Genre-Specific Irrealia in Translation: Can Irrealia Help Define Speculative Fiction Sub-Genres?


  • Matej Martinkovič Constantine the Philosopher University, Nitra



speculative fiction, science fiction, irrealia, genre-specific, translation, Fahrenheit 451


Speculative fiction texts and their translation, particularly from English, have been gradually rising in prominence. However, not only do speculative fiction and its sub-genres remain only vaguely defined in general despite numerous attempts by both writers and theoreticians, but their specific features are often even less explored from the perspective of translation studies. This article aims to enrich translation studies understanding of irrealia as signature features of speculative fiction texts. It builds on existing conceptions of both irrealia and realia in order to propose the concept of genre-specific irrealia. Hence, it discusses how irrealia relate to individual sub-genres of speculative fiction and how such distinctions can help the recipient or translator realise the specificity of these elements. The paper has a particular focus on science fiction, although it also discusses fantasy and supernatural horror specific irrealia. The article then illustrates the concept of genre-specific irrealia and discusses its implications for translation on examples drawn from the novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and its Slovak translation by the translator Jozef Klinga.

Author Biography

Matej Martinkovič, Constantine the Philosopher University, Nitra

Matej Martinkovič, MA in Translation Studies, is a PhD candidate at the Department of Translation Studies at the Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra. He is also an active translator. His main research interests lie in literary translation with a particular focus on translation of speculative fiction, in the practice of editing of translations and its sociological aspects, as well as the implementation of technologies into both interpreting and translation training.


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How to Cite

Martinkovič, M. (2022). Genre-Specific Irrealia in Translation: Can Irrealia Help Define Speculative Fiction Sub-Genres?. English Studies at NBU, 8(1), 73–92.