Antoine Galland's The Arabian Nights

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Arabian Nights or The Thousand and One Nights, is a storytelling book and is known to the English world as “Alf Layla wa-Layla”. Arabian Nights has been first introduced to the West in 1704 by Antoine Galland who was a French Orientalist and a diplomat. Galland followed a “free-translation” and obsessed the French audience in his time (Shamma 53). Galland’s translation was followed by other three English translations; Edward William Lane’s in 1838, he was the first who translated in English the Arabian Nights straight from Arabian, John Payne’s in 1882-1884, and Richards Francis Burton’s in 1885-1886. Alf Layla wa-Layla has been written in Middle Arabic, thus, there are a lot of problems that a translator have to face. First of all there is no-punctuation; a sentence may continue without a comma or a full stop, in the same…show more content…
Galland’s translation of the Nights include additional inside information that do not exist in the original text and are considered to be Galland’s whims (Irwin 16). A Galland’ aim of translating the Nights was not to translate it accurately as it was, but to salvage from it elements which could delighted the French world of his time, thus the exotic form of the Nights was sound of (Irwin 19). In antithesis with Lane, Galland was not utmost. He did not translate most of the poetry in Nights and did not import glosses explanations (Irwin 19). Schacker-Mill says in “Otherness and Otherworldliness” (167), “Galland’s version is anything but a literal translation of a single text”. Galland’s translation could be characterized as domesticating. Galland translated text in French was named Les Mille et une nuits. Galland thought of Les Mille et une nuits to be an educational text – which continued the work of the Bibliothéque orientale – in teaching his compatriots about the manners and the customs of the Arab people (Irwin

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