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Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies

Corpus-based Translation Studies

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Here CTIS researchers focus on the use of electronic corpora as a resource for studying various features of translation, including the distinctive nature of translated text and the distinctive styles of individual translators. The nature and pressures of the translation process are bound to leave traces in the language that translators (and interpreters) produce. Some of this patterning has been explained in terms of notions such as simplification (a tendency on the part of translators to simplify the language or message or both) and explicitation (the tendency to spell things out in translation). The kind of methodology available from corpus linguistics offers one of the most effective ways of capturing such distinctive features of translation, because it allows us to study a massive amount of text and identify global patterning that is difficult or impossible to capture through manual analyses. A corpus of translated text can also be used to study variation in the output of individual translators, the impact of specific source languages on the patterning of the target language, the impact of text type on translation strategies, and various other issues which are of interest to both the translation/interpreting scholar and the corpus linguist. Manchester has pioneered the corpus-based approach to studying translation through the establishment of the Translational English Corpus, the largest corpus of translated language anywhere in the world.

Current and completed PhDs and a selection of relations publications are listed below.


PhD projects

Ashraf Abdul-Fattah: A Corpus-based Study of Conjunction in Arabic Translated and Non-translated Texts Written by the Same Translators/Authors

Wallace Chen (2006) Explicitation through the Use of Connectives in Translated Chinese: A Corpus-based Study

Elena Davitti: Dialogue Interpreting as Intercultural Mediation: A Corpus-Based Analysis of Turn Negotiation Strategies in Interpreter-Mediated Interactions in Educational Settings

Carmen Dayrell (2005) Investigating Lexical Patterning in a Comparable Corpus of Brazlian Portuguese

Dorothy Kenny (1999) Norms and Creativity: Lexis in Translated Text

Sara Laviosa-Braithwaite (Sara Laviosa) (1996) The English Comparable Corpus (ECC): A Resource and a Methodology for the Empirical Study of Translation

Martha Mutesayire (2005) Investigating Lexical Explicitation in Translated English: A Corpus-based Study

Peter Skrandies (2007) Metadiscourse in German History Writing and English Translation: A Study of Interaction between Writers and Readers

Ting-Hui Wen (2009) Simplification as a Recurrent Translation Feature: A Corpus-based Study of Modern Chinese Translated Mystery Fiction in Taiwan

Selection of related publications

Baker, Mona (2007) 'Patterns of Idiomaticity in Translated vs. Non-Translated Text', Belgian Journal of Linguistics 21: 11-21.

Baker, Mona (2004) 'A Corpus-based View of Similarity and Difference in Translation', International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 9(2): 167-193.

Baker, Mona (2000) 'Towards a Methodology for Investigating the Style of a Literary Translator', Target 12(2): 241-266.

Baker, Mona (1999) 'The Role of Corpora in Investigating the Linguistic Behaviour of Professional Translators', International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 4(2): 281-298.

Baker, Mona (1995) 'Corpora in Translation Studies: An Overview and Some Suggestions for Future Research', Target 7(2): 223-243.

Baker, Mona (1993) 'Corpus Linguistics and Translation Studies: Implications and Applications', in Mona Baker, Gill Francis & Elena Tognini-Bonelli (eds) Text and Technology: In Honour of John Sinclair, Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Dayrell, Carmen (2007) 'A Quantitative Approach to Compare Collocational Patterns in Translated and Non-translated Texts', International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 12(3): 375-414.

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

Laviosa, Sara (2002) Corpus-based Translation Studies: Theory, Findings, Applications, Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Olohan, Maeve (2004) Introducing Corpora in Translation Studies, London and New York: Routledge.

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'Finally! A consolidated and well-crafted resource explaining the basics (and beyond) of corpus-based translation studies. The comprehensive and critical analysis of work carried out in this area is combined with fascinating case studies and presented in an easy-to-follow manner. The overall package is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn more about the use of corpora in translation'. Lynne Bowker

'We have been waiting for a book of this kind; a very readable text and a state-of-the-art of what many would see as the future of empirical studies of translating. It will be of interest not just to those intending to work with corpora but to those who are curious about what such studies show us about translator behaviour'. Ian Mason

Olohan, Maeve (2003) 'How Frequent are the Contractions? A Study of Contracted Forms in the Translational English Corpus', Target 15(1): 59-89.

Olohan, Maeve (2002) 'Leave it out! Using a Comparable Corpus to Investigate Aspects of Explicitation in Translation', Cadernos de Tradução IX: 153-169.

Olohan, Maeve (2002) 'Corpus Linguistics and Translation Studies: Interaction and Reaction', Linguistica Antverpiensia 1/2002: 419-429.

Olohan, Maeve and Mona Baker (2000) 'Reporting that in Translated English: Evidence for Subconscious Processes of Explicitation?', Across Languages and Cultures 1(2): 141-158.

Pérez-González, Luis (2006) 'Interpreting Strategic Recontextualization Cues in the Courtroom', Journal of Pragmatics, 38: 390-417.