‘Armenianness’ in Indirect Translation of Byron’s The Prisoner of Chillon by Hovhannes Toumanian





mediated translation, translation transformations, domestication, Armenianness, Lori dialect


This paper explores the Armenian translation of Lord Byron’s the Prisoner of Chillon by
All-Armenian Poet Hovhannes Toumanian with Russian serving as an intermediary language. This research is captivating and rather responsible insomuch as it deals with the literary creations of three most eminent poets of the 19th century – Lord Byron, Vasily Zhukovsky and Hovhannes Toumanian. It is fascinating how poetry has united those three literary figures from culturally different geographical locations and how translation has disunited them. It comes as no surprise that Byron’s fine lyricism could be properly understood and passed on to target readers with such delicacy, nuance, and finesse only by Zhukovsky and Toumanian. The fact that Zhukovsky translated Byron is quite logical since the 19th century Russian literature was greatly influenced by Western literature, especially by Lord Byron. Yet, how come that a poet born and raised in a far-off mountainous region of Armenia with little to no knowledge of English decided to translate one of the masterpieces of a genius poet of “Foggy Albion”? There is one answer: the power of poetry…the power of translation! It is Zhukovsky’s translation that inspired Toumanian to take on the challenging and responsible task of translating the Prisoner of Chillon. It should be underlined that the cultural differences could not but be reflected in the Russian and Armenian translated versions. The primary purpose of my research is to shed light on some of the transformations Byron’s poem has undergone in the two-level translation process with a focus on elements of ‘Armenianness’ discernable in Toumanian’s translation.       

Author Biography

Ishkhan Dadyan

Ph.D., Associate Professor of Linguistics at the Department of Translation Studies at Yerevan State University, Armenia; coordinator of the Master’s degree programme in Administrative Translation; managing editor of the international scientific journal “Translation Studies: Theory and Practice.” His research interests lie primarily in translation studies spanning technical translation, AVT and interpreting as well as fairy-tale studies with a focus on literary dreams.


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How to Cite

Dadyan, I. (2024). ‘Armenianness’ in Indirect Translation of Byron’s The Prisoner of Chillon by Hovhannes Toumanian. Translation Studies: Theory and Practice, 121–134. https://doi.org/10.46991/TSTP/2024.SI.2.121



Part II