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French & Francophone Studies
Master of Arts (M.A.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
While many high school English instructors in the United States teach world literature in translation, few of them explicitly present the literature as translated. High school English students would benefit from learning more about the linguistic origins of the world literature they read. This awareness would increase student understanding of the source culture and benefit their language skills. Various translation theorists have suggested methods to teach translational awareness, but few have offered advice on the type of translation to select. In my research, I examined the question of whether students would derive more cultural knowledge, and specifically language-related knowledge, by reading domesticated or foreignized translations. To explore this question, I created two different English translations of the same French literary texts and presented them to several classes of U.S. American high school students. One translation (Version A) was intended to be a domesticated version and the other (Version B) was deliberately foreignized. Classes read two versions of either Anna Gavalda’s short story “Happy Meal” or of a selection from Joseph Zobel’s novel La Rue Cases-Nègres. Following the reading, they completed a series of multiple-choice and free-response questions. Responses to the readings indicated that students found the foreignized translations more “sophisticated” but did not consistently demonstrate a greater cultural understanding as a result. The results failed to prove one translation method more effective than the other, but they did suggest limitations to Lawrence Venuti’s foreignization approach.
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Baudinet, Bridget, "The Role of Translation Style in Fostering Cultural Connections through World Literature" (2020). Masters Theses. 952.