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Research in translation studies


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  • 1. Research in Translation Studies Sugeng Hariyanto Source: Jenny Williams, Andrew Chesterman, The Map: A Beginner's Guide to Doing Research in Translation Studies by
  • 2. 1. Areas of Research 1.1 Text Analysis and Translation Source Text Analysis (semantic, syntactic, stylistic) Comparison of TT and ST - equivalence in various aspects. • The aspects can be derived from certain theories, e.g. linguistics • Or you could start with a kind of translation problem (the translation of passive sentences, or dialect, or allusions, for instance), and see how your translators) have solved the problem, what translation strategies they have used. • Or start with specific strategy.
  • 3. • Comparison of Translations and Non- translated Texts – This kind of analysis compares translations into a given language with similar texts originally written in that language.
  • 4. • Translation with Commentary (annotated translation) – is a form of introspective and retrospective research where you yourself translate a text and at the same time, write a commentary on your own translation process. This commentary will include some discussion of the translation assignment, an analysis of aspects of the source text, and a reasoned justification of the kinds of solutions you arrived at for particular kinds of translation problems.
  • 5. 1.2 Translation Quality Assessment • Evaluative assessment of translation work • Approaches – Source-oriented (equivalence degree of the translation) – Target oriented (degree of naturalness of the target text by comparing with parallel text) – Translation effect-oriented on client, general readers, etc. (can it meet the expectation)
  • 6. 1.3 Genre Translation • Drama (person, purpose, process, product) • Poetry (person, purpose, process, product) • Prose Fiction (person, purpose, process, product) • Religious Texts (person, purpose, process, product) • Children's Literature • Tourism Texts • Technical Texts • Legal Texts
  • 7. 1.4 Multimedia Translation • Audiovisual texts are primarily spoken texts - radio/TV programmes, films, DVDs, videos, opera, theatre - which are translated either by revoicing or sur-/subtitling (Luyken 1991). • Revoicing • subtitling
  • 8. 1.5 Translation and Technology • Evaluating translation software • Software localization • Effects of Technology • Website Translation
  • 9. 1.6 Translation History • When? Where? Who? What? Why? How? • When: specific time • Where: specific place • Who: the initiator, the translator, influencing parties • What: text to be or not to be translated • Why: why a translation and not-translating is done. • How: How certain translation affect the history of translation or target culture.
  • 10. 1.7 Translation Ethics • Ethics held by the translators (what should be the good service of translation)? • Cultural and ideological factors (power, emancipation, gender, post colonialism, nationalism, minority, cultural identity, translator’s visibility) • Codes of Practice (e.g. Code of Practice of Indonesian translators)
  • 11. 1.8 Terminology and Glossaries • How to translate new words? • How the translation of the new words compared to ones proposed by Balai Bahasa?
  • 12. 1.9 Interpreting • Conference interpreting (usually simultaneous, in one direction) • Liason interpreting, also known as dialogue or community inter- preting (usually bi directional) • Court interpreting (usually bi directional). • Person, purpose, process, product
  • 13. 1.10 The Translation Process • Workplace Studies (working lives and conditions of professional translators.) • Protocol Studies (to investigate the translator's internal decision making process, by using think aloud methods or retrospective Interviews )
  • 14. 1.11 Translator Training • Curriculum Design (What to teach and how to organize them) • Implementation (content, delivery and evaluation) • Typical Problem Areas (universal problem, language specific problems, students; specific problems) • Professional Dimension (How to introduce the profession into the training program?)
  • 15. 1.12 The Translation Profession • Qualifications for membership/ membership categories • The nature of the certification process (if one exists) • The employment status of the members (freelance, salaried translators in the private/public sector, part time/full time?) and their specialism (technical, literary etc.) • The Association's code of ethics • The benefits of membership • The Association's role in translation policy development at local, regional or national level • The Association's programme of professional development for members.
  • 16. 2. Type of research • Conceptual research – To define or clarify concept, e.g. what translation equivalence is, what is its relation to translation quality, etc. – Can be done by means of library study • Empirical research – To seek new data or information from observation and experimentation to seek evidence which supports or disconfirms hypothesis or generate new hypothesis. – Here you need to have sound theoretical framework
  • 17. Characteristics of empirical research • Can be general and be particular – What makes a particular translation unique – What are the general features shared by all translations • Describing and explaining • Predicting, although not 100% correct (although probabilistic in nature) • Hypothesis, a tentative claim of observed patterns or regularities
  • 18. Methodology • Quantitative – to count, compare statistically – Goal: to make claims about universality, generality of a phenomenon or feature. – to say about regularities, tendencies, frequencies, distribution, etc. • Qualitative – More subjective, may require empathy (interview), imagination (discourse analysis), etc.
  • 19. Methods • Case study Vs experimental study • Case study material: single translation, single translator, single publisher, etc. • Can be also “multi-site” • Case study can be: – Explanatory (why, how) – Descriptive (what)
  • 20. • Corpus studies – Parallel – Comparable
  • 21. 2. Methodology • Text/linguistic analysis (product) • Think aloud protocol, immediate retrospective (process) • Interview (process and readers’ reaction) • Questionnaire (to measure readers’ reaction) • Observation • Cloze-test (to measure readability) • Corpus-based analysis (product)
  • 22. Research questions (examples) • Exploratory research questions: • What was happening on the translation scene in eighteenth century France? • I wonder how professional translators actually work today? • What literature was translated from German to French between 1740 and 1760, by whom, and for which clients? • What use does a particular sample of professional medical translators make of Internet resources?
  • 23. Research question examples • Descriptive research questions • What is this translation like, compared to its original? • How can I describe what the translations by this translator/of this text type seem to have in common? • How are these translations different from non-translated texts in the target language? • How has the translator dealt with place names? • What are the relative frequencies of relative and main clauses in these translations and these comparable non- translated texts? • Why is this translation like this, with so many errors? • Why are there so many more relative clauses in these translations than I would have expected? • Why was this novel translated and not that one? • How did the general public react to this new translation of the novel? • Why did people react like that?
  • 24. Do we need any hypothesis? • Yes, if we want to generalize the findings • No, if we do not want to generalize the findings.