Publication details [#19513]

Paloposki, Outi and Kaisa Koskinen. 2010. Reprocessing texts. The fine line between retranslating and revising. Across Languages and Cultures 11 (1) : 29–49.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language


Retranslations are a frequent object of study in Translation Studies. They can be used as data for a number of research problems, or retranslation can be studied as a phenomenon on its own. There are no large-scale surveys on retranslation, however, let alone surveys that would be coupled with in-depth case studies, no doubt due to the laboriousness and complexity of the task. The authors’ interest in the issue started from a small-scale project testing the so-called “retranslation hypothesis”, but gradually their research expanded into a wider range of questions. They have addressed three main areas: the extent and proportion of retranslation in Finland; the motives for and reception of retranslations (publishers, critics); and finally, what happens to a text when it is either retranslated or revised (textual analysis). For this purpose, they have compiled three different sets of data from the Finnish context. These sets consist of synchronic data (retranslations and their reviews from the year 2000), diachronic data (charting the retranslation history of classics shortlisted in 1999 and 1887) and case studies (by e.g. Victor Hugo, Nikolai Gogol, Astrid Lindgren and Juan Valera translated into Finnish). This paper presents an overview of the results of this investigation, argues for a need for a comprehensive treatment of retranslation as a phenomenon, and discusses the implications of textual analysis for the understanding of the fuzzy area between retranslation and revision. The cases presented include Hugo’s Les Misérables, Gogol’s Dead Souls and Lagerlöf’s Gösta Berling.
Source : Based on abstract in journal