Jane Austen Speaks Norwegian

The Challenges of Literary Translation


What can translations reveal about the global reception of any authorship? In Jane Austen Speaks Norwegian: The Challenges of Literary Translation, Marie Nedregotten Sørbø compares two novels and six translations of them. The discussion is entirely in English, as all Norwegian versions are back-translated. This study therefore lends itself to comparisons with other languages, and aims to fill its place as one component in a worldwide field of research; how Jane Austen is understood and transmitted. Moreover, this book presents a selection of pertinent issues for any translator, including abbreviation and elaboration, style and vocabulary, and censorship. Sørbø gives vivid examples of how literary translation happens, and how it serves to interpret and refashion literature for new readerships.
Open Access


Open Access

Biographical Note

Marie Nedregotten Sørbø, Ph.D. (2009), University of Oslo, is Professor of English Literature at Volda University College, Norway. The author of Irony and Idyll (Rodopi, 2014), she has published on the reception of women, including Jane Austen and George Eliot.

Table of contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction: Jane Austen Travels

1 Austen Goes to Norway

2 Cuts and Simplifications

3 Additions and Elaborations

4 Blunder

5 Shades and Nuances

6 A Sense of Style

7 Wanted and Unwanted Repetitions

8 Choice and Repertoire of Words

9 Foreign or Domestic?

10 Irony

11 Censorship

12 Amending the Love Story


Appendix 1: Jane Austen’s Anonymity in Nineteenth-century Translations
Appendix 2: Timeline: Jane Austen’s Presences and Absences in Norwegian Contexts


Students and researchers of English literature and translation, Jane Austen societies, and women's studies and reception studies groups.