‘Communication takes place through a medium and in situations that are limited in time and place. Each situation determines what and how people communicate’ (Nord 1997: 1). Both translations have been carried out through different communication levels with the translations being written years apart. If norms are acquired by individuals, what might seem to be highly rated by one may not even be considered by another. Never Let Me Go has more variation of target-culture adaptation, altering meaning and using addition and omission of information, for example, omitting the English word ‘never’ from the title. The relation norm seeks to capture a range of resemblances between source and target text. However, the choice of the relation between source and target is restricted by the range of relations that are possible (Chesterman 1997: 79). Never Let Me Go appears to challenge norms (see table 6 showing differences in meaning between the source and target text) – behaviour which breaks Chesterman’s professional norms is usually worthy of criticism. This criticism might be rejected by the translator, marking the beginning of an argument about how norms should be interpreted. Going against expectancy norms, and, by extension, culture expectations, creates controversy and negative evaluation (Munday 2013: 172) unless the translator persuades readers to accept changes (Chesterman 1997: 84). Hermans (1999: 85), ‘when translators do what is expected of them, they will be seen to have done well,’ relates to each translation despite their differing use of norms. The translation of Lord of the Flies abides closely by multiple norms, subsequently producing a literal interpretation of the text. Though this was the expected approach to translation, some choices would have been automatically made for the translator due to the norms in place. Never Let Me Go’s translation, however, seems to escape some of those choices to produce a freer translation, which is more usual today. The language used in Never Let Me Go seems to be more modern than the language in Lord of the Flies. This could be due to a more recent audience (from 2006) and evolution in language. The former is also in the first person, as a young character talking to the readers, whereas the latter, is written in the third person singular, and in the remote past describing something that once happened.
Linking to Toury’s initial norm, differences within the translations are adequacy and acceptability, subjecting the translation to either source or target system norms, though Toury’s notions of adequacy and acceptability are somewhat problematic (Hermans 1999: 77). Lord of the Flies was subjected to source system norms using transferable features to achieve similar functions as the source text (Nord 1997: 50-51). This resulted in a faithful representation of the source text which is deemed ‘adequate’ according to Toury’s initial norm. The translation of Never Let Me Go created a reproduction of the source text form, content and situation, with the focus on textual units of the source text (Nord 1997: 48-51). Limitations in translations are whether expressions exist and how to achieve the same meaning, deciding what can be left out (omission) and being consistent (operational norms). Disadvantages are that norms can sometimes take decision-making away from translators. When norms are abided by, translations are referred to as ‘proper’. Failure to observe them means that the product is something other than a translation (Hermans 1999: 80); this could hinder a translator’s reputation. A further limitation is translators’ competence, though competency should increase through experience and knowledge of the field. If a target text is to be acceptable as representative of a target culture genre, the translator must be familiar with the conventions that the target text is to conform to. A translator can refuse responsibility for the function of the target text and simply do what the client asks for. Translation behaviour within a culture tends to manifest certain regularities, one consequence being that even if they are unable to account for deviations in any explicit way, the persons-in-the-culture can often tell when a translator has failed to adhere to sanctioned practices (Toury 1995: 56). In some cultures, covert translations may be treated with suspicion, because readers expect translations to be overt (for example, ‘unnatural’) in some way, like, ‘agitated’ becoming ‘troublesome person’ in Never Let Me Go. A translation that is genuinely natural may raise doubts about its accuracy, suspicions that the translator must have been too free.