The Berlin Poplars a Translation


Lene Johnson

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




This thesis is a translation of a section of Anne Birkeland Ragde's Berlinerpoplene, or The Berlin Poplars, a contemporary Norwegian novel about how' family dynamics shape and haunt following generations. The narrative alternates between three brothers and reflects how each of them experiences and deals (consciously or not) with feelings of belonging, alienation, and isolation. The Berlin Poplars is a strong novel: the character development and the interpersonal dynamics are rich, and Ragde presents her very flawed protagonists in a dark, brutally honest, yet humane manner. Furthermore, the novel strongly reflects Norway and traditional Norwegian culture.

The complexity of the characters and its typical Norwegian qualities make The Berlin Poplars a significant work worthy of translation, as do the translation challenges involved. These challenges pertain to terminology as well as nuances of narrative voice and pacing. The introductory essay accompanying the translation provides a more detailed discussion of the translation challenges encountered while translating a section of The Berlin Poplars.

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