‘Curiouser and Curiouser': Hebrew Translations of Wordplay in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

R. Weissbrod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In ‘Alice's Adventures in Wonderland', wordplay has a central role in producing an ambivalent text, that is, one which can function at one and the same time in children 's literature and in adult literature. This paper examines, from a norm-oriented approach, how instances of wordplay were treated in three Hebrew translations. The first translation, published in 1923, was subject to a norm which required acceptability at the socio-cultural level. Instances of wordplay were accordingly replaced by completely new ones that were rooted in Jewish tradition. In the second translation, published in 1951, the treatment of wordplay was determined by a different norm, one which required a rephrasing of Carroll's work in an elevated style. Only in the third translation, published in 1987, was the translator sufficiently free from sociocultural and stylistic dictates to cope with Carroll's wordplay with all the means available. In this last translation, elements which areforeign to Carroll's world or style were introduced only insofar as they helped the translator replace the original wordplay.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)219-234
JournalThe Translator: studies in intercultural communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996


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