The evolution of literary translations: a case study of the Romanian translation and retranslation of “A Little Cloud”


  • Andra Iulia Ursa 1 Decembrie 1918 University of Alba Iulia



mediation; globalization; invisibility; strategies


It goes without saying that literary translators participate actively in the creative process of authors. They read the original work and try to understand the author’s perspective, so that they are able to communicate the message to those readers who do not understand the source text language. Therefore, translators act as mediators, that constantly struggle to surmount linguistic, stylistic or cultural difficulties, by using effective strategies. With regard to the retranslation theory, subsequent translations of the same literary work are susceptible to supplement previous versions, and to capture more of the original work. However, some researchers blame translation practices used nowadays of ‘too much’ invisibility, up to the point that the role of mediation is nullified. Therefore, this paper seeks to understand how the strategies of translation evolve over time, and what the predisposition of translators’ attitudes is nowadays. In order to obtain some conclusive answers to our questions, this research is based on a quantitative and qualitative analysis of three Romanian renditions of one of the stories in James Joyce’s Dubliners “A little cloud”. The advantage of this study is that even though there is a fifty-one-year gap between the first Romanian version and the second, the last two translators belong to the same period of time and have similar education backgrounds, knowledge and skill in the field of specialty.

Author Biography

Andra Iulia Ursa, 1 Decembrie 1918 University of Alba Iulia

Andra-Iulia Ursa is a Ph.D. student in Philology and lecturer in translation studies at the Department of Philology, 1 Decembrie 1918 University of Alba-Iulia. She is currently advised in submitting the research for her doctoral dissertation by Dr Felix Narcis Nicolau. The topic concerns The evolution of James Joyce’s writing style in Dubliners, A portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses, and strategies of translating it into Romanian. She began her academic studies in translation and interpretation and she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Modern Languages: French and English from Babes Bolyai University of Cluj Napoca. From 2011 to 2018 she worked as an ESL / FSL secondary school teacher, while continuing her studies in the area. She has also worked as an English and French certified translator and interpreter since 2011. Over the years, she earned a Master’s Degree in French and another in English Language Teaching from the University of Alba-Iulia. At the moment, while engaged into a systematic inquiry into the subject of translation studies, she holds seminars in specialty areas such as Syntax, Pragmatics, Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Translation, Simultaneous Interpretation, Technical translation, and Literary Translation at the University of Alba-Iulia.


Baker, M. (2000). Towards a methodology for investigating the style of literary translator. In Target, 12, 241-266. DOI:

Baker, M. (2018). In other words: A coursebook on translation (3d ed.). London/ New York: Routledge. (Original work published 1992).

Berman, A. (1990). La retraduction comme espace de la traduction/ Retranslation as translation area. In Palimpsestes, 13, 1-7.

Bielsa, E. (2005). Globalisation and translation: A theoretical approach. In Language and Intercultural Communication, 5(2), 131-144. DOI:

Cronin, M. (2003). Translation and globalization. London and New-York: Routledge.

Dastjerdi, H.V., & Mohammadi, A. (2013). Revisiting “Retranslation Hypothesis”: A comparative analysis of stylistic features in the Persian retranslations of Pride and Prejudice. In Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 3(3), 174-181. DOI:

Filimon, V. (2017). Aspecte ale traducerii experimentului modernist în operele lui James Joyce/ Aspects of the translation of the modernist experiment in the works of James Joyce. In Études Interdisciplinaires en Sciences Humaines, 4. 213-221.

Ionescu, A. (2013). Oameni din Dublin (Dubliners) by James Joyce, and: Portret al Artistului la Tinerete (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) by James Joyce (review). In James Joyce Quarterly, 50(3). 860-864. DOI:

Joyce, J. (2007). Dubliners. New York: Signet Classics.

Joyce, J. (2015). Three stories from Dubliners (V. Baroană, Trans., L. Vianu, Ed.). The University of Bucharest: Contemporary Literature Press.

Joyce, J. (2018). Oameni din Dublin (F. Papadache, Trans.). București: Editura Litera.

Joyce. J. (2018). Oameni din Dublin (R. Paraschivescu, Trans.). București: Humanitas. (Original work published 2012).

Liddicoat, A. J., & Scarino, A. (2013). Intercultural language teaching and learning. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

Liddicoat, A. J. (2015). Intercultural mediation, intercultural communication, and translation. In Perspectives Studies in Translatology, 24(3), 1-10. DOI:

Moldovan, R. (2019, February 28). Traducerea a devenit a doua mea natură/ Translating has grown upon me (D. Borgovan, interviewer). In Revista de Traduceri Literare. Retrieved May 28 2020 from https://www.fitralit.:ro/28-02-2019-rares-moldovan-traducerea-a-devenit-a-doua-mea-natura/

Nida, E.A. (1964). Toward a science of translating with special reference to principles and procedures involved in Bible translating. Leiden: E. J. Brill.

Oțoiu, A. (2004). ‘Le sens du pousser’. On the Spiral of Joyce’s Reception in Romanian. In: The Reception of James Joyce in Europe. Vol. I. 198-213. New York: Thoemmes Continuum.

Paloposki, O., & Koskinen, K. (2004). A thousand and one translations: Revisiting retranslation. In Claims, Changes and Challenges in Translation Studies Selected contributions from the EST Congress, Copenhagen 2001, 50(1). 27–38. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. DOI:

Paraschivescu, Rad. (2009). Traducătorul român e antrenat pentru fachirism și supraviețuire în mediu ostil, [interview]/ The Romanian translator is trained for fakirism and survival in a hostile environment. In Ziarul Financiar. Retrieved December 29 2020

Robinson, D. (1999). Retranslation and ideosomatic drift. Retrieved December 29 2020 from

Strich, F. (1998). Goethe and world literature. London: Routledge.

Ursa, A. (2020). On the borderland between fidelity and foreignization: A case study on the Romanian translation and retranslation of Dubliners. In Annales Universitatis Apulensis. Series Philologica, 21(1), 218-227.

Venuti, L. (2008). The translator’s invisibility: A history of translation (2nd ed.). London: Routledge. (Original work published 1995).

Venuti, L. (1998). The scandals of translation: Towards an ethics of difference. London and New York: Routledge.

Venuti, L. (2013). Translation changes everything: Theory and practice. London/ New York: Routledge.

Vinay, J.P., & Darbelnet, J. (1972). Stylistique comparée du français et de l'anglais: Méthode de traduction (nouvelle édition révue et corrigée) / Comparative stylistics of French and English: Translation method (new revised and corrected edition). Paris: Didier. (Original work published 1957).

(one's) heart is in the right place. (n.d.) Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. (2012). Retrieved December 29 2020 from

Wales, K. (2014). A dictionary of stylistics (3d ed.). London/ New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. (Original work published 1990).




How to Cite

Ursa, A. I. (2021). The evolution of literary translations: a case study of the Romanian translation and retranslation of “A Little Cloud”. Swedish Journal of Romanian Studies, 4(1), 111–125.