The Sieve of Translation
Reflections on the French Version of The Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe
This case study aims to analyse the difficulties a translator faces when dealing with a text that is built around the representation of oral language. In The Butcher Boy, the Irish author Patrick McCabe uses linguistic characterisation to confer social plausibility to his characters and builds the entire novel as a monologue the first-person narrator delivers in his own voice. The challenge such a variety of factors poses makes the translation of the book into any language an interesting subject of investigation. This contribution will draw a parallel between the original text and its French translation by focusing on the hermeneutic choices the translator has to make during the entire translating process.