DFKI-LT - Dissertation Series


Silvia Hansen: The Nature of Translated Text: An Interdisciplinary Methodology for the Investigation of the Specific Properties of Translations

ISBN: 3-933218-12-8
244 pages
price: € 15

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The aim of this thesis is to define a methodology for investigating the specific properties of translations, on the one hand, and investigating the nature of translated text, on the other. The analysis of translated text as a special kind of language variation is the issue in focus here. This kind of research starts from the assumption that translations differ both from their source language texts and from comparable texts in the target language. As a result, they exhibit specific properties which cannot be found in non-translated text and which cause a register shift, as compared to originally produced text in the source language as well as the target language.

In order to investigate translated text as a special kind of text type or register, an interdisciplinary methodology is proposed in this thesis, which exploits advantages of empirical, cross-linguistic and psycholinguistic methods. The combination of computational techniques provides a product- as well as process-oriented view on the nature of translated text.

The proposed methodology involves the empirical analysis of English translated narrative texts and English original narrative texts, the cross-lingual analysis of English translated narrative texts and their German and French source language texts as well as a psycholinguistic experiment which gives insight into the black box of translation, by looking at the cognitive processes taking place during the translation process. Not only does the combination of product- and process-oriented computational investigation methods allow the description of the nature of translated text, but also the explanation of possible sources of the specific properties of translations. Finally, the methodology is assessed and issues for future work and possible application contexts are discussed.