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Translationese — a myth or an empirical fact?: A study into the linguistic identifiability of translated language

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John Benjamins Publishing Company

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      Abstract

      This paper reports on a study in which subjects were asked to distinguish translations from originally produced (non-translated) texts. The aim was to identify the linguistic features shared by texts assumed to be translations, as well as those shared by texts assumed to be originally produced. The results show (i) that translations were not readily identifiable, and (ii) that the feature that seemed to guide the subjects’ decisions was the frequency vs. scarcity of target language specific (unique) items in the texts: their frequency led subjects to assume ― correctly or incorrectly ― that a text was original rather than translated. It is concluded that the unique items in non-translations vs. translations deserve further research in respect of their frequency and the impressions they make on readers.

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      Most cited references 6

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      Descriptive Translation Studies - and beyond

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        Corpus Linguistics and Translation Studies - Implications and Applications

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          Corpora in Translation Studies: An Overview and Some Suggestions for Future Research

           Mona Baker (1995)
          Abstract: Corpus-based research has become widely accepted as a factor in improving the performance of machine translation systems, and corpus-based terminology compilation is now the norm rather than the exception. Within translation studies proper, Lindquist (1984) has advocated the use of corpora for training translators, and Baker (1993a) has argued that theoretical research into the nature of translation will receive a powerful impetus from corpus-based studies. It is becoming increasingly important to take stock of what is happening on this front and to start working towards the development of an explicit and coherent methodology for corpus-based research in the discipline. This paper discusses the current and potential use of corpora in translation studies, with particular reference to theoretical issues. Résumé: On s'accorde à voir dans la recherche sur corpus un facteur susceptible d'améliorer les systèmes de traduction automatique; la terminologie basée sur corpus devient la règle plutôt que l'exception. A propos des recherches sur la traduction, Lidquist (1984) a prôné le recours aux corpora dans la formation des traducteurs; selon Baker (1993a), l'étude théorique de la traduction bénéficiera des recherches fondées sur corpus. Il importe désormais de répertorier les acquis en ce domaine, afin de mettre au point une méthodologie explicite et cohérente. L'article qui suit analyse l'usage présent et possible des corpora dans les recherches sur la traduction, et prêtant une attention particulière aux questions théoriques.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            Target
            Target
            John Benjamins Publishing Company
            0924-1884
            1569-9986
            June 19 2003
            June 19 2003
            : 14
            : 2
            : 207-220
            10.1075/target.14.2.02tir
            © 2003

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