Lost and found in translation: the case of alliteration

  • Mihhail Lotman Department of Semiotics, University of Tartu, Jakobi 2, 51014 Tartu
  • Maria-Kristiina Lotman Department of Classical Philology, University of Tartu, Ăślikooli 17, 51014 Tartu
Keywords: alliteration, metrics, parallelism, poetry translation, sound repetitions


The paper examines the transmission of alliteration in Estonian and Russian translated verse. The main focus is on the translation of alliterative epic, on the one hand, and more recent literary alliteration, on the other hand. Various alliterative techniques in different genres are observed, as well as various strategies in conveying alliteration: rejection of alliteration, transmission of alliteration, compensatory translation, for example, with functional equivalent and eventually, saturation with alliteration, to signal alliteration in a tradition without corresponding framework.