Fantasysemiosfärer i översättning – en fallstudie. Språk- och kulturspecifika översättningsstrategier i den norska fantasytrilogin Ravneringene och dess finska översättning Korpinkehät


  • Pirjo Kukkonen
  • Eeva-Liisa Nyqvist


language pair Norwegian–Finnish, translation process, translation problems, language- and culture-specific information, cultural semiotics, semiosphere, fantasy semiosphere, borders, functional translation theory, autoethnographic traits, semantic and pragmatic strategies, effect, Nordic fantasy genre


In this article, we discuss some representative language- and culture-specific translation problems in a fantasy trilogy created by the Norwegian author Siri Pettersen (b. 1971) and in its Finnish translations by Eeva-Liisa Nyqvist. We will describe Nyqvist’s own reflections around her translation process with various strategies as a case study with autoethnographic traits within a theoretical frame of cultural semiotics and translation studies. Central to cultural semiotics is the concept of semiosphere (a space of culture), in which the act of signification (semiosis) is realized, as is the concept of border, a counter of similarities and differences in the linguistic and cultural spheres in dialogue between source and target texts and their cultures. We apply a functional, pragmatic view on translation studies, especially those focusing on the translator, in order to examine global and local translation strategies of fantasy-specific phenomena in actual fantasy semiospheres, or concepts built up by fictive cultures, societies, individual and collective names, and geographical names. The strategies used by Nyqvist aim to foreignize realia/irrealia in order to preserve the fantastic effect typical of a fantasy genre. In some name phrases, adding semantic and pragmatic information is necessary in order to give the reader a minimum of descriptive information. The main purpose of the Finnish translation has been to offer the Finnish reader an illusion of the original and a narrative, stylistic, and semantic-pragmatic effect that follows the author’s intentions with her Nordic fantasy genre, a story that uses and reuses Nordic mythology.

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