Robinson Crusoe, published by Daniel Defoe in 1719, and its translations in many languages are interesting in three ways: the subject matter of the novel; the interactions between Robinson and Friday (one of the first literary instances of dialogues between individuals of different mother tongues); the way the translators deal with Friday’s interlanguage. According to the respective target languages, the translators, who must represent oral interactions in a written form, meet with a double requirement of intelligibility and plausibility. The translator’s choice depends on the specificities, morphosyntactic and phonographic, of the languages, along with the representations of such interactions. Based on the dialogues between Friday and Robinson, this article starts with an analysis of the Italian translation before comparing it with the French and Spanish translations.
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