Volume 35, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0924-1884
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9986
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



Using English and Spanish translations of Franz Kafka’s ‘The metamorphosis’ as a case study, this article contributes to current discussions of retranslation, and of cross-linguistic approaches to retranslation in particular. Building on the work of such scholars as Matthew Reynolds and Tom Cheesman, the analysis uses computational methods to evaluate variance among translators across a range of English and Spanish translations. The aim is twofold: first, to evaluate whether we can link translator variation to specific linguistic and rhetorical features in the original; and second, to determine whether those features are stable across languages.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Adorno, Theodor W.
    1992 “Aufzeichnungen zu Kafka” [Notes on Kafka]. Prismen. Kulturkritik Und Gesellschaft [Prisms. Cultural criticism and society]. Frankfurt am Main: Surhkamp.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Baker, Mona
    2000 “Towards a Methodology for Investigating the Style of a Literary Translator.” Target12 (2): 241–266. 10.1075/target.12.2.04bak
    https://doi.org/10.1075/target.12.2.04bak [Google Scholar]
  3. Bloom, Harold
    1973The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry. New York: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Brownlie, Siobhan
    2006 “Narrative Theory and Retranslation Theory.” Across Languages and Cultures7 (2): 145–170. 10.1556/Acr.7.2006.2.1
    https://doi.org/10.1556/Acr.7.2006.2.1 [Google Scholar]
  5. Cheesman, Tom
    2015 “Reading Originals by the Light of Translations.” InShakespeare Survey: Shakespeare, Origins and Originality, vol.681, edited byPeter Holland, 87–98. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9781316258736.007
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781316258736.007 [Google Scholar]
  6. Cheesman, Tom, Kevin Flanagan, Stephan Thiel, Jan Rybicki, Robert S. Laramee, Jonathan Hope, and Avraham Roos
    2017 “Multi-Retranslation Corpora: Visibility, Variation, Value, and Virtue.” Digital Scholarship in the Humanities32 (4): 739–760.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Coetzee, J. M.
    2002Stranger Shores: Literary Essays, 1986–1999. New York: Penguin Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Corngold, Stanley
    2007 “Preface.” InKafka’s Selected Stories: New Translations, Backgrounds and Contexts, Criticism, translated and edited byStanley Corngold, vii–xi. New York: W.W. Norton.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Deane-Cox, Sharon
    2014Retranslation: Translation, Literature and Reinterpretation. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Felski, Rita
    2011 “Context Stinks.” InContext?, edited byHerbert F. Tucker, special issue ofNew Literary History42 (4): 573–591. 10.1353/nlh.2011.0045
    https://doi.org/10.1353/nlh.2011.0045 [Google Scholar]
  11. Helbig, Gerhard
    1988Lexikon deutscher Partikel [Dictionary of German modal particles]. Leipzig: Verlag Enzyklopädie Leipzig.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Helbig, Gerhard, and Agnes Helbig
    1990Lexikon deutscher Modalwörter [Dictionary of German comment adverbs]. Leipzig: Verlag Enzyklopädie Leipzig.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Herrmann, Berenike
    2017 “In a Test Bed with Kafka: Introducing a Mixed-Methods Approach to Digital Stylistics.” Digital Humanities Quarterly11 (4). www.digitalhumanities.org.dhq/vol/11/4/000341/000341.html
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Honnibal, Matthew, and Ines Montani
    2022 “spaCy 3.4: Natural Language Understanding with Bloom Embeddings, Convolutional Neural Networks and Incremental Parsing.” https://spacy.io
  15. Jones, Henry
    2020 “Retranslating Thucydides as a Scientific Historian: A Corpus-Based Analysis.” Target32 (1): 59–82. 10.1075/target.19082.jon
    https://doi.org/10.1075/target.19082.jon [Google Scholar]
  16. Kafka, Franz
    1915Die Verwandlung [The metamorphosis]. Leipzig: Kurt Wolff Verlag. 10.4324/9780203302200
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203302200 [Google Scholar]
  17. 1948The Metamorphosis [orig. Die Verwandlung]. Translated byWilla and Edwin Muir. InSelect Short Stories of Franz Kafka. New York: The Modern Library.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Kaidu, Silvia
    2019Reflexive Translation Studies: Translation as Critical Reflection. London: UCL Press. 10.2307/j.ctv6q5315
    https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv6q5315 [Google Scholar]
  19. Koskinen, Kaisa, and Outi Paloposki
    2015 “Anxieties of Influence: The Voice of the First Translator in Retranslation.” InVoices in Retranslation, edited byCecilia Alvstad and Alexandra Assis Rosa, special issue ofTarget27 (1): 25–39. 10.1075/target.27.1.01kos
    https://doi.org/10.1075/target.27.1.01kos [Google Scholar]
  20. Kundera, Milan
    1995Testaments Betrayed: An Essay in Nine Parts. New York: Harper Collins.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Milton, John
    2008 “Foreignization: A Discussion of Theoretical and Practical Issues.” Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature541: 103–113.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Munday, Jeremy
    2012Evaluation in Translation: Critical Points of Translator Decision-Making. Abingdon: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203117743
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203117743 [Google Scholar]
  23. O’Neill, Patrick
    2014Transforming Kafka: Translation Effects. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 10.3138/9781442623798
    https://doi.org/10.3138/9781442623798 [Google Scholar]
  24. Prismatic Jane Eyre
    Prismatic Jane Eyre. n.d. “Prismatic Jane Eyre: An Experiment in the Study of Translations.” AccessedOctober 4, 2022. https://prismaticjaneeyre.org
  25. Pym, Anthony
    1998Method in Translation History. Manchester: St. Jerome.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. R Core Team
    R Core Team 2022 “R: A language and environment for statistical computing.” Vienna: R Foundation for Statistical Computing. https://www.R-project.org/
  27. Reynolds, Matthew
    2019Prismatic Translation. Cambridge: Legenda.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Rybicki, Jan
    2012 “The Great Mystery of the (Almost) Invisible Translator: Stylometry in Translation.” InQuantitative Methods in Corpus-Based Translation Studies: A Practical Guide to Descriptive Translation Research, edited byMichael P. Oakes and Meng Ji, 231–248. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/scl.51.09ryb
    https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.51.09ryb [Google Scholar]
  29. Venuti, Lawrence
    2003 “Retranslations: The Creation of Value.” Bucknell Review47 (1): 25–38.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Von Fintel, Kai
    2006 “Modality and Language.” InEncyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd ed., edited byDonald M. Borchert, 2–16. Detroit: MacMillan.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Wang, Qing, and Defeng Li
    2012 “Looking for Translator’s Fingerprints: A Corpus-Based Study on Chinese Translations of Ulysses.” Literary and Linguistic Computing27 (1): 81–93. 10.1093/llc/fqr039
    https://doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqr039 [Google Scholar]
  32. Woods, Michelle
    2014Kafka Translated: How Translators Have Shaped our Reading of Kafka. New York: Bloomsbury.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error