Baker’s idea to make use of various corpus linguistics methods in translation studies (1993, 1995, 1996) was quickly taken up by other scholars and the approach has on many occasions been applied in the investigations of translation universals. Simplification is one of the most frequently tested hypotheses in this context. In her seminal corpusbased study of simplification, Laviosa (1998) proved that the range of vocabulary used in translations is narrower, which is indicated by lower lexical density, greater percentage of high frequency words and by the fact that the list head of a corpus of translated texts accounts for a larger area of the corpus. The present study will employ Laviosa’s (1998) methodology to examine whether the language of simultaneous interpretation from German, Dutch, French and Spanish into English displays traces of simplification when compared to speeches originally delivered in English and whether the same patterns are observed in English translations of the same speeches.
Translational communication, in relevance theoretic terms, is interpretive language use, depending on a pre-existing text. Types of translation that cannot be regarded as interpretive still share the latter feature. Ordinary bilingual communication is descriptive language use, i.e. it represents independent text production. Both types of communication involve the use of two languages, and this fact may account for similar phenomena appearing in both types of communication.The present study surveys parallels between proposed translation universals and similar features of bilingual communication, which we may tentatively call language contact universals. The present paper hypothesizes that both kinds of universals (or general features) are likely to be manifestations of universals of constrained communication. The main constraint on bilingual communication is the need to manage two languages. Linguistic uncertainty resulting from the parallel activation of two languages affects both bilingual and translational communication. In the latter, an additional constraint is the fact that it is interpretive language use. Both types of bilingual communication give rise to special language varieties (translated language and contact language varieties). Further research to confirm these hypotheses is called for.
1 INTRODUCTION A translationuniversal can be defined as “a feature that is found (or at least claimed) to characterize all translations […] regardless of language pairs, different text-types, different kinds of translators, different historical
The aim of this study was to test the explicitation hypothesis (Blum-Kulka 1986) on the morpho-syntactic level. A bi-directional comparable corpus of popular texts on history, as well as German and Czech parallel corpora were analysed in order to investigate the tendency in translations to use more explicit modes of expression instead of syntactic condensation devices. At the first stage of the study, the frequencies of finite verbs in main and subordinate clauses, participial phrases and infinitive constructions, and deverbative nouns and adjectives in original Czech and German texts were contrasted. Results showed that Czech prefers more verbal/explicit modes of expression in contrast with the more nominal/implicit German style. The second stage of the study consisted of the examination of explicitating and implicitating shifts in both German-to-Czech and Czech-to-German translations. The findings fully confirm the explicitation hypothesis, with explicitation exceeding implicitation by 40.6% in Czech and by 47.8% in German translations. The word count analysis also supports the hypothesis. At the third stage, translations were subjected to the same quantitative analysis as was conducted at stage one on original texts. The frequencies revealed in translations were then compared with those obtained from original target language texts. The German comparable corpus proved to have a higher degree of explicitness in translations while the Czech comparable corpus did not show any clear-cut explicitation tendencies in translations.
One of the best-known hypotheses of translation studies, the Explicitation Hypothesis, postulates that explicitation is “inherent” in the process of translation and may therefore be regarded as a “universal of translation”. In recent years, a number of corpus-based studies on explicitation have been produced, most of which purport to offer evidence in favor of this hypothesis. As a consequence, the alleged universality of explicitation has achieved the status of dogma in translation studies. The aim of the present article is to show that the dogma of translation-inherent explicitation rests on fallacious theoretical considerations and premature interpretations of empirical data. In the first place, it will be argued that the Explicitation Hypothesis strictly speaking does not even qualify as a scientific hypothesis, since it is unmotivated, unparsimonious and vaguely formulated. In the second place, it will be shown that previous studies on explicitation fail to provide conclusive evidence for the translation-inherent nature of explicitation due to a number of methodological shortcomings.
During recent years, scholars have stressed the need to combine corpus-based translation studies (CBTS) and cognitive translatology to gain insights into the cognitive foundation for the general features of translated language (Halverson 2010; Alves and Vale 2011). This paper responds to previous calls to test explicitation phenomena on different translation modalities and types (Chesterman 2004a:47), and their cognitive basis (Halverson 2010, 2003). The paper presents a triangulation model on the basis of which hypotheses from descriptive corpus-based studies are generated, testing instruments are developed using previous corpora and the results of experimental studies are triangulated using these same corpora. The empirical study departs from two previous comparable corpus studies that focus on corporate (Jiménez-Crespo 2011a) and social networking sites (Jiménez-Crespo 2013). It uses their results and corpora to develop an experimental design to test the explicitation hypothesis. The study tests and compares explicitation on two production processes (1) translating segments directly or (2) selecting the translation from a range of valid non-translated lexical units identified in the previous study to accomplish the same communicative function. If explicitation is a general or even a universal tendency, it should be similarly present regardless of the genre, translation modality or specifics of the translation process. Although the explicitation hypothesis was confirmed in Jiménez-Crespo (2011a), the results of the present study show that the levels of explicitation vary between different production conditions, with the selection condition producing higher levels of explicitation than the regular translation condition. The results suggest procedural aspects are at play during the production stage.
Authors:Nicole Baumgarten, Bernd Meyer, and Demet Özçetin
In this paper, we will try to grasp the elusive and controversial concept of explicitness which has been considered from different perspectives in linguistics and will take a special look at different approaches in translation and interpretation studies. Thereby, the often postulated assumption that explicitness is a universal feature appearing in all kinds and all instances of language mediation will be questioned. We will show that explicitness does not result from the translation or interpreting process per se but that other factors (also) need to be taken into account, especially conventional differences between the languages involved and the different interpreting strategies of the interpreters. Our investigation is based on data from a parallel corpus of German-English popular science texts and a corpus of interpreter-mediated discourse in a conference setting.
In contemporary Finnish literature informal and colloquial varieties of language are widely used for stylistic purposes. This study investigates the use of colloquialisms in translated Finnish fiction as compared to non-translated texts of the respective genres. Due to the corpus-based approach on a fairly large material, the primary emphasis is on quantitative aspects, but some attention is paid to qualitative differences as well. The study is descriptive in nature and is restricted to lexical manifestations of colloquialisms, i.e., non-standard spelling and vocabulary. Based on the presumption that translations are conservative in comparison to original texts, it is hypothesised that both the extent and the frequency of colloquialisms are greater in original fiction than in translated fiction. Colloquialisms are examined using 14 groups of words established with the help of corpus-based key word lists. The analysis reveals that the colloquial features represented by these groups of words generally appear more extensively (number of works) and more often (frequency) in the original Finnish than in the translated Finnish. There are also strategic differences between writers and translators in the utilization of different means of expression. Generally speaking, the authors of the original texts tend to make better use of the different levels of language in their colloquialisation strategy than the translators do.
Authors:Pál Heltai, Carlo Marzocchi, Borbála Richter, and Albert Vermes
Anna Mauranen & Pekka Kujamäki (eds.): Translation Universals: Do they Exist?; Emma Wagner, Svend Bech & Jesús M. Martínez: Translating for the European Union Institutions; Domenico Cosmai: Tradurre per l'Unione Europea. Problematiche e strategie operative; Kinga Klaudy: Languages in Translation. Lectures on the Theory, Teaching and Practice of Translation; Basil Hatim: Teaching and Researching Translation;
Authors:Bart Defrancq, Bernard De Clerck, and Gert De Sutter
This paper provides an overview of state-of-the-art research in translation studies as represented in this special issue, with a special focus on corpus-based approaches that (re-)connect translation studies with other fields of corpus-based research in linguistics or which explore new types of translation data in the broadest possible sense of the term. It does so by singling out papers that illustrate different methods of data harvesting, on the one hand, particularly in areas that are currently underrepresented in the field, i.e. interpreting and subtitling, and by presenting studies that approach translation data from a perspective other than that of “translation universals”.