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Research Methods in Translation and Interpreting Studies

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  1. Research Methods in Translation and Interpreting Studies Dialect, Register, Style and Generic Conventions 23 October 2007

  2. Dialect, Register, Style and Generic Conventions • Text • “a verbal record of a communicative event” (Brown & Yule 1983:6)

  3. Dialect, Register, Style and Generic Conventions • Motivated choices at Grammatical and Lexical Levels • Dialect/regional variation • Geographical • Temporal • Social • (Non-) standard • Register • Text type/genre & potential readership • Personal style & idiolect

  4. Dialect, Register, Style and Generic Conventions • Example of Dialect/Regional Variation • Proliferation of negatives and use of double negatives in Black English Vernacular (BEV) • I ain’t never had no trouble with none of ‘em • You better not never steal nothin’ from me

  5. Dialect, Register, Style and Generic Conventions • Dialect issues relevant to translation • Tendency to avoid dialectical use in English translations (TEC) • Function of dialectical choices for characterisation • Minority languages/cultures • Political import • Empowerment through translation

  6. Dialect, Register, Style and Generic Conventions • Register, Text Type & Readership • Register • Difference between a high and low level of formality (Hale 1997) • Typical conventions of the type of communication in question (register of science, news reporting etc) (Biber 1995, 1998) • Intricate set of choices determined by features of the situation in which it is used (Halliday)

  7. Dialect, Register, Style and Generic Conventions • Register according to Halliday • Field (the what and why of the communication) • Tenor (the who of the communication; i.e. relationship between speaker/writer and hearer/reader) • Mode (the how of the communication; the textual features which realise the features of the situation)

  8. Dialect, Register, Style and Generic Conventions • Genre • A typified, institutionally recognised form that is used in typified social contexts – e.g. the newspaper editorial, the press release, the petition, etc. • Style • The variety of languages that reflects the relationship between the speaker and hearer or writer and reader (intimate, casual, formal) • Recurrent textual features in the speech or writing of a particular individual (similar to idiolect)

  9. Dialect, Register, Style and Generic Conventions • Register vs. Style • Register is always associated with specific situations • Style is not linked to any particular situation • Humorous style: adopting style that is inappropriate to context or situation

  10. Dialect, Register, Style and Generic Conventions • Overlap between terms (register, genre, style) • Always clearly specify what definition of the term you are following • Register, genre and style can be deliberately manipulated. How is this conveyed in translation/interpretation?

  11. Dialect, Register, Style and Generic Conventions • Cross-linguistic Variation • Imperative use • Use of imperatives in instructions, public notices, advertisements, menus, knitting patterns • Imperatives with negatives/ Passive/ less direct (non-imperative) forms)

  12. Dialect, Register, Style and Generic Conventions • Cross-linguistic Variation • Nominalisation • “Nouns that are related to verbs or adjectives morphologically; the nominalization is said to be “derived” from the verb or adjective. For example, civilisation is a nominalization derived from civilize, and kindness is a nominalization derived from kind (Biber et al. 1998:59)

  13. Dialect, Register, Style and Generic Conventions • Nominalisation • Almost four times as many nominalisations in English academic prose than in speech or fiction (based on Biber et al. 1998:60) • Other languages?

  14. Dialect, Register, Style and Generic Conventions • Motivated Variation in Translation/Interpreting • Use of passive constructions in court interpreting • Translation as a genre/text-type • Difference in zero/that patterning in translated vs. original English (Olohan & Baker 2000) • Tendency to avoid contractions (Olohan 2003) • Avoidance of dialectical or regionally-marked structures in translation • Translator Style • Individual translator style (lexical and grammatical choices) across translations of different authors and different texts, sometimes even different source languages (Baker 2000)

  15. Dialect, Register, Style and Generic Conventions • References • Al-Ani, Aseel and Alya’ Al-Rubai’ (2004) ‘The Translation of English Dialectal Dramatic Dialogue into Arabic’, Across Languages and Cultures 5(2): 233-257. • Assis Rosa, Alexandra (2001) ‘Features of Oral and Written Communication in Subtitling’, in Yves Gambier and Henrik Gottlieb (eds.) (Multi)Media Translation, Amsterdam & Philadephia: John Benjamins, 213-221. • Baker, Mona (2000) ‘Towards a Methodology for Investigating the Linguistic Behaviour of Professional Translators’, Target 12(2): 241-266. • Biber, Douglas (1988) Variation across Speech and Writing, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  16. Dialect, Register, Style and Generic Conventions • References • Biber, Douglas (1995) Dimensions of Register Variation: A Cross Linguistic Comparison, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. • Corbett, John (ed.) (1999) Written in the Language of the Scottish Nation. A History of Literary Translation into Scots,Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. • Craig, Ian (2006) ‘Translation in the Shadow of the Giants: Anglophone Caribbean Vernacular in a Translated Literary Text’, The Translator 12(1): 65-84. • Cummins, Sarah (2005) ‘Discourse and register functions of detached structures: A case study of the translations of two plays’, Target 17(1): 145-158.

  17. Dialect, Register, Style and Generic Conventions • References (cont.) • Crystal, David and Derek Davy (1969) Investigating English Style, London: Longman. • Harvey, Keith (2000) ‘Describing Camp Talk: Language/Pragmatics/Politics’, Language and Literature 9(3): 240-260. • Labov, William (1972) Language in the Inner City: Studies in the Black English Vernacular, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. (Chapter 3: Contraction, Deletion, and Inherent Variability of the English Copula; Chapter 4: Negative Attraction and Negative Concord). • Leech, Geoffrey and Michael Short (1981) Style in Fiction: A Linguistic Introduction to English Fictional Prose, London & New York: Longman.

  18. Dialect, Register, Style and Generic Conventions • References (cont.) • Leppihalme, Ritva (2000) ‘The Two Faces of Standardization: On the Translation of Regionalisms in Literary Dialogue’, The Translator 6(2): 247-269. • Määttä, Simo K. (2004) ‘Dialect and Point of View: The Ideology of Translation in The Sound and the Fury in French’, Target 16(2): 319-339. • Marco, Josep (2000) ‘Register Analysis in Literary Translation: A Functional Approach’, Babel 46(1): 1-19. • Morini, Massimiliano (2006) ‘Norms, Difference, and the Translator: Or, How to Reproduce Double Difference’, RiLUnE - Review of Literatures of the European Union:Traduzione Tradizione? Paths in the European Literary Polysystem (Online): http://www.rilune.org/ENGLISH/mono4/Morini_Rilune4_2006.pdf. (also on intranet)

  19. Dialect, Register, Style and Generic Conventions • References (cont.) • Olohan, Maeve and Mona Baker (2000) ‘Reporting that in Translated English. Evidence for Subconscious Processes of Explicitation?’, Across Languages and Cultures 1(2): 141-158. • Pettit, Zoë (2005) ‘Translating register, style and tone in dubbing and subtitling’, JoSTrans - The Journal of Specialised Translation 4 (Online): http://www.jostrans.org/issue04/articles/pettit.html. • Snell-Hornby, Mary (1995) Translation Studies: An Integrated Approach, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. • Steiner, Erich (1998) ‘A Register-based Translation Evaluation: An Advertisement as a Case in Point’, Target 10(2): 291-318.

  20. Dialect, Register, Style and Generic Conventions • References (cont.) • Trosborg, Anna (1997) ‘Text Typology: Register, Genre and Text Type’, in Anna Trosborg (ed.) Text Typology and Translation, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 3-23. • Wilkinson, Jane (2005) ‘Staging ‘Swissness’: Inter- and Intracultural Theatre Translation’, Language and Intercultural Communication 5(1): 72-85. • Wong, Laurence (2001) ‘Voices across Languages: The Translation of Idiolects in the Honglou meng’, in Leo Tak-hung Chan (ed) One into Many: Translation and the Dissemination of Classical Chinese Literature, Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi, 97-114. • Wong, L. (2002) ‘Translating Register: With Reference to English, French, German, and Italian Versions of the Hong lou meng’, Babel 48(3): 247-266.