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Federico M. Federici (ed.) (2011). Translating Dialects and Languages Minorities. Challenges and Solutions.

New Trends in Translation Studies, vol. 6. Oxford/ Bern/ Berlin / Bruxelles / Frankfurt am Main / New York / Wien: Peter Lang, 233  pp., 37,70€. ISBN: 978-3-0343-0178-7 pb.

This book offers a wide array of contributions dealing with the challenges of translating dialect and minority languages, non-standard varieties and multiple related reflections from diverse perspectives.

This volume starts with Federico M. Federici discussing the challenges of rendering dialects and non-standard varieties of languages and giving an overview of some definitions and terminology for regional varieties in linguistics and literature (in terms of translational activity) as an introduction to the following chapters.

The essays collected in this book focus on translation issues regarding regional dialects, ethnolects, minority languages, standards and new electronic varieties from different points of view. The main part of the book covers Italian varieties, but it has to be mentioned that many other languages are also tackled, such as Turkish, Irish, Spanish, German, Catalan, and Arabic.

After Federici’s introduction, the book follows with the contribution of Hilal Erkazanci-Durmuş who describes the systematic standardization in the Turkish translations of marginal voices in literature, adopting a critical sociolinguistic approach. The author intends to explore why the standard variety of language is legitimised in Turkish literature and Turkish translations, and to examine what motivates the Turkish translators.

Giovanni Nadiani contributes with his reflections on defeated languages and the importance of translating from and into languages at risk of extinction, focusing on the Romagnolo, a defeated language treated as a dialect in opposition to standard Italian.

The next chapter counts with the work of Susanne Ghassempur and her considerations about the translation from non-standard Irish-English to German of The Commitments (Roddy Doyle, 1987). The study focuses on the translation of swearing, as it is the case of ‘fuck.’ Her comparative analysis of the two existing German translations shows how societal and linguistic features have been lowered in the translations.

Following this exhaustive analysis, Xoàn Manuel Garrido Vilariño offers an interesting approach to the paratranslation of the works of Primo Levi. His study goes from the origins of the theory of paratranslation to the paratranslation from Italian into English of some Levi’s works, such as Se questo è un uomo, La tregua and Lilít e altri racconti.

Staying in the Italian territory, Esther Morillas presents an accurate study about the translation of Montedidio (Erri de Luca 2002) from Neapolitan into Spanish. Her analysis emphasizes the complexity of the translation of the cultural elements, taking into account the dialect as a language of sentiment.

Caterina Briguglia provides a study on the Spanish and Catalan versions of Andrea Camilleri’s Il cane di terracotta (1996), giving an interpretative framework based upon the polisystemic theory of translation. Her analysis shows a comparison between the translation into Spanish, a national language internationally spoken, and the translation into Catalan.

Federico M. Federici follows with an analysis of Italo Calvino’s translation of the popular expressions and vulgar expressivity of Raymond Queneau in the version that appears in Les Fleurs bleues (1965). The author describes Calvino’s conception of translation and his views on the act of translation.

Anna Fochi deals with the cultural issue in intersemiotic translation, as it is the case of Crónica de una muerte anunciada (Gabriel García Márquez 1981) translated into Italian. Fochi proposes a theoretical reading of filmic transposition regarding the cultural specificity of the author.

The penultimate chapter by Marta Ortega Sáez deals with the publication of Mrs Dalloway (Virginia Wolf 1925) in Catalonia. Her article gives a descriptive approach to the translations in order to later facilitate a comparative analysis of the first and the last editions of Mrs Dalloway in Catalan.

Anissa Daoudi closes the book with a discussion about a significant phenomenon emerging in the Arab world as a result of globalization, the internet and its impact on the Arabic language in its standard and vernacular varieties. This is what she calls e-Arabic and how this new voice from the margins of the standard language of literature can lose its meaning in translation.

Paula Igareda, Universitat Autónoma, Barcelona
paula.igareda@gmail.com