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  • 1 Interpreter and Translator Training Centre, Faculty of Humanities, Eötvös Loránd University Múzeum krt. 4, Building “F”, H-1088 Budapest, Hungary
  • 2 Department of English applied linguistics School of English and american studies, Eötvös Loránd University Department of English Applied Linguistics Ajtósi Dürer sor 19-21, H-1146 Budapest, Hungary
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This study focuses on the notions of explicitation and implicitation in translation and aims to provide empirical evidence for operational asymmetry (Klaudy 2001). Bi-directional (SL=L1→TL=L2 and SL=L2→TL=L1) comparisons show that when explicitation takes place in the L1→L2 direction, implicitation can be observed in the L2→L1 direction. This phenomenon is referred to as symmetric explicitation. It may also happen, however, that when explicitation is carried out in the L1→L2 direction, no implicitation occurs in the L2→L1 direction. This phenomenon is referred to as asymmetric explicitation. It would be logical to suppose that all cases of language-specific explicitation in the L1→L2 direction are symmetrical (i.e., matched by implicitation in the L2→L1 direction), but this does not seem to be the case. The present paper reports on the findings of an empirical study designed to investigate the validity of the asymmetry hypothesis in the translation of reporting verbs in literary texts translated from English into Hungarian and from Hungarian into English. Using the method of two-way qualitative translation analysis, the study demonstrates that translators tend to prefer the more explicit forms to the more implicit ones in both directions and often fail to perform implicitation. The study may thus provide further evidence for the assumption that semantic explicitation is in fact a universal translation strategy.

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