The specificity of Simenon: on translating 'Maigret'
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The project examines how German- and English-speaking translators of selected Maigret novels by the Belgian crime writer Georges Simenon have dealt with cultural and linguistic specificity, with a view to shedding light on how culture and language translate. Following a survey of different theories of translation, an integrated theory is applied in order to highlight what Simenon’s translators have retained and lost from three selected source texts: Le Charretier de la Providence (1931), Les Mémoires de Maigret (1951) and Maigret et les braves gens (1961). The examination of issues of linguistic and cultural specificity is facilitated by application of an integrated theory of translation coupled with the methodology devised by Hervey, Higgins and Loughridge (1992, 1995 and 2002). In addition, consideration of paradigms of detective fiction across the three cultures involved, and Simenon’s biography and wider oeuvre, help elucidate the salient features of the selected source texts. In view of the translators’ decisions, strategies for minimising various types of translation loss are presented. While other studies of translation theory have examined literary and technical texts, this study breaks new ground by focussing specifically on the comparative analysis of detective fiction in translation.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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