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In this paper, the author presents and compares the different Hungarian translations of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. The first, 1887 translation of the novel – a scandalously bad, abridged text, completely unworthy of Tolstoy, made on the basis of the German translation – rightly provoked rage among contemporary critics and readers. At the beginning of the 20th century, the translation of the novel was undertaken by Dezső Ambrozovics and then by a group of four translators, but the real breakthrough came with the 1951 translation by László Németh, which was a nice and accurate translation of Anna Karenina, and worthy of its author. In the course of time, several editions of the translation made by László Németh were published, yet the editors “provided some clarifications” throughout the text with the intention of correcting it. The author of the present paper also gives some examples of the misunderstandings and errors of translation which were produced in the text due to the lack of proper knowledge of Russian culture.

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Though rarely made a subject of study, methods of literary translation may well reveal a great deal about the cultures in which they are practiced. In the case of the English canon, the prevalence of domesticating translation can be interpreted as an expression of the confidence of a colonial culture in the adequateness of its language as a means of universal expression. The use of translation as a means of introducing elements of style foreign to the target language in the Hungarian literary tradition, in contrast, suggests a culture more self-conscious of the particularity of its culture. A comparison of divergent approaches to translation in the Hungarian and English literary traditions offers a critical perspective from which to consider the self-conceptions of the two cultures.

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Schleiermacher (1813) , Venuti (1995) pointed out that there are two general approaches that may be adopted in translating: foreignization and domestication . A foreignizing translation is distinguished by close adherence to ST structure and syntax, calques

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. foreignizing translation strategies, conventionalised vs. creative solutions, mainstream vs. non-mainstream (amateur) subtitling practices. She argues that subtitling should not be regarded as a ‘loss-making’ mode of translation: there is scope for

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