Phrasal units in literary translation (the case of idioms in Miguel Delibes Las ratas)


  • Manuel Sevilla Muñoz



Phraseology, idioms, literary translation, English, Spanish


In this article we explore the translation of phrasal units in the context of literary translation, arguing that such units may fulfil a specific function in a work. This is the case in the novel Las ratas, by Miguel Delibes, in which the author used them as linguistic markers of the social strata and cultural level of the different characters. We have analysed the translation of some idioms of the novel in order to highlight the key aspects to take into account in the translation, the problems that the translator has to face when performinghis profession, and the solutions that can be proposed. We show that thetranslation of phrasal units is certainly not a straightforward task, and thecorrespondences cover a wide range because of the differences between thetwo languages and the numerous factors which need to be taken into account when translate a phrasal unit in a literary text, none of which seems to prevailover the others in all situations. These difficulties compel the translator to study in advance how the author of a literary work uses the phrasal units in order to plan the translation process so that the effect of the phrasal units ofthe original text is also recreated as far as possible in the translation.


Download data is not yet available.



How to Cite

Sevilla Muñoz, M. (2013). Phrasal units in literary translation (the case of idioms in Miguel Delibes Las ratas). Verba Hispanica, 21(1), 101–116.