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Corpus studies in translation

Research students in translation have been working with corpus studies to identify and evaluate translatorial behaviour in children’s literature, the translation of political texts and in self-translated medical abstracts.

Alaa al-Daragi’s thesis ‘Tensions between didacticism, entertainment and translatorial practices: deletion and omission in the Arabic translations of Harry Potter’ focuses on the deletions, summarisations (actual textual or linguistic units that are deleted) and omissions (meaning or semantic load that is omitted) that occur in the Arabic translation of the Harry Potter fantasy series in the context of translation of children’s literature from English into Arabic. The study reveals that these trends are, in fact, strongly related and directly linked to didacticism, norms, conventions and the level of professionalism of translation of children’s literature in the Arab world. The study views translators’ interventions as part of systems and norms in order to situate the text in the receiving culture, thus creating an acceptable TT to an Arab child whose presumed cognitive ability is underestimated in the TT in comparison with the ST. The aim of this research is to examine the impact and effect of these trends on the translation as a whole.

In her thesis ‘The role of translation competence of medical experts in English-Kurdish specialised medical translation’, Kazi Saleh investigates the role that the translation competence of medical experts plays in the practice of specialist medical translation from English into Kurdish. It analyses a corpus of medical research abstracts self-translated by Kurdish medical experts into Kurdish focusing on the three aspects of terminology, syntax and textual features. It aims to gain an insight into and evaluate the translational competence of those medical experts in the translation of their research abstracts. It also aims to gain an insight into the status of Kurdish LSP through looking at specialist medical translation. It further aims to see what translational norms are operating in the practice of specialist medical translation.

Umed Ameen analyses political translation in his thesis ‘Lexical Choices in Translating Political Articles from English into Sorani Kurdish,’ examining a corpus of English political articles and their translations into Sorani Kurdish. It focuses on the translators' lexical choices in order to show how the translated political articles are shaped and why they are shaped in the way they are in the target culture and explain the translators' behaviour in making lexical choices. With regard to its methodology, the study follows Toury's (1995) three-phase methodology and employs concepts and frameworks from equivalence-based theories, functionalist approaches, Descriptive Translation Studies (DTS), text-linguistic approaches, cultural approaches, Corpus-based translation studies, Baker's (2006) narrative theory and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). The study also takes the translators' lexical choices as the unit of comparison and analysis between the English political articles and their translations into Sorani Kurdish. In order to reach its aims, the study attempts to identify individual, group and collective regularities in the translators' behaviour, formulate generalizations based on these regularities and interpreting the regularities in terms of norms. It also investigates the translators' lexical choices to analyse the effects of these choices on the TTs. Further, it considers the factors which can explain the translators' decisions with regard to making lexical choices.

More about this research

  • Topics: translation