A Comparative and Descriptive Analysis of the Turkish Translations of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Within the Context of Children's Literature
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The translation of children’s literature was relegated to a secondary position and widely ignored by scholars, publishers, and academic institutions for years, however scholarly interest in children’s literature has grown rapidly since the 1970s. As a result of this growing interest, scholars have come to appreciate the role of children’s literature as a highly influential educational, social and ideological instrument; and the translation of children’s literature has evolved into a field of academic research. As children’s literature has crossed linguistic and cultural boundaries through translated children’s books, the translation of children’s literature is a field of great importance. Yet, translating for children can be more challenging than translating for adults as children are often believed to have limited linguistic abilities and life experiences. In this regard, a comparative and descriptive analysis of three different translations of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) is performed within the context of the translation of children’s literature. The analysis is conducted within the framework of the target-oriented approach and translation norms suggested by Gideon Toury. In addition, the translation strategies in the translations of the novel are explored in line with the translation strategies proposed by Brett Jocelyn Epstein in her book Translating Expressive Language in Children’s Literature: Problems and Solutions (2012). In light of the analysis performed across expressive language and culture-specific items in the novel and its three translations in terms of lexis and semantics, it is observed that the three translators implemented various translation strategies. In this sense, this analysis of the translation strategies provides the opportunity to observe on which point of the continuum of “adequacy” and “acceptability” these translations stand. It is seen that all three translators tended to produce more target-oriented translations in translating expressive language and culture-specific items in the novel. Thus, the translations are mostly closer to acceptability.