Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in the Arabic Culture

Abeer Abdulaziz AL-Sarrani


The article investigates several Arabic translations of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Framed by Warren Weaver’s book Alice in Many Tongues, the article locates the five problematic aspects which are: the parodied verses, the puns, the nonsense words, the jokes that involve logic, and Carroll’s twist of meaning.Through a critical comparative reading and analysis of Carroll’s original work, The Nursery Alice, and the different Arabic translations, the article illustrates how some cultural and linguistic constraints in the Arab world have prevented a faithful translation of Carroll’s work and thus limiting it to a solely plot-oriented one. With reference to selected examples from Carroll’s work, the article ends up with giving some suggested solutions for these five problematic translation areas.

Keywords: Cross-Cultural Literary Translation, Cultural Studies, Arab Children’s Literature, Censorship 

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AL-Naggar, I. (2002). “The Problematic Areas in Literary Translation.” Translation Directory: 88-122.

Carroll, L. (1992). Alice’sAdventuresinWonderland. 1865. Ed. Donald J. Gray. 2nd Ed. New York: Norton & Company.

---. (2010). The Nursery Alice. 1890. London: Macmillan Children's Books.

---. (2001). Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Trans. Amirah Qeewan. Lebanon: Dar Albihar

---. (2005). The Nursery Alice. Trans. Maya Salman. Lebanon: Dar Moualef.

Tigges, W. (1988). An Anatomy of Literary Nonsense. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Weaver, W. (1964). Alice in Many Tongues. Madison: Wisconsin UP.


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International Journal of Comparative Literature and Translation Studies

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