I have been reading the English translation of Stieg Larsson's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". This past weekend was rainy and cold, and I thought it would be a good chance to dive into a Scandinavian blockbuster novel about crime.
I have blogged about the translation of this novel already, here: http://www.bunch-translate.com/2012/01/when-translations-are-better-than.html.
One of the things I notice - as a writer and translator - about the translation of this novel, is the use of exoticism and calques, in the English translation. It is not just retaining the Swedish place names, but it also has to do with phrases such as "cat shit", and "behind the beyond", which to my native ears sound foreign, and sound like they were more or less "literally" translated from Swedish, basically word-for-word, without an attempt to find the English "natural equivalent" (natural equivalents would be: horse crap, and "out in the sticks").