Vid, Natalia. Domesticated Translation: The Case of Nabokov's Translation of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland. 2008

Bibliographic title
Domesticated Translation: The Case of Nabokov's Translation of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland
Periodical or collection
Nabokov Online Journal
Periodical issue
v. 2
Publication year

The main aim is to analyze Nabokov's translation strategies of domestication, realized in the text as substitution and localization, and to explain the reasons for his decision to favor an almost complete Russification of the original. It is possible that the main reason for this rigorous domestication was Nabokov's intention to make the foreign world of Carroll's story comprehensible for the target audience (Russian children). He used strategies of domestication to convey to Russian children the humor, originality and brightness of Lewis Carroll's paradoxical and attractive world - his sense of the absurd and his amazing gift for games of logic and language - providing a recognizable and familiar atmosphere for the reader. On the other hand, Nabokov refused to oversimplify his translation or to patronize its young audience with simplistic translation solutions. His translation preserved Carroll's intention of inviting children to play with the text. The author includes an analysis of parody translations, showing how Nabokov replaced Carroll's parodies of English poems with his own parodies of famous Russian poems. The most interesting examples of cultural adaptations are localization of food items, historical persons and personal names; methods of translating English puns based on homonyms; and the peculiarities of Nabokov's style, such as sophistication and a slightly archaic tone.