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Discourse Analysis. Applying DA to political translation 1. Defining discourse 2. Political discourse analysis applied to translation studies by Christina Sch ä ffner 3. Discussion. Defining discourse. Individually, jot down some ideas about the following:

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discourse analysis
Discourse Analysis

Applying DA to political translation

1. Defining discourse

2. Political discourse analysis applied to translation studies by Christina Schäffner

3. Discussion

defining discourse
Defining discourse

Individually, jot down some ideas about the following:

How would you define the term “discourse”?

How might you identify a discourse?

Now, discuss your ideas with a partner, and together, think of examples of political discourse.

defining discourse1
Defining discourse

Hatim & Mason (1990):

Discourses are ... modes of thinking and talking which, like genres, can become ritualized. (1990: 71)

defining discourse2
Defining discourse

Johnstone (2002):

The controlling theoretical idea behind [Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA)] is that texts, embedded in recurring “discursive patterns” for their production circulation, and reception which are themselves embedded in “social practice” are among the principal ways in which ideology is circulated and reproduced. ... Ways of talking produce and reproduce ways of thinking, and ways of thinking can be manipulated via choices about grammar, style, wording, and every other aspect of discourse.

defining discourse3
Defining discourse

Johnstone (2002: 45-52):

Discourse producers make choices about:

1. How to represent actions, actors, events

  • In 1997, the lives of at least 300,000 young children were saved by vitamin A supplementation programs.
  • In 1997, vitamin A supplementation programs saved the lives of at least 300,000 young children.
  • In 1997, the lives of at least 300,000 young children were saved.

2. How to represent knowledge status

3. How to name and refer to things

4. Which voices to incorporate/represent


defining discourse4
Defining discourse

Some questions to consider:

In what ways do “discourse” and “narrative” differ?

What similarities and differences do you see between Baker’s approach from last week and the goals of discourse analysis outlined here?

political discourse analysis ts
Political Discourse Analysis & TS

PDA analyzes political texts

Goals: “relate the fine grain of linguistic behaviour to politics or political behaviour”

  • Coercion
  • Resistance, opposition, protest
  • Dissimulation
  • Legitimation/delegitimation

Schaffner (2004: 119)

political discourse analysis ts1
Political Discourse Analysis & TS

Discursive aspects we can study:

  • Lexical choice
  • Information selection/transfer
  • Illusion of identity

Schaffner (2004: 126-132)

applying discourse analysis
Applying discourse analysis

With a partner, compare the introductions to the Liberal and Green 2011 platforms:

  • What evidence of coercion, resistance/opposition/protest, dissimulation and/or (de)legitimation do you see in each text?
  • How do the lexical choices achieve political goals?
  • How has information has been selected or transferred for readers?
discussion related to the readings
Discussion related to the readings

In what ways could you apply Côté’s method of analyzing political texts (analysis of lexical frequency) to analyzing political translations?

Would the results be valuable? Do you see any limitations to this approach? In what ways might your results differ from the results you would obtain via narrative analysis?

links to previous weeks
Links to previous weeks

On a piece of paper, jot down three points of comparison between content analysis, narrative analysis, and discourse analysis as theoretical frameworks.

What types of analysis would each theoretical approach be better suited for?

What advantages/disadvantages do these methods pose?

  • Côté, Jean-Roch. (2006). Une analyse discursive de trois énoncés québécois de politique internationale. Études internationales, 37(1): 121-138.

Hatim, Basil & Ian Mason. (1990). Discourse and the Translator. London; New York: Longman.

Johnstone, Barbara. (2002). Discourse Analysis. Oxford: Blackstone Publishing.

Schäffner, Christina. (2004). Political Discourse Analysis from the point of view of Translation Studies. Journal of Language and Politics 3(1): 117-150.