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Specific Problems Posed by Drama Translation: Translating and Adapting Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape for the Radio. A Case Study


The present article aims at presenting features specific to translating dramatic texts, the peculiarities of the genre and how these can be tackled in the process of translating. The case study comprises an analysis of the translation and adaptation for radio broadcasting of Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape. Theoreticians have constantly pointed out that drama translators should always focus on the performability, speakability, gestural and aural dimensions of the text, given that the final product has to be playable in front of an audience. The ultimate goal is to obtain a text that sounds natural and is easily understood, where the aural and gestural dimensions fit and work together. In order to make the translated text performable in another medium, certain changes are necessary. In the present case study – adapting a play for radio broadcasting –, everything visual becomes aural, and in this process stage directions are the most challenging to be handled. Adding, omitting or rephrasing are options that the translator has to constantly consider.