Translating non-fiction picturebooks for children across age groups and languages: the case of informative books on geography in English and Italian


  • Silvia Masi University of Pisa


ABSTRACT: The present study explores the role of multimodality in the intralingual and interlingual mediation of a small parallel English-Italian corpus of non-fictional picturebooks on geography addressed to children of different age groups. It proposes a qualitative analysis that builds on preceding research on travel guidebooks for children (Cappelli and Masi, 2019), and integrates different approaches, viz. Painter et al. (2013), Moya-Guijarro (2014), and Goga (2020). The intralingual investigation showed that verbal and visual strategies were co-deployed differently depending on the age of the target readership, while the analysis of the Italian translations confirmed the main findings of previous research, e.g. the preference for a less direct verbal address, a more formal style, a higher degree of specification in the lexical choices, along with other linguistic strategies and trends that inevitably altered the word-image configuration of the original source texts. The ultimate goal of the article is indeed to contribute to the development of an intersemiotic analytical framework to raise awareness of subtleties in these and similar types of ever more popular and highly multimodal non-fiction for children, to be applied in pedagogy and in pre-translational text analysis.

KEYWORDS: Translation, Non-fiction Picturebooks for Children, Multimodality, Mediation