Introducing Corpora in Translation Studies

Introducing Corpora in Translation Studies

Introducing Corpora in Translation Studies

Introducing Corpora in Translation Studies

Synopsis

The use of corpora in translation studies, both as a tool for translators and as a way of analyzing the process of translation, is growing. This book provides a much-needed assessment of how the analysis of corpus data can make a contribution to the study of translation. Introducing Corpora in Translation Studies: * traces the development of corpus methods within translation studies* defines the types of corpora used for translation research, discussing their design and application and presenting tools for extracting and analysing data* examines research potential and methodological limitatis* considers some uses of corpora by translators and in translator training* features research questions, case studies and discussion points to provide a practical guide to using corpora in translation studies.Offering a comprehensive account of the use of corpora by today's translators and researchers, Introducing Corpora in Translation Studies is the definitive guide to a fast-developing area of study.

Excerpt

A corpus is a collection of texts, selected and compiled according to specific criteria. The texts are held in electronic format, i.e. as computer files, so that various kinds of corpus tools, i.e. software, can be used to carry out analysis on them. The study of language using corpora is the domain of corpus linguistics. Translation studies is the academic discipline that concerns itself with the study of translation; taken broadly it also incorporates interpreting, dubbing and subtitling (Baker 1998b:277) and 'covers the whole spectrum of research and pedagogical activities, from developing theoretical frameworks to engaging in practical matters such as training translators and developing criteria for translation assessment' (ibid.).

This book focuses on the use of corpora in translation studies and offers an introduction primarily aimed at those who are familiar with translation studies but not corpora. Its focus is necessarily narrower than would be suggested by the simple amalgamation of both definitions just given. More specifically the role of corpora in three areas of translation studies is considered here-translation studies research, translator training and translation practice-with the focus firmly on the first of these. The corpus is seen primarily as a research tool, enabling us to study translations in a number of ways and through a variety of methods.

The use of corpora for this purpose in translation studies has a short history spanning no more than ten years, but electronic corpora have been used in linguistics for over three decades (Kennedy 1998:1). While translation studies accepts and adopts the tried and tested corpus methods from its older sister, it also undergoes early teenage angst, seeking to develop its own corpus-related image while coming to terms with other self-centred, existential preoccupations. This book documents those early years of corpora in translation studies and gives an insight into some of the difficulties and achievements. As in corpus compilation, representativeness has been an important criterion in compiling this book, but it is also acknowledged that the author's own interests and access to specific resources have influenced the choice and nature of the research questions and material discussed.

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