27(1) - 2015

Traduire pour le grand public : Intriguer, surprendre, charmer

Dominique Defert


This article describes how a translator of fiction considers that he is himself the reader of the translated text, and how his desire for pleasure and enjoyment shape his translational decisions. The various translation strategies used are described, and in particular the means of combining fidelity to the author’s intentions with the necessary adjustments that allow the new reader to experience the emotions and pleasures that are part of the reading experience of the original. This means on the one hand “forgetting” the original text, and on the other hand trying to either tantalize, or surprise, or fascinate the reader in the new language. One particular technique is discussed in detail: the use of the implicit in the target text. And the necessity to chase out the cliché. A translator tells a story. Actually, he “re-tells” the story. He tells the story as he has experienced it. And this is that one he’ll write. In literature, you must be biased, subjective, radical and monomaniac: this is the way to tell a story. One word, one vision of the world.


Emotion, subjectivity, rhythm, cliché, implicit

27 avril 2015
  27(1) - 2015