Sneak Peek 35: Amélie Josselin Leray

Images of Indians and Gipsies in Translated Children’s books: from Stereotypes to Political Correctness

Amélie Josselin-Leray

CeTIM and CLLE-ERSS, University of Toulouse, France

Abstract: Our paper focuses on two different “minority groups”: Indians from North America and Gipsies from Eastern Europe, and the way they are portrayed in contemporary translated children’s books. The study is based on two series aimed at young readers: The Magic Tree House series, for Native Americans, and two volumes of The Famous Five series for Gipsies.

Following the methodology described by Pedersoli (2012), the paper aims at showing to what extent the translated version of The Magic Tree House volume tends to convey a very stereotypical picture of Native Americans which is much more subdued in the original text – even if the latter only contains a watered down view of history. Our comparison of the original text and the two translations of the volumes of the Famous Five series throws light on the political correctness at stake in the most recent children’s books regarding nomadic minorities such as the Gipsies.

Bio: Amélie Josselin-Leray is an Associate Professor in Linguistics and Translation in the English Department of the University of Toulouse, France and the Head of the Translation Department (CeTIM). She holds a PhD in Translation, Terminology and Lexicology from the University of Lyon 2. Her research interests are translated children’s books, lexicography, terminology and corpus linguistics.