Translational procedures in Cân Rolant, the Middle Welsh translation of La chanson de Roland

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In this study we seek to present a survey of the set of processes involved in the translation into Middle Welsh of La chanson de Roland, known as Cân Rolant. The text is based on a late twelfth or thirteenth century Anglo-Norman version in assonant verse. It is very close to the Oxford version (Bodleian Library, ms. Digby 23), but also presents some traces of the Venice 4 version (Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Fr. Z.4). Since it is possible to employ the Oxford Roland as the source-text for comparative purposes, we will focus on the micro-textual level, i.e. lexical change, style and syntax, leaving aside the macro-textual level of the story. The methodology employed is mainly based on the conceptual frame of Descriptive Translation Studies (DTS), especially the notion of translation as a socio-cultural event and as product and process, at the same time source-oriented and target-oriented. Therefore, after some preliminary remarks about the generic shift and the unit of translation, we will describe and explain a group of translational procedures. We will thus discuss: 1) Techniques of translation of lexical items: substitutions (predictable, unpredictable, calques), circumlocutions and adoptions; 2) Syntax; 3) Style: terms of address and politeness, and greetings. The analysis will show that, while accommodating the source-text to his target language and literary conventions, the translator created an individual style.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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