Orhan Pamuk's huzun in English and French

Ece A. F.

PERSPECTIVES-STUDIES IN TRANSLATOLOGY, vol.18, no.4, pp.297-306, 2010 (AHCI) identifier identifier


The Nobel laureate writer Orhan Pamuk traces the melancholic soul of his native city in his autobiographical book entitled Istanbul:Memories of a city, which was published in Turkish in 2003. The English and French translations of the book were published in 2005 and 2007, respectively. To understand 'huzun' as a communal feeling experienced by the inhabitants of the city, Pamuk discusses how it differs from 'melancholy' and 'tristesse'. The three words - 'huzun', 'melankoli' and 'tristesse' - first come together to depict the characteristics of 'huzun' in Turkish and then they travel to both English and French in order to recreate this particular feeling for new groups of readers. The aim of this study is to explore the inner dynamics of the interlingual travels these three words, particularly 'huzun', have accomplished in the skillful hands of the translators following Gideon Toury's approach to the process of translation and Theo Hermans' understanding of translation as a social phenomenon. The analysis of these interlingual travels from Turkish into these languages reveals that a Turkish word made its way into English and French for the readers of Orhan Pamuk thanks to the translators.