“Flemish Legends” by Charles de Coster. The Peculiarities of the Traslations into Dutch

Introduction. Charles de Coster's “Flemish Legends” were published in 1858 in French. With the growth of the national consciousness of the Flemings, this book, having particular artistic and cultural meaning, had to be translated, anyhow, into the Flemish variant of Dutch. There have been several translations, which differ significantly. To understand the specifics and success of a particular translation, it is necessary to analyze the cultural-linguistic and socio-political circumstances of its creation, to study the personalities of the translators, their artistic biographies, and also to assess the impact of the culture-forming factors. Methodology and sources. The research methodology is based on the descriptive method. At that we take into account a lot of linguistic, historical, social and cultural variables. As a study material two translations of “Flemish Legends” into Dutch (1917 and 1998) are chosen, as well as several sources describing the history of Belgium after 1830. For collating the translations the comparative method is used, taking into account the lexical, grammatical and stylistic features of the analyzed texts. Results and discussion. Charles De Coster, being a bilingual, preferred the French language. This can be explained by his desire to make folklore an asset of the upper social class, mainly bilinguals and francophones, upon these legends being already known among the Flemings. In addition, for the proper resonance, it was more profitable to publish the book in French. It can also be assumed that the legends were collected throughout Flanders; therefore, there were significant dialectal differences and problems for choosing a unified version of the Flemish language. To convey the medieval flavor, Charles de Coster used a deliberately archaized language. At the beginning of the 20th century S. Streuvels created a specific translation, more reminiscent of calque from French and preserving the features of the original text. At the end of the 20th century, W. Spillebeen translated the French text into a modern language, which was not the Belgian Dutch, but the standard Dutch. Conclusion. The translations discussed are quite different. S. Streuvels retained the style and structure of the original text, so his work was difficult for perception even by his contemporaries, and today the translation has become practically unreadable. W. Spillebeen tried to translate the legends into a modern language, bringing the structural components in line with the modern norm and preserving only the most necessary archaisms. Nevertheless, the text of the “Flemish legends” in the Belgian Dutch does not exist: they are written either in dialects, or in the “Frenchified” Dutch, or in the standard Dutch.

Authors: Zhuravleva O. M., Ulianitckaia L. A., Shumkov A. A.

Direction: Linguistics

Keywords: Charles de Coster, Flemish legends, translation, French, Flemish, Dutch.

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