The Editor and Translator's Passionate Embrace: Cultural and Linguistic Alterations in Translated Harlequin Category Romance Novels

Radboud University
Publication year

Here's the English version of the abstract:

Harlequin is the dominant publishing house for romance novels. Their success demands examination of their publishing, editing and translation methods to try and discern a reason for their transcultural appeal. In this thesis, three Harlequin category romance novels and their Dutch translated counterparts are analysed and compared to reveal differences and discrepancies in the translated versions. The title, cover design, blurb and first and last pages for the paratext are examined. With the text several elements such as linguistics, descriptions, character development and the love scenes are also examined. Looking at the original versions, Dutch texts and then translating these back to English to reveal cuts and changes, the focus then lies more toward answering whether the editor or translator is responsible for these alterations. This to answer the research question whether linguistics, cultural elements or target readership have played a part in the changes present in the translated versions.


this thesis will answer the following question: in what way does culture, linguistics and target readership play a role in the translation and alteration of original English Harlequin category romance text and paratext to the Dutch version of the same novel?

To clarify these three elements, culture should be interpreted in the broadest sense of the word, not only as the culture found in the original English text but also as that of the country and language it is translated to and of the translator and editor. Linguistics refers to the tone, style and phrasing used by the translators and/or editors in comparison to the original version. Target readership involves what the readers of Harlequin novels like and want in a novel. (4)