Reading The Allusions in Terry Pratchett’s Wyrd Sisters and its Turkish Translation Through the Lens of Intertextuality

Çelik K.

Çeviribilim ve Uygulamaları, no.34, pp.74-88, 2023 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Journal Name: Çeviribilim ve Uygulamaları
  • Journal Indexes: TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.74-88
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


In this study, the intertextual allusions in the fantasy novel Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett were classified, and their Turkish translations by Niran Elçi were analysed descriptively. As the name of the book signals with its similarity to the “Weird Sisters” or “Three Witches” in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, it includes several intertextual references, including but not limited to Shakespeare’s works. In order to exemplify these intertextual references, six intertextual allusions detected in the source text were first analysed in terms of their forms according to Ritva Leppihalme’s (1997) categorization of allusions. Then they were classified as being implicit or explicit intertextual references based on the intertextuality theory suggested by Michael Riffaterre (1978). Following the classification of the intertextual allusions in the source text, translation strategies employed in the Turkish translation of the text were analysed in line with the strategies suggested by Leppihalme (1997). As a result of this study, it was found that three of the intertextual allusions are key phrases, and three of them are proper nouns. As proper nouns include the name of the intertextual reference explicitly, they are all examples of obligatory intertextuality. On the other hand, the key phrases in the source text are implicit intertextual references. For this reason, they exemplify ordinary intertextuality based on Riffaterre’s (1978) intertextuality theory. The comparative analysis reveals that the translator utilized a variety of translation strategies to render important phrases and proper nouns. In the translation of the key phrases, “minimum change or literal translation” is the most commonly used strategy; however, in translating the proper nouns, the translator has used three different strategies which are “using the name, adding detailed information”, “using the name with some guidance” and “replacement by another source language name”. Intertextual allusions have significant roles in completing the meaning universe of a text. This study shows that grasping the explicit or implicit allusions in the translation process contributes a great deal not only to the choice of the translation strategy but also to the transfer of the meaning universe.