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Research Proposal: Analyzing Cultural Identity (Stereotypes) In German Children's Literature and Its Translation into English-Case Study of Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale


The main objective of this study is to analyse the cultural identity in German’s children literature. The study will look at stereotypes that associate with the German culture in the Brother Grimm’s fairy tales. In addition, the study will also look into the process of translating the German texts into English and establish if there are any cultural constructs lost in the translation.

Background of the literature

The proposal will derive its theoretical framework from cultural studies and translation studies. Several researchers have delved into the subject of linking literature to cultural groups and at the same time analysing the translational effect on cultural nuances. Stan (n.d) argues that children’s literatures transverse beyond national or regional culture. She believes that national cultures do not apply to literature because the themes are applicable to the global population. On the other hands, scholars who prescribe to imagology argue that there are national peculiarities and stereotypes inscribed in literary works.

Scholars have researched on the nationality aspects of Grimm brother’s fairy tale. There is enough literature to look into the translation effect of the German children’s literatures and link several stereotypical aspects to a nation’s cultural identity.

The translational studies that would support the study will rely on both comparative linguistics and literature studies. Scholars try to look into the different ways meaning in language takes effect during translation of literary works. Lathey in his writings provides a synthetic understanding of the achievements made in the field of translations as well as makes full awareness of all thevisual, textual and cultural ramifications entailed in translating children’s literature. Information contained in some publishers’ practices, in addition to examples of literal books translation to English from countries around the world, demonstrate the establishment of a new global culture. Researchers explain how translation of one language children’s literature to another has been neglected for long and the essential importance it carries in the future understanding amongst the populations in different regions.


The study will seek to test the hypothesis that German children’s literatures reveal cultural identity through the stereotyping in themes and setting. The study will also test the hypothesis that German to English translation of Grimm brothers’ fairy tale eroded much of the German cultural identity in the texts.


To achieve its objective, the study will adopt a descriptive approach. The researcher would use secondary data that will comprise of both primary literature and secondary literature. The primary literature in this case is the original scripts of the Grimm brothers’ fairy tales and their English translations. The secondary texts will include reviews and scholarly articles that would help the researcher in arriving at a conclusion.


This study hopes to contribute to the growing literate on the cultural effects of children’s literature. The findings of the research will help to understand German children’s literature and appreciate the impact it has had on global children’s literature. The study of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales would particularly be of interest to many literature scholars who have repeatedly used the texts without consideration of cultural stereotypes on them.

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