Translation of the Russian Nadsat Slang in Anthony Burgess’ Novel A Clockwork Orange into Lithuanian


  • Marija Blonskytė Kaunas University of Technology
  • Saulė Petronienė Kaunas University of Technology



slang, translation strategies, softening, compensation, Nadsat.


The translation of slang has always caused many problems for translators because of its cultural untranslatability. Its translation is a highly specific undertaking requiring creativity to render the effect of the source text in a form appropriate for the target culture and audience. Thus, the paper analyses the Lithuanian translation of an artificial language Nadsat in Anthony Burgess’ novel A Clockwork Orange, giving special focus to the Russian slang. First of all, it describes the Nadsat language and makes a distinction between the Russian borrowings and slang, which is not straightforward in most cases. Moreover, it presents the prevailing strategies applied for the translation of slang, i.e. preservation, softening and compensation, and expands on their application in the target text. For this purpose, all slang items have been manually collected from the first section of both the source and target text. To illustrate the use of the mentioned strategies, the paper introduces their density in the Lithuanian translation. As the results have demonstrated, the prevalent strategy in the translation of the Russian Nadsat slang into Lithuanian is softening, which comes in several different forms, i.e. softening by introducing a less expressive or more neutral words. However, the analysis of a greater amount of data could lead to a different result.

Author Biographies

Marija Blonskytė, Kaunas University of Technology

Saulė Petronienė, Kaunas University of Technology