Orality and Universality ˸ in Search of a Global Youth Speak in Translation

Abstract : This thesis is the fruit of a research project which marries translation practice and theory. Separated into two volumes, it explores questions related to the translation of slang in fictional texts. The first volume is a critical commentary composed of three parts, and the second a translation from French into English of the novel Moi non by Patrick Goujon (Gallimard, 2003). Since the plot unfolds in the banlieue of Paris, the critical component investigates the way in which marginalised youth can express themselves through slang, a variety of non-standard language. Often representative of a specific place and identity, slang constitutes one of many forms of expression that contribute to setting marginalised youth apart from dominant groups. Such use of language raises a number of questions, both concrete and abstract in nature, when one decides to transcribe and translate it in a work of fiction. Translators often employ standard language to render this voice in the translated text or otherwise make use of an “equivalent” slang. The proposed translation of Moi non embodies an alternative method inspired by an overall informal style of writing, as well as by the creative devices employed in rap lyrics and in the creation of slang words and expressions. In an effort to avoid suggesting a specific setting outside of the banlieue, this translation seeks to identify and harness features of English shared by young people throughout the Anglosphere. This thesis thus represents an opportunity to ensure the coherence and the logic of this alternative approach to translating slang in an entire novel, and to compare this approach with that adopted by the translators of similar texts.
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Tiffane Levick. Orality and Universality ˸ in Search of a Global Youth Speak in Translation. Linguistics. Université Sorbonne Paris Cité, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018USPCA129⟩. ⟨tel-02158762⟩

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