Translating Food Items in Children's Literature: A Case Study on Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants Series
Being one of the most prevalent components of children’s literature, food items are often symbolic and they can play various roles and can be used for different purposes in literary works for children. Therefore, translating food items in children’s literature holds great challenges for translators when the fragile nature of children’s literature is taken into account. In this regard, this study primarily focuses on the Turkish translations of food items in Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants series translated by İpek Demir and Pınar Gönen. It aims to investigate the translation strategies employed by the translators while dealing with the food items in Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants series along with the possible reasons behind their decisions, and to reveal the regularities in the translational decisions by the translators. Secondarily, it aims to find out whether the intended functions and purposes of the food items in the original texts are maintained in the target texts. To this end, the study first explores the general characteristics, functions and roles that food items possess throughout the series before conducting the translation analysis. Then, the translations of a total of 57 food items are analyzed in the light of Davies’ (2003) categorization of translation strategies. The translational decisions by the translators are criticized within the theoretical framework of Toury’s (1995) target-oriented approach and norms of acceptability and adequacy. As a result, the study reveals that both translators have adopted a target-oriented approach when transferring food items. Thus, it is possible to state that their translations are nearer to the pole of acceptability. However, the study also finds that some of the intended functions and purposes of the food items in the source texts have been lost in the translated texts.
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