Publication details [#2817]

Lathey, Gillian. 2003. Time, narrative intimacy and the child: implications of the transitions from the present to the past tense in the translation into English of children's texts. In Oittinen, Riitta, ed. Traduction pour les enfants [Translation for children]. Special issue of Meta. Journal des Traducteurs, Translators' Journal 48 (1-2): 233–240.
Publication type
Article in Special issue
Publication language
Source language
Target language
Person as a subject
Title as subject


The British version of Jean de Brunhoff’s Histoire de Babar is a striking example of the transition from the present to the past tense in the translation of children’s texts into English. With reference to theories of narrative time, this paper invites speculation on the impact of such a tense shift on the present-tense qualities of the original, on the performance of a shared reading by child and adult and, finally, on the relevance of the young child’s developing understanding of the role of tense in narrative.
Source : Abstract in journal