PhD graduates

Our PhD graduates have carried out innovative research in many different areas of translation and interpreting studies.

Find out about their completed research projects here.

Ashraf Abdul-Fatah

A Corpus-based Study of Conjunctive Explicitation in Arabic Translated and Non-translated Texts Written by the Same Translators/Authors

Year: 2010

I decided to pursue a postdoctoral research degree in Manchester because it featured prominently as an internationally renowned educational institution. Seminars and various CTIS events offered a stimulating environment that complemented specialised research and boosted my creativity. The range of subjects that staff and other doctoral peers covered were exceptionally appealing to me: from cross-cultural communication and linguistics to corpus studies and sociological issues in translation. This is perhaps linked to the most memorable aspect of my doctoral degree, that is, freedom to independently explore novel ideas and to develop as an intellectually curious young researcher. At the same time, having had the opportunity to work with supervisors who were experienced in translation studies(-related) research gave me a sense of direction/security in my own work as well as critical thinking skills.

Almost immediately after I obtained my PhD degree I secured a research fellow post in another university, which quickly lead to a full-time lectureship in translation studies. The expertise acquired in CTIS still helps me with my everyday academic work. Last but not least, CTIS was the place where I made wonderful friends from around the world (conspiratorially referred to as 'the CTIS gang' among my batch); I hold them all dear and plan common research papers or visits that keep me in touch with them.

Farah Abou-Bakr

The Folktale as a Site of Framing Palestinian National and Cultural Identity: Speak, Bird, Speak Again, Qul Ya Tayr and Arab Folktales from Palestine and Israel

Year: 2014

Drawing on the notion of framing, as elaborated in the Social Sciences and Translation Studies, this study sets out to examine the types of frame and framing devices used in representing Palestinian national identity to different target readers in Speak, Bird, Speak Again (1989) and Qul Ya Tayr (2001), both consisting of a collection of Palestinian folktales, compiled, edited and (in the case of Speak Bird, Speak Again) translated by Ibrahim Muhawi and Sharif Kanaana, and in Arab Folktales from Palestine and Israel, edited by Raphael Patai. The stories in the collections by Muhawi and Kanaana are divided into five major groupings: Individuals, Family, Society, Environment and Universe, reflecting on the individual's passage through life stages and his/her relationship to society and the environment. Both collections provide their respective readers with substantial introductions, brief cultural footnotes, analytical endnotes, indexes to tale-types and motifs, and an extensive bibliography of Palestinian folk narrative. This study will approach the English and Arabic publications by Muhawi and Kanaana as political and cultural projects of nation-building and will focus on the paratextual and textual devices used to frame them as such. The study will attempt to contextualise these collections by comparing them to Patai's in order to demonstrate what is distinct about the particular approach adopted by Muhawi and Kanaana.

Ruth Abou Rached

Reflections or projections? Iraqi women writers in Arabic-English translation and feminist translation approaches

The translation of Arab women writers into English via mainstream publishing houses began in the 1980s (LYNX-QUALEY: 2011). The increase of Iraqi women writers’ works in English translation appears to coincide with political events in Iraq (1990-91 & 2003 onwards) where direct US/UK intervention occurred, potentially raising questions on Iraq women writers’ translation contexts and risks of writers and works being understood or “essentialised” within “binary East and West” (ABO-LOGHOD:2001:12) perspectives outside their original “rhetoricity” (SPIVAK:1993:181). These translation contexts raise questions on how and why Iraqi women writers’ visions written in Arabic within Arab world contexts are carried over into new cultural and temporal receptions.

In recognition of Iraqi women writers and their works’ protagonists being read as “asserting their own visions in a world governed by patriarchal values” (MOSTAFA: 2010: XX) within the Arab literary world and often received in Feminist publishing contexts in translation, I am investigating the relevance – or not – of Feminist Translation to Iraqi women writers in Arabic-English translation contexts.

The purpose of my research is two-fold: firstly, to highlight and investigate, using Feminist Translation how Iraqi women writers’ works, including any translation shifts, textual and para-textual, are reflected/ projected in new temporal and cultural contexts; secondly, to explore how Iraqi women writers’ works with their variety of locations, time-frames and translations, may challenge and question Feminist Translation approaches which were developed in post - “Quiet Revolution” Quebec. My research is to map these challenges and questions, opening up fresh avenues of thought to current Feminist Translation perspectives and the emerging canon of Iraqi women writers’ fiction in Arabic-English translation.

Maria A. Aguilar Solano

Healthcare Interpreters' Perception of their Position in the Field of Public Service Interpreting in Spain: A Bourdieusian Perspective

Year: 2012

I decided to pursue a postdoctoral research degree in Manchester because it featured prominently as an internationally renowned educational institution. Seminars and various CTIS events offered a stimulating environment that complemented specialised research and boosted my creativity. The range of subjects that staff and other doctoral peers covered were exceptionally appealing to me: from cross-cultural communication and linguistics to corpus studies and sociological issues in translation. This is perhaps linked to the most memorable aspect of my doctoral degree, that is, freedom to independently explore novel ideas and to develop as an intellectually curious young researcher. At the same time, having had the opportunity to work with supervisors who were experienced in translation studies(-related) research gave me a sense of direction/security in my own work as well as critical thinking skills.

Almost immediately after I obtained my PhD degree I secured a research fellow post in another university, which quickly lead to a full-time lectureship in translation studies. The expertise acquired in CTIS still helps me with my everyday academic work. Last but not least, CTIS was the place where I made wonderful friends from around the world (conspiratorially referred to as 'the CTIS gang' among my batch); I hold them all dear and plan common research papers or visits that keep me in touch with them.

Amer Al-Adwan

Euphemisms as a Politeness Strategy in Screen Translation in the Arab World

Year: 2009

This study examines the use of euphemisation as a politeness strategy in subtitling the American sitcom Friends into Arabic. It draws on core concepts of Brown and Levinson's theory of politeness, such as the notion of face, face-threatening acts and redressive strategies, to explain subtitlers' choices in rendering sequences which are potentially offensive to an Arab audience. The study sets out to examine the extent to which a modified and extended model of euphemisation as a strategic output of politeness can be productively applied in the field of audiovisual translation, and specifically to subtitling from English into Arabic. This involves a critical examination of the treatment of euphemisation in Brown and Levinson's theory in the first instance. A new and more eclectic model of euphemisation is then proposed. The new model draws mainly on two existing models developed outside politeness theory, by Williams (1975) and Warren (1992). To account for euphemistic expressions identified in the data and not covered by the categories proposed in Williams and Warren's studies, two further categories are introduced, namely, semantic misrepresentation and omission. Applying the new, extended model to the data enables the themes and topics most commonly euphemised in the Arabic subtitles to be identified. The model has also proved helpful in capturing recurrent strategies of euphemisation employed by Arab subtitlers in dealing with a range of face-threatening acts, especially sexual references and utterances related to certain distasteful topics such as death, disease and bodily functions.

Waleed Al-Amri

Semiotics, Translation and the Press

Year: 2002

This research adopts a social semiotic approach to the analysis of the genre of news reporting in newspapers. The analysis looks for ideological subtexts and bias in both verbal and visual messages encoded in news reporting. A set of tools drawing on various theories of semiotics is developed for this purpose, incorporating also the insights and findings of critical discourse analysts. The tools are applied to analysing the coverage of a specific political issue over a short period of time in four quality newspapers: two Arab and two British.

The study is underpinned by the assumption that translators need access to a set of tools of analysis to approach a source text, particularly an ideologically loaded one, in an informed way. An appreciation of the dynamics of the source text and the nature of its ideological underpinnings is a prerequisite to successful and responsible translation.

Mahmoud M. Al-Herthani

Edward Said in Arabic: Narrativity and Paratextual Framing

Year: 2009

A number of studies have examined Edward Said's intellectual and political legacy, both in the West and in the Arab World, from various perspectives. This study sets out to examine a largely neglected aspect of the ways in which this legacy has been and continues to be mediated, namely how Edward Said was (re)narrated in the Arab World by various types of institutions and mediators, focusing specifically on Arabic translations of his works. A considerable number of narrators and (re)narrators have been involved in the process of introducing Said and his work in the Arab World. They include cultural institutions such as the Arab academy, the media and publishing houses as well as intellectuals, writers and some seventeen translators. These are examined in some detail.

Most of Said's works have been translated into Arabic; some were translated twice, and some three times. A subset of these translations forms the core of this study. The focus here is on the two linguistic and cultural universes that Said inhabited and that shaped his thinking - namely English (and the US) on the one hand, and Arabic (and the Arab World - specifically, Palestine, Egypt and Lebanon) on the other, and the assumption is that the sensitive nature of historical and cultural interaction between these two universes means that Said's interventions at the literary, cultural and political levels are likely to have been subject to different types of framing and counter-framing on the part of those who mediated his presence in the region, including translators and publishers of translations. The study draws on narrative theory, the concept of framing and the work of Genette to examine forms of mediation through the paratexts that accompanied the Arabic translations of Edward Said's Orientalism and Culture and Imperialism by Kamal Abu Deeb, and the retranslations of Orientalism and Covering Islam by Muhammad Enani. The paratexts examined consist of the components of the front cover of each translation, including images, the components of the back cover, and prefaces and introductions by each translator. Some discursive strategies within the translation proper are also discussed where relevant as framing devices.

Abdulla Alkhamis

Socio-cultural Perspectives on Translation Activities in Saudi Arabia: A Bourdieusean Account

Year: 2013

The main aim of this thesis is to examine translations and translators as ‘socially situated’ activities and actors in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the second half of the 20th century. Drawing on Bourdieu’s sociological model, the study attempts to situate the translation activities of academic, governmental, and private institutions in their socio-political context of cultural production. Conceptual tools of analysis derived from Bourdieu, such as field, habitus, capital and homology are used to analyse book translation in Saudi Arabia as an emerging field. The study seeks to identify the principal agents contributing to the definition of the field, the positions they occupy in the field(s) in which they operate within the Saudi social space, and social factors that contribute to shaping their dispositions. The analysis covers the means of consecration and types of capital, whether symbolic, social, cultural, or economic, that have value in this context. In addition, a case study is undertaken to investigate the agents' translation strategies at work, with special emphasis on translation as a sociological phenomenon situated within the field of power. In terms of data, the study draws primarily on bibliographies of translations into Arabic, publishers' own lists of translations, and two books: Niall Ferguson’s 2004 Colossus, and its Arabic translation released by the Saudi private publisher Obeikan.

Eman Almutairi

The Effects of Translators’ Stylistic Choices on Translating Literary Dialectal Dialogue: Saudi and Egyptian Novels as a Case Study

Year: 2019

This thesis examines the effects of translators’ stylistic choices on the function of literary dialectal dialogue (LDD) in the English translations of contemporary Saudi and Egyptian novels. The research aims to identify the procedures carried out by translators to deal with this issue. It also explores whether different translators have a particular style or preferred procedures when translating LDD.

The first stage of the study involves an analysis of random selections of LDD that have been extracted from a number of Saudi and Egyptian novels. By using quantitative and qualitative descriptive analysis, this stage focuses on mapping the procedures that have been chosen to translate LDD in Arabic diglossic novels. The analysis first examines the construction and function of LDD in its source context and then studies the extent to which these procedures have managed to reconstruct the socio-cultural and socio-ideological function of LDD in the selected novels.

This macro analysis is followed by an in-depth study of the work of two translators, Anthony Calderbank and Marilyn Booth. The micro analysis investigates the link between their translation procedures in dealing with LDD and how these procedures may have been used to reflect the translators’ own style and voice in the target texts (TTs). From a comparative quantitative and qualitative descriptive textual analysis (Toury, 1995) of the chosen novels, as well as from interviews with the two translators, the analysis of the translator’s style is carried out with two areas of focus: first, it explores the extent to which these translation procedures have been influenced by target language constraints, the idea of the translation’s implied readers, the translators’ perception of their role, and the source text authors and publishing houses; and second, it considers the extent to which the translators’ stylistic choices influence the characters’ speech in the TTs.

This study finds evidence to suggest that due to the change in language communities, LDD has changed in the translation to become literary informal dialogue (LID). Translators’ preferred patterns, which emerge from the quantitative and qualitative descriptive textual analysis, show that there are regularities in the behaviour of the translators (Toury, 1995). Based on the textual regularities, the translational norms can be considered a hypothetical explanation for the whole group’s behaviour. However, the study also finds that differences in borrowing and paratextual procedures can be attributed to the translators’ individual stylistic choices.

Khalid Al-Shehari

The Semiotics and Translation of Advertising Texts: Conventions, Constraints and Translation Strategies, with Particular Reference to English and Arabic

Year: 2000

This study investigates the strategies and constraints involved in the process of translating advertising texts from English into Arabic. It starts by exploring the current conventions and techniques of advertising in the Arab World. A corpus of Arabic advertisements chosen from various Arabic magazines is analysed in order to identify prevalent patterns and conventions. The analysis pinpoints a range of interesting techniques used in Arabic advertising today, such as switching between Standard and Colloquial Arabic, the use of certain rhetorical devices such as parallelism, the use of congratulatory settings, testimonials and the mixing of genres. A model for analysis is then established by presenting and discussing different semiotic approaches, namely: the two sign components (signifier/signified) proposed by Ferdinand de Saussure, the three types of relationships (iconic/indexical/symbolic) proposed by Charles Sanders Peirce, the theory of intertextuality elaborated by Julia Kristeva, levels of meaning (denotative/connotative), and syntagms and paradigms. The proposed model is applied to a total of 18 original English and Arabic advertisements in order to show how the various elements of the model play a role in delivering advertising messages. Finally, the model is applied to 27 English advertisements and their Arabic translations in order to investigate the strategies and constraints involved in the process. The analysis reveals that certain strategies are used frequently by translators or localisers in the Arab World. These include: covering the bodies of semi-naked female models or replacing them or the contexts they appear in with more local elements, adding or underlining elements of newness or originality in the Arabic version, transliterating brand names, modifying headings and slogans or creating new ones. The study further suggests that there are certain marketing constraints which motivate the translator or localiser to abandon or radically modify the format of the source text. These constraints include the publishing of English advertisements in different formats which are not easily available in the Arabic context, and the need to include local details in the Arabic versions which are not provided and not relevant in the English texts.

Fadiah Alshehri

People and Traditions of Arabia in Early 20th Century European Travel Writing: Representation and Translation Shifts

Early in the twentieth century, European travellers began journeys into remote and ‘unexplored’ parts of Arabia. Due to the scarcity of native scholarship and near absence of archival materials, their writings became primary historical references about the people of the land (Reilly, 2015). Yet, research on such substantial travel accounts and their translations seems to be neglected in the field of translation studies. The aim of this thesis, thus, is to shed some light on the representation of Arabian individuals and tribes and their traditions in four travel books and their Arabic translations. It is an investigation into the impact of some sociocultural factors on the image construction process related to personal and physical characteristics, ethnic heritage, and traditional values and practices. The corpus under scrutiny comprises: Asir before World War I (Cornwallis, 1916) [1976], Lord of Arabia (Armstrong, 1934), Arabian Highlands (Philby, 1952), The Road to Mecca (Asad, 1954), and their translations into Arabic language. The research is interdisciplinary in that it addresses a translational issue: semantic shifts, utilising cultural constituents: representation and imagology, ideology, Orientalism, and tradition. It implements an empirical and analytical methodology with elements drawn mainly from Gideon Toury’s (1995) descriptive approach, Kitty van Leuven-Zwart’s (1989) model of shifts analysis, and Siobhan Brownlie’s (2003) sources of explanation. The first stage of analysis involves a comparative description of extracts representing significant and radical cases of shifts. It examines the representation constructed in the original text within its socio-ideological context and how the Arabic translation reflects/reconstructs this representation. The second stage of analysis is a quantitative inspection of shifts to identify frequent patterns. Using both quantitative and qualitative findings, the third stage of analysis discovers the impact of the micro-level shifts on the macro-structural level of meaning and the overall representation in each book. By doing so, patterns of significant and radical semantic shifts in translation are determined and their impact on the overall representation is revealed. The thesis finally provides some hypothesised explanations of the translational phenomena, indicative of the translators’ and/or editors’ choices and tendencies.

Dimitris Asimakoulas

Brecht in Dark Times: Translations of Brecht's Works in the Censorship Context of the Greek Junta (1967-1974)

Year: 2005

This thesis examines translations of Brecht's works that appeared during a specific period of Greek history, namely the military dictatorship of 1967-1974. Drawing on André Lefevere's work in the area of translation studies as well as the sociological work of Pierre Bourdieu, the discussion underscores the pervasive influence of power interdependencies on the production of translated books with an antiauthoritarian function.

The chapters of the thesis draw the profile of a dictatorship that sought to safeguard what they perceived as the Helleno-Christian character of the nation by suppressing dissident voices through physical and symbolic violence. In this context, censorship played a dual role: it resulted in a decrease in artistic production but simultaneously ushered in a period of change in the publishing field, which soon became the main arena of resistance to censorship. New, politically engaged players responded to the call for publications with a social mission, books that could bring readers closer to modern thought, awaken Greek society and kindle the desire for democracy. The relaxation of official censorship in 1969 led to a massive production of books with a broad political content, countering a trend of non-threatening thematics that characterised the previous decade.

Translations of Brecht's works were not only linked thematically to the textual tradition of books with political content, but also increased in popularity at the same rate, making Greece a hotspot of Brecht translation in Europe. Of those publishing houses that brought out Brecht's works the thesis focuses on three, Kalvos, Keimena and Stochastes. These publishing houses made a particularly important contribution to the fight against the discourse of oppression. Four translations of Brecht are selected for analysis: two poetry collections, an anthology of political texts and one play. The books are brought together by similarities in the agendas of their respective agents of translation, as well as by a discursive thread which is shown to be central in all four books, namely the motif of dark times. Text analysis and the study of paratextual elements reveal that Brecht's works are framed in a way that promotes a critical attitude towards the regime. There is a distinct tendency to enhance aspects of the text that encourage Greek readers to view themselves as an in-group, a community set in opposition to an outgroup formed by the junta and the current political leaders. This is achieved in part by the choice of pronouns, the change of clause structure, the activation of culturally loaded and local references, including historical events, social practices etc, as well as framing strategies in paratextual material, including the manipulation of colour and images. As such the books constitute euphemisations of political discourse in a context where the political field was undergoing a crisis. In this sense, Greek translations of Brecht's works can be seen as instantiations of contemporaneous or already established trends of defiance against the regime.

Amal Ayoub

Framing Translated and Adapted Children's Literature in the Kilani Project: A Narrative Perspective

Year: 2010

Despite the fact that translated literature accounts for a significant percentage of the literary production directed at Arabic-speaking children, very few studies have examined children's literature in the context of translation in the Arab World. Drawing on narrative theory and the notion of framing as elaborated in the social sciences and translation studies, the present study aims to examine the types of frames that Kamil Al-Kilani sought to construct for his publishing project, entitled Maktabat-ul-'Atfaal (Children's Library). It analyses the way framing is effected at sites around the translated or adapted text proper, including introductions, titles, cover blurbs, footnotes, glossaries, poems attached to text, testimonials and questions listed at the end of books. Framing strategies employed within the translated or adapted text proper include bracketed glossing, vocalization, headings and subheadings, extensive allusions to the Qur'an and Hadith (the sayings of the Prophet), and various additions and deletions.

The data used in this study consists of 196 illustrated stories, which constitute the Kilani project. They are rewritten, adapted and translated by Kamil Al-Kilani, who initially also acted as publisher of the various series in the Library. The stories appeared between the 1930s and 1950s; however, they are still in print today, with some having been reprinted 26 times. The stories are divided into series, roughly classified by Kilani and other scholars according to the age group they are addressing, starting with Kindergarten stage and ending with stories targeting 17-year olds. The study reveals Kilani's adoption of an explicitly pedagogical frame, going beyond the kind of didacticism that we typically encounter in children's literature. His project does not just serve an indirectly didactic agenda but at times seems to engage in explicit teaching of formal knowledge (linguistic, encyclopaedic) rather than simply communicating values and morals as is common in children's literature. Kilani clearly framed his library as part of the child's formal learning experience, offering her/him specific, linguistic, historical, religious, geographical and scientific knowledge, and in the process narrating the world for the child reader as a space full of wonder, a space of discovery. For both parents and children, this space is also narrated as one that can only be conquered with knowledge and sound moral values.

Michela Baldo

Translation as Re-Narration in Italian-Canadian Writing: Codeswitching, Focalisation, Voice and Plot in Nino Ricci's Trilogy and Its Italian Translation

Year: 2009

This study draws on poststructuralist narratology in order to examine a trilogy of novels by the Italian-Canadian author Nino Ricci, in the context of diaspora and multilingualism in general, and Italian-Canadian writing more specifically. The novels by Nino Ricci, Lives of the Saints (1990), In a Glass House (1993) and Where She Has Gone (1997), which were translated from English into Italian by Gabriella Iacobucci in 2004, narrate the personal experience of an Italian family before and after they emigrate to Canada and are characterised by the use of codeswitching (the passage from English to Standard Italian or dialect and vice versa). Both in this trilogy and in other Italian-Canadian diasporic texts, codeswitching is linked to translation: it represents an attempt to translate, resolve and negotiate a linguistic and cultural conflict experienced by second generation Italian immigrants, between the Italian values taught at home and the Canadian values taught through formal education. By constantly hinting at these contrasting Italian and Canadian cultural perspectives, codeswitching can signal shifts in focalisation and voice. Changes in perspective impact also on the construction of the narrative plot since they involve changes in temporal and spatial positioning. By using the classical narratological concepts of focalisation, voice and plot (Rimmon-Kenan 1983, Bal 1985), but as they are now understood in poststructuralist narratology (Gibson 1996) and narrative theory (Somers and Gibson 1994), this research attempts to illustrate how, by both destabilising the fixed positions of characters and foregrounding those elements that are important for constructing the plot, shifts in focalisation and voice serve as an ideological operation aimed at constructing Italian-Canadian identity as hybrid and unstable. The use of codeswitching in literature is difficult to reproduce in translation; consequently, as the texts travel into the Italian literary panorama, major shifts occur at the level of focalisation, voice and plot which affect the re-construction and re-presentation of the Italian-Canadian identity narrative as outlined in the source texts.

Mario Bisiada

From Hypotaxis to Parataxis: An Investigation of English-German Syntactic Convergence in Translation

Year: 2013

Guided by the hypothesis that translation is a language contact situation that can influence language change, this study investigates a frequency shift from hypotactic to paratactic constructions in concessive and causal clauses in German management and business writing. The influence of the English SVX word order is assumed to cause language users of German to prefer verb-second, paratactic constructions to verb-final, hypotactic ones. The hypothesis is tested using a diachronic corpus containing German translations and their source texts as well as German non-translations. The texts date from 1982–3 and 2008, so that the way English causal and concessive structures have been translated in the two time periods can be compared.

The analysis shows that in the translations, parataxis is indeed becoming more frequent at the expense of hypotaxis, a phenomenon that, to some extent, also takes place in the non-translations. Based on a small corpus of translations not yet edited by the publisher, it can be shown that translators rather than editors are responsible for this shift. Most of the evidence found, however, suggests that the shift towards parataxis is not predominantly caused by language contact with English. Instead, there seems to be a development towards syntactically simpler constructions in this genre, which is most evident in the strong tendency towards sentence-splitting and an increased use of sentence-initial conjunctions in translations and non-translations. This simplification seems to be compensated for, to some extent, by the establishment of pragmatic distinctions between specific causal and concessive conjunctions.

Julie Boéri

Babels, the Social Forum and the Conference Interpreting Community: Overlapping and Competing Narratives on Activism and Interpreting in the Era of Globalisation

Year: 2009

In a society increasingly polarised by processes of globalisation, and given the shift from national to transnational spheres of action in resisting these processes, there is a pressing need to reflect on the socio-political profile of translators and interpreters, not only in the labour market of the public and private sectors, but also in civil society. Although scholars of translation and interpreting have shown a growing interest in issues of globalisation, ideology, power and agency and have questioned the traditional paradigm of neutrality and invisibility, the current rhetoric of translation as a tool of resistance seems to outstrip the actual power of social change that professional translators are assumed to have at their disposal. Current approaches focus on textual intervention without engaging with the broader role of the interpreter as a social and political actor. They also tend to view the individual translator as the sole motor of change, thus downplaying the collective dimension of both translation and activism. Furthermore, neither interpreting nor translation studies have yet engaged with these issues from a socio-political perspective that goes beyond the notion of mediation and attempts to investigate the role that interpreters play in constructing the social polity. Finally, the literature on socially committed practices of translation and interpreting often lacks critical reflection on the dynamics of resistance and co-optation that are inherent in volunteering and activism.

Adopting a narrative approach, this thesis focuses on Babels, the international network of volunteer interpreters, recognised as one of the most politicised communities of translators and interpreters. Its narrative construction of a specifically activist, critical and self-reflective project of volunteer (mainly simultaneous) interpreting in the context of the Social Forum and the wider Alter-Globalisation Movement is examined as emerging and evolving out of a series of internal and external pressures. These pressures involve implementing the principles of horizontality, deliberation, participation and prefiguration that Babels calls for in the organisational process of the Social Forum, and delivering interpreting efficiently on the day of the event, while not undermining the professional market of conference interpreters. The picture that emerges out of the analysis is one of an open-ended, network-like constellation of competing and overlapping perspectives on activism and interpreting that are available and amenable to be operationalised by individuals not only in Babels, in the context of civil society, but also in professional, and to a certain extent, in scholarly circles. This case-study of an unprecedently large laboratory of experimentation on activist interpreting ultimately invites practitioners, professionals and scholars to critically reflect on the narratives that circulate in our fields so as to disclose possibilities of a much needed socio-political change for greater engagement with our role in an increasingly competitive, polarised and violent society.

Paulina Burczynska

Investigating the Multimodal Construal and Reception of Irony in Film Translation – An Experimental Approach

The purpose of the research project is two-fold.

First, it is designed to investigate the multimodal construal of irony in films and its translation into Polish.

Secondly, the project aims to understand whether/how non-verbal semiotic resources facilitate the comprehension of irony by two groups of Polish viewers in the subtitled and voiced-over versions of Sherlock Holmes’ films.

Baldry and Thibault’s (2006) multimodal theory and Sperber and Wilson’s (1981) conceptualization of verbal irony have thus been elected as the basis of the theoretical framework informing this study.

The data set is interrogated using a mixed-methods approach consisting of observational tools, questionnaires and eye-tracking. The observational phase involves multimodal transcriptions (based on Baldry and Thibault 2006) of selected fragments in which irony plays a pivotal narrative role to determine what non-verbal modes contribute to the multimodal construal of irony and how irony is relayed in the two Polish translations.

The experimental phase will combine the use of eye-tracking technology and questionnaires for the purposes of triangulation. The eye-tracking based study will reveal how Polish viewers prioritize semiotic resources when watching selected fragments of the films. The administration of questionnaires, on the other hand, will elucidate how viewers of the subtitled and voiced-over Polish versions of the two films are able to retrieve ironic meaning in the original films.

The data set includes two recent adaptations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, i.e. Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011). The reasons for the selection of this data are principally reinforced by the presence of irony in dialogue-specific considerations, e.g. between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, and simultaneously in non-verbal semiotic resources.

Jan Buts

Thesis: Political Concepts and Prefiguration: A Corpus-Assisted Enquiry into Democracy, Politics, and Community

The beginning of the present decade saw a remarkable rise in social movement scholarship concerning prefigurative politics. Prefigurative politics refers to ‘the practice of instituting modes of organization, tactics and practices that reflect the vision of society to which the social movements aspire’ (Flesher Fominaya 2014: 10). Noting the restrictive organisational focus implied in such definitions, Baker (2016: 6) suggests that ‘extending the powerful concept of prefiguration to the use of verbal, visual and aesthetic languages’ might be of conceptual as well as pragmatic help to challenge ‘the symbolic order’.

In order to chart manifestations of verbal prefiguration, the present project draws on various subsets of the Genealogies of Knowledge Corpus, a corpus specifically built to investigate changes in the meaning of key concepts pertaining to the body politic and scientific expertise as they travel across centuries, languages and cultures. More specifically, this study focuses on two subcorpora: one consisting of translations from late twentieth century French philosophy and one containing a selection of online publications on activism. Analysis of these datasets proceeds from a cluster of three highly contested political concepts – ‘community’, ‘democracy’, and ‘politics’.

To probe into the structural behaviour of the concepts in question, the project interprets the reciprocal relations between their respective instantiations and linguistic environments in terms of Sinclair’s quadruple framework of collocation, colligation, semantic preference and semantic prosody (Sinclair and Carter 2004). These corpus-linguistic categories of interpretation are supplemented with considerations of metaphorical potential and traces of transformation through translation. In the end, the project seeks to describe the political salience of the observed patterns of repetition and change, and consequently to reassess the relation between discourse and direct action.

Li-Wen Chang

Investigating Note-taking in Consecutive Interpreting, Using the Concept of Visual Grammar

Year: 2013

Interpreting studies has so far tended to concentrate on simultaneous interpreting over the consecutive mode. Note-taking – an integral part of consecutive interpreting – has therefore received very little scholarly attention. As an indispensable tool in consecutive interpreting, note-taking plays an important role in supporting the interpreter’s memory. This study argues, however, that the interpreter's notes should not be viewed merely as a memory storage tool, but as a third visual language. How interpreters read their notes can be further explored from the perspective of Social semiotics for two reasons. Firstly, Social semiotics conceptualises signs as meaning-making resources which are realized in specific communicative contexts to convey specific communicative intentions – unlike previous approaches to the categorisation of signs as static members of relatively rigid sign codes. Secondly, Social semiotics not only explains how written language is used in notes, but also how the pictorial component of communication is encoded and interpreted through interpreter’s notes.

This study draws on visual grammar (Kress and van Leeuwen 2006) to analyse interpreter’s notes with a view to gaining a better understanding of how linguistic and visual semiotic resources are deployed in the process of note-taking. A further step in this research would then be to critically compare the patterns identified in this descriptive research with the established prescriptive approaches to note-taking training – which are typically based on relatively stable correspondences between note-taking signs/symbols and their meaning. This research will recruit qualified, practising conference interpreters, working in both directions between Chinese and English, to investigate the product of note-taking. Data will be gathered through a questionnaire, interviews with the participants, and an in-depth study of participants' notes and interpreting performances.

Jui-Yin Chao

Translational Footnotes and the Positioning of Unfamiliar Literature: Capital Flow in Translations of Angela Carter's Fiction in Taiwan

Year: 2012

Translated fiction has occupied a dominant position in the book market in Taiwan and has been characterised by an abundant use of footnotes. This project attempts to examine the way in which capital and ideology are reflected in this translational apparatus. A sociological approach to the composition of footnotes is used in order to allow for a consideration of the agents involved in the production of translated fiction; these include publishers, editors and translators. In particular, the study adopts Bourdieu's concepts of 'field' and 'capital' to discuss the workings of 'thick translation' as evident in translational footnotes. Flaneur, a high-culture independent publisher who has identified the lack of experimental literary fiction in Taiwan as an opportunity to appeal to a niche market, provides the main source of translated texts for this project. The data consists of five translations of Angela Carter's works published by Flaneur between 2004 and 2007. Interviews with both editors and translators have been conducted, and editorial correspondence examined against the backdrop of the corpus of footnotes. The analysis of footnotes serves two major functions in this project. First, it allows the reconstruction of the editing and translating process, revealing how a certain narrative around a translated work of fiction was elaborated by various forces. Second, it enables the examination of strategies of introducing readers to Carter's fiction which extend beyond the main texts.  The preliminary findings suggest that the use of footnotes reflects the way in which the publisher sets out to position a translation, and that this in turn depends not only on the nature of the source text but also on the capital enjoyed by  the agents involved in the translation. The study thus suggests that translational footnotes are more than an explanatory apparatus that facilitates readers' comprehension. They are also signals of the negotiation of various forms of capital and power.

David Charlston

Hegel’s 'Phenomenology' in translation: a comparative analysis of translatorial 'hexis'

Year: 2012

This project investigates how features of the Baillie and Pinkard translations of Hegel's Phenomenology embody a different translatorial stance or hexis. In particular, the thesis analyses translations of the terms Geist [mind/spirit/Spirit] and aufheben [sublate/transcend] with reference to consistency and lexical patterning. An explanation of these findings is sought in Bourdieu's theory of hexis, according to which an agent's expectation of (honourable) recognition within a social field is observable in the agent's bodily stance. By extension, features of the translated text and the surrounding paratexts, such as lexical patterning, selective capitalisation, the use of footnotes, glossaries, introductions and a parallel source text, can be regarded as symbolic embodiments of a translatorial hexis.

Sir James Black Baillie's translation, The Phenomenology of Mind was the first English translation of Hegel's text. Baillie's elevated, rhetorical style embodies an authoritative, didactic stance homologous with the dominant values of the British Empire, but at the same time, the translation engages in a more nuanced negotiation with German philosophical ideas within the historical framework of British Idealism.

Terry Pinkard's new translation, The Phenomenology of Spirit offers improved terminological consistency and a more democratic openness to critical scrutiny. Pinkard's handling of the ambiguities studied here embodies a politically correct translatorial hexis offering a specific response to opposing expectations within the field for an 'antiquarian' fidelity to the historical Hegel and an 'anachronistic' adaptation of Hegel's philosophy to contemporary issues in social and political theory.

I-Hsin Chen

Connecting Protestantism to Chinese Ruism: Religion, Dialogism and Intertextuality in James Legge’s Translation of the Lunyu

Year: 2014

James Legge (1815–1897) systematically introduced Chinese thought into the West by translating a series of canonical Chinese texts into English. This thesis explores the 1861 and the 1893 editions of Legge’s translation of the Lunyu, designed in bilingual format as the Confucian Analects and collected in his famous The Chinese Classics.

Legge’s bilingual Lunyu is characterised by his unprecedented inclusion of the Chinese commentaries and his revisionist approach to Chinese culture. Based on his Congregationalist background and strong belief in the Chinese knowledge of God (less through an imposition of biblical messages but more through his search for God in ancient Ruist literature), Legge’s Lunyu reflects his personal transformation through his lifelong study on China, revealing the religious and spiritual dimensions in Kongzi’s (Confucius’s) teaching, and their connectibility with Christianity. In the thesis, I contextualise Legge’s work in the histories of both the formation of the Lunyu in China and its translations into European languages, while situating Legge’s perception of Ruism in the dynamics of contemporary scholarly debates on religion. Rather than adopt Edward Said’s orientalist model, I use Antoine Berman’s reflections on criticism, commentary and translation and Ivan Strenski ’s discussion on natural religion and revealed religion, amongst other scholarships, to illuminate Legge’s role as the missionary-translator and his appreciation of the religiosity of the Lunyu. I then employ Mikhail M. Bakhtin’s theory of dialogism and Julia Kristeva’s concept of intertextuality to analyse Legge’s rendering of the principal notions in the Lunyu, for example the notion ren as virtue, benevolence and universal love. I also examine Legge’s interpretation of Tian (Heaven), Di and Shangdi (both viewed by Legge as the Chinese designations of God), as these terms for Legge are the evidence of the Chinese divine consciousness, while they signal the theological potency of Ruism. In this context, I go on to investigate how Legge, in his annotation, engages with the renowned thinker Zhu Xi’s (1130–1200) commentaries on ‘human nature’, ‘original sin’ and ‘transcendence’.

Legge is aware of the problem of ‘Christian bigotry’, and his Lunyu shows his quest for the divine through the connected knowledge of the Bible, the Ruist tradition and other ancient Chinese sources. By studying Legge’s Lunyu, thus, the thesis highlights Legge’s specific Sino-Christian vision and profoundly reflexive thought in his enduring relationship with China. Ultimately, I argue that Legge’s work demonstrates a broad capacity for the mutual understanding and accommodation between China and the West, encouraging us to discover and create new paths regarding interfaith and intercultural movements in human religious history.

Wallace Chen

Connecting Protestantism to Chinese Ruism: Religion, Dialogism and Intertextuality in James Legge’s Translation of the Lunyu

Year: 2006

The study sets out to investigate explicitation in translated texts through the use of an English-Chinese parallel corpus of popular science texts. Recent literature has identified such features as simplification, explicitation and normalization in translated texts into major Indo-European languages, and translation researchers are keen to know if these phenomena are also present in non-European languages like Chinese. By applying descriptive and systematic corpus-based methodology, the study will focus on "explicitation" in translated Chinese, in particular the higher frequency of connectives like yinwei (because), suoyi (so), youyu (due to), yinci (therefore), etc., in translated texts compared to non-translated Chinese. The 1.8-million-word parallel corpus includes thirteen source texts in English and two versions of their translation into both simplified and traditional Chinese published in China and Taiwan respectively. The use of two translation versions in the research is in direct response to some critics of corpus-based translation studies who argue that parallel corpora are problematic because they only reveal one translator's introspection.

Si Cheng

Translation competence development among learners: A problem-solving perspective

In recent decades, the conceptualisation of translation competence and its development has attracted significant attention from translation researchers. Existing literature on translation competence is characterised by the prevalence of multi-componential models of translation competence, with inadequate attention paid to the interplay between competence components in the translation process. Therefore, this doctoral research sets out to re-conceptualise translation competence from a problem-solving perspective so as to understand translation competence and its development in the translation process.

By re-defining and re-modelling translation competence with inspiration from problem-solving studies, this research proposes a conceptualisation of translation competence and its development that accommodates the translation process and the learning process. In order to validate the relevance of the proposed theoretical framework, a longitudinal study was conducted among a small group of Chinese students from a MA translation programme, using the translation task-based interview as the main research instrument. Findings from the empirical study have demonstrated the relevance and strength of the theoretical framework as well as revealing individual and shared paths of translation competence development among the learners.

This research enriches the current understanding of translation competence and its development. It introduces a fresh perspective for conceptualising translation competence, proposes an effective instrument for empirical competence research, and identifies possible directions for further research. It also has practical implications for translation pedagogy, offering theoretical and empirical support for some recent approaches and trends in translator education and training.

Pasakara Chueasuai

Translation Shifts in the Love and Lust Section the Thai Version of Cosmopolitan: A Systemic Functional Perspective

Year: 2010

The extended reach of globalisation in the last few decades has resulted in the significant increase of western influence on a country like Thailand. Western ideologies have been disseminated through various channels of mass media including the printed media. Women's magazines from the West such as the American monthly women's magazine Cosmopolitan has been published its Thai version for over ten years. The magazine, whose focus is on the liberated women's lifestyle in which sex is a prominent theme, has the Love and Lust section which publishes advice columns under which female sexual relationships are dealt with overtly. Although the stories are considered educational, its verbal and visual elements are usually explicit. This thus can be problematic if the Thai version retains the original American resources since sex-related issues are still viewed locally as sensitive and rarely raised publicly.

This research will examine the strategies employed in translating the Love and Lust section of Cosmopolitan into Thai, focusing on shifts of meaning at both verbal and visual levels. The theoretical framework used will draw on a Systemic Functional Linguistics approach of text and context relationship proposed by Eggins (1994) that accounts for correlations between text and its larger situational and cultural contexts. The model is supplemented with Social Semiotics approach of the multimodal text analysis by Kress and van Leeuwen (2006) delineating the three simultaneous visual meanings. The study will explain the translational choices evidenced in the data and ultimately attempt to identify verbal and visual shifts in the translation of glossy women's magazine.

Elena Davitti

Dialogue Interpreting as Intercultural Mediation: Integrating Talk and Gaze in the Analysis of Mediated Parent-Teacher Meetings

Year: 2012

Although non-verbal features have been recognised as part and parcel of human social interaction as well as important vectors of meaning and co-ordination (e.g. Goodwin 1981, Kendon 1990; Rossano 2009), their sequential positioning in relation to the production of the ongoing flow of talk and their use by interpreters to complement/replace specific verbal features is uncharted territory for IS. Since the groundbreaking work by Lang (1978), little research has integrated gaze in the analysis of the interpreter's (and participants) verbal output (e.g. Wadensjo 2001, Bot 2005).

The data used in this study consists of a small corpus of authentic, video-recorded, mediated interactions between English/Italian in pedagogical settings. An interdisciplinary approach encompassing Conversation Analysis and studies on non-verbal communication is adopted to explore how interactants orient to both verbal and nonverbal activities (mainly gaze) in the production and monitoring of each other's actions, the initiation and maintenance of social encounters, and in the co-construction of meaning and participatory framework.

To enable its investigation, gaze is systematically encoded alongside specific conversational cues via ELAN, a software to interface audio-video input in a user-friendly hypertextual transcription. Through analysis of the actions performed via talk and gaze in specific sequences, I will investigate in particular what interpreters do as intercultural mediators in a setting where, according to direct observation of preliminary findings, they tend to act as ratified participants, thus influencing the unfolding of the interaction, and whether they empower participants' voices, thus promoting participation and achieving effective intercultural communication.

Carmen Dayrell

Investigating Lexical Patterning in a Comparable Corpus of Brazilian Portuguese

Year: 2005

The primary objective of this study is to develop a suitable corpus-based research methodology for comparing lexical patterning in translated and non-translated language. The main issue under investigation is whether collocational patterns tend to be less diverse in translated texts in comparison with non-translated texts of the same language. Diversity is analysed in quantitative as well as qualitative terms.

The analysis is based on a comparable corpus of Brazilian Portuguese (BPC), which has been compiled as part of this research project. The corpus consists of two separate subcorpora designed according to the same criteria and specifications, one made up of translated Brazilian Portuguese and the other consisting of non-translated Brazilian Portuguese. BPC comprises two different text genres - fiction and self-help - and hence it is composed of four subcorpora: translated fiction, non-translated fiction, translated self-help and non-translated self-help. Collocational patterns of translated and non-translated texts are compared within each genre, that is to say, translated fiction is compared with non-translated fiction, and translated self-help with non-translated self-help. BPC contains approximately 2 million words in total, consisting of 1 million words of translated Brazilian Portuguese and 1 million words of non-translated Brazilian Portuguese. Each subcorpus contains approximately 0.5 million words.

The results indicate that collocational patterns tend to be less diverse in translated texts in comparison with non-translated texts of the same language, irrespective of the text genre. It is also found that differences between translated and non-translated texts are more pronounced in the fiction than in the self-help genre. The latter seems to reflect the peculiarity of the genre within the context of Brazilian Portuguese; self-help is in itself a translated genre.

Louisa Desilla

Towards a Methodology for the Study of Implicatures in Subtitled Films: Multimodal Construal and Reception of Pragmatic Meaning Across Cultures

Year: 2009

Emerging whenever communicators mean more than (or something different from) what they actually utter, implicatures are prevalent not only in interpersonal communication but also in film dialogue. The present thesis aims to propose a methodology for the investigation of implicatures in subtitled film. For its design, insights from film studies, multimodality and cognitive pragmatics were drawn upon. The methodological apparatus proposed in this study is adjusted to the semiotic complexity of films and comprises three stages: multimodal transcription, pragmatic analysis and empirical testing of implicature comprehension by source- and target-audiences. Multimodal transcription (Baldry & Thibault 2006) is selected as a means of identifying the contribution of verbal and non-verbal semiotic resources to the construal of implicatures and the creation of overall meaning by the filmmakers. Multimodal transcription is complemented by a pragmatic analysis of the utterances evoking implicatures and their TL counterparts in the light of Relevance Theory (Wilson & Sperber 2004). Featuring as the final stage of this methodological apparatus, the experimental component is designed to probe implicature comprehension by a sample of source and target viewers, while essentially testing the extent to which the intuitive pragmatic analysis undertaken represents a realistic account of implicature understanding by source and target audiences.

The proposed methodology is applied to a case study of implicatures in Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004) and their Greek subtitled versions. In particular, the case-study explores the construal, functions, translation, and cross-cultural reception of the implicatures identified in the two films. The first and most obvious finding to emerge from the observational data analysis is that implicatures are not conveyed by the film dialogue alone but, rather, via the co-deployment of verbal and non-verbal cinematic signifiers. Implicatures in the two romantic comedies have been found to fulfil comedic and narrative functions always in tandem with mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, and/or non-verbal soundtrack. The comparison and contrast of ST and TT has revealed three types of implicature relay: preservation, explicitation and modification. It has been observed that the vast majority of the instances of implicature are preserved in the subtitles, while explicitation is only occasionally opted for. The qualitative and quantitative analysis of the experimental data demonstrate, inter alia, that (a) implicatures whose comprehension crucially presupposes familiarity with aspects specific to the British culture presented the Greek audience with substantial difficulties, and (b) both the British and Greek audiences consistently processed visual and/or acoustic information in deciphering implicatures.

Xiao Di

Renarrating China: The Construction of Chinese Cultural Identity in English Translations of Chinese Novels in the UK and US, 1980-2010

Year: 2014

Various narratives of China and the Chinese have been elaborated in western literature since as early as the 13th century (for example, The Travels of Marco Polo, 1289). Prior to the 18th century, as documented in earlier studies, these narratives largely depicted China from a utopian and positive perspective. From the late 18th century to the early 20th century, China and the Chinese began to be cast in a generally negative light, in both non-translated European - mainly English and French - literature (for example, Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe) and translations of Chinese novels into European languages (for example, Hau Kiou Choaan, translated by James Wilkinson). Both of these periods (pre- and post 18th century to early 20th century) are well documented. By contrast, relatively few studies have been undertaken to date to examine how Chinese cultural identity is projected in translations of Chinese novels since the 1980s. Most studies undertaken so far are not based on a large body of empirical data and/or are not theoretically informed.

The current study sets out to examine the role played by translation in mediating modern Chinese cultural identity as perceived outside China, with specific reference to translations of novels from Chinese into English, commissioned and sold in the UK and US book markets during the period 1980 to 2010. Specifically, it aims to establish the extent to which stereotyped images of China identified in western literature in the 19th century, in current bestselling novels such as Jung Chang's Wild Swan and Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club, and in English translations of Chinese novels prior to the 1980s continue to be reinforced or challenged through translation. The study draws on narrative theory to examine in particular publishers' choices of source texts and their marketing strategies, as well as critical responses to contemporary translations, for example in media comments and book reviews. In addition, case studies of sample contemporary translations of Chinese novels will also attempt to establish the extent to which textual strategies adopted by translators may or may not support the narratives elaborated and reinforced through publishers' strategies and published reviews.

Ahmed Saleh Elimam

Clause-Level Foregrounding in the Translation of the Qur'an into English: Patterns and Motivations

Year: 2009

This study examines word order variation in the Qur'an, the Holy Book of Islam, and ten of its translations into English, produced between 1920 and 2004. Word order in Arabic is flexible and is used as a linguistic resource for realising several discursive functions. Arabic literature on balaaghah (Arabic art of eloquence) details a number of such functions, which can be realised by foregrounding an element (e.g. predicate, object, adjunct, adverbial) to clause-initial position. The Arabic data consists of ayahs identified in tafsirs (commentaries on the Qur'an), specifically those identified by al-Baydawi, a renowned commentator, as examples of foregrounding in the Qur'an. Al-Baydawi and other commentators also identify the functions realised by each instance of foregrounding. A corpus of 68 ayahs, some of which feature 2 instances of foregrounding, thus constitutes the Arabic corpus. According to the commentators consulted in this study, the Qur'an uses foregrounding to fulfil the functions of specification, restriction, emphasis, glorification (amplification) and denial. The literature also identifies a number of ayahs which fulfil more than one of these functions simultaneously. Ten English translations of the Qur'an constitute the English corpus used in this study. These are carried out by individual or team translators with different ideological orientations (sunni, shi'i, sufi, Qadiyani, orientalist) and demonstrate different levels of competence in the source and target languages (some are native speakers of Arabic, some are native speakers of English, some are not native speakers of either language, while the team translators consist of a native speaker of each language). Strategies used across the ten translations to render the relevant instances of foregrounding are identified and repeated patterns of choice described. The translators featured in the corpus generally remain close to the word order of the ayahs, often opting for non-canonical word order in English. Some have a preference for cleft structures, which allow them to foreground different elements of the clause. Translators also use lexical strategies (especially the addition of restrictive items such as alone and only) as well as punctuation devices (such as rendering a clause as an independent sentence/question or placing a punctuation mark such as a dash before an element or elements in a clause) in order to reproduce, make up for or strengthen the force of the foregrounding in the source text. The study then selects a sub-corpus of three translations for closer examination of the translators' respective style. The selected translations are examined to identify how frequently individual translators (or a team of translators) use each strategy to render the foregrounding featured in the ayahs which constitute the Arabic corpus. Translators' choices are then explained against a backdrop of their stated aims (where these are made clear in a translator's introduction or preface), available reviews of the translations and interviews with the translators, as well as documented information about their background and the context in which they produced their respective translations. 

Lingjuan Fan

A Narrative Perspective on News Translation by Non-Professional Virtual Communities: The Case of Yeeyan

Year: 2016

The advent of the Internet has fundamentally changed the way we interact with the world, including the way we translate. An increasing number of amateurs are now actively participating in the translation of news, novels, TV and movie subtitles, as part of a growing phenomenon of collaborative translation facilitated by the development of information and communication technologies (Salzberg 2008). Although the social impact of non-professional translation is attracting an increasing amount of scholarly attention (Pérez-González & Susam-Sarajeva 2012), Chinese communities of non-professional translators have been largely ignored in translation and media studies.

This thesis delivers a narrative theoretic study of the translation of news reports by non-professional communities, drawing on Yeeyan as a case study. Yeeyan, the largest non-professional translation community in China, acts as an effective platform to bring the latest international news to Chinese readers (Stray 2010). The project involves a comparative analysis between the narratives disseminated by high-profile news stories published by Chinese mainstream media and Anglo-American media, and the narratives circulated by news stories on the same events translated from English into Chinese by Yeeyan. I aim to explore how Yeeyan translators position themselves between the Chinese mainstream narratives and their Anglo-American counterparts through the selection and (re)narration of news stories. I also consider the extent to which the narratives embedded in Yeeyan’s translations may be contributing to processes of social change in China.

Sharifah Fazliyaton Shaik Ismail

The Translation of Children's Literature in Malay Language in the 1970s: Sociocultural Context and Strategies Employed

Year: 2008

Translation has played a major role in the development of the Malay language and literature in Malaysia since the beginning of the 20th century. Yet, very few studies dealing with translation activities and development in Malaysia, in particular literary translations, have been carried out. A cursory survey of emerging translation patterns looked at the types of texts translated during the period 1958 to 2003, the volume of translations produced, preferred source languages, and the publishers' involvement in producing the translated literary texts. The findings of the survey revealed that most literary texts were translated from English, with the 1970s showing the highest volume of published translations. Local publishers were also identified as playing an active role in producing translations in the 1970s. Another significant trend that emerged from these findings was that translations of children's books outnumbered those of other literary genres during that period. These findings provide a rationale for a detailed study of the translation of children's literature from English into Malay in the 1970s.

This thesis asks, more specifically, why the 1970s produced more literary translations, especially children's literature. It also aims to address the issue of why English was more favoured as the source language in the translation of children's books during this period and why local publishers were more inclined to publish translated children's books. The thesis will examine the socio-cultural context that governed the translation of children's literature in Malaysia during the 1970s and will address questions such as: What types of children's literature were selected for translation in the 1970s? Is there any particular children's author favoured in the translations? What kinds of strategies were employed by the translators? What special features do the translations exhibit?

The researcher's working hypothesis is that the translation of children's books into Malay was carried out in great volume in the 1970s mainly to meet the demands of educational development in Malaysia and the development of Malay as the national language. English was preferred as the source language not only because of its international status but also because of its status as the language of the colonizer. It is also assumed that most translations of children's books during that period took the form of adaptations and abridgements.

Sameh Fekry Hanna

The Translation of Children's Literature in Malay Language in the 1970s: Sociocultural Context and Strategies Employed

Year: 2006

The main aim of this thesis is to develop a sociological model for the study of drama translation, based on the work of Pierre Bourdieu. The basic tenets of Bourdieu's sociology are used to elaborate a methodology for the study of Arabic translations of Shakespeare's great tragedies - namely, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth - in Egypt. The thesis engages in a detailed discussion of Bourdieu's sociology of cultural production, its intellectual underpinnings, conceptual tools and methodological relevance to both translation in general and drama translation in particular.

The study postulates a field of drama translation that took shape during turn of the century Egypt. The dynamic structure of this field is shown to be engendered by a struggle involving producers and co-producers of drama translation. This struggle took place between two groups of producers of drama translation: a group which strove to dissociate drama translation in Egypt from the dictates of commercial theatres, and another which paid more attention to the demands of the market.

Bourdieu's concept of the 'power of naming' provides insight into the foundational acts of naming used by both the early theatre makers and drama translators to designate their activities. These acts of naming are suggestive of how theatre makers and drama translators perceived their work, what socio-cultural realities they attended to and which consumers they targeted. The first published translation of Hamlet into Arabic Tanyous Abdu, which was staged in 1901 and published a year later, offers an illustrative example of the early practices of Shakespeare translators in Egypt and the boundaries of the field of drama translation at large.

The rise of a new generation of Shakespeare translators with new translation habitus and different intellectual trajectories in the 1910s in Egypt helped redraw the boundaries of the field of drama translation and restructure its internal hierarchy. These translators created new positions in the field and generally subscribed to a mode of production that tended to free the translation product from the demands of the cultural market. Khalil Mutran's translations of four of Shakespeare's dramatic works reveal such new shifts in the field.

This thesis also deploys other Bourdieusian concepts to provide further sociological insight into such translation phenomena as the retranslation of Shakespeare's great tragedies in Egypt and the production of 'iconoclastic' translations. Bourdieu's concepts of 'distinction', the 'social ageing' of cultural products and the tension between 'heterodox' and 'orthodox' discourses on translation are deployed in reading retranslations of Shakespeare's tragedies in Egypt, including translations in Egyptian colloquial Arabic.

Vicki Flippance

In Search of a Model for Assessing the Quality of Advertisements in Translation

Year: 2009

If well chosen, an image is able to communicate the key elements of an advertising message within a matter of seconds; once the reader has been drawn in by this image, the written text confirms the message and may add further detail. These two parts of the text do not function separately: they are intrinsically and inextricably connected, and the link between them is crucial in the execution of a successful advertising campaign. When an advertisement is made available in another language, it is therefore not only the written text that is transplanted into the target culture, but also the image and the written text-image link. Recent work in translation research has begun to acknowledge the changing status of translations in the light of globalisation and the advent of new media: scholars such as Cronin (2003) and Tymoczko (2007) explore how translation practices have had to change and adapt in this new environment. One of the consequences of globalisation is that it is not always easy to identify a 'source text' and a 'target text' with certainty.  This poses a problem for translation scholars wishing to carry out an assessment of quality: with no identifiable source text, there is no yardstick against which the acceptability of any possible translations or versions may be measured.  This thesis seeks to investigate how the advertiser can ensure that a similar persuasive effect is achieved in different cultural contexts. It examines the notion of quality in relation to multimodal texts, proposing that the concept might be more usefully redefined as 'effectiveness' in the context of printed magazine advertisements; a comparative analysis of the two texts may then be conducted without the need to use either as a yardstick for the other.  A framework for analysis is proposed, based on House's (1977/1981; 1997) seminal model for translation quality assessment and revised and extended to deal extensively with the written, visual and cultural aspects of printed advertisements. It is suggested that House's dimensions of language user and language use might successfully be used to account for many of the ideational and interpersonal aspects of both the written and visual text; however, in order to undertake a full visual analysis, the project turns to Kress and van Leeuwen (1996/2006) to complete the model. The framework is applied to two corpora of English and German magazine advertisements (for women's cosmetics and men's watches) in order to examine how cross-cultural effectiveness is achieved in successful printed magazine adverts. The data analysis highlights several key differences between advertising effectiveness in these two cultures, focusing in particular on differences in the reader-advertiser relationship and the apparent need for German advertisements to contain more 'proof'  to support the claims made about the product.

Melanie Födisch

Thesis title: 'Managing Translation Projects: Practices and Quality in Production Networks'

Year: 2017

Over the past two decades, translation workplaces have been substantially transformed by technological developments (Drugan 2013; Risku et al. 2013), and by the emergence of production networks in which a language service provider (LSP) acts as an intermediary between translator and client (Abdallah and Koskinen 2007; Abdallah 2012). However, there is little research into the effects of these organisational changes. My research aims at enhancing our understanding of translation project management and translation quality in production networks by conceptualising project management as a practice (Shove et al. 2012).

For this empirical study, a data set was collected based on 60 hours of observations within a UK-based LSP and 10 semi-structured interviews with four project managers (PMs) and one vendor manager (VM). Drawing on concepts from practice theory, the study analyses routinised enactments of the practice by PMs, their integration of information technologies into such enactments, their understanding of translation quality, and their strategies to achieve quality in the translation production process.

I propose that the practice of translation project management is deeply embedded into a larger complex of interdependent translation production practices. A practice-theoretical framework emphasises the socio-material and collective nature of the practice. My study demonstrates that project management is a joint effort between PMs and other actors in translation production. Based on an analysis of how PMs use CAT tools and an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system when they are managing translation projects, I argue that technologies are inextricably linked with enactments of production practices, and that they form part of the social structures surrounding the practice. The application of practice theory affords a new understanding of skills, or competence, in which the engagement in professional activities is vital, and in which building competence is an ongoing process. Finally, I suggest that buyers of translation products, i.e. clients, substantially contribute to translation quality, as PMs carry out project management based on the notion of translation as a service.

J. Gustavo Gongóra-Goloubintseff

Translation in Wikipedia: A Praxeological Study of Normativity, Negotiation and Automation across Four Language Communities


Launched in 2001, Wikipedia is a long-standing multilingual user-driven encyclopaedia and one of the most popular sources of first-hand information in the world. Although its previously neglected multilingual nature has awakened scholarly interest in recent years, most studies have vastly overlooked the norms and materials that underpin and configure the practice of translation in Wikipedia.

Consequently, this doctoral thesis first sets out to investigate the extent to which translation standards have been regulated, negotiated and ultimately incorporated into the practices of 16 translators of the Spanish, French, Dutch and Swedish language communities of the encyclopaedia.

This investigation is then followed by an examination of the translators’ views on and deployment of automated devices such as software robots (bots) and Wikipedia’s bespoke Content Translation Tool (CX). Drawing primarily upon Wenger’s (1998) ‘communities of practice’, Warde’s (2016) ‘standards of performance’, and Shove’s (2017) concept of ‘devices as practice configurators’, this project seeks to ascertain the role of local (community-based) translation standards and automated devices in configuring the practice of translation in Wikipedia, with the focus placed on the last lustrum.

The thematic analysis of documented standards revealed that despite being tangible differences in how the four communities regulated translation, most guidelines gave similar advice on core editing principles such as verifiability of the sources. The data collected from translation-related comments on the ancillary ‘talk pages’ further suggest that although certain aspects of the standards have been vehemently contested, such norms have not undergone substantial changes over the years.

This stagnation was later corroborated by a cohort of experienced translators that took part in the study, most of whom attached little, if any, relevance to local standards. The findings also show a widespread tendency among participants to comply with more ‘enforceable’ policies commonly found in editing, thus lending support to previously formulated claims that translation and editing in Wikipedia form a continuum. Finally, the study has also brought to light the impact of devices such as bots and CX in configuring translation in the encyclopaedia. The latter, in particular, has enabled translators to ease their workload and optimise their productivity.

Chonglong Gu

Interpreters' Institutional Alignment and (Re)construction of China's Political Discourse and Image: A Corpus-based CDA of the Premier-Meets-the-Press Conferences

Drawing on corpus-based Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), this study addresses the research questions relating to the government interpreters’ alignment vis-à-vis their institutional employer and (re)construction of China’s discourse and image as civil servants at China’s Premier-Meets-the-Press conferences. A typical discursive event, the interpreter-mediated and televised press conferences provide the Chinese premier with the opportunity to answer journalists' questions on various topical issues, and, in doing so, present China’s global diplomacy and domestic developments to a global audience.

Featuring relatively comprehensive coverage of discourse at different levels, Fairclough’s (1989; 1992; 1995) three-dimensional model is employed as a general theoretical framework. I argue, however, that his CDA model needs to be further enriched and adapted in a way that accounts for the dynamic and bilingual interpreter-mediated event. Given the triadic nature of the press conference setting (featuring the interactions between the Chinese officials, interpreter and journalists), the Bakhtinian concept of dialogised heteroglossia is discussed, which highlights the negotiated nature of interpreting where the interpreters are caught up in an ideological ‘tug-of-war’ between the centripetal force represented by the Chinese government and the centrifugal force exerted by the (foreign) journalists who pull away from the centre and challenge Beijing’s official narratives. Furthermore, (political) interpreting is conceptualised as a (re)contextualisation process at a macro-level, which necessarily involves numerous micro instances of decision-making, stance-taking and possibly shifts when rendering information into the sociopolitical, cultural and linguistic contexts of the TT. Proposed as an enrichment of Fairclough’s framework, these macro-level conceptualisations permit an empirical analysis of the interpreters’ alignment and (re)construction of China’s discourse and image, focusing on ideologically salient shifts in bilingual comparative CDA. For more systematic and objective analysis, the mixed-methods approach of corpus-based CDA is operationalised on 20 years of press conference data (1998-2017) to explore the interpreters’ agency and discursive mediation at various levels (e.g. lexical, collocational and diachronic) and from different perspectives (self-referentiality, China’s discourses concerning reform and opening-up and its core national interests, China’s discourses on its past achievements, current conditions, future actions, and China’s discourse on people).

The findings suggest that the government-affiliated interpreters do actively mediate in the process through a variety of linguistic and discursive means (e.g. foregrounding, ideologically salient additions, mediation of self-referential items and modality). Such interpreter agency points to their crucial role in communicating beyond national borders, (re)telling the ‘Chinese story’ and in the international news and knowledge (re)production, (re)construction and dissemination processes in our increasingly globalised and mediat(is)ed world (e.g. the interpreted discourse into English is often further mediated and quoted verbatim by such media outlets as BBC, CNN and The Financial Times). This interdisciplinary study makes a solid contribution to the hitherto under-explored area of interpreter-mediated interaction in a political and institutional setting and enriches scholarship in related areas of CDA, corpus linguistics, discursive psychology, media and communication studies, the political sciences and Chinese studies.

Sue-Ann Harding

News as Narrative: Reporting and Translating the 2004 Beslan Hostage Disaster

Year: 2009

On 1 September 2004, School No. 1 in Beslan, North Ossetia-Alania (Southern Russia) was seized by an armed group that held over a thousand children, parents, and teachers hostage. With over three hundred people killed by the time the siege came to an end, Beslan was Russia's worst hostage-crisis and, to date, there has not been another like it. This thesis uses socio-narrative theory as a conceptual framework to investigate, using a case study approach, a sample of online reporting generated in response to the crisis, thus exploring ways in which different narratives are constructed from, and in response to, events emerging from situations of violent conflict.

Narrative theory is adopted not only as an analytical tool with which to approach the data, but in order to investigate and develop the theory itself. Thus, the study offers a revised typology of narratives, it intentionally combines narratological and sociological approaches, elaborates an intratextual model of analysis, and emphasises the importance of narrators and temporary narrators in the (re)configuration of narratives. The bulk of the thesis is a detailed, sustained textual analysis examining online reporting of the events in Beslan published by three different Russian-language news websites - RIA-Novosti, Kavkazcenter, and Caucasian Knot - during the course of the hostage-taking and its immediate aftermath, that is, from Wednesday 1 to Saturday 4 September 2004. By examining both Russian and English texts published by the three websites, the study also explores issues of translation, particularly in regard to online publishing, and ways in which translation impacts on the (re)construction of narratives.

The case study is firmly grounded in socio-narrative assumptions that narratives do not merely represent, but constitute, reality, and furthermore, are fundamentally (if complexly) linked to human agency and behaviour. Thus, conclusions are drawn from the analysis that concern not only the construction and translation of narratives but ways in which narratives are used to account for, legitimise, and challenge individual behaviour and the practices of institutions. With its particular focus on narratives and violent political conflict, the project also reflects upon the potential for certain kinds of narratives to either perpetuate or dissolve such conflict.

Keith Harvey

Translating the Queens' English: Parodic Femininity in Fictional Representations of Gay Talk: A Study of French Representations of Late 1970s American Gay Fiction

Year: 2001

This study (a) examines the association of a specific verbal style, known in English as camp, with male homosexual characters in Anglo-American post-war fiction, and (b) considers the translation of that style into French in a corpus of five key 'gay texts' from the late 1970s. Once a descriptive framework for camp has been elaborated based upon four underlying semiotic strategies (Paradox, Inversion, Ludicrism, Parody), a particular focus on the parody of notions of femininity is identified and justified. It is hypothesised that camp (and parodic femininity) presents a complex problem for translators in that, while it is manifest in comparable formal (stylistic and pragmatic) devices in both English- and French-language texts, it can be seen to fulfil different functions in the literary and cultural contexts of post-war France, Britain and the United States. These functions relate specifically to issues of gay subjectivity, community (and subculture) building, political resistance and efficacy, and the intercultural model of 'gay' developed in the late 20th century largely through the global influence of American cultural production and economic hegemony. The study is, then, also an attempt to sketch out the epistemological and methodological parameters of an 'intercultural studies' as a key dimension of the growing discipline of translation studies.

The translation analyses themselves reveal complex negotiations with camp on the part of the French translators, although a distinct tendency to downplay the macro-functional role of camp as a subcultural sign of gay bonding is discernible. It is suggested that a flexible, non-deterministic approach to textual outcomes might help to capture the complexity of translation decision-making (its negotiations, its contradictions, its innovations). This approach would complement the current dominance of causal thinking in translation history research. With respect to future perspectives, the study opens up intersections between translation practice and the existence, consolidation and transformation of (gendered and sexualised) cultural identities. These intersections will involve: (a) the material commissioning, marketing and reception of translated texts and lists; (b) the cultural self-identification of the translator; (c) the textual choices of the translated product viewed in terms of the resulting representations and ideologies encoded in the text, and the relation of the latter with the constraints, possibilities and reactions of the receiving cultural context. Large-scale research is needed into the ways in which translated texts participate in the intra- and intercultural circulation, perpetuation and transformation of gendered identities and identities construed through sexuality.

Publications based on this research

  • 1998. 'Translating camp talk: Gay identities and cultural transfer', The Translator: Studies in Intercultural Communication 4(2): 295-320. Special edition on Translation and Minority, guest-edited by Lawrence Venuti. Reproduced in The Translation Studies Reader edited by Lawrence Venuti, Routledge, 2000.
  • 2000. 'Describing Camp Talk: Language/Pragmatics/Politics', Language and Literature 9(3): 240-260.
  • 2000. 'Gay community, gay identity and the translated text', Traduction Terminologie Rédaction: Études sur le Texte et ses Transformations: 137-165

Pauline Henry-Tierney

Transgressive Textualities: Translating References to Gender, Sexuality and Corporeality in Contemporary French and Francophone Women’s Writing

Year: 2014

Situated at the intersections between gender studies and translation studies this study explores the specific interactions of these two disciplines in the translation of contemporary French and Francophone women’s writing. My doctoral research will aim to move beyond cornerstone theories of gender and translation as elaborated by the Canadian feminist translation school to consider how gender-conscious translation is influenced by new modalities in women’s writing today. While much of the existing feminist translation theory has been elaborated in response to the linguistically experimental Quebec feminist writing from the 1970s and 1980s, post-millennial French and Francophone (auto)fictional women’s writing has moved towards the transgressive, with writers engaging, in an explicit manner, with topoi such as gendered identity; female desire and sexuality; and female corporeality.

Applying a dual-method approach, this qualitative study primarily involves a close comparative textual analysis of the source texts and their translations, analysing how references to gender, sexuality and the body are translated. The analysis of the translation strategies employed is informed by interviews conducted with each of the translators, providing first-hand insights into the challenges faced when translating these transgressive texts. The project comprises four case studies of one selected text from the following women writers, namely: Nelly Arcan, Nina Bouraoui, Nancy Huston, and Catherine Millet. This research aims to provide an updated contribution to the field of gender and translation by highlighting the ever-evolving, dialogical relationship between gynocentric textualities and translation.

Tania Paola Hernández

Whither Le Monde diplomatique? A Bourdieusian Perspective on the Role of Translation in the Internationalisation of the Press

Year: 2013

Globalisation and the Internet have had a significant impact on the production, dissemination and consumption of information since the mid 1990s. These changes have brought about the emergence and consolidation of the 'global press' through greater reliance on news agencies as sources of information and the internationalisation of certain news outlets in the form of different editions, often involving different language versions. Against this backdrop, translation has become an indispensable tool for facilitating the internationalisation of the press.

This research focuses on Le Monde diplomatique, a monthly French newspaper translated into 27 languages and published in 76 international editions (46 printed and 30 online). Specifically, it assesses the relevance of key Bourdieusian concepts to the study of the role of translation in the current expansion of printed media outlets beyond and across national boundaries. The position of Le Monde diplomatique within the journalistic field is examined in terms of its similarities to other ongoing processes of internationalisation in the printed media industry as well as to a number of emerging activist media. The habitus of the agents involved (editors, journalists, translators) is interrogated to establish how translation currently influences their practice, and to what extent it influences their position within the field under study. Finally, the study examines how translation shapes the interplay between different editions of Le Monde diplomatique and whether/how their relative status (some of these editions act as source texts for others) can be accounted for in terms of Bourdieu's notion of symbolic capital. The study is based on a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the data set, consisting of the printed and electronic versions of the French and Hispanic editions of Le Monde diplomatique since the early 1980s to date.

Souhad Hijazi Al Sharif

Translation in the Service of Advocacy: Narrating Palestine and Palestinian Women in Translations by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)

Year: 2009

In the wake of wars and conflicts that have spilled into the 21st century, and at this critical juncture in history, translation continues to play a crucial role in revealing the power that one culture can exert over another. In this context of ongoing conflict, translation participates in shaping the struggle between rival ideologies. Translations may be manipulated and reframed by rival parties to circulate and legitimize their own narratives, with each side attempting to frame the same event in a different way that strengthens its own narratives and serves its own interests. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is widely recognized as central to world security and as exercising a major influence on American foreign policy. A large number of web-based advocacy groups that focus on this conflict have emerged in recent years. This study examines one of the most influential of these groups, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), and its translation programme. MEMRI extracts material from a large range of mainly Arab and Iranian sources, translates them into a range of languages, and circulates them widely among politicians, journalists, academics, and various other parties, mostly free of charge. Drawing on narrative theory, as elaborated in Somers (1997), Somers and Gibson (1994) and Baker (2006), and on the notion of framing as defined and elaborated by Goffman (1974, 1984), the study investigates the mechanisms by which this organization, which is aligned to dominant narratives and invests in embedding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict within the metanarrative of a global 'war on terror', systematically elaborates dehumanising narratives of Palestinians in general as deranged terrorists and Palestinian women as heartless mothers who rejoice at seeing their children martyred.

Rebecca Johnson

The Clash of Articulations: Aesthetic Shock, Intersectional Narratives and Islam in post-9/11 Britain and France

Year: 2017

This study investigates audiovisual texts (specifically, hip hop music videos and film) circulating in both the UK and France which challenge narrative hegemonies relating to Islam by means of ‘aesthetic shock’.

Using the sociological manifestation of narrative theory as the framework for analysis, which holds that human behaviour is not guided by fixed attributes such as gender or race so much as by the stories people come to believe about themselves and the world around them, it aims to explore the methods and implications of using subversion to creatively negotiate intersectional identities under conditions of accelerated globalisation in the post-9/11 era.

The impetus of the study is the contention that we are now in a position to observe the creative articulation of the ontological impact that 9/11 and its ‘narrative fallout’ (in particular, the development of the ‘War on Terror’ meta narrative) had on Muslims living in Europe, and that we must listen to such narratives if we are to understand the globalised communities in which we live.

Drawing parallels between the position of the translator and that of the Muslim convert – in that both are situated at the juncture of often conflicting narratives which they are required to mediate, and both tend to be underrepresented and only partially or inaccurately understood by mainstream society – I argue that in producing/engaging with subversive texts, individuals at such junctures create a conceptual space for the contestation of narratives that have been impressed upon them and the opportunity to assert themselves against restrictive and essentialist paradigms, such as Huntington’s divisive ‘Clash of Civilisations’ thesis which remains prominent in media and political discourse.

Drawing out themes of affectivity and affinity; nationhood and multiculturalism, and the construction/deconstruction of identities and meanings related to Islam, I propose to build a narrative model around the texts in which both converts and translators emerge as key agents of narrative intersectionality in the globalised era.

Henry Jones

Re-narrating the City: A genetic investigation into the narrative impact of the translation practices of Wikipedia volunteers

Year: 2017

As the sixth most visited website on the Internet today and by far the most comprehensive knowledge source yet created, the online user-generated encyclopedia Wikipedia now holds a unique position of power and influence in modern society. This social status has attracted a considerable amount of academic attention, and yet researchers have so far largely neglected the cross-cultural aspects of the multilingual encyclopedia project.

This research project contributes towards redressing this imbalance by investigating the activity of online volunteers involved in the translation of content between the English- and French-language versions of Wikipedia. It does so using a conceptual framework based in socio-narrative theory which holds that our access to reality is mediated by the stories we tell and are told about the world (Baker 2006; Harding 2012).

The project focuses on the role played by Wikipedia translators in the transfer and transformation (or the ‘re-narration’) of narratives relating to British cities across linguistic divides. By analysing all previous versions of each article in both languages, along with the relevant paratextual discussion pages, this research adopts a ‘genetic’ methodology (Hay 2004; Kinderman 2009) which follows the process of article (re)construction through every stage of its development. In this way, it demonstrates the complex and influential position these volunteer translators now occupy in representing the local within the non-local, virtual environment of the Wikipedia project and, ultimately, within global society as a whole.

Fotios Karamitroglou

Towards a Methodology for the Investigation of Norms in Audiovisual Translation: The Choice between Subtitling and Revoicing in Greece

Year: 1998

This thesis offers a methodology for the investigation of norms which operate in the field of audiovisual translation, demonstrating thereby that audiovisual translation can be studied in a systematic way within the framework of translation studies.

After establishing a link between norms and (poly)systems and stressing the prominence of function over the notion of translational equivalence, the target system is taken as the essential focus of study. The elements/factors that constitute the target system are classified into four categories: (a) human agents, (b) products, (c) recipients, and (d) audiovisual mode. They are further stratified under three levels: (a) lower, (b) middle, and (c) upper levels. Relations of mutual interaction between the factors and hierarchical structures between the levels are established and specific techniques for collecting and analysing data are suggested.

The model is tentatively applied to the investigation of norms which seem to determine the choice between subtitling and revoicing children's TV programmes in Greece during the period 1994-1996. At the same time, the model is enlarged to cover the whole area of audiovisual translation, including the modes of cinema and video as well as the whole range of film-types and genres, since children's TV programmes in Greece are found to be influenced by an overall subtitling norm. At the upper level, links are also provided between audiovisual translation and the translation of written texts as the overall subtitling norm is associated with general cultural phenomena of 'Anglo-mania'.

Publications based on this research

  • 2000. Towards a Methodology for the Investigation of Norms in Audiovisual Translation, Rodopi.

Lukasz Kaczmarek

Modelling Competence in Community Interpreting: Expectancies, Impressions and Implications for Accreditation

Year: 2010

The aims of this thesis are to propose and test a competence model for community interpreting, and to discuss implications of the model for accreditation of community interpreters in the UK. The thesis first focuses on selected approaches to translation competence and interpreting competence in order to show that translation and interpreting studies fail to offer foundations for a model of community interpreter competence. The deficiencies identified in these approaches concern mostly a prevailing tendency to discuss the question of competence in terms of components. This, in turn, seems to result in prescriptive views on competence in translation and interpreting studies. With a view to overcoming those deficiencies, the thesis discusses achievements of intercultural communication studies, arguing that scholarly contributions within this discipline are helpful in seeking theoretical foundations for a new model. Having shown the applicability of the model of intercultural communication competence to the current project, the thesis puts forward a model of community interpreter competence. Drawing on the relevant assumptions, the proposed model postulates approaching the question of competence as a matter of subjective impressions governed by fulfilment of individual expectancies. This correspondence between competence impressions and expectancy fulfilment is claimed to constitute the decisive factor in the process of impression formation. For this reason, the assumptions and propositions of the model are used to derive a principle which describes the correspondence concerned. This principle is then tested through analysis of transcripts of interviews conducted with all three participants of interpreter-mediated encounters. The analysis successfully points to the correspondence between competence impressions and expectancy fulfilment. Finally, the thesis explores the conclusions and implications of the analysis by proposing enhancement to the framework of interpreter accreditation in the UK. The proposals aim to enrich the framework by widening the range of individuals, methods and sources used to assess a candidate's competence. This enrichment acknowledges the expectancy-based nature of impressions related to community interpreter competence.

Luciana Kaross

The Amateur Translation of Song Lyrics: A Study of Morrissey in Brazil (1985-2012)

Year: 2014

This thesis investigates the field of amateur translation in Brazil, with particular emphasis on the translation of Morrissey’s lyrics for understanding purposes in four different sources: magazines, fan sites, virtual communities and general websites. It examines whether existing theories on the translation of popular songs (Kelly 1987 and Low 2003, 2005, 2008) find some resonance in the practice of amateur translators. The collective construction of meaning, and the social acceptance of the Target Text are essential parts of the process. The analysis follows Toury’s (1995) descriptive model in order to systematise how these translators operate. The Brazilian amateur translators’ regularity in the use of particular techniques to render meaning to lyrics for understanding purposes enables the description of their practice as a genre its own.

Following the theoretical framework, chapters four, five and six focus on the translation of the main challenges amateur translators of Morrissey’s lyrics face. The translation of cultural aspects proved to be an exercise of creativity in which the translators had to provide equivalents to culture-specific items (Aixelá 1996) that find no mirror in the target culture. Ambiguous lyrics tended to present translations as varied as the translators’ personal agendas, understanding of the lyrics or target language’s limitations, such as lack of neutral personal pronoun. The different humour and irony styles in source and target culture resulted in every group of translators finding their own strategies to render meaning.

As the first project aiming to rationalise amateur translators of lyrics in Brazil, this study represents an attempt to enrich and broaden the discussion on the translation of pop songs, with special attention to the practices of translation for this type of texts in a country where the audience is high dependent on translations in order to understand the lyrics are in great demand.

Dinithi Karunanayake

Theatre Translation, Communities of Practice and the Sri Lankan Conflicts: Renarration as Political Critique

Year: 2015

This study draws on social narrative theory and communities of practice theory to explore some of the ways in which theatre translation intervened in the 1983-2009 conflicts in Sri Lanka by promoting narratives that undermined or contested those endorsing violence and by advancing social justice agendas. A case study of the Wayside and Open Theatre, Sri Lanka’s first political street theatre troupe, reveals how activist theatre translation is located in the practices adopted by theatre communities, which consist of networks of theatre practitioners, as well as in the theatrical output of such communities. The project explores the practices of the theatre community through interview data, collected using narrative interviews and a focus group discussion with members of the Wayside and Open Theatre and analysed qualitatively through dialogic (performance) analysis. Analysis is also offered of two theatre translations in which members and former members of this theatre community are involved. These are Saakki, the Sinhala renarration of Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist, and Charandas, the Sinhala renarration of Habib Tanvir’s Charandas the Thief.

The novel combination of social narrative theory and communities of practice theory proved highly productive in revealing the social and political role that theatre, particularly theatre translation, can play in situations of conflict. The analysis of interview data revealed the prefigurative nature of the politics favoured by the Wayside and Open Theatre practitioners, which has a direct impact on their narrative role vis-à-vis the conflicts in Sri Lanka. The analysis of this particular activist theatre community also shed some light on the role of leadership in both communities of practice in general and contemporary social movements in particular. The application of narrative theory in the analysis of the two theatre translations makes a contribution to the intersecting fields of performance/theatre studies and translation studies, among other things by presenting a methodology for the study of theatre troupes and their theatrical creations.

Dorothy Kenny

Norms and Creativity: Lexis in Translated Text

Year: 1999

Recent contributions to the field of Descriptive Translation Studies have proposed a number of norms that are thought to inform translation practice and whose operation is said to be manifested in observable regularities in translation products. One such hypothesised norm is that of normalisation, understood here as the tendency in translation to exaggerate features of the target language and to conform to its typical patterns. At the level of lexis, normalisation may be said to have occurred in cases where a translation makes use of more conventional lexical items, or more conventional ways of combining lexical items, than would be expected on the basis of the source text alone. This thesis sets out to investigate whether or not such lexical normalisation is a feature of translation in a specially compiled two-million-word German-English Parallel Corpus of Literary Texts (GEPCOLT). It represents an initial attempt to define a corpus-based methodology for the investigation of lexical normalisation in translation, one that draws on the ability of corpus-processing software to search, sort and display linguistic data, both monolingual and bilingual, in interesting and revealing ways. Frequency-ranked word form lists are used to identify potentially creative hapax legomena in source texts; and concordancing software is used to isolate creative collocations involving a selected source language node. The creative status of such hapax legomena and collocations is then verified using standard lexicographical sources, native speaker judgements, and, most importantly, a reference corpus of German texts. Their translations into English are isolated with the help of a bilingual concordancer, and the creativity of these translations is evaluated using, again, a mixture of lexicographical sources, native speaker judgements, and a reference corpus of English. The discussion of lexical creativity in both German source texts and English translations draws on many of the analytical categories proposed by corpus linguists to account for both regularity and deviation in the lexical patterns observable in corpora. The study finds that while around 44% of creative hapax legomena identified in the source texts in GEPCOLT are normalised in translation, the figure of creative collocations involving the German lemma AUGE is much lower at 16%. A number of factors, of both a textual-linguistic and a demographic nature, that may condition normalisation are proposed, but, given the small number of examples in each relevant category, any conclusions are necessarily tentative and await verification in future, scaled-up studies.

Publications based on this research


  • Kenny, Dorothy (2001) Lexis and Creativity in Translation. A Corpus-based Study, Manchester: St. Jerome.

Articles/chapters in books:

  • Kenny, Dorothy (2000) 'Lexical Hide-and-Seek: looking for creativity in a parallel corpus' in Maeve Olohan (ed) Intercultural Faultlines: Research Models in Translation Studies I: Textual and Cognitive Aspects, Manchester: St. Jerome, 93-104.
  • Kenny, Dorothy (2000) 'Translators at Play: Exploitations of Collocational Norms in German-English Translation', in Bill Dodd (ed) Working with German Corpora, Birmingham: University of Birmingham Press, 143-160.
  • Kenny, Dorothy (1999) 'The German-English Parallel Corpus of Literary Texts (GEPCOLT): A Resource for Translation Scholars', Teanga 18: 25-42.
  • Kenny, Dorothy (1998a) 'Creatures of Habit? What translators usually do with words', Meta Special Issue on The Corpus-Based Approach 43(4): 515-523.
  • Kenny, Dorothy (1998b) 'Corpora in Translation Studies' in Mona Baker (ed) Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies, London and New York: Routledge, 50-53.
  • Kenny, Dorothy (1998c) 'Theme and Rheme in Irish and English: A Corpus-based Study', School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies Working Papers in Language and Society 1998, Dublin: Dublin City University, 1-25.
  • Kenny, Dorothy (1997) '(Ab)normal translations: a German-English parallel corpus for investigating normalization in translation', in Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk and Patrick James Melia (eds) Practical Applications in Language Corpora 97 - Proceedings, Lódz: Lódz University Press, 387-392.

Kyung-Hye Kim

Mediating American and South Korean News Discourses about North Korea through Translation: A Corpus-based Critical Discourse Analysis

Year: 2013

Drawing on corpus-based methodology and critical discourse analysis, this study will examine American and South Korean news stories published in mainstream media with a view to identifying specific discursive practices relating to North Korea and how they are mediated in translation. In addition to a quantitative analysis of frequencies of specific lexical items and collocational profiles, a qualitative analysis will also be conducted through close examination not only of expanded concordance lines but also of a sample of full texts in the corpus. The study will attempt to analyse the relationship between textual features and practices specific to each news outlet.

The corpus for this study consists of two separate sub-corpora, designed and compiled according to the same criteria and specifications: one made up of news texts originally written in English, and the other consisting of Korean texts which include texts produced originally in Korean and texts translated from English into Korean. The texts are drawn from Newsweek/Newsweek Hangukpan and CNN International/CNN Hanguel News. It is hoped that this study will enhance our understanding of some of the ways in which particular media discourses are constructed, disseminated and mediated via translation.

Sung-Hee Kirk

Cohesion Shifts in English-Korean Translation

Year: 2005

Translation could be defined as a textual process. Text has distinct features which differentiate it from non-text. These distinct features constitute standards of textuality, and when these standards are violated, the text sounds unnatural and foreign. Cohesion is one of the standards of textuality; it is mainly concerned with mutual connectivity of items in the surface structure of a text.

Every language has its own set of cohesive devices and preferred means for creating cohesive harmony (Hasan 1985) and bonding patterns (Hoey 1991). As a result, shifts in cohesion inevitably occur in translation. The objective of this study is to examine potential shifts in cohesion and bonding patterns between a set of English source texts and their Korean translations and to explore the nature of motivations behind these shifts. Two types of shift are expected to occur: language-oriented cohesion shifts, motivated by systemic differences between the two languages, and translation-oriented cohesion shifts, caused by the translation process. Identification of language-oriented cohesion shifts presupposes the recognition of intrinsic cohesion differences between Korean and English. In the absence of comprehensive research documenting such differences, this study attempts to address the issue by comparing a number of original (i.e. non-translated) English source texts and a number of original Korean comparable texts.

The study sets out to test a number of hypotheses. The main hypothesis is that there are cohesion and bonding pattern shifts between English source texts and their Korean translations. These hypothesized shifts may be motivated by: (a) intrinsic linguistic differences between English and Korean and translators' attempts to abide by target language textual norms and expectations: and/or (b) the nature of the translation process. The secondary hypothesis in this study is that translated Korean texts display patterns of cohesion which are different from those evidenced in a comparable collection of non-translated Korean texts. These hypothesized differences may be explained in terms of several features posited in the literature as being characteristic of the translation process, including source language interference (see, for instance, Toury's law of interference, Toury 1995: 275).

The analysis reveals that there are cohesion and bonding patterns specific to each type of text under analysis in this study, i.e. English source, Korean target, and Korean comparable texts. These differences are potentially motivated by intrinsic linguistic and textual differences between English and Korean and/or by the nature of the translation process itself.

Publications based on this research

  • 2002. Yenghan kyelsokkwuco pikyoyenkwu [Contrastive Analysis of Cohesion Patterns of English and Korean]. Textlinguistics Vol.12, 139-156.  
  • 2002. Yenghanpenyekey nathanan kyelsokkwuco cenhwanyangsang [Cohesion Pattern Changes in English-Korean Translation]. Penyekhakyenkwu [Journal of Translation Studies]. Vol.3-1, 125-144.
  • 2001. Analysis of Contrastive Cohesion Pattern between English and Korean. Proceedings of the First International Conference on Discourse and Cognitive Linguistics: Perspectives for the 21st Century, 737-748.
  • 2001. Patterns of cohesion in the source, Patterns of cohesion in the Target. Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Translation and Interpretation Studies: Theories of Translation and Interpretation & Problems in Korean Translation and Interpretation, 121-140.
  • 2000. Acceptability and Translation Shifts in English-Korean Translation. Translation Perspectives Vol. 11, 227-251.
  • 2000. Acceptability and Grammaticality in English-Korean Translation. Kwukceyhankwukekyoyukhakhoy [Journal of International Korean Language Education] Vol. 10-2, 135-152.
  • 2000.Theyksuthuseng-kwa penyekcenhwan [Textuality and Translation Shifts]. Penyekhakyenkwu [Journal of Translation Studies]. Vol.1-1, 93-118.
  • 2000. Translation Shifts and Intertextuality in English-Korean Translation. Tongyekpenyekyenkwusononmuncip [Journal of Interpretation and Translation Research Center] Vol. 3, 1-26.
  • 1999. Translation Analysis of Newsweek Korea. in J. Vandaele(ed). Translation and the (Re)Location of Meaning: Selected Papers of the CETRA Research Seminars in Translation Studies 1994-1996, CETRA, 401-422.
  • 1999. Adjustment of Cohesion Standard difference in English-Korean Translation. Linguistic Investigations: In Honor of Professor In-Seok Yang, Seoul: Hankuk Publishing, 290-324.
  • 1998. Analysis of Shifts Resulting from Informativity Standard Difference in English-Korean Translation. Tongyekpenyekyenkwusononmuncip Vol.2, 1-61.
  • 1998. Informativity and Translation Shifts in English-Korean Translation. Asian Babel: Proceedings of the 2nd Asian Translators' Forum, 241-260.
  • 1997. Translation Strategy of Non-Literary Text from English to Korean.  Tongyekpenyekyenkwusononmuncip Vol.1, 43-78.

Anna Lanfranchi

Contacts and Relationships between Italian and British Publishing Houses at the Beginning of the 20th Century

This doctoral project investigates practices and dynamics informing the emergence and evolution of the translation rights import from Britain (and, marginally, the US) to Italy between 1900 and 1948. The increasing quantity and quality of fictional and non-fictional translations from English issued in Italy since the late 1920s constitute the empirical evidence supporting this project. To date, this phenomenon has been addressed by studies focusing either on the repercussions on the cultural and social environment of pre-WWII Italy in terms of aesthetic and political orientations (Billiani 2007), or investigating the political context and Mussolini’s Fascist propaganda and censorship (Rundle 2010).

On the contrary, transnational networks encompassing Italian, British and American authors, publishers, and literary agents have received very little critical attention, as well as the economic and professional dimension of such cultural exchange. By evaluating a set of case studies and relying on extensive archival research in Italian and British archives, this project aims to question the chronological boundaries of the ‘decennio delle traduzioni’ (Pavese 1951), while highlighting points of rupture and continuity of European publishing practices from the early 20th century to the years following the Second World War.

Sara Laviosa-Braithwaite (Sara Laviosa)

The English Comparable Corpus (ECC): A Resource and a Methodology for the Empirical Study of Translation

Year: 1996

The study sets out to develop a viable descriptive and target-oriented corpus-based methodology for the systematic study of the nature of translated text. The realisation of this objective involves three main operations: (a) the elaboration of criteria for designing a monolingual, multi-source language English Comparable Corpus (ECC), (b) the application of these principles to the creation of two sub-sections of ECC, namely newspaper articles and narrative prose, and (c) the investigation of simplification as a universal of translation, as a way of testing the viability of the proposed methodology.

The English Comparable Corpus consists of two computerised collections of texts in English: one, referred to as the Translational English Corpus (TEC), comprises translations from a variety of source languages; the other, called the Non-Translational English Corpus (NON-TEC), includes original English texts of a similar type and produced during a similar time span. TEC and NON-TEC consist of two sub-sections each: the Newspaper Subcorpus and the Narrative Prose Subcorpus. The Newspaper Subcorpus includes material from The Guardian and The European. The Narrative Prose Subcorpus is further subdivided into Biography and Fiction.

The investigation of ECC focuses on global aspects of lexical and stylistic simplification and reveals four consistent patterns of lexical simplification in translated versus original texts, independently of text category. These patterns are: relatively lower proportion of lexical words versus grammatical words, relatively higher proportion of high frequency versus low frequency words, relatively greater repetition of the most frequent words and less variety in the words most frequently used. The study refers to these recurring features of translated text as 'core patterns of lexical use' in an attempt to convey the fact that, given that they occur in both the Newspaper and the Narrative Prose Subcorpora, they may prove typical of translated text in general.

On the basis of the results obtained from testing the proposed methodology, this study suggests that ECC-based research can fruitfully be used to discover the patterning specific to translational language and the extent of the influence on translational language of variables such as source language, text genre or translation mode, providing the methodology is refined in at least two respects. The first involves raising the level of comparability of narrative texts by supplementing the external criteria applied in this study with internal principles to guide the selection of suitable works of biography and fiction. The second consists of enlarging and balancing the corpus so as to include a variety of text genres and translation modes and to represent a greater number of source languages and female translators; the latter are somewhat under-represented in this study.

Publications based on this research

  • Laviosa, Sara. 1997. 'How Comparable Can 'Comparable Corpora' Be?', Target 9(2): 289-319.
  • Laviosa-Braithwaite, Sara. 1997. 'Investigating Simplification in an English Comparable Corpus of Newspaper Articles', in K. Klaudy and J. Kohn (eds.) Transferre Necesse Est. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Current Trends in Studies of Translation and Interpreting, 5-7 September, 1996, Budapest, Hungary. Budapest: Scholastica. 531-540.
  • Laviosa, Sara (ed.). 1998. L'Approche Basée sur le corpus/ The Corpus-Based Approach. Special Issue of Meta 43(4). Montréal: Les Presses de L'Université de Montréal.
  • Laviosa, Sara. 1998. 'The Corpus-based Approach: A New Paradigm in Translation Studies', in Sara Laviosa (ed.), 474-479.
  • Laviosa, Sara. 1998. 'Core Patterns of Lexical Use in a Comparable Corpus of English Narrative Prose', in Sara Laviosa (ed.), 557-570.
  • Laviosa, Sara. 1998. 'The English Comparable Corpus: A Resource and a Methodology', in L. Bowker; M. Cronin; D. Kenny; J. Pearson (eds.), Unity in Diversity? Current Trends in Translation Studies. Manchester: St. Jerome. 101-112.
  • Laviosa, Sara. 1999. 'Come studiare e insegnare l'italiano attraverso i corpora', Italica 76(4): 443-453.
  • Laviosa, Sara. 2000. 'Corpora and Translation: the Methods and Theories of Corpus Work in Translation', in S. Hunston with S. Laviosa Corpus Linguistics. MA Translation Studies. Open Distance Learning. Birmingham: School of English, CELS, The University of Birmingham, 148-168.
  • Laviosa, Sara. 2000. 'Simplification in the language of translation: before and after the advent of corpora', Athanor XI(3).
  • Laviosa, Sara. 2000. 'TEC: A Resource for Studying what is "in" and "of" Translational English', Across Languages & Cultures.
  • Laviosa, Sara. 2003. 'Corpora and Translation Studies', in S. Granger, J. Lerot and S. Petch-Tyson (eds.) Corpus-based Approaches to Contrastive Linguistics and Translation Studies. Amsterdam and Atlanta: Rodopi.
  • Laviosa, Sara. 2002. Corpus-based Translation Studies: Theory, Findings, Applications. Amsterdam and Atlanta: Rodopi.

Seryun Lee

Translating Self-mediated Content as a Community-Building Activity in Cyberspace: An Affect Theory Perspective

Year: 2020

The evolution of digital technologies has contributed to ordinary citizens’ engagement with media culture as a way of expressing themselves in public spaces as part of the so-called phenomenon of ‘self-mediation’ (Chouliaraki 2010, Pérez-González 2014). An increasing number of people are participating in producing, consuming, and disseminating media content among like-minded people in pursuit of their individual interests and agendas. In today’s networked society, such self-mediated content may contribute to boosting the digital diaspora, facilitating the exploration and negotiation of shared interests among individuals from different lingua-cultural backgrounds, and enabling the formation of communities of affinity. Even though translation plays a vital role in these processes, the translation of self-mediated content and, in particular, the role of translation in the production of such content, is still an under-researched area in translation studies.

Against this backdrop, the objective of this PhD thesis is to explain how translation as a process of self-mediation contributes to the establishment of social ties among content creators and their geographically fragmented audiences. Specifically, it examines translated vlogs—i.e. video blogs, a new audiovisual genre that has emerged as a form of self-mediated content in our participatory digital media culture—distributed globally through the YouTube platform. My analysis consists of two different case studies and investigates the translations of vlogs from different genres, i.e. ‘beauty vlogs’ and ‘culture-brokering vlogs’. These genres not only reflect the content creators’ own interests, but also deploy different media practices, including translation practices. Among various genres of Korea(n)-based videos, these two specific genres are drawing attention from Korean domestic viewers as well as global viewers. Accordingly, a number of YouTubers who create content in these genres provide translations in order to reach out to the different language constituencies of viewers.

This thesis draws on affect theory, primarily the Spinozan-Deleuzian approach, and the framework of sense of community (McMillan & Chavis 1986) in order to explore how the translation of YouTube vlogs contributes to establishing virtual communities of interest built upon shared affinity among people who interact through vlog-mediated communication. I argue that translation is a community-building apparatus—and hence a form of affective labour. In other words, translation may generate and manipulate affect, i.e. a prepersonal and autonomic intensity or power that modulates our bodily capacities to feel and act in certain ways, thereby influencing how viewers react to translated vlogs and communicate with YouTubers and fellow viewers. Ultimately, translation facilitates the formation of transnational communities involving an ongoing, iterative process of mutual engagement among YouTubers and their geographically dispersed viewers and of exchanging emotions and opinions.

Dang Li

Amateur Translation and the Development of a Participatory Culture in China: A Netnographic Study of The Last Fantasy Fansubbing Group

Year: 2015

Triggered by globalisation and the increasing technological connectivity, fansubbing has become one of the most observable aspects of Chinese participatory cultural, both domestically and internationally. Scholarly attention on the fansubbing phenomenon within translation studies remains largely focused on the mediation of Japanese anime. Much of the work undertaken in this area has emphasised the formal and textual differences of fansubbed anime with regard to commercial subtitling, while downplaying its heterogeneity and geopolitical complexity (Dwyer 2012). Operating in the shadow of state-regulated and market-based media consumption, the emerging fansub culture in China deserves scholarly attention and calls for new theories and methods that capture the mediating role of fansubbing networks on both micro and macro levels.

Adopting a systems perspective informed by social self-organisation theories (Fuchs 2008), this study focuses on The Last Fantasy (TLF) fansubbing group, one of the most influential in China. This research aims to investigate how TLF’s fansubbers use digital networked technologies to facilitate content sharing and production, build and maintain relationships, and express a collective voice in relation to the specific media context in China. It is hoped that findings from this study may help extend our understanding of the role played by amateur and fan-driven translations in an increasingly networked society. Applying the method of netnography (Kozinets 2010), this study collects data from the following three sources: (1) field notes data kept by the researcher contemporaneously with her interactive online social experience in the fansubbing group; (2) archival data of online messages posted on the group’s online forum; and (3) elicited data gathered from the online questionnaire. Findings from this study will be used to evaluate the role played by amateur translation, as exemplified by fansubbing online communities organised by Chinese media fans, in the development of a participatory culture in China.

Amani Lowey

The Positioning of Web-based Media Outlets in the Coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Bourdieusean Analysis

Year: 2017

A consistent focus of attention in a media-saturated world, thirsty for instant analyses of even the most complex of issues and avid of quick ready-made answers, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is being extensively documented world-wide on a daily basis and has been the subject of many research projects.

The constant claims from both pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli groups of unbalance and unfairness in the coverage of the conflict reflect the extent to which the agents involved in the conflict are emotionally invested in the relevant issues.  

Little or no sustained research has been undertaken so far to examine the practices and positioning of web-based media groups engaged in reporting on the Middle East conflict, from either or both perspectives.

This study will take as its data six web-based media watchdogs (or groups that describe themselves as such) whose main focus is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, three explicitly pro-Palestinian and three explicitly pro-Israeli.

Bourdieu's field theory and his concept of symbolic violence will be used as the main theoretical framework in order to analyse the positioning of these groups in the 'journalistic field'. Bourdieu's concept of habitus should prove helpful in examining the way agents' personal and cultural capital shape their views of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and the notion of doxa (understood as what is taken for granted, what is seen as unquestioned truths by any given society) should help identify changes over time within and among the different groups under examination in relation to controversial issues such as the right of return and the boycott movement.

Sofia Malamatidou

Translation and Language Change: The Impact of English on Modern Greek, with Reference to Popular Science Articles

Year: 2013

Translation as a form of language contact is a phenomenon that neither linguistics nor translation studies has addressed in depth. In the era of the information society, the translation of popular science texts tends to be very much a unidirectional process from the dominant lingua franca (English) into less widely spoken languages such as Modern Greek and is likely to effect changes in the communicative conventions of the target language. The primary aim of this corpus-based study is to acknowledge translation as a form of language contact and to investigate the way in which translation can propagate language change in the target language and, in particular, the way in which a lingua franca such as English can reinforce the circulation of particular linguistic features in a less widely spoken language such as Modern Greek through the process of translation.

The theoretical framework heavily draws on Johanson’s Code-Copying Framework (1993, 1999, 2002) and the linguistic features analysed for the purposes of this study are the frequency and patterning of the passive voice and cleft and pseudo-cleft structures. The study involves the diachronic analysis of a corpus of Modern Greek non-translated and translated popular science articles, along with their English source texts, covering a 20-year period (1990-2010) and consisting of approximately 500,000 words.

This study aims to make an important contribution to corpus-based studies both within the field of translation studies as well as of linguistics. Corpus-based research has advanced the study of translation in recent years, but no corpus-based study of translation involving Modern Greek has so far been attempted. Similarly, no diachronic corpus-based study has been undertaken in the field of translation studies. The assumption that specific linguistic features originating in the English source text and found in translated texts are likely to form facilitating sociolinguistic conditions for linguistic changes to be introduced in the target language, establishes a close link between translation studies and historical linguistics, thus addressing a conspicuous gap in the studies of language contact.

Matthew Maltby

Interpreting and Translation Policy in UK Asylum Applications

Year: 2009

This thesis explores the interpreting and translation policies of two governmental agencies and two voluntary sector organisations active in the asylum application process in the UK in order to reach a more informed understanding of the factors which come to bear on the articulation of social policy. It considers whether relationships emerge between discourses inherent to the institutional(ised) interpreting and translation policies and wider discourses of immigration, social in/exclusion and multiculturalism, as interpreting policy is potentially used to enforce specific ideologies.

Bourdieusian sociological perspectives are utilised to establish a theoretical framework in which social agents position themselves in relation to each other, institutions, and discourse on the basis of habitus, field and capital. Critical Discourse Analysis methodology enables the institutional(ised) discourse that emerges from the policy texts to be linked at three separate, but intricately connected, levels. The policies are analysed to reveal the identities and relations between the agents involved in the interpreting service provision, how discourse is produced on the basis of these relationships and, finally, the relationship of these discourses to wider social and political discourses.

The research reveals that interpreting and translation policies in the asylum application context extensively draw on social and political discourses in order to reinforce specific patterns of social behaviour, or to utilise these same discourses to engage with them and offer a challenge to dominant power relations.

Sally Marshall

The Epistemological Paradox of Translating Autobiography: Evidential Stance in Translated vs. Non-translated Autobiographies in English and Japanese

Year: 2013

Much has been written on the subject of the position of the translator; the concept of 'position' being understood variously in terms of spatial, ideological, philosophical, or narratological orientation. This research project aims to contribute to this body of work by developing a methodology for the empirical investigation of the ‘evidential position’, or stance, of the translator with specific reference to autobiographical narratives.

A defining characteristic of autobiographical writings is that the author of an autobiography has privileged access to the memory from which the narrative is sourced. However, when an autobiography is translated, the connection between the teller and the source of the narrative – the memory of the experiencer – is interrupted. My research aims to investigate whether the narrative representation of remembered experiences in non-translated vs. translated autobiographies reflects a teller=experiencer or teller≠experiencer relationship.

The framework that has been developed for this purpose is based on an assumed difference between the phenomenological character of memories based on firsthand experience vs. memories based on other sources. Using a purpose-built comparable corpus of translated vs. non-translated autobiographies, the analysis focuses on (1) the evidential reporting verb remember and (2) the descriptive perception verb seem. Particular attention is given to patterns of complementation occurring with remember and seem and the construal of the evidential basis of the memories being narrated.

Ruselle Meade

Making Knowledge Move: Translation and the Travel of Technical Textbooks in Meiji-era Japan, 1868-1894

Year: 2013

Engineering education in Britain and Japan share a common genealogy. The successful introduction of ‘engineering science’ in British universities owes much to the nous of W. J. M. Rankine, the 2nd Regius Professor (1855-1872) of Civil Engineering and Mechanics at the University of Glasgow. Rankine created an academic niche to ensure the viability of the discipline and staked out its contours through publication of four highly successful manuals, which became the canon of the field. His protégé, Henry Dyer, was hired by the Meiji government in 1872 to establish a curriculum to train a generation of modern Japanese engineers. The institution headed by Dyer catered for an elite: it was staffed by highly paid foreign teachers who taught in English and who used textbooks identical to those in Britain. However, beyond the confines of this institution, a technical literary field developed to service an audience requiring materials in Japanese. Initially, a significant number of these were translations from English, but original works in Japanese soon came to dominate. This study charts the development of a technical literary field in Japan, and explores how textbooks there came to have such divergent characters despite its historical links with Britain.

In this study, textbooks used to train technical workers in mid-nineteenth century Britain and Meiji Japan (1868-1894) are analysed. However, the textbooks are viewed not only as texts, but also as books. That is, they are regarded as socio-material objects around which a range of socialised practices converge. Peritexts, such as frontispieces, colophons, prefaces, advertisements, as well as typography and print technology, are scrutinised to understand how publishers, translators, authors and readers engaged with works; and texts are analysed to identify the strategies adopted by Japanese authors and translators to introduce new knowledge to sometimes uninitiated audiences.

The thesis starts by exploring the technical literary field that developed in Britain to support introduction of engineering in the academy. It then considers how the travel of these English technical manuals shaped conditions for the emergence of a Japanese technical literary field, and analyses how authors and translators enabled the circulation of knowledge. Thereafter, it traces the expansion of the technical literary field as the Meiji era progressed, considering how contextual changes affected the translation and circulation of technical knowledge.

This research sheds new light on the role of translators in the travel of technical knowledge by underscoring their intellectual creativity and their adaptability to the shifting conditions under which they worked. It adopts a novel approach that combines theoretical and methodological insights from book history, the history of science and translation studies, which together provide the tools to navigate the myriad complexities of technical translation in modern Japan.

Martha Mutesayire

Investigating Lexical Explicitation in Translated English: A Corpus-based Study

Year: 2005

It has been pointed out that frequencies of syntactic explicitation tend to be higher in translated texts than in non-translated texts (Olohan and Baker 2000; Olohan 2004). The present thesis attempts to establish whether the same pattern is observed with regard to lexical explicitation, which is understood here as the process of elucidating or elaborating in the subsequent linguistic unit information given in a preceding linguistic unit to minimise ambiguity or to guide the addressee in the interpretation of the conveyed information. This type of explicitation can occur in translated and non-translated texts. Lexical explicitation is investigated in the current thesis through an analysis of apposition, since apposition is considered one of the devices that realise explicitation. Instances of apposition are identified from a monolingual comparable corpus of translated English (a subset of the Translational English Corpus) and non-translated English (a subset of the British National Corpus)  through an investigation of apposition markers. A comparative analysis of these instances of apposition is carried out to assess differences and similarities in the distribution of the selected apposition markers across texts, translators and writers. Some possible factors influencing the differences observed between the two corpora are investigated further in a small-scale case study of variation in patterns of explicitation between translations and their source texts in the form of a parallel corpus. The relationship between apposition and lexical explicitation is verified by analysing the pragmatic functions of apposition in utterances. The findings indicate a strong correlation between apposition and explicitation (more than 80% of instances of apposition produce lexical explicitation) and a high prevalence of apposition in the corpus of translated English compared with the corpus of non-translated English. The interpretation of these findings is that translated English favours lexical  explicitation as a textual strategy.

Pilar Orero

The Translation of Nonsense Literature: Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll

Year: 2003

This thesis will contribute to the study of the limits of effability in translation and the wide range of interpretations that can be given to this term. Every linguistic manifestation in one language can be expressed in another, but not necessarily in the same form. The question 'How is nonsense translated?' or 'How does one translate what deliberately does not make sense?' can be broken down into partial questions: How does one translate what is deliberately ambiguous (e.g. puns)? How does one have to read, i.e. understand, a hapax word in order to find or create another one? How does one reconcile the demands of prosody with nonsense writing? Can all source language forms of wordplay be matched culturally and linguistically in the target language?

The answers to these questions also offer us some insights into the translator's attitude to the challenge of nonsense translation. By examining what translators have done, we hope to understand why they did it. The purpose of this study then is to explore the many different ways in which nonsense has been translated. Once this is done the differences among translations of the same source text are taken into consideration. At this stage it would be appropriate to bring in external considerations of history, culture and publishers' intentions, which can provide motivations for existing differences in approaches and techniques of translation.

The thesis is designed in two parts, a first theoretical and descriptive part and a second analytical part leading to a presentation and discussion of findings. Chapter 1 examines the phenomenon of literary nonsense writing in European literature and establishes it as a universal feature with varying intensity of manifestation in a number of European literatures. Chapter 2 reviews the critical literature on nonsense with particular reference to the works of Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear. Chapter 3 defines the various forms of nonsense translators have to deal with. This is done in two stages: first with an identification and critically analysis of the nonsense devices and production techniques described by some of the contemporary scholars already introduced in Chapter 2. This is followed by my own detailed categorisation of rhetorical devices found in nonsense literature, subdividing them into devices which are frequently present in nonsense writing, devices which contribute to and support nonsense, and finally devices which actually create nonsense and which constitute the real problem areas of translation. The welter of devices is then regrouped according to the linguistic operation involved in their production into devices which require a modification of existing language, those which rely on alternative interpretations (polysemy and ambiguity), and finally those which involve the creation of neologisms. With the analytical categories established in Chapter 3, Chapter 4 justifies and characterises the corpus of the eleven translations of selected works of Carroll and Lear chosen for the study of different techniques of translation of nonsense.

The second part of the thesis consists of actual analyses, in four chapters, of four different types of nonsense writing. Since this thesis could not rely on previous models of nonsense translation, the methods of analysis employed may be subjected to a critical examination in order to establish guidelines for similar studies in future. Chapter Five analyses six translations of Carroll's Jabberwocky. Chapter 6 is devoted to the different techniques of translation of Lear's limericks. Chapter 7 examines what may be considered the cumulative effect of nonsense arising in the dialogues between Alice and the many fabulous creatures she encounters. Chapter 8 deals with other incidents of linguistic nonsense in both Lear's prose stories and in Carroll's Alice books not dealt before. Chapter 9 reverses this process and attempts to identify the full range of translations techniques employed by the 11 translators in the pursuit of their overall strategies chosen for dealing with these unusual texts. This change of focus will lead to a clear identification and differentiation of the various techniques chosen by the translators of Carroll and Lear.

Dafni Papadoudi

Conceptual Metaphor in English Popular Technology and Greek Translation

Year: 2010

This research project studies the metaphorical conceptualisation of technology in English popular technology magazines (PCMagazine, PCWorld, ComputerActive, T3) and in translation in the respective Greek editions. The study focuses on the cognitive linguistic view of metaphor initially presented by Lakoff and Johnson (1980), on the metaphor identification procedure (MIP) proposed by the Pragglejaz Group (2007), and critical metaphor analysis (Charteris-Black 2004).

The study seeks to bring to the foreground the use of conceptual metaphor as a means of meaning construction for technology and to ascertain what kind of source domains are involved in the structure of the target domain of technology. It seeks to identify both conventional and novel metaphors which have been motivated by correlations in experience between diverse source domains and by the widespread diffusion and impact of technology, and to examine whether similar descriptions and conceptualisations of technology are transferred from English to Greek. Consequently, through the identification and description of metaphors in technology magazines, this study aims to highlight a further aspect of technology which is more social and cultural than purely technical and specialised.

Kalliopi Pasmatzi

Theorising Translation as a Process of Cultural Repatriation: The Greek Civil War Narrative Translated into Greek

Year: 2014

The Greek Civil War (1946-1949) and the ideological rift between left-wing and right-wing positions which underlay it continue to haunt present-day Greece. In the political and cultural fields, contemporary discourses on the Civil War tend to be characterised by heavily ideologised polemics and silences.

The main aim of this research is to study the 'repatriation' into this context, through translation, of a number of high-profile Anglophone novels which deal with the Civil War, notably those written by Nicolas Gage, Louis De Bernieres and Sofka Zinivieff. A Bourdieusian approach is adopted to examine how the meaning of these 'repatriated' texts changes in relation to the struggles of the receiving socio-political field in which the Greek literary field is embedded and the mediating role of the agents operating within it. Drawing on narrative theory and the concept of framing (Goffman 1974) the study attempts to identify the narrative points embedded in the historical novels (as manifested both within the narrative but also in paratextual elements, such as book covers, authorial notes, forewords, promotional material), and explore how the process of cultural repatriation challenges and/or maintains key elements of these ideologically laden narratives. Above all, the study will focus on the encounter between the Anglophone and Greek fields as it is mediated through the habitus of the principal agents in the translation process, and especially the dual habitus of the translator as a professional and political agent. Although this study will predominately focus on social and political dilemmas idiosyncratic to the Greek political and cultural scene, it will lay the groundwork for the elaboration of a methodological framework for studying the complex relationship between the political and translational fields and the roles of the agents operating within them.

Andrew Read

Translating Fictional Speech between Languages and between Media: The Case of Philip Pullman's 'The Golden Compass'

Year: 2013

Effective dialogue, and within it, clear variation between the speech of characters, play an important role in English-language fiction. Furthermore, the translation of fictional speech and especially of non-standard voices has been the subject of much scholarly interest. There has, however, been only limited research into cases where fictional speech is subject to both interlingual translation and intralingual adaptation (e.g. from the novel to the stage). This study therefore examines the translation and adaptation of dialogue within Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass (1995; also published as Northern Lights). This novel, successful with both children and adults, has been converted into many different formats, including several foreign-language editions and multiple adaptations into other media. These include a radio dramatisation, a stage play and a Hollywood film. The Golden Compass therefore provides an unusual opportunity to analyse how fictional speech is treated not only by foreign language translators, but also by dramatists adapting a work in its original language.

The thesis first details the features and functions of speech in English-language fiction, particularly where dialect and other non-standard varieties are involved. This overview demonstrates that markers of spokenness and spoken-style variation can play a wide range of roles in a fictional text. Also included is a review of work by translation and adaptation scholars on the handling of fictional speech and variation. The subsequent case study section begins by describing the main features and functions of the dialogues and non-standard speech varieties present within the Pullman source text (ST). It then isolates a number of passages that exemplify the main features identified. These representative passages illustrate the ways in which spoken-style features and variation (both character-dependent and situation-dependent) create the impression of vivid and authentic dialogue, and also support characterisation, plot, and even the ideological themes of the novel. Each of the representative passages in the ST is then compared firstly with the equivalent passages in the published German and French translations. An important aim here is to identify the translators' strategies and any notable similarities or shifts between the ST and target texts (TTs). A similar comparative process is then applied to the same voices (but not necessarily exactly the same passages, for technical reasons) as they appear firstly in the National Theatre stage adaptation and secondly in the BBC radio version.

Initial findings suggest that the foreign language translators tend to handle spoken style and variation within Pullman's dialogues somewhat inconsistently. In particular, evidence of non-standard speech often disappears from the TTs in contexts where, in the ST, it co-existed with potentially 'incompatible' features (from the target system's perspective). Such features would include a character's hero status or the presence of an oratorical style. However, in the two English-language versions the adaptors appear much more ready to reflect the contextual functions of the ST's spoken-style and non-standard features. The study provides some evidence to suggest that - despite the paragraph-by-paragraph equivalence displayed in most interlingual translations - the relative freedom enjoyed by dramatists in adapting a fictional text can actually enable a more complete reflection of a work's ideas, themes and internal relationships.

Shabnam Saadat Arkan Najd

The Translation of Children's and Adolescents' Literature in Iran: A Structurationist Approach

Year: 2016

Contributing to the growing interest in sociological approaches to translation studies, this research aims to enlarge the theoretical strands drawing on Anthony Giddens’s structuration theory. Moreover, the study presents an up-to-date account of the translation of children’s and adolescents’ literature in post-revolutionary Iran, which is a sui generis case considering its geo-political, socio-cultural, and ideological specificities. Post-revolutionary Iran, as a case in point, provides insight into mechanisms underlying the affinity between translators’ actions and the contextual structures conditioning them. It also sheds some light on translators’ roles in constructing and perpetuating the contexts within which they face constraints. Applying the tenets of the structuration theory in translation studies, this research conceptualises translation as a structurally informed social action. In the same vein, translated text is not viewed merely as a series of textual modifications, but as an instantiation of structure/agency interplay.

The study addresses three main issues: the impact of socio-political circumstances on publication and circulation of children’s and adolescents’ literature, the contextual factors negotiating translators’ actions and decisions, and the consequences of these actions and decisions, be they in the form of promoting the norms and values intended by the hegemonic group or resisting the normative discourse. These areas are investigated by examining quantitative and qualitative data collected from bibliographical catalogues, interviews, and textual and paratextual materials.

The quantitative analyses of the bibliographical catalogues of the books published during the times of crisis and post-crisis reveal a pronounced correlation between the socio-political situation of the country and the publication trends in general and translation flows in particular. In line with socio-political changes, state authoritative and allocative resources are mobilised to regulate the activities of those involved in the publishing industry to promulgate the norms and values of the hegemonic groups. According to the translators interviewed, these resources are imposed as constraints on them and inform their decisions and actions, ranging from selection and non-selection of books for translation to textual modifications responding to the institutionally delineated red lines. Thus, the translation which reaches the official market is the metonymic evocation of the hegemonic norms and values. Translators resort to their dialectic of control to leave traces for the readership by signalling the manipulated parts or prompting readers to read between the lines. But as the textual and paratextual analyses of the official and prosumer versions of the first and third books in the series A Song of Ice and Fire indicate, the more explicit form of resistance is expressed by the readers for whom all state rules and resources are mobilised to shape their perceptions and worldview. Drawing on resources available, namely linguistic abilities and technical facilities, some translation consumers become active producers, or prosumers, to fulfil the expectations which have not been met by the books circulating in the official market. Resources which empower prosumers are imposed as constraints on the state monitoring apparatus and cause ripples of disturbance on the surface of its normative discourse. From this perspective, translation can be seen as a double-edged sword, either purified to promulgate hegemonic values or produced as counter-discourse through volunteer collaborative projects and made available in cyberspace.

Neil Sadler

Analysing Fragmented Narratives: Twitter Reporting of the 3 July 2013 Events in Egypt

Year: 2017

Much has been made of the ubiquity and importance of narratives on the personal, public and meta levels. Yet although highly nuanced approaches to the study of personal and literary narratives have been developed, comparatively little attention has been paid to how the content of public narratives is determined and how it can be delimited and described.

This thesis seeks to explore the extent to which public narratives can be identified and systematically described using the tools and categories of structuralist narratology, rhetorical analysis and the theory of intertextuality. The aim is to develop an improved theoretical framework and tool kit of concepts for the study of public narratives with diffuse and fragmented sources while avoiding the pitfalls of a totalising model intended for mechanistic application.

The framework will be used to analyse a corpus of textual and visual material published by prominent Egyptian activists on the social networking site Twitter about the actions of the Egyptian military on 3 July 2013. Focusing on writers who post in both Arabic and English, and who situate themselves in broadly similar narrative locations, the study will explore how far it is possible to identify and describe specific intersubjective public narratives that transcend the similar, but not identical, stories told by individual writers.

Gabriela Saldanha

A Corpus-Based Study of Gender Performance in Translation

Year: 2002

This research project looks at the theoretical and empirical models of research in language and gender with a view to applying them to translation studies. After a general review of the latest research developments in the language and gender field, the sociolinguistic universals proposed by Janet Holmes are selected as a framework for analysis. The four universal patterns of gender-dependent linguistic behaviour suggested by Holmes are analysed in terms of their applicability to translated language. Hypotheses are then formulated and tested  out on a corpus of English translations. This corpus consists of twenty-four works of fiction translated from Portuguese, Spanish and French, divided into sub-corpora according to the gender of the translator and that of the writer, so that a balance is obtained among the three variables of source language, gender of translator and gender of author. The results obtained are discussed in the light of gender performance theory.

Aurora Sambolin

The Phenomenon of Self-Translation in Puerto Rican and Puerto Rican US Diaspora Literature Written by Women: The Cases of Esmeralda Santiago's America's Dream (1996) and Rosario Ferrés The House on the Lagoon (1995), from a Post-colonial Perspective

Year: 2015

This research aims to understand self-translation as a post-colonial, social, political, cultural and linguistic phenomenon and it focuses on how it communicates a hybrid transcultural identity that not only challenges the monolingual literary canons and concepts of national homogeneous identities, but also subverts to patriarchal society. Thus, I understand self-translation as a means of empowerment and contestation. The cases under study are Puerto Rican writers Rosario Ferré and Esmeralda Santiago, and their novels The House on the Lagoon and América’s Dream, written in English and translated into Spanish by the authors themselves. I believe that Rosario Ferré and Esmeralda Santiago are representative of a group of writers, artists and intellectuals who through their work originated from the island and from the U.S. Diaspora, have aimed to give voice to a Puerto Rican post-colonial hybrid identity that has been silenced until recently. Therefore, they disrupt the official national cultural and linguistic discourse about the Puerto Rican identity that has been weaved by the Spanish language in opposition to U.S. colonialist attempts of linguistic and cultural assimilation. This dissertation is located in the intersection between the fields of comparative literature, translation, cultural, gender and post-colonial studies. The question that guides this research is: Is self-translation in the case of Puerto Rico, a result of cultural hybridity in Puerto Rico’s post-colonial context?Therefore, this is a multidisciplinary research project that integrates elements from the humanities and the social sciences. Methodologically, it integrates qualitative and quantitative approaches. Hence, hybridity is embedded in this research not only because it discusses English and Spanish writing, but because it includes textual analysis, content analysis and statistical analysis. The main finding is the deep connection between socio-political context, language, culture, identity, power and translation that supports the idea that self-translation is a post-colonial act, which in the case of Puerto Rico is strongly related to hybridity as an everyday practice of identity affirmation.

Néstor Singer

The Development of Translator Identity: An Interpretative Phenomenological Study of Chilean Translation Students' Experiences amid Local and Global Crises


Research in translation psychology has shed light on some of the cognitive processes that underlie the translators' work, such as their personality traits or emotions. However, little has been written about the psychological processes that translation students experience during their training, particularly those concerning how, when and to what extent they perceive themselves as translators. This research examines how translation students develop their translator identity, encompassing their translation-related beliefs, self-perceptions and professional self-projections. Concretely, it examines the factors that are involved in its development: 1) the evolution of translation students' beliefs regarding translation, 2) the confidence they have in translation abilities or translator self-efficacy beliefs, 3) their commitment to becoming translators, and 4) the dynamics governing their student and translator identities. To do this, twelve participants from two Chilean undergraduate translator programmes engaged in five semi-structured interview rounds during the final two years of their studies. A total of fifty-four interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and examined using the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), which aims to describe the psychological processes underlying individual experiences.

The translation-related beliefs that emerged in the participants' narratives capture the conceptual development of translators’ declarative and procedural knowledge of translation, and professional skills and attributes. Their translator self-efficacy beliefs develop mostly by means of successful controlled practice and grades but, as they advance in their programmes, they actively seek 'real' instances of practice to continue strengthening their confidence. The fluctuations in their commitment to their translator identity are described in four translator identity statuses, which change from participant to participant. Lastly, their student and translator identities progressively separate as they complete their programme.

These findings constitute an original contribution to the field of translation psychology by incorporating identity theory into translator studies to account for the students’ personal stories as individuals. Moreover, the use of IPA to explore the experiences throughout their education from their first-person perspective gives the students a protagonist voice. These affordances provide additional research approaches by which translator education can be approached, examined and enriched.

Peter Skrandies

Metadiscourse in German History Writing and English Translation: A Study of Interaction between Writers and Readers

Year: 2007

In recent studies of academic writing, the concept of 'metadiscourse' has been used to evaluate relations between writers, their texts and their anticipated readership (Hyland 2005). The aim of this thesis is to study writer-reader interaction in German history writing and English translation. The empirical bases for the study are textual data from a parallel corpus of German history texts and their published English translations. The search patterns for the extraction of data on metadiscourse are identified by the development of the notion of historiographic metadiscourse. The main functions of historiographic metadiscourse are text organisation, the signalling of authorial presence, the positioning of the author vis-a-vis other texts and the engagement of readers. It is distinguished conceptually and formally from the descriptive and narrative content of historiographic texts. The quantitative and qualitative analyses of the source text data show that the German writers represented in the corpus prefer impersonal realisations of metadiscourse in the form of man-clauses, short passive and passive paraphrases and they frequently employ modal verbs and conditional sentences in argumentative passages to engage readers, pre-empt possible objections and conduct an often implicit dialogue with other historians. The use of the first person plural is infrequent, while employment of the first person singular is very rare. The data demonstrate a correlation between the theoretical outlook of historians, their dominant mode of writing and the amount of metadiscourse used.

The analysis of the translation component of the parallel corpus describes typical translation patterns, identifies shifts in translation and evaluates these shifts with regard to their effect on writer-reader interaction. The investigation shows that translators predominantly use syntactically congruent translations to translate source text constructions with personal pronouns and source texts dynamic passives. With regard to other structures, translators typically reproduce some form of metadiscourse in their English translations, although it is not always equivalent in terms of authorial presence and reader involvement. Translators frequently shift the authorial point of view found in the source text to the point of view of the target text reader. The data reveal individual preferences of translators and shows that they frequently opt for syntactic reorganisation to ensure a coherent flow of information. Functional shifts from source text metadiscourse to target text narrative are relatively rare; their frequencies range from 2% for dynamic passives to 20% for some modal passive alternatives.

Anne-Marie Stead

Carcanet Press and Twentieth-Century Italian Texts in Transmission

Year: 2016

The recent acquisition of Manchester's Carcanet Press archive by the University of Manchester's John Rylands Library offers the opportunity for new and interdisciplinary research in the fields of translation studies and the history of the book.

An active, independent and academically-led publishing house in operation since 1967, and supported by the Arts Council England, Carcanet Press was brought to Manchester from Oxford in 1971 by Michael Schmidt, and it continues to be at the forefront of commissioning contemporary English and international poetry and fiction.

In collaboration with a number of independent translators, Carcanet Press has sourced and commissioned a vast array of English translations of Italian texts, with previous releases comprising Dante, Leonardo Sciascia, Natalia Ginzburg, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Eugenio Montale.

Containing both editorial and administrative documents, the archive boasts a wealth of first-hand, easily accessible primary material available for academic consideration. It provides a valid starting point for doctoral research in translation studies with an Italian focus, as well as permitting a fresh examination of Anglo-Italian cultural interchange in contemporary post-war Britain from an entirely novel perspective.

Caroline Summers

Narratives of Dissidence and Complicity: Translating Christa Wolf Before and After the Fall of the Wall

Year: 2013

Christa Wolf's complex relationship with the SED government and the cultural policies of the German Democratic Republic have made it difficult to position her writing in the generalising binary of dissidence and complicity commonly applied to writers in ‘totalitarian’ regimes. However, as one of very few writers from the former Eastern Bloc to have been widely translated, Wolf has been received unambiguously in English translation as an ‘international’ author, implicitly liberating her from questions of complicity with the socialist regime and aligning her with the discourse of an international literary community dominated by Anglo-American influences. As demonstrated by the generally forgiving responses of British and American critics to the 1993 revelation of Wolf’s brief involvement with the East German Stasi, the question of her engagement with politics has often even been excluded from Anglophone accounts of her authorship in favour of more ‘universal’ themes.

This project develops Foucault’s concept of the author-function, exploring authorship as a discursive construction and examining Wolf’s Anglophone author-function in the context of theories of social narrative, specifically the model outlined by Somers (1992) and Somers and Gibson (1994) and its application to Translation Studies (Baker 2006). This provides a framework for examining the construction and circulation of the author-function as it is contextualised by the dominant narratives of the target culture and subject to variation over time and space. The extent to which the ‘narration’ of Wolf’s authorship is framed by the discursive context of the receiving Anglophone culture is examined in relation to three specific shifts: a tendency to exclude narratives of socialism, the reframing of Wolf’s complex narrative subjectivity within static categories of identity, and the appropriation of Wolf’s texts into ‘western’ feminist narratives.

Taking three translations as cases in point, the project analyses linguistic shifts and paratextual features to reflect on the conscious and unconscious reframing of Wolf's texts and the construction of her author-function in English translation. The exclusion of socialist and political narratives can be seen in the translation of Was bleibt (1990; trans. What Remains and Other Stories, 1993), the translation of Nachdenken über Christa T. (1968; trans. The Quest For Christa T., 1970) shows how Wolf’s shifting boundaries of identity between narrator, author and protagonist are consolidated in translation, and Wolf’s appropriation as a feminist is demonstrated by the translation of Kassandra (1983; trans. Cassandra, 1984).

Tingting Sun

Interpreters' Mediation of Government Press Conferences in China: Participation Framework, Footing and Face Work

Year: 2012

Research on interpreting has traditionally focused on ‘simultaneous conference interpreting’, and only more recently on ‘community interpreting’ (also referred to as 'public service interpreting' or 'dialogue interpreting' elsewhere) (e.g. Edmondson 1986, Jones 1998, Diriker 2004, Wadensjö 1998, Mason 1999).

The government press conference, a special genre of interpreter-mediated events, has so far received little scholarly attention from the discipline of translation and interpreting studies - with the exception of one recently completed doctoral thesis which focuses on the impact of audience reception on interpreters’ strategies in press conferences (Liu 2010) and a few publications on related areas such as interpreters’ performance in question and answer sessions in conference interpreting (Chang and Wu 2009) and interpreting in political interviews (Baker 1997; Wadensjö 2000, 2009). As is the case with interpreting in political interviews, government press conference interpreting is likely to have far reaching consequences for the lives of very large numbers of people across the globe, and to play a major role in constructing cultural images and aiding or obstructing world peace (Baker 1997: 124).

Drawing on the work of Erving Goffman (1972, 1981) as a source of theoretical insight, this study attempts to explore the way in which interpreters, with their background as civil servants, position themselves in government press conferences in China through choices that effect changes in footing and participation framework and reveal their involvement in face-work, based on video-transcribed data collected from a series of 6 government press conferences held in 2003 in response to the outbreak of the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic.

This study reveals that interpreters in Chinese government press conferences position themselves mainly through their negotiation of institutional alignment and protection of ‘face’, primarily for their institutional superiors. This finding supports the argument that interpreters do not function as a language “voicebox” (Davidson 2002: 1275), or “an impartial, self-effacing conduit” (Cronin 2006: 90); they are rather proactively engaged in the construction of interactional meaning, and may even function as “institutional insiders and ally themselves as such” in certain circumstances (Davidson 2010: 152). In the present study, the analysis reveals that interpreters adopt a distinctive position as ‘semantically neutral’ but ‘emotionally/pragmatically partial’.

Shuaa Tashkandi

Islamic Arabic Dubbing of Children's Japanese Animated TV Series: A Form of Re-Narration


Dubbed children’s Japanese anime TV series is one of the most popular audiovisual genres, which has developed into a global phenomenon, and has thus attracted scholar’s interest in Audiovisual Translation Studies (AVT). However, scholars of AVT have mostly focused on the degree of linguistic equivalence between source and target texts that translators have (or have not) been able to achieve. They have often overlooked the ways in which dubbed and re-dubbed anime series can exhibit several opportunities for the manipulation of narratives, thus socialising young audiences into worldviews that differ from those presented in the source texts. Drawing upon the socio-narrative concept of ‘translation as re-narration’ as proposed by Baker (2006), this thesis aims to fill the gap in the literature. It investigates the narratives underpinning the so-called دبلجة إسلامية [Islamic-dubbed] anime TV series. In a comparative analysis, three ‘Islamised’ Arabic re-dubbed children’s anime TV series were examined with the counterexamples of the first Arabic-dubbed versions of the same anime series that were created between the 1970s and the early 1990s. The former was created during the rise of the ultra-conservative Islamic movement of Salafism in the Arab region, specifically in the early 2000s, and was to be aired on Salafi-oriented satellite TV channels. The latter was created by Lebanese dubbing agencies, and was to be broadcast on most Arabic-speaking TV channels.

The findings show that the ‘Islamic-dubbed’ anime TV series operated as a re-narration that constructed rather than transferred the characters and events it re-narrated for target audiences. The findings also show that, although it was labelled ‘Islamic dubbing’, it did not necessarily represent the meta-narrative of Islam. It was rather informed by and revolved around the ultra-conservative public narrative of Salafism to allow it to predominate and become a meta-narrative by making Salafi views mainstream enough to challenge the prevalent non-Salafi interpretations of Islam.

Andriani Theocharous

Investigating the cultural determinants of advertising style in the UK and Greece

Year: 2014

Acknowledging the need for an interdisciplinary approach to the examination of advertisements, the present study develops a methodological apparatus for the analysis of advertising copies that draws on visual semiotics and marketing and advertising research, and incorporates a comprehensive linguistic analysis of the text. For the development of this apparatus, four potentially culture-bound dimensions of advertising style are identified and operationalized, namely (i) advertising forms, understood as the way the message is organized; (ii) advertising appeals, i.e. the motives for purchase; (iii) verbal and visual communication style, and (iv) execution of advertisements, involving aspects of the visual design.

This framework is applied in the analysis of a comparable corpus, consisting of advertisements for local food products in the UK and Greece, and a parallel corpus, consisting of advertisements for the same multinational cosmetics in the two cultural contexts. It is proposed that the analysis of locally produced advertisements can reflect the cultural preferences in advertising style. The juxtaposition of comparable and parallel advertisements can then reveal the extent to which translators/copywriters are influenced by these preferences when adapting the copies. The aim of the study is to unveil tendencies with regard to advertising style that could be motivated by cultural differences, while taking into consideration the effect of the product category and origin.

The analysis of the two corpora shows significant variations in advertising style in the UK and Greece that reflect a potentially different function of advertisements in the two countries. These variations are interpreted by drawing on Hofstede’s (1991) dimensions of national culture, complemented by studies in consumer psychology and behaviour, and differences in communication norms in the UK and Greece, with a focus on politeness orientations (Sifianou 1992). The findings could have relevance for the design, implementation and transcreation of advertisements.

Ting-Hui Wen

Simplification as a Recurrent Translation Feature: A Corpus-based Study of Modern Chinese Translated Mystery Fiction in Taiwan

Year: 2009

The present research aims to investigate, using corpus-based methods, the phenomenon of simplification in translated, compared to non-translated, Chinese texts. Simplification in translation can be manifested on the following three levels: translated texts tend to display a shorter average sentence length, draw on a more restricted vocabulary and contain a lower information load, than non-translated texts in the same language. The manifestations may be quantified through corpus-based methods of comparative analysis, measuring: (1) mean sentence length; (2) lexical variety with type/token ratio, percentage of high frequency words and percentage of list heads; and (3) information load with lexical density. A corpus of modern Chinese mystery fiction (CCCM) has been compiled especially for the purpose of the current project, with two subcorpora of translated and non-translated mystery fiction. An additional measure of mean sentence length in terms of Chinese characters is proposed because the definition of Chinese words is still controversial and the available word-segmenting programme cannot achieve one hundred per cent accuracy. Measuring mean sentence sub-unit length both in terms of words and characters is also proposed because punctuation is a relatively new concept within written Chinese, where a sentence can be as long as a paragraph. The results show that the translated texts of the CCCM have shorter mean sentence and sentence sub-unit length both in terms of words and characters than the non-translated texts. Since the range of Chinese characters used in a text can be an index of simplification, it is proposed that type/token ratio, percentage of high frequency words and percentage of list heads are measured both in terms of words and characters. Moreover, optimal segment size for measuring standardised type/token/n ratio is investigated, and standardised type/token ratio is measured every 90 words and every 50 characters. The three measures and their additional measures render consistent results showing that the translated texts exhibit less lexical variety than the non-translated texts. Lexical density, the ratio of content words versus all running words, is used in the current study to measure information load. Since lexical density has to be measured in terms of words, no additional measure in terms of characters can be proposed. However, a special linguistic pattern in the Chinese language, pro-drop, emerged during the research, so measuring lexical density excluding pronouns is proposed to eliminate possible interference from the source language. The results of the two different types of lexical density show that the translated texts have lower lexical density than the non-translated texts. The findings of the present research support the hypothesis that simplification is also a feature in modern translated mystery fiction in Taiwan (with source texts in English).

Ruijie Xie

Chinese Fandom Communities of Japanese Pop Artists: The Role of Translation in the Fan Communities within the Chinese Fandom of AKB48.

Year 2022

Zhongli Yu

Translating Feminism in China

Year: 2012

Feminism was brought to China from the West in the May Fourth era and stopped after New China was established. Western feminism re-entered China in the 1980s and has, since then, exerted great influence on literary studies and cultural studies, but not as much on translation praxis and research in China (Jiang Xiaohua 2004: 14). It was not until 2000 that feminist translation theory became known in China (see Liao Qiyi 2000). Since 2000, feminist translation and/or translation of feminist works have become topics that are attracting increasing interest in translation studies in China.

Drawing on four Chinese translations (Sang Zhuying and Nan Shan 1986, Wang Youqin and Qiu Xichun 1988, Tao Tiezhu 1998 and Li Qiang 2004) of Book II of The Second Sex on contemporary women and the three Chinese translations of The Vagina Monologues, this project investigates the reception of feminism through translation in China through a descriptive and comparative study of the Chinese translations. The project intends to find out how feminist texts are translated into Chinese and what happens to feminist concepts in the process of translation. Because translation is the gateway to the reception of feminism, an examination of the translation process will reveal the response to feminism of the translator as the first audience and the gatekeeper, and also the role played by paratranslators in the process of translation.

Wenjing Zhao

Hu Shi's Rewritings and the Construction of a New Culture

Year: 2005

With the development of translation studies, translation has been situated in a much broader and more complex research environment. The focus has shifted from the source-text and context to the target-text and context, taking into consideration not only translation in the narrow sense, but also ostensibly 'original' writings, which may often be instances of 'rewritings' (Lefevere 1985). In addition, notions of patronage, poetics and ideology have also become relevant. Critical journals, educational institutions and publishers, as well as professionals such as critics, reviewers, teachers and translators, now come within the scope of translation studies (see Lefevere 1992: 14).

Taking rewriting theory as a framework, this study reconsiders and analyses Hu Shi's most influential publications during the New Culture Movement (1915-1923) to demonstrate the extent to which these works are rewritings - translation in a broad sense. By putting Hu's works in context, the thesis also shows how, in the operation and reception of Hu's rewritings, ideology and patronage interact to canonise Hu Shi and his works. The analysis demonstrates that influential scholars and institutions played a crucial part in the evolution of Chinese literature and culture, and that Hu Shi's contribution to the movement can best be understood through the concept of rewriting. A cultural giant in 20th-century Chinese history, and a versatile and prolific scholar, Hu Shi has been extensively researched from a variety of perspectives both within and outside China. However, existing studies have so far failed to give an adequate account of the translational dimension of Hu's work, which played a crucial part in shaping his significant contribution to the New Culture Movement. The role played by Hu's translational activity deserves much more attention from researchers. The study attempts to fill this important gap by contextual and textual analyses of Hu Shi's major publications in this period to demonstrate how Hu rewrites foreign theories and works and why his work became influential in the evolution of the target literature and culture. The thesis also attempts to assess Lefevere's rewriting theory in terms of its coverage of forms and the configuration of control factors.

Huimin Zhong

Re-examining Omission in Simultaneous Interpreting: A Multi-Method Study Involving Student Interpreters


This study investigates the causes of omission in the student interpreter’s simultaneous interpreting performance, with specific reference to the way in which omission is used strategically. The (re)theorisation of omission as a strategy is achieved by an inclusive framework that incorporates various strands of research, including the cognitive processing paradigm, the product-oriented approach and the socio-cultural approach to interpreting. The thesis draws on data from interpreting recordings and retrospective interviews involving eight student interpreters, and data from a nine-week observation period of a simultaneous interpreting class involving a different cohort of students on the same programme. This multi-method design is aimed at exploring the causes of omission in the student interpreter’s performance and how the interpreting norms regarding omission are acted upon in the classroom.

The thesis draws on various theoretical inputs to conceptualise omission. Napier’s (2004) taxonomy of omission is employed to investigate the causes of omission, albeit with some adaptations, as it is the only taxonomy that incorporates strategic omission in contrast to others (e.g. Barik 1971; Gile1999a) that conceptualise omission only as an error. The application of the adapted taxonomy in this study led to the identification of various types of omission based on the causes reported by the student interpreters. One of the findings to emerge from the study was that the student interpreters did not always make a clear distinction between strategic omission and intentional but erroneous omission. Although some omissions led to a loss of information, the student interpreters still described such omissions as strategic. Such seemingly contradictory conceptualisations are identified and discussed in relation to the concept of face threat (Monacelli 2009), the researcher’s reflexivity and the interpreting norms presented in the classroom. Although there has been much research on interpreting norms, there is a lack of research on the “extratextual source” of norms (Toury 1995: 65), which calls for taking the wider socio-cultural context into consideration. One of the original contributions of the study thus lies in exploring the ways in which the interpreting trainer and the students act on interpreting norms in the classroom, which in turn shape the student interpreter’s use of omission. Drawing on Bourdieu’s (1972; 1980; 1990) practice theory and its potential in translation and interpreting studies, the interpreting training programme is conceptualised as a “discursive space of norms” and analysis is made to examine how norms regarding omission are initiated, transmitted, discussed and contested. The enactments are considered as important contextual factors that help to provide a thick description of the norms regarding omission.

Through the analysis of the causes of omission and norms regarding omission in the context of the interpreting classroom, this multi-method study introduces a fresh perspective for examining omission and provides new insights for understanding the process of simultaneous interpreting. It also makes a solid contribution to the under-explored area of researching interpreting norms from a socio-cultural perspective and opens up new avenues for exploring ethics as an initial norm of conference interpreting. In particular, the findings show potential to be applied in interpreting training. The student interpreters and the trainer, though coming from a Chinese background, interact in a British interpreting training programme. The clash of norms exhibited in their interaction could thus be understood in relation to target culture expectancy and cultural habitus, suggesting the need to consider such factors in designing an international interpreting programme.

Jehan Zitawi

The Translation of Disney Comics in the Arab World: A Pragmatic Perspective

Year: 2004

The vast majority of studies drawing on pragmatics have focused on conversation and face-to-face interaction, with little or no attention paid to written text. Like much of pragmatic theory, Brown and Levinson's politeness theory also focuses on spoken discourse. At the same time, politeness theory claims to offer a universal framework for the study of politeness across different cultures and, one would therefore assume, across different genres of discourse. This study attempts to examine the applicability of the Brown and Levinson model to a particularly challenging genre, namely Disney comics, and to extend the model beyond monolingual and moncultural contexts, to look at politeness strategies in translation between two very different cultures. The study thus sets out to test politeness theory to ascertain whether it can offer credible and coherent explanations of the potential for comics in translation to threaten the face(s) of Arab readers, and whether it can provide a robust framework for describing the pragmatic strategies employed by translators seeking to maintain the face(s) of Arab readers.

The study argues that Brown and Levinson's politeness theory can be fruitfully applied to Disney comics translated from English into Arabic, provided we can demonstrate that (a) it is possible to identify a composite speaker and composite hearer in Disney comics, and (b) Disney comics can be read as face threatening texts (FTTs). Disney comics are simply texts that have writers and readers. However, the complex nature of this discourse and the attempt to contextualise it within a totally different culture - Arab culture - point to certain limitations of the Brown and Levinson model. At the same time, they enable us to propose ways in which the model may be refined to read the nuances of complex discourses, such as Disney comics, that are normative and manipulative in nature while presenting themselves as benign entertainment.

The data used in this study consists of 278 Disney comic stories: 140 English stories and 138 Arabic stories translated and published by Dar Al-Hilal in Egypt, Al-Futtaim/ITP in Dubai, and Al-Qabas in Kuwait. The English stories appeared between 1962 and 2000. The Arabic stories appeared between 1993 and 2003. Most of these comics are aimed at 6-13 year-olds.

The starting point of the analysis is a conventional application of Brown and Levinson's politeness theory to original and translated Disney comics, looking specifically at three sources of face threat in this context: verbal and/or visual signals that can be considered taboo or at least unpalatable to the reader; the raising of sensitive or divisive topics (e.g., Jewish and Christian imagery and colonial ideologies, stereotyping and ridiculing the target reader); and the use of address terms and other status-marked identifications that may be misidentified in an offensive or embarrassing way, either intentionally or accidentally. Politeness strategies used by Arab publishers and translators in the data examined in this study include all three categories proposed by Brown and Levinson: Don't do the FTA; Do the FTA on record with mitigation; and Do the FTA baldly with no mitigation. However, the study also reveals a number of weaknesses inherent in the Brown and Levinson model and highlights the need to refine politeness theory in order to make it more applicable to the analysis of complex genres such as comics and complex types of face threat encoded in discourses which are normative in nature but which present themselves as benign.