Vol. 1 No. 1 (2023)
Essays by the members of the Hieronymus Translation Studies Research Group

Translating Non-standard Language: Andrea Camilleri in Hungarian

Dóra Bodrogai
Pázmány Péter Catholic University
Pázmány Papers vol. 1. nr. 1.

Published 12/18/2023 — Updated on 06/13/2024


  • Andrea Camilleri,
  • Sicilian literature,
  • dialectal literature,
  • translation,
  • translation studies


Andrea Camilleri has gained significant success in the last decades with his works written in a special language: by creating a language similar to Sicilian dialect but understandable to other Italian speakers he heavily involved his Sicilian cultural heritage as well and brought it closer not only to an Italian, but a worldwide audience. How are this idiolect and the cultural elements translatable into other languages? There are various approaches, as shown in Quaderni camilleriani 3, and the techniques depend greatly on the target language. In Camilleri’s novels, not only the aforementioned diatopic, but also diastratic and diaphasic variation are characteristic, which is another factor the translator has to take into consideration.

In this paper I would like to examine the translator’s choices in Hungarian regarding this multilingualism. Currently there are seven volumes available in Hungary, four of them translated by Margit Lukácsi, one by Noémi Kovács and Kornél Zaránd, and the last two by Ádám András Kürthy. The paper is also a parallel work to Giulia Magazzù’s, which aims to examine the translations in English of three novels, two of which are in common with this paper: Il cane di terracotta and La forma dell’acqua.