Oversættelse af fantasylitteratur – en fantastisk disciplin? En empirisk og eksplorativ undersøgelse af generelle udfordringer og løsninger ifm. oversættelse fra engelsk til dansk af stednavne, væsner, racer og arkaisk sprogbrugi tre udvalgte fantasybøger

Anders Bjerrum

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis examines general challenges in relation to the translation of three genre-specific features in fantasy literature, which are creatures and races, archaic language and placenames with particular focus on the latter. This includes an assessment of the Danish translations as well as proposed translation alternatives. This study is conducted on the basis of three theoretical concepts the first being macrostrategies, which determine the translator's overall strategy, whereas the second concept of microstrategies specifically indicate how or by which means a term is translated. The last concept is deforming tendencies used to demonstrate potential losses in terms of form and content in the Danish translation. The data consist of an extensive collection of fantasy-related terms from three different fantasy novels. The theoretical concepts are applied to a selection of the most frequent place names in order to determine if particular place names are translated in a particular way possibly resulting in a particular loss as described above. The study found that achieving equivalent effect in translation of fantasy literature is a general challenge, especially in regard to place names which are derivations of words from English, Celtic, Old Norse etc. Also place names are often used to represent something familiar whereas untranslatable place names from invented Elven or Dwarven languages are typically used to denote foreignness or exoticism. A target-text oriented strategy is the predominant approach to the translation of place names, but the translators of the three novels demonstrate different degrees of domestication. The thesis also proves that a general knowledge of fantasy elements as well as a knowledge about the individual fantasy universes result in better translations, since there are often underlying networks of signification that the translator should be aware of in order to translate correctly. Archaic language is used to assist in the creation of an antique or medieval setting and is oftentimes rendered in a less archaic fashion in the Danish translations resulting in translated novels displaying a more contemporary language usage. This study can be used as the groundwork for more comprehensive studies including several more works and text examples to be analysed. Furthermore it suggests that the compilation of fantasy dictionaries may help translators deal with common fantasy words or phrases such as archaic terms, creatures and races, and medieval elements

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2013
Number of pages118