Issue 2008 V, 1
The Translator’s Constrained Mediation in Trans-Editing of News Texts Narrating Political Conflicts
News organisations are socially, economically and politically situated, so news texts are inevitably produced from certain perspectives. To meet the expectations and interests of the target audience, translators usually need to customise source news texts in terms of the local viewpoints. Trans-editing can assist translators in achieving the required adaptation through trans-editing strategies. This kind of translator’s mediation is performed not totally at random but is systematically go- verned by contextual factors. Thus, this paper conducts a case study on trans-edi- ting of news texts narrating political conflicts in order to investigate such mediation, especially how the translator mediates overall news structures, and how the media- tion is constrained by the interplay of different contextual factors.
The data examined in the case study covers various news texts about U.S. arms sales to Taiwan from the New York Times and the Washington Post (including hard news texts and editorials), and their trans-edited Chinese versions from the China Times and the Commercial Times in Taiwan. Firstly, the relevant contextual fac- tors are introduced. Then, how the translator mediates the overall structures of source hard news and editorials is explored by comparing the source and target texts in terms of their schematic and semantic macrostructures for recurrent shifts. Ad- ditionally, the underlying contextual reasons behind the shifts are examined against the contextual factors. Lastly, this paper makes clear how, based on the underlying reasons, the news translator’s mediation is governed by the interplay of the Taiwa- nese government’s political policies, the target newspapers’ audience design and Tai- wan’s trans-editing conventions.
Company Websites, Genre Conventions and the Role of the Translator
Abstract - These days, all companies that are concerned with their image have a website that is likely to include, among other things, a company presentation, vision and mis- sion statement. The form and content of these sites is heavily influenced by Anglo- American models, and yet the relevant genre conventions have still not become globally standardised, due to cultural differences ranging from general text conven- tions to the differing histories of the societies in which these companies function. A particularly interesting example is that of countries in Central and Eastern Europe that made the transition to a free-market economy less than two decades ago and are now striving to 'catch up' with their longer-established West European compe- titors. In the country on which I shall focus, Slovenia, it has become standard for these websites to be translated into English to meet the needs of the wider non-Slo- vene audience – including speakers of German, Italian, French and the Slavic lan- guages spoken in the region. The way the texts are written and translated raises interesting questions about both cultural transfer and the role of the translator in the globalised, online age. These include: the problems involved in identifying the target audience and target culture in web-based communication; the growing role of English as a lingua franca within Europe, in spite of the European Union's po- licy of multiligualism; and the apparent cultural hegemony of Anglo-American mo- dels of business communication. There is also the issue of whether, in the situation discussed, the translator is functioning as an expert in text formation and an in- tercultural mediator, or rather as a language specialist involved in a more con- strained linguistic transfer.
Translation vs. Language Learning in International Institutions. Explaining the Diversity Paradox
Abstract - The diversity paradox may be expressed as an apparent contradiction between the rise of an international lingua franca, which should lead to lesser linguistic diver- sity, and increased use of translation, which should produce greater linguistic di- versity. The paradox is that both these tendencies are occurring at the same time. It is suggested that one key to this paradox is to be found in the institutionalized na- ture of cross-cultural communication. Three models are presented of the way tran- slation may operate within international institutions. One of the models, relying on a centralized production language and a multiplicity of target languages, is shown to be compatible with the diversity paradox.
Towards an “Activist” Translation Pedagogy
Identifying and Translating Irony across Cultures
Abstract - Emerging as an approach to life, in which the ironist adopts an attitude of scepti- cism and mistrust in relation to everyday language (Colebrook 2004), irony can be con- sidered a particular aspect of daily conversation and, as Gibbs and Colston (2001:
187-200) aptly remark, it “[…] is particularly useful in conveying both humorous and hostile attitudes in everyday communication” and it is elicited mostly via impli- catures and inferences (Attardo 2001).
Much of the research on irony has focused on the rhetorical use of it in literature and poetry (Byron, 1972), written and spoken language (Anolli, Ciceri and Infantino:
2002) or in relation to humour (Chiaro, 2006). Since irony is subjective and perva- sive in language, this work aims to build up an objective framework that can contri- bute to its identification in conversational settings in a more systematic way. Another research question concerns its usage across cultures, namely English and Italian.
In order to carry out this analysis 10 different American and British films have been chosen from different genres and some selected ironic exchanges have been investigated. The comparative analysis between the English and the Italian version has taken into account Pavesi’s (2005) and Malone’s (1988) strategies even though, translation stra- tegies do not constitute one of the purposes of my research, but only a means which help the investigation of the transposition of the Language Devices which convey irony from a language to another. In other words, these strategies allow to shed light on the cultu- ral factors which are behind the choices of the elements for translating irony. Contra- stively speaking, in ironic contexts exaggeration seems to be more pervasive in Italian than in English in line with the cultural orientations outlined by Katan (2004).
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