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Reading: Translating “Irmina” (2014), by Barbara Yelin, from German into Spanish


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Research article

Translating “Irmina” (2014), by Barbara Yelin, from German into Spanish


Itziar Hernández Rodilla

Complutense Universidad de Madrid, ES
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Irmina, by Barbara Yelin,—a graphic novel about the life of a woman in Nazi times, first in England, then in Germany, and, decades after the Second World War, in Barbados—is a very personal story, but also one deeply ingrained in European History. The translation of this graphic novel travels across space and cultural boundaries—from Germany to Spain—, but also across time, since the story begins in 1933, finishes in 1983, and is translated into Spanish in 2018. This requires not only the translator’s historical knowledge, but also a reframing of the story so that the Spanish reader can understand it with as few difficulties as possible. All this has to be done while paying attention to Yelin’s drawings, which cannot be easily modified. To further complicate things, the translation is bound by the comic medium’s specific constraints: unlike literature, comics do not generally tolerate the use of long paraphrases in the way of explanations. The article will discuss specific problems encountered and solutions found in translating this graphic novel for a Spanish-speaking audience.

How to Cite: Hernández Rodilla, I. “Translating “Irmina” (2014), by Barbara Yelin, from German into Spanish”. New Readings, vol. 18, 2022, pp. 30–51. DOI:
Published on 24 Mar 2022.
Peer Reviewed


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