List of abstracts for the IV International HCA conference - Hans Christian Andersen between children's literature and adult literature
'Out in the world, thoughts come'
In the conclusion of my dissertation Ugly Ducklings? (2004) I suggested as a possible field for further investigations of Andersen's translations 'Studies of idiomaticity in translated texts. A working hypothesis would be that if translated texts are generally less highly regarded than their originals, a reason could be that they are less idiomatic ... .'
As a beginning, I have now looked at idioms and half-idioms in a number of tales, and compared them with Dulcken's late 19th-century translation, and in some cases also with some more recent translations. My results so far confirm my suspicion that one of the great stumbling blocks for translators - and certainly for Dulcken - is interference from the source language(s), in this case Danish and/or German.