M2: Unit 2: Chapter 5 – Q5.3 Answer

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One difference presumably is that in Nahuijs’s version Drystubble’s opening question sounds even more blunt than in Siebenhaar’s.

Siebenhaar’s use of ‘Juffrouw’ however is interesting. It is clearly a non-English word and thus serves as a reminder that the novel is set in Amsterdam and that the characters are meant to be Dutch and to be speaking in Dutch.

The issue resurfaces later in the passage, when Drystubble again addresses Shawlman’s wife as ‘Juffrouw’ in sentence <23> and the boy queries the word in sentence <26>. Drystubble then reflects in sentence <32> that his own wife, in their superior social class, is also called ‘Juffrouw’ and that therefore the – presumably more elevated – alternative ‘Madam’ is not called for in the present situation.

Note that Nahuijs keeps the word ‘Juffrouw’ out of his text altogether by having Drystubble address the wife as “my good woman” in sentence <18>.

In devising different solutions for this form of address both translators preserve the aspect of social differentiation but Siebenhaar emphatically locates his narrative in a Dutch context. This chimes with the way he covered the use of ‘you’ by reminding the reader that the characters in the novel are in fact using a language other than English. Now go on to the next question.