Translation of Style: Transformation or Creation
Translation of style is a special case of translation and translation per se represents one of the problematic fields of linguistics. First, there is the basic philosophical problem of whether translation is possible at all, a question that is not quite answered by the fact that transformations from one language to another actually take place, and, secondly, there is the practical question of the quality of translations, raised by the approaches made in machine translation and the increasing demand for translation in modern technological societies. Ways of improving the craft and the results of translation have been mainly a concern for translators and, until recently, were not an area for theoretical reflections (cf. Newmark 1982), but just as linguistics is relevant for translation so are the problems of translation relevant for linguistics.
In this account I will confine myself to a limited area of translation: viz., that of style in some specific literary texts. The main reasons for this are that style in language is always present, an opinion that will be argued below, and that the medium in which style is most conspicuously present is represented by fictional and poetic texts. For this reason I have taken the fairy tale "Historien om en Moder" by H. C. Andersen and investigated the way in which style is translated into Swedish in two different versions.
Translation of Style
As a special case of the problem of translation, the description of transformation of style is quite puzzling, because style is not a straightforward concept, either in linguistics or in literature. There seem to be a number of ways of conceiving style and the limits of stylistic phenomena are not clear.
An example of a modern concept of style is the recent standard account of Cassirer (1986) in which style is defined as the relation between form and content and the effect of this relation (p. 122). These ideas are discussed as being problematic in the book but the main position is sustained. Effect as an element in style is not emphasized quite as much in Cassirer (1970) and a theoretical discussion of the concept of style as the relation between form and content is the topic of the book. This does not help much, but, beyond mentioning that it is not an accurate definition and that the relation mentioned can be said to cover more phenomena than just stylistic ones, and, beyond adding some specific remarks below, I do not intend to say any more about the tradition and I do not intend to discuss the situation outside Scandinavia.
In my opinion, style is the form of a specific content if there are, in fact, alternatives. Alternatives can appear at different levels of language and they are constrained by the conventions of specific language communities. Some concepts and expressions are somewhat restricted with respect to the choice we have when we want to communicate information, e.g. numerals and numbers do not allow great variation on the phonetic or graphic level without disturbing the message (cf. Götzsche 1991). Situation and context impose other restrictions, but, within the frames mentioned, there seems to be choice and variation as a matter of principle, and, in my view, any such choice in expressing some kind of information at any linguistic level involves style.
If you stay within the scope of "normal" choices according to the conventions of communication, you display "normal" or "neutral" style, but if you transcend the conventions, you create stylistic variation. The essence of convention and variation thus seems to be mostly a matter of frequency, not in an absolute sense but in relation to the kind of discourse you enter, i. e. different situations and contexts. The information conveyed can be seen as part of the implied universe of discourse, the "reality" or the "world" seen from the point of view of the interlocutors, and this, in turn, implies a number of concepts in a specific structure, but the actual choice of competing concepts and expressions for the "same things" is a matter of style. As a consequence of this idea the level of aspect (aspectual form), i.e. the point of view chosen by the narrator, the level of what I will call "explication" ("explicational" form), i.e. the way of rendering the details of the world and of the acts through description, narration, speech etc., and finally the level of grammatical form, i.e. the form of the words and their combinations, are all elements of style. This applies to both fictional and factual language.
In the context of H. C. Andersens fiction, I will not deal with the deeper levels of linguistic style because they are not directly relevant for the translation of literature, when the languages are so closely related as Danish and Swedish. In these literary texts both aspect and explication (as defined above) have been determined by the author; they are normally not changed by the translator because of the need to produce a translation that parallels the original as closely as possible, and, in this account they will be taken up only when a translation of the grammatical form conflicts with them. The view offered here is more or less in accord with that of Enkvist (1964:27 ff) who displays a technical definition of style based on quantitative specifications against the background of traditional literary and linguistic concepts. My view is also, to some extent, in accord with that of Cassirer (1986: 19 ff), but our viewpoints differ concerning the limit between, on the one hand, "language" and, on the other hand, "narrative" and "universe of discourse". I do not agree with Cassirer to the extent of believing that narrative composition and the "level of content" should be integrated into the domain of style. It is obvious that the concepts and images of the implied universe referred to in linguistic communication are arranged in certain ways chosen by the interlocutors or the authors, but this arrangement ought to be given the label "narrative" or "literary" "style". The main reason for this is that, if you claim that style is form, then you have to answer the question: form of what? The basic notions here are "substance" and "form". In linguistic communication, when you are talking about something, you refer to a (factual of fictional) universe of discourse, and in your representation of the universe (conceived as "substance") you give it a special kind of "form", a "form" which may be called the "style" of the representation. Furthermore, if you render a narrative (factual or fictional) in the actual universe, you may say that the "form" becomes the "substance" of the narrative, and that the narrative represents a new "form" based on this. In these deeper levels of "substance" and "form", where the "form" of one level is the "substance" of the next, the specific levels of "form" create what I would prefer to call "representional", "narrative" or "literary" "style", and on the next levels on the way to the "surface" of language they are the "substance" of linguistic form and style, i.e. the levels mentioned above: aspect, explication and grammatical form. In my view, then, the proper use of the term style applies to linguistic form only, and what I am concerned with here are the three phenomena last mentioned, and not the deeper levels of "literary style". Much of the indeterminacy in the theoretical concepts involved here is a consequence of the vague denotation of the concept of form, which has been much blurred since it was clarified by Aristotle.
What characterizes H. C. Andersen's style in the fairy tales on the level of words and sentences is a kind of "childish" or "naive" language (cf. Albeck 1939:107) corresponding with the "naive" universes and aspects chosen, and I want to discuss this within the traditional categories of tropes, stylistic figures, words and syntax (id.: 114, 204). I will not attempt a profound analysis of H. C. Andersen's style but will confine myself to the stylistic features relevant to the text "Historien om en Moder" and two corresponding Swedish translations of it. Apart from the basic metaphors and symbols of the text, more salient features can be said to be: animisms and hyperboles in the area of tropes; anaphora and epistrophes in the area of stylistic figures; many adjectives, adjectives as predicatives and emphasizing adverbs when we look at the choice of words; and polysyndeton, asyndeton, anacoluthon, parataxis, inversion and parenthesis at the level of syntax.
The objective occurrence in H. C. Andersen's texts of for example polysyndeton, which is also a feature typical of people with limited writing competence, raises the general question of the quality of a specific style. As a consequence of the idea of style discussed above, the quality of style should be assessed as a function of the extent to which it corresponds to the other elements of the text, in literary texts primarily the motif, in general texts the universe of the text, and, furthermore, other influential factors such as the discourse it refers to (situational or contextual) and the addressees.
Concerning H. C. Andersen, a feature like polysyndeton cannot be regarded as a stylistic flaw because it seems reasonable to see it as an element of both the writer's spontaneous way of expressing himself and of fairy tales which are told and written for children. On the contrary, a kind of naive style at the grammatical level corresponds with the naive aspect, universe and narrative technique of many of his texts. This integrated naivety in its turn establishes a kind of antithetic relation to the often quite serious motifs and underlines them in this particular way. What is difficult in translation is to transform this unique stylistic balance addressed to two audiences without disturbing (or destroying) it.
In the case of "Historien om en Moder" the task is especially difficult because of the sensitive motif: the love of a mother for her dying child. The number of risks here are evident but some of the major ones are the possibilities of sentimentalizing the story through stylistic changes (rendering it harmless and adapted to children) or making it brutal (depriving it of the naive elements, leaving a naked tragedy). When the source and target languages are closely related, like Danish and Swedish, the problems are not necessarily fewer. With concordant linguistic and cultural features a translation can be expected to be much more accurate, the demands for qualified translations higher, and the translational flaws more striking. Some aspects of this problem will be investigated below.
Texts and Versions
The original version of "Historien om en Moder" was published in 1848 and this (or the 1850 edition) is presumably the source text of the Swedish version of 1850 (or 1855, cf. below). As source language text I have used the version in Samlede Eventyr og Historier, vol. I, København 1972 (Gyldendals Tranebøger), pp. 407-12 (which is a reprint of the Hans Brix & Anker Jensen critical edition Eventyr og Historier 1919), and I have checked this version against the 1855 edition in Samlede Skrifter (vol. 20, part II, pp. 195-201) and the Erik Dal critical edition (1964) of the 1848 text. Some minor differences have been found but none which influenced the stylistic elements analyzed here. I have also examined the text in my own copy of H. C. Andersen's Eventyr og Historier. Folkeudgave, Kjøbenhavn 1881, pp. 386-91, which displays some more salient differences, but, in general, the differences recorded in the texts are primarily of orthographical and grammatical interest.
There are a number of Swedish 19th-century versions of "Historien om en Moder" and they are based on different translations. According to Møller (1967) a translation was published as early as 1848, but the two Swedish versions that I am concerned with were both published in the 1870s. One of them is the version in Sagor och berättelser af Hans Kristian Andersen, 1877, Första delen, pp. 392-98, translated by Karl Johan Backman, with the same title as the Danish text (the source edition of this translation is presumably the text in Samlede Skrifter), and the other appeared in the Danish edition Historien om en Moder i femten sprog, 1875, pp. 7-12, here appearing with the title En moder. According to its Bibliographical Notes it was rendered from Samlade Sagor, 5te upplagan 1874, pp. 473-80, in which it had the title "Berättelse om en moder", but the first edition of this version goes back to 1850 (according to the copy that I have checked; in Møller (1967) it is recorded as having been published in 1855), pp. 487-94, so the source edition cannot have been that of Samlede Skrifter and there is no information about the translation. As it was brought out in a new edition in 1874 the language of this version was apparently still considered adequate, and most of the differences between this and Backman's translation are not instances of linguistic development but of translation quality. In connection with their Danish source language versions mentioned above, the texts display a language and style that is characteristic of mid- and late 19th century Danish and Swedish, and this uniting factor forms the basis for investigating both the cross-language (Danish-Swedish) and the internal language (Swedish) differences in style.
Categories of style translation
According to the idea of style in this context, and because of their limited application to translation, the categories here will be confined to those concerning the grammatical level of the texts.
As a starting point one might assume four different types of stylistic translation: a direct inter-language translation with neutral stylistic value; a reduction of style from the H. C. Andersen characteristics to a more straightforward target language; a translation of H. C. Andersen style to a target language reflecting H. C. Andersen's style; and a category of errors. In practice one more category appears: viz., a creation of stylistic elements in the target language that can hardly be interpreted as anything but an attempt on the part of the translator to write in the same style as H. C. Andersen. Consequently the categories of stylistic expression will be five in number, mirroring both the different grammatical structures of the languages and the choices of the translator:
|(1)||Danish||=>||Swedish (neutral style)|
|(2)||H. C. Andersen style||=>||Swedish|
|(3)||H. C. Andersen style||=>||H. C. Andersen style|
|(4)||Danish||=>||H. C. Andersen style|
Category (1) is the translation of neutral or conventional style, and it is only negatively defined, as expressions not belonging to the other categories. Thus the scope of the category is quite broad and covers the largest part of the texts. Category (2) is a translation of H. C. Andersen's style, characteristic of lesser or greater parts of his works or of this text, levelled to a neutral or conventional style, while (3) is the stylistic transformation into the target language of the very features specific for H. C. Andersen. Categories (4) and (5) reflect the area of possible and actual defects, (4) being the record of stylistic expressions of the translated text otherwise found in H. C. Andersen's works but not found in this source text, or expressions having affinity with H. C. Andersen's style.
While the second category may be effected by linguistic structures, by lack of competence as well as cultural differences, and the fifth category by ignorance or misconception, it is hard not to see Category (4) as a deliberate effort and ambition to become the co-author of the text. There is nothing wrong per se with such measures; the vocation of translation has traditionally been neglected and the pleasure of feeling engaged in the universe and language of an author may compensate the translator for the negligence of the public, but there is no grey area here. As well as furnishing the target language text with creative formulations, which may provide it with an adequate transformation conveying the desirable impression to the foreign language reader, a persistent risk is the disturbance of stylistic balance in the source language text. In contrast to the experiments of style in Category (4), which may succeed or not, it is the appropriate translation of expressions in the third category that is characteristic of the balanced target language version, and consequently, the focus of this analysis will be on Categories (2), (3), and (4). I will try to map out some of the structural difficulties, the choices made, and the results achieved.
As mentioned above, Category (2), H. C. Andersen style => Swedish, is the reduction of H. C. Andersen style to neutral or conventional style and one of the reasons for such transformation is the structural differences between the two languages. In (1), the change from the Danish use of the perfect participle, with the auxiliary have, to the copula construction, with an inflected perfect participle as a predicative, in the (1875) Swedish version seems to be effected by this obligatory connection in Swedish and the consequently higher frequency of inflected perfect participles in this language:(1)
De smaa Øine havde lukket sig (HCA:407)
de små ögonen hade slutit sig (Backm:393)
de små ögonen voro tillslutna (1875:7)
The result is a stylistic change, because the naive animism in describing the child's eyes as independent creatures (by using the reflexive pronoun sig) is suspended. In addition, the more original expressions of H. C. Andersen may be candidates for a levelling out of the style as it is displayed in (2):(2)
og naar saa Døden kommer, jeg venter ham før jeg veed det
och när så döden kommer, jag väntar honom när som helst
och när döden kommer, ty jag väntar honom i hvarje ögonblick
The expression jeg venter ham før jeg veed det is in itself contradictory and is justified by the naive aspect. The two Swedish translations have grasped the basic sense of the sentence but neither of them has kept the illogical naivety of the Danish version, and in this way they have cancelled the broader sense of før jeg veed det, namely that Death (always) comes unexpectedly.
A more subtle competence is demanded in translation into the target language of the style characteristic of H. C. Andersen, giving it the same value as it has in the source language, a transformation belonging to Category (3) H. C. Andersen style => H. C. Andersen style in this account. Not all instances are particularly challenging, but some delicate handling is displayed in the transformation of the vil of (HCA) in (3):(3)
han er barmhjertig og det vil Du ogsaa være! (HCA:409)
han är barmhertig, och det skall du också vara (Backm:395)
Han är barmhertig, och det vill du också säkert [*] vara
* Dalin: SÄKERT, adv. 1) På ett säkert sätt... 2) Med visshet...
Han kommer s. – Syn. Säkerligen, Visst, Bestämdt.
The normal semantics of vil (when not used as a future tense marker) ascribes the property of volition to somebody, and the only one who can justifiably do so is oneself. Therefore the phrase du vil is (not used in quotation) either meaningless, or is used as a paraphrase ("I want you to") or has a mixed extended meaning of entailment and appeal in this context meaning: he is merciful, then you will also (want to) be merciful. A direct transfer into Swedish of this complex meaning seems not to have been acceptable to the translators and the results differ somewhat. (Backm) chooses the Swedish skall and achieves a parallel expression, because mercy not only implies a certain kind of act but also a certain state of mind and therefore cannot normally be combined with "you shall". The (1875) text inserts säkert in combination with vill and in this way yields a Swedish expression very close to the Danish meaning.
The focus of this account highlights only the features of the texts here belonging to Category (4) Danish => H. C. Andersen style, which requires the translator to be a kind of co-author in the target language. In this area there are a number of examples, mainly concentrated in the (1875) text. Some of the instances are quite trivial, and display an extended use of stylistic elements that seem to me to give a touch of sentimentality to the text, a phenomenom that is quite common in the Swedish (1875) version, and, as an instance of this, we find in (4) a substitution of a verb with an empathic verbal expression:(4)
vor Herre vil ikke tage ham fra mig! (HCA:407)
Vår herre vill inte taga honom ifrån mig (Backm:394)
Vår Herre näns icke taga honom ifrån mig (1875:7)
But one of the characteristics of H. C. Andersen's style is (cf. also below) the iteration of words in more or less the same forms, as a way of emphasizing the naive, oral narrative, and this feature is also adopted in the (1875) translation, where it is not found in the original text as displayed in (5) concerning tre and in (6) concerning perlor:(5)
hendes Hoved blev saa tungt, i tre Nætter og Dage havde hun(6)
Hennes hufvud blef så tungt; på tre nätter och dagar hade hon
Hennes hufvud blef så tungt: på tre nätter och tre dagar hade hon (1875:7)
Jeg holder af at samle paa Perler og dine Øine ere de to klareste jeg har seet (HCA:409)
Jag tycker om att samla perlor, och dina ögon äro de två klaraste jag sett (Backm:395)
Jag tycker om att samla perlor, och dina ögon äro de två klaraste perlor jag någonsin sett (1875:9)
In (6) this kind of stylistic expansion is heavily exploited and is further underlined also by the additional insertion of någonsin, and it seems to be a general feature of the (1875) version that it uses textual expansion as a means of semantic limitation. The expression utropade in (7) of the (1875) version does not quite cover the Danish word sagde but they both apply to oral behaviour, and, while "say" has no modal specification and therefore has a broader sense, the intentional meaning of "cry" (not weeping) is fairly restricted. As the emotional mode of crying is not reached before the ending of the story, this Swedish choice seems to be unjustified.(7)
sagde den forgrædte Moder (HCA:409)
sade den förgråtna modern (Backm:395)
utropade den förgråtna modern (1875:9)
A case of a similar kind is found in (8), where the more modest hun is replaced by a stronger expression in the (1875) Swedish text:(8)
sagde hun (HCA:410)
sade hon (Backm:396)
sade den sörjande (1875:10)
As can be found in many of H. C. Andersen's texts, and, for example, in (2) above, the writer has a habit of using basically contradictory expressions to emphasize the quantity of something, especially the enormous dimensions of entities from a child's point of view. Thus it frequently appears in his texts that, through the use of the superlative, something is assigned a property that it cannot possibly have. This is not the case in the Danish version in (9) but it is in the Swedish translation of (1875):(9)
hun følte at det var koldere end den kolde Vind (HCA:410)
hon kände att det var kallare än den kalla vinden (Backm:397)
hon kände, att det var kallare än den kallaste vind (1875:11)
Under normal circumstances the coldest experience possible is the result of the coldest wind, and therefore the mother should not be able to feel anything colder. As a metaphor it makes sense, and thus also in (1875) is the expression kallaste (but that is a creation of the translator). No one will ever know if H. C. Andersen would have approved this Swedish version but it seems to be a case of exaggeration in pursuing the perceived message of the source text. The occurrence of such stylistic features in other H. C. Andersen texts does not seem to justify their application in the translation of a text with a very fragile linguistic coining of a sensitive motif. The same can be said of the inserted anadiplosis in the (1875) version in (10):(10)
hvor jeg beder imod din Villie, som er den bedste! (HCA:412)
om jag beder mot din vilja, som är den bästa! (Backm:398)
om jag beder mot din vilja! Din vilja är den bästa! (1875:12)
The repetition of din vilja offers no obvious improvement to the text but rather opposes the description of the attitude of the mother at this stage of the story: viz., a quiet acceptance of God's decision. One might wonder what motivated such translational choices. The impression we receive is, nevertheless, of a kind of carelessness concerning the exact linguistic expressions. The translator might have formed an image of the content of the sentences and then written down his intuitive formulation in Swedish, with some clear influences from Danish word forms. This view may be supported by the instances in (11) of unmotivated insertion and lack of accuracy:(11)
Og Døden gik med hendes Barn ind i det ubekjendte Land
Och döden gick med hennes barn in i det okända landet
(Backm:398) (id:397: obekanta)
Och döden gick med hennes lilla barn in i det obekanta [*] landet (1875: 12)
* Dalin: OBEKANT (primarily about persons; if not then with the prep. med, e.g.: obekant med vägen)
ODS: ubekendt (the same restrictions do not seem to apply to Danish).
The inserted lilla is in parallel with other examples in (1875) of a stressed sentimental mood, but the direct translation of Danish ubekjendt with Swedish obekant is not in accord with normal usage in the two languages, as illustrated in the quotations from the dictionaries. Apparently the Danish word has been imitated pretty uncritically in Swedish, and there is further evidence of Danish influence in the word forms, e.g. Der satt (p. 7) and betyde (ibid.), so it might be reasonable to assume careless handling in the translation of the details.
The ambition of imitating H. C. Andersens style is not limited to the (1875) Swedish text but seems to have been expressed at some instances in the (Backm) version:(12)
men de har Hjerte-Slag; Barnehjerte kan ogsaa banke! gaa efter det (HCA:409)
men de ha klappande hjertan; barnehjertan kunna också klappa; gå efter klappningen (Backm:396)
men de ha hjertan som slå. Barnahjertan kunna också klappa. Följ denna anvisning (1875:10)
The different derivations of the lexeme klapp offer an instance of what Albeck (1939:170) calls a "polyptoton", i.e. repetition of the same word in different forms, and it is sometimes used by H. C. Andersen, apparently motivated by the wish to reproduce a "childish" narrative. The Swedish vocabulary does not prevent a variation of the words as that of (HCA), and in this case the choice of the word forms seems to be deliberate. The result does not improve the text, as in this specific context the subjects having a heartbeat are the flowers in the great greenhouse of Death. The repetition of the word may give the impression that the flowers in fact do have the property of a heartbeat in a concrete sense (and maybe a heart as well), and the image of the flowers as a metaphor for human beings is deprived of some of its authenticity. Some of the Danish variation is reflected in (1875) but when, in this version, the statement is summed up as an instruction, the prescript is formulated as in a manual, a solution that makes a very clumsy impression on a native Swede.
These last examples are on the borderline of the final category: Category (5) Errors. As no one is perfect, errors are bound to occur, but within the scope of languages as closely related as Danish and Swedish, and given the fact that literature normally uses the words of ordinary language, it might be expected that palpable defects could have been avoided. Some of the candidates for mistakes are ordinary language words that are bound to special situation or contexts, and, furthermore, if they are quasi-homonyms, they offer constant traps for the translators. In (13) the Danish Iisslag has a meaning different from that of the corresponding Swedish word and therefore the (1875) transfer of the word is by itself implausible, but the (Backm) version of isflingor is also unsatisfactory, as it means small flakes of ice which must be imagined to hang down from the branches:(13)
og der hang Iisslag paa Grenene (HCA:408)
och isflingor [*] hängde på grenarna (Backm:394)
och det hängde isslagg [*] på alla grenar (1875:8)
* Dalin: ISFLINGA, f. 1. Helt litet, tunt och smalt isstycke. ISSLAGG, m. sing. Se snöglopp. SNÖGLOPP, n. 5. Regnblandad snö som faller.
ODS: Isslag, et, ... regnagtig nedbør, der fryser til et tyndt islag; ogs. om det saaledes fremkomne islag ...
These different translations may be considered of minor importance but, if one interprets the expression in connection with the description of the time of year at the beginning of the story, then the cold, winter and the ice can be understood as metaphors for Death, who encapsulates life, and, in this way, the exact Danish sense of the word Iisslag is of significance: viz., as ice enclosing the branches of the trees. Not all errors are the result of sheer misconception or ignorance, some may be due to a misinterpretation of greater or lesser parts of the motif in the text. Thus in (14) the translation of the last word into the (1875) version indicates a significant interpretative change:(14)
Blomster og Træer ... i den store Paradisets Have ..., men hvorledes de der groe (HCA:411)
blommor och träd ... i paradisets stora trädgård ...; men huru de växa der (Backm:397)
blommor och träd ... i den stora paradisträdgården ...; men huru de der fortlefva (1875:11)
In this context it is a consequence of the metaphor of the flowers representing human beings that when they die they are replanted in the Garden of Eden and there they will "grow"; the way in which they grow is explicitly unspecified. It is therefore a misjudgement within the universe of the story to propose a specification, as is done in (1875), in which the flowers are supposed to "go on living", a phrase implying the concept of eternal life for human beings. The introduction of this aspect may effect the interpretation of greater parts of the end of the story; the balance between certainty and uncertainty is carefully clarified by H. C. Andersen and a small linguistic adjustment like this is a salient instance of the damage translators can do to texts.
According to Westman (1983:165), it may reasonably be assumed that Strindberg's style was influenced when he translated some of H. C. Andersen's texts. If it is true that such indirect influence can be demonstrated, then the common opinion that translators to a certain extent adopt the language of their authors is not far from the facts. However, it may be said that there are different ways of taking over a source language, and one option is to transform the language into a proper shape in the target language and to use an element of creativity to render the same balance between the linguistic form and the deeper levels of the text as is found in the original text. Another possibility is to make a translation that breaks this balance, and one way of doing this is the imitation of an author's style in places where it is not found in the source text, yielding a creation of an inauthentic kind of style in the target language. In this account I have examined some of the examples found in translations of H. C. Andersen into Swedish and have perhaps contributed to the image of translation as a very difficult task.
(HCA): H. C. Andersen: "Historien om en Moder", in Samlede Eventyr og Historier, København 1972 (Gyldendals Tranebøger), Bind I pp. 407-12 (reprint of the Hans Brix & Anker Jensen edition Eventyr og Historier, 1919).
For reference has been used H. C. Andersen: Eventyr og Historier. Folkeudgave, Kjøbenhavn: C. A. Reitzels Forlag 1881, Første Bind pp. 386-91.
(Backm): Karl Johan Backman: "Historien om en moder", in Sagor och Berättelser af Hans Kristian Andersen, öfversättning från danskan af Karl Johan Backman, Stockholm: Hjalmar Linnströms Förlag 1877, Førsta Delen pp. 393-98.
(1875): Anonymous: "En moder", in Hans Christian Andersen, Historien om en Moder i femten Sprog, Kjøbenhavn: C. A. Reitzel (London, Leipzig) 1875, pp. 7-12; rendered from H. C. Andersen Samlade Sagor, 5te Upplagan, Stockholm 1874 pp. 473-80. (First edition Stockholm: J. J. Flodins Förlag 1850: "Berättelse om en moder" pp. 87-494.)
Dalin: Ordbok öfver Svenska Språket, af A. F. Dalin, 1850-55.
ODS: Ordbog over det Danske Sprog, bind 1-28, 1918-56.
Albeck, U. 1939:Dansk Stilistik. København: Gyldendal.
Cassirer, P. 1970: Deskriptiv stilistik. Acta Universitas Gothoburgensia: Nordistica Gothoburgensia 4. Göteborg: Almquist & Wiksell.
Cassirer, P. 1986: Stilistik & stilanalys. Stockholm: Biblioteksförlaget.
Enkvist, N. E. 1964: "On Defining Style". In J. Spencer, Linguistics and Style. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Götzsche, H. 1991: "On the Logic and Syntax of Numerals in Danish and Swedish". In: H. A. Sigurdsson (ed.) Papers from the Twelfth Scandinavian Conference of Linguistics, Reykjavik 1990. Reykjavik: Linguistics Institute, University of Iceland.
Møller, S. J. 1967: Bidrag til H. C. Andersens Bibliografi, vol. I. København: Det Kongelige Bibliotek.
Newmark, P. 1982: Approaches to Translation. Oxford: Pergamon Press.
Westman, M. 1983: "När Strindberg översatte H. C. Andersen". In: G. Engwall & R. af Geijerstam (eds.) Från språk till språk. Lund: Studentlitteratur.