Changes in word order in two Hebrew translations of an Ibsen play

Malka Muchnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This study examines differences in word order between two translations of Ibsen's play An enemy of the people into Hebrew. Both versions were translated by Rivka Meshulach, with approximately 25 years between them. In the first version word order conforms to the norms of Classical Hebrew. In the second version, however, the translator changed word order so that the language would be closer to contemporary spoken Hebrew. This is illustrated through examples related to various syntactic constituents, including subject-predicate, predicate complements, parentheme and address forms. The reasoning behind this tendency focuses on the change in the norms of written language. As opposed to the normative restrictions which were widely accepted in written Hebrew just a generation ago, the current trend is for features of contemporary spoken language to be used in literature and theater.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-316
Number of pages22
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2003


  • Changes
  • Hebrew
  • Spoken language
  • Theater norms
  • Word order
  • Written language


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