The Translation of Drama

Kevin Windle

in The Oxford Handbook of Translation Studies

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199239306
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

The Translation of Drama

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  • Translation and Interpretation



The translation of drama has been an important sub-field in the work of literary translators. For translating a drama, the translator must take into account the performance factor. Apart from linguistic competence, the translator should be equipped with additional qualifications for the task, and able to meet the differing criteria of the medium. One of these requires the translator to have some sense of theatre. The special qualifications also include, target-language acceptability, speakability, and adaptability. Comic scenes and the translation of verbal humour on stage have not figured prominently in translation studies to date. Personal names may be difficult for actors to pronounce with conviction, or for audiences to apprehend. The use of expletives is also an area of difficulty. The degree of attention applied to these aspects depends on their prominence in a given text, or rather, on the translator's perception of their prominence.

Keywords: drama; performance factor; sense of theatre; target-language acceptability; speakability; adaptability

Article.  7164 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Translation and Interpretation

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