M2: Unit 2: Chapter 6 – Q6.4 Answer

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Droogstoppel addresses the woman as Juffrouw, following Siebenhaar. He attaches a singularly unhelpful translator’s footnote that merely sends the reader back to an earlier footnote. The earlier note explains the social significance of the term Juffrouw.Droogstoppel’s use of it clearly illustrates the way he positions himself socially as superior to the woman he is addressing. Like Siebenhaar therefore he stresses the Dutchness of the situation and the language used by the characters. He is is more than Siebenhaar prepared to disrupt the narrative to offer explanatory interventions.

In Edwards’s sentence <31>, after the boy has queried Droogstoppel’s use of Juffrouw, Droogstoppel reflects that his wife, although infinitely better than the women he is talking to, is still called Juffrouw and not Mevrouw, the form apparently expressive of high social rank. The social differentiation indicated by the terms is clear enough. But note the differences between the three translations:

  • Nahuijs 1868 plays out the terminology issue in English entirely, using only one term (sentence <26> ‘My wife is not Madam and ought I to call this creature Madam?’) and again downplaying the Dutchness of the scene;
  • Siebenhaar 1927 (sentence <32> ‘my wife is ‘Juffrouw’ and yet was I to say Madamto this woman’) keeps Juffrouw in Dutch but mixes up his languages by speaking ofMadam;
  • Edwards 1967, sentence <31> keeps both relevant Dutch words on board, avoiding Siebenhaar’s inconsistency and stressing the Dutchness of it all.

Perhaps we can begin to hypothesize that Edwards is keen to produce a version that keeps close company with the original?