Emily Byrd Starr Conventionalized: omissions of nature descriptions in the Swedish translation of L.M. Montgomery’s <i>Emily</i> Trilogy

  • Laura Leden University of Helsinki


I am in the privileged position of being able to read and study translations such as those of L.M. Montgomery’s Emily trilogy in two languages, besides the original English version, since both Swedish and Finnish are my native languages. I studied both the Swedish and Finnish translations of the Emily trilogy in detail for my master’s thesis and concluded that there are extensive omissions in both, though especially in the Swedish translation, and the omissions affect characterization. In my master’s thesis I analyzed all omissions in the translations based on categories presented by translation scholars Rodica Dimitriu and Eirlys E. Davies, I described different types of omissions, and lastly, I analyzed their effects on characterization based on Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan’s theory about character indicators. This column is based on my thesis which was written in Swedish and therefore I will reference many international and Scandinavian sources that I used in the thesis. I will argue that the omission of descriptions of nature in the Swedish translation of the Emily trilogy has affected the characterization of Emily, and I will explore what this reveals about translations of children’s literature.

Author Biography

Laura Leden, University of Helsinki
Laura Leden is a PhD candidate at the University of Helsinki in Finland and holds a MA in Swedish Translation Studies and a BA in Scandinavian Literature. She has presented at the L.M. Montgomery Conference twice and her research interests include translation of children’s literature, in particular girls’ books. She currently works as a translator.
The Tortoise's Tale