Investigating Filial and Dissident Intertextual Relationships between Retranslations: A Case Study

Document Type : research article


1 Departmen of English, Faculty of Literature And Foreign, University of Kashan, Kashan, Iran.

2 Department of English, Sheikhbahaee University, Isfahan, Iran.



In this qualitative and exploratory study, applying a comparative approach through content analysis, the (re)translations of three short stories from Dubliners were investigated. The aim was to draw on filial and dissident intertextual relations and, thereby, to investigate the effect of the preceding translations on the subsequent ones. Moreover, attempts were made to test Berman’s retranslation hypothesis. After identifying filial and dissident cases, those with the same nature were categorized and coded to find the realization of filiation and dissidence. The findings revealed both filial and dissident relations between the second translation and the earlier ones. The fact that the inappropriate collocations of the first translation(s) found their way to the second translation served as evidence for the filial relationship. The salient instances of dissidence included correcting the wrong choices of the earlier ones, adding omissions, appropriating the level of formality in dialogues, and cultural toning down. However, the third translation revealed a dominantly dissident relationship with its predecessors as cases of wrong translation were observed. Considering that a tendency was observed in the second translation to tone down the cultural elements and that translational errors were found in the third translation, Berman’s idea as to source-orientedness and the revolutionary nature of retranslations was rejected. The present study bears pedagogical implications as the approach taken can be used in comparative translation courses. Besides, the findings are awareness-raising among policymakers in the publishing industry as they highlight the need for taking supervisory measures and enacting restrictive laws on retranslations.


Main Subjects

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Genette, G. (1997). Palimpsests: Literature in the second degree. Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press.