sierotka Marysia w angielskim przekładzie

Aleksander Brzózka


May Reduction Serve Foreignization? What Happened to Sierotka Marysia in English Translation?
The translation of Maria Konopnicka’s O Krasnoludkach i sierotce Marysi (The Brownie
Scouts) into English is an interesting fusion of two translation strategies that are usually
considered mutually exclusive. At fi rst glance, this careful and faithful rendering of
passages describing Polish tradition, culture, history, geography and folklore is a good
example of foreignization. Taking the reader who represents a dominant culture on
a trip to an unknown peripheral culture, it seems to stand in opposition to Lefevere’s
understanding how cultural capital and asymmetries between cultures infl uence the
translator’s decision to adapt source culture’s exotic elements to the target reader’s
horizon of expectations. Thus, her decision not to domesticate the original places
Katherine Żuk-Skarszewska (nee Hadley) in a group of translators called bridgeheads
by Cay Dollerup. They aim at familiarizing the target language audience with most
interesting and valuable aspects of the source language culture.
Yet this assumption is undermined by Żuk-Skarszewska’s frequent use of reduction
technique, which helps her to deal with the culture-specifi c elements she considers less
important. Instead of a typical adaptation strategy, in The Brownie Scouts two radically
different solutions co-exist: efforts to faithfully preserve some items and fragments
characteristic of the source language culture are counterbalanced by decisions to cut
other elements and passages in order to make room for what the translator judges more
worthwhile. As a result, reduction becomes an integral part of the translation strategy,
and it is used to control the intensity of the overall foreignizing effect. This unusual
strategy becomes even more interesting to observe, as the elements the translator gives
up most readily are usually those related to the child (characters, subject-matter and
folklore). Paradoxically, it is children who lose most in this translation of the book
about them.

Słowa kluczowe: children’s literature, folklore, Konopnicka, translation, foreignization

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