Final Considerations

To finalize this addition to the article we published in 2019, we would like to give some further insights about the English in the three available books of the series in English, with a reminder that Manolito aged 2 years in the English version because they considered that a boy of his characteristics would be 10 years old instead of 8. In the first book translated by Joanne Moriarty, it is the several omissions that catch our attention in the analysis, whereas is Carolina Travalia’s translations of the other two books, it is the additions that jumped from the page at first sight as general strategies.

For instance, Carolina adds the injection ‘man’ to give Manolito’s speech a stronger oral component and ends the third book in a sentence with a reference to a new role 333999999999999999in Manolito’s life: hero, which is absent in the source text. In her article about the process of translating Manolito’s books, she expands on the heavy editorial influence on her choices, so we can assume that this was one of these editorial parameters. The most blatant omission in the first book is the absence of Elvira Lindo’s note at the end of the first book of the series, in which she asks the readers to be patient with Manolito’s grammatical errors. She adds that she hopes he will learn to write a bit better with further schooling but that the editors and herself decided to be faithful to Manolito’s literary personality/identity. The absence of this note may have had a significant impact on the way the book has been received and popularized. Travalia tries to keep and maintain the voice of some characters. For instance, Yihad writes to Manolito and in the address of the title, he writes ‘Fore eyes.’

As Harrington-Fernández and I noticed in the analysis of the translation of the first book, there is a marked tendency to avoid political incorrectness. For instance, when ‘Japanese’ and ‘Chinese walk’ are translated as ‘Martians’ and ‘penguin walk;’ or when ‘gorda’ is translated as ‘broad.’ The considerable number of insults throughout the books makes it difficult to always use omission, and Moriarty offers ‘mariquita’ as ‘girl/wimp,’ ‘pardillo’ as ‘nitwit,’ ‘atontao’ as ‘spaceshot’ and ‘hortera’ as ‘cheeseball.’ Travalia tried to push the boundaries imposed on the children’s literary text a bit further but she was faced with certain legacies, such as the eradication of physical violence by parents, as in when ‘me cogió de la oreja’ or ‘me dio un tortazo’ get attenuated by ‘to chew’ and ‘to yell at someone’ or omitted as when Catalina slaps Manolito in the face and the scene with this ‘bofetón’ gets omitted. Another legacy that the book series inherits from the first translated version in English is the marked absence of alcohol at times or references to alcoholism and in Travalia’s version we see ‘vermú’ changed into ‘Saturday morning coffee.’ There are also references attenuated or omitted in relation to the topic of death that are blatantly depicted in the films.


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AVT in the English versions of the Manolito Gafotas Films Copyright © 2023 by Pilar Alderete Diez is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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