The translator’s preface as a paratextual device in Malay-English literary translations

Haslina Haroon


In the context of Malaysia, research in the field of Translation Studies has traditionally focused on the analysis of texts, which often involves a comparison between source texts and their translations. Very little attention is given to the area of the analysis of paratexts, which is not surprising considering that paratexts exist only on the periphery of the text and are therefore thought to be less important. Given the paucity of research in this area, this preliminary study focuses on one type of paratext, which is the translator’s preface. More specifically, the aim of this study is to examine the form and content of these introductory notes in translations published in Malaysia and to discuss the functions served by the contents of these notes. For this purpose, translators’ prefaces from translations published in Malaysia were collected and examined. The discussion in this paper focuses on the content and functions of the prefaces. It is argued that the translator’s preface plays an important role not only in facilitating the reception of the translated text by providing vital information to the readers, but also in making the translator visible and his/her voice heard.


paratext, translated text, translator’s preface, translator’s note, visibility

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