Austen and Shakespeare Translated

  • Marie Nedregotten Sørbø


Are Shakespeare and Austen treated differently by translators? And if they are, what translation strategies can be perceived as underlying the different versions of their texts? This essay seeks to compare and contrast the translation history of the two authors, using the example of Norway as a case study. It asks which works were translated when and how frequently, and provides intriguing samples of selected translations.

In the case of the Nordic countries, Shakespeare was first translated in the 1770s and 1790s, during Austen’s young years. Austen’s novels started being translated into Norwegian in 1871—this first translation has only recently been discovered. The current chapter will contribute to a better understanding of the European Austen as well as Shakespeare. The translation strategies studied include abbreviation, expansion, repetition, modernisation, domestication and censorship. These will serve as a springboard to discuss similarities and differences in the fates of these authors and their transnational reception. The comparative mapping of these translations will also help shed light on issues of gender and translation, and the implicit status of authors and genres. All quotations from Norwegian will appear in back-translation for easy comparability.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie Nedregotten Sørbø
    • 1
  1. 1.Volda University CollegeVoldaNorway

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