Norms Governing the Dialect Translation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations: An English-Greek Perspective

  • Despoina PANOU Department of Foreign Languages, Translation and Interpreting, Ionian University
Keywords: Great Expectations, Norms, Dialect-Translation, English-Greek, Translation-Strategies, Publishing Houses


This paper aims to investigate the norms governing the translation of fiction from English into Greek by critically examining two Greek translations of Charles Dickens’ novel Great Expectations. One is by Pavlina Pampoudi (Patakis, 2016) and the other, is by Thanasis Zavalos (Minoas, 2017). Particular attention is paid to dialect translation and special emphasis is placed on the language used by one of the novel’s prominent characters, namely, Abel Magwitch. In particular, twenty instances of Abel Magwitch’s dialect are chosen in an effort to provide an in-depth analysis of the dialect-translation strategies employed as well as possible reasons governing such choices. It is argued that both translators favour standardisation in their target texts, thus eliminating any language variants present in the source text. The conclusion argues that societal factors as well as the commissioning policies of publishing houses influence to a great extent the translators’ behaviour, and consequently, the dialect-translation strategies adopted. Hence, greater emphasis on the extra-linguistic, sociological context is necessary for a thorough consideration of the complexities of English-Greek dialect translation of fiction.