The Negotiation of Literary Dialogue in Translation: Forms of Address in Robinson Crusoe Translated into Portuguese1

Alexandra Assis Rosa
Universidade de Lisboa


Focussing on the pragmatic dimension of literary dialogue in narrative fiction, this paper analyses: (a) the negotiation of power carried out by characters and the way it is relayed in the text as signalled by forms of address; and (b) the negotiation performed by the translator in order to reproduce a power relation when dealing with the cultural and social environments of the source- and the target-language texts. By analysing one hundred years of Robinson Crusoe translated into European Portuguese (189– to 1992) the paper will attempt to reveal a possible historical development of translational norms and the way in which the historical, cultural and social environments may have influenced them.

Table of contents

Target  12:1 (2000), pp. 31–62. ISSN 0924-1884 | E‑ISSN 1569-9986

© John Benjamins B.V., Amsterdam

Not to be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher.

The dialogue in narrative fiction includes several dimensions that may be relevant for its translation. These include the poetic, linguistic and pragmatic [ p. 32 ]dimensions. The translation of literary dialogue raises special problems, and the pragmatic dimension appears to be particularly prone to be the first to be lost or altered in translation (Ben-Shahar 1994: 197Ben-Shahar, Rina 1994 “Translating Literary Dialogue: A Problem and Its Implications for Translation into Hebrew”. Target 6:2. 195–221.  Crossref logo).

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