Ambiguity translated for children
Andersen’s “Den standhaftige Tinsoldat” as a case in point
This article addresses ambiguity in translations for children. ‘Ambiguity’, here understood as something that allows for more than one interpretation, is supposed to be critical in translation for children as it clashes with some mediators’ ideas of what children’s literature is or ought to be. Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of “Den standhaftige Tinsoldat” [‘The steadfast tin soldier’] and a sample of twenty-four translations thereof (twelve into Swedish and twelve into Spanish) are used to explore different ways that ambiguity is translated for children. The objective is to determine if and how the tale’s ambiguities are manipulated in the various translations, and thus to initiate a theoretical discussion of ambiguity in translation for children. A difference is established between ‘textually resolvable’ and ‘textually irresolvable’ ambiguities and these two kinds of ambiguity are found to be treated differently in the analyzed sample of translations.
Keywords: ambiguity, literary translation, children’s literature, Hans Christian Andersen
Published online: 03 November 2008
Haahr, Joan G.
2000 “The steadfast tin soldier.” Zipes 2000 . 496–497.
Hjørnager Pedersen, Viggo
Iser, Wolfgang[ p. 246 ]
Knowles, Murray and Kirsten Malmkjær
Krogh Hansen, Per and Marianne Wolff Lundholdt
2000 “Andersen, Hans Christian.” Zipes 2000 . 13–15.
2002 “The figure in the carpet: Discovery or re-cognition.” Semino and Culpeper 2002 . 49–71.
Semino, Elena and Jonathan Culpeper
2002 “Aspects of cognitive poetics.” Semino and Culpeper 2002.. 279–318.
Hans Christian Andersen’s “Den standhaftige Tinsoldat” by name of translator, editor or publisher
Bordoy Luque, Salvador Fernández Romero
Bønning, Birgitte[ p. 247 ]
Hallqvist, Britt G.
 http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/vaerk/hersholt/om_e.html. Access date 2007-08-03.
Martínez Vega, María Victoria Raebel, Guillermo
1939 Cuentos de Hadas de Andersen. Buenos Aires: Editorial Molino. Illustrations: Freixas. (N.B. This is a completely different translation than the one published as Nadal 1933.)
1959 Cuentos completos. Barcelona. Illustrations by Vilhelm Pedersen and Lorenz Frölich. (Also available in electronic format at: http://www.hadaluna.com/ andersen/a-soldadito.htm. Access date 2005-12-06.)
Todolibro. No year of publication but available in Spanish bookshops
Welinder, Lars[ p. 248 ]
Cited by 4 other publications
Giugliano, Marcello & Elia Hernández Socas
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 21 april 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.