Tradurre Naǧīb Maḥfūẓ: il caso di Ḥikāyāt ḥāratinā


The article analyzes the Italian translation of Ḥikāyāt ḥāratinā (published in Italian as “Il nostro quartiere” by Feltrinelli, in Milan in 1989) by Naguib Mahfouz (: Naǧīb Maḥfūẓ), and focuses on the strategies used by the translator, Dr.Valentina Colombo, to overcome the problems posed by this challenging text, full as it is of references to the Egyptian culture. Thanks to his extraordinary ability, Mahfouz manages to make the reader really enter within his novels. In fact, his poetic choice of narration does not follow a well-defined plot but swings, mostly in the dialogues, between the classic Arabic and the peculiar idiomatic expressions and syntactic methods of Cairo vernacular, translated in classic Arabic, which allows the reader to transport the narration in his own dialect. The articles details the translator’s strategies in coping with linguistic and extra-linguistic features of the text, various metaphors, proverbs, idiomatic expressions, and points out some imperfections in the translation, as well as some meanings that have been lost due to an imperfect knowledge of a culture alien to the translator. The Italian translation is then compared to English and French translations, previously published of the same work; in many passages the Italian version seems closer to the French text than to the English one.


Naǧīb Maḥfūẓ; Ḥikāyāt ḥāratinā; traduzione

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