Hur översätter man artighet? Artighetsstrategier i skönlitterär dialog på svenska och ryska


  • Olga Mezhevich


This study examines politeness strategies in literary dialogues and strategies for their translation between Swedish and Russian. As the material for the analysis functions the novel Lang by the Finland Swedish author Kjell Westö and the novel’s translation into Russian. The theoretical framework of the present study is based on Brown & Levinson’s politeness theory (1987), cultural dimensions theory (Hofstede 1984, 1991; House, et al. 2004), Larina’s comparative research on Russian and English politeness systems (2009) as well as Toury’s theory of Descriptive Translation Studies (1995) and Chesterman’s research on categorization of translation strategies (1997).
This study examines two speech acts that are primarily connected to negative polite-ness strategies (requests and directives [orders & bans]) as well as two speech acts that are linked to positive politeness (greetings and forms of address pronouns).
The analysis of the translation of politeness strategies from Swedish to Russian in Kjell Westö’s novel Lang showed that the translator chooses to adapt to target cultural norms, i.e. in terms of Toury (1995) to perform an acceptable translation. The adaptation to the asymmetry of the politeness systems happens as the translator modifies politeness strategies that belong to the source culture according to the politeness conventions that exist in the target culture with the help of the translation strategies. The results show that this is done both in terms of translation of request and directives (speech acts linked to negative politeness strategies) and greetings and forms of address (speech acts linked to positive politeness strategies). A number of pragmatic translation strategies are used for these changes, according to Chesterman’s classification (1997): Explicitness change, Illocutionary change, Interpersonal change, Cultural filtering.