Pippi Goes Abroad : A comparative study of the British and American translations of neologisms, nonce words and proper nouns in Pippi Longstocking

University essay from Växjö universitet/Institutionen för humaniora


The purpose of this study is to analyze two literary translations of Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Långstrump (Lindgren, 1945)from Swedish into English.  The study compares the British and the American English translations of neologisms, nonce words and proper nouns.  The primary data chosen for this study are the Swedish children’s book Pippi Långstrump (1945), written by Astrid Lindgren, and its 1954 British translation, by Edna Hurup, as well as the 1977 American English translation, by Florence Lamborn.  The method used in this study is qualitative, and consists of an in-depth analysis of representative examples of neologisms, nonce words and proper nouns.  Three research questions aimed at finding out what translation procedures were used, whether there were any differences between the two translations, and whether there were any semantic changes in the two translations.  The conclusion is that the most common translation procedure used is equivalence.  The most distinguishing difference between the two translations is that the American English translation seems to stay more true to the original text, whereas the British translation has a greater respect for the target text reader, in the sense that it is more culturally adapted than the American English translation.  There were no major semantic changes in the samples from the two translations, with the exception of a few examples.  In conclusion, both translators manage to maintain the atmosphere of the original text.


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