November 4, 2010
Pseudocoordination is a specific grammatical construction in Scandinavian (i. e. Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Faroese), combining local (and several other) verbs as auxiliaries with another finite verbal phrase as in Swedish Emil sitter och täljer ‘(lit.) Emil sit-PRS and carve-PRS → Emil is carving’. The construction is partially grammaticalized: on the one hand it is an aspectual marker, referring to an ongoing action or process; on the other hand it still contains some lexical background information about the subject referent's sitting or standing or the like. This paper investigates how German and Icelandic translators deal with pseudocoordination, since neither language has equivalents with this special set of semantics. In addition, both target languages differ in their possibilities to indicate aspectual meanings. Based on four Scandinavian novels and their translations, the article discusses translation strategies in isolated cases and their effect on text cohesion. It will be shown that the translators often do not focus on the construction's aspectuality, but on its lexical contents. As a result, Icelandic translations repeatedly adapt the pseudocoordination as an interference, while German translations prefer a more complex local construction.