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  • 1 University College Ghent Faculty of Applied Language Studies Groot-Brittanniëlaan 45 9000 Ghent Belgium
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The present paper discusses the asymmetry hypothesis (Klaudy 2003) through a bidirectional qualitative translation analysis with reference to the expression of causal relations. Bidirectional analysis allows researchers to verify whether explicitations in one translation direction are counterbalanced by implicitations in the other translation direction. According to Klaudy’s (2009) asymmetry hypothesis, this is not the case since translators prefer operations involving explicitation over operations involving implicitation. The asymmetry hypothesis, studying translation in two translation directions of one language pair provides proof for the explicitation hypothesis as a universal strategy of translation. In this study we consider one language pair (French and Dutch), one text genre (novels) and one type of cohesive markers, i.e. causal conjunctions, to reveal the extent and nature of explicitation and implicitation in either direction. To this purpose, a bidirectional parallel corpus was compiled and the translations of sentences with one of four connectives in each language were scrutinized. The results show that, while there are indeed many instances of explicitation in both translation directions, a fair number of explicit causal markers were omitted in translation, suggesting that explicitation is counterbalanced by implicitation, thus contradicting the asymmetry hypothesis.

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