Skal vi vælge at gribe eller at forbande? En tekstlingvistisk oversættelseskritik af Griberen i rugen

Trine Geniak Malmskov

Student thesis: Master thesis


In 2004, Klaus Rifbjerg translated the classic The catcher in the rye, and named it Griberen i rugen, and his version received extensive criticism. The criticism triggered Gyldendal, the publishing company, to make severe changes in the second edition of Griberen i rugen. The main purpose of the thesis is to determine to what extent problems can occur, when translating an old classic into contemporary Danish and the analysis is based upon Rifbjerg’s attempt. There are numerous approaches when judging the quality of a translation, and in this case the linguistically oriented approach has been chosen. On the basis of work by, among others, Juliane House, Katharina Reiss, and Peter Newmark , a tool will be created, which will provide the theoretical foundation for the analysis of Griberen i rugen. The discussion in the thesis will show that the analytical tool consists of two sections. The first part is a macro analysis, which will determine the text type and subsequently a recommended translation strategy. Then a register analysis follows, and finally the genre will be determined. The result of the macro analysis will provide a profile of the text in consideration, based and upon this profile, the elements for the second part of the analytical tool, the micro analysis, will be determined. The text type in this case is expressive, and the translation quality will thus be evaluated upon expressive elements such as title, idioms, and collocations. Furthermore, the micro analysis will involve the time factor and the speaker factor, which are important since The catcher in the rye is an old classic. Throughout the analysis, the source and the target texts will be compared in order to determine, whether there is equivalence between the source and the target texts. As hypothesized, the macro analysis reveals that there is equivalence between the source and target texts, since they have the same text function, the register analysis is identical, and the same genre-specific elements are found in the two versions. However, the micro analysis will reveal that there is not equivalence between source and target texts, and by incorporating examples from both the English version, but also the two Danish versions, the analysis will show why there is a difference between the two versions. After an evaluation of the level of equivalence, a section will follow, which discusses the quality of Rifbjerg’s work, but also speculates in who made the changes in the second version of Griberen i rugen. Was it Rifbjerg himself, or was it another translator? The mindset throughout the thesis will be based upon the hermeneutic way of thinking, and according to this line of thought, the objective translation and translation criticism do not exist. On the basis hereof, included is a discussion of to what extent it is possible to make an objective translation and translation criticism. Finally, it will be concluded whether or not Rifbjerg has succeded in giving Griberen i rugen the intended facelift.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2011
Number of pages101