Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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New Zealand Novel Auē by Becky Manawatu in German Translation

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posted on 2021-10-17, 20:10 authored by von Stetten, Franziska

This MA thesis explores a functionalist approach to literary translation of contemporary New Zealand prose fiction through my original German translation of an excerpt from Becky Manawatu’s Auē (2019) and a commentary comprising an analysis of linguistically hybrid features and their translation challenges. The excerpt chosen for translation consists of three and a half chapters to cover all four of the book’s narrative perspectives. I argue that there are three predominant features that give the novel its linguistically hybrid character and challenge the literary translator with their cultural specificity: borrowing and codeswitching into te reo Māori, colloquial speech in dialogues and the four different narrative voices. With a functionalist analysis based on Nord’s skopos theory, I highlight functions and effects of these features and examine why they challenge the German translator. Three specific problems, which arose during the translation process of Auē, further illustrate that a decision between foreignization and domestication tactics is highly dependent on respective functions in the source text and can vary from case to case. Ultimately, the translator needs to aim at a balanced target text that both encourages the readers to engage with the newness of foreign aspects and facilitates access to such aspects where needed. With my translation and commentary, I contribute to the research of cultural specificity in Literary Translation Studies with an example of a balanced German translation and a functional analysis of a contemporary work of New Zealand prose fiction and its linguistically hybrid features.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Literary Translation Studies

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Arts

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Alternative Language


Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Languages and Cultures


Millington, Richard; Anderson, Jean