27(1) - 2015

Auscultation du grand public

Lance Hewson


Mass readership under the stethoscope


It is no easy task to translate for a mass readership. This article looks first at the real-life circumstances in which translation takes place, and then attempts to pin down the characteristics of a mass readership using Umberto Eco’s notion of the Encyclopaedia. The discussion then moves to the different ways that a translator may work on the projected target text in order to take into account the partial, changing, subjective and sometimes contradictory “narrations” that make up a mass readership’s Encyclopaedia. Several types of strategy are put forward, including adding contextual information, exploiting paratextual devices such as prefaces, footnotes and endnotes, and making appropriate use of explication, explicitation and simplification. Particular emphasis is put on the case for using creativity in translation. An extended example of intralingual adaptation is commented on in order to illustrate the different strategies that the translator can adopt when translating for a mass readership.


Translation initiator, Encyclopaedia, explicitation, simplification, creativity

April 22, 2015
  27(1) - 2015