||The main topic of this thesis is yakuwarigo in translation. Yakuwarigo, the Japanese word for role language, is a type of language use often used in works of fiction which evokes the image of a certain type of character, such as an old man or a young girl, by using certain first-person pronouns, copula and sentence-ending particles (Kinsui 2013). Translating yakuwarigo can be extremely challenging because the Japanese language has many opportunities for variation where English does not. For that reason, yakuwarigo is often standardised in the target text, even though this negatively impacts the uniqueness of the characters (Terada, 2015).
While there is quite a bit of literature available on yakuwarigo, hardly any research has been done on the topic of yakuwarigo in translation. In this thesis, the feasibility of translating yakuwarigo from Japanese to English using a foreignising translation strategy is examined. The research question is: “To what extent is it possible to translate yakuwarigo from Japanese to English with a foreignising translation strategy?”. The answer to this question is formed by two parts: a theoretical framework and a case study. In the theoretical framework, a number of different topics are discussed, such as translation strategies, equivalence, and stereotyping. In the case study, six characters of a manga (Japanese cartoon) are analysed in the original version as well as in a fan translation. Additionally, a new translation of is proposed based on the acquired information.
It was found that despite the fact that it is impossible to translate yakuwarigo to English perfectly, it is possible to translate characters in such a way that their language reflects their main personality traits. This is done by adapting the font, punctuation and lexical choices, among others, to the character’s personality as a way of compensating for the original yakuwarigo.