Documentation

Ji, Meng, Oakes, Michael, Defeng, Li and Hareide, Lidun, eds. (2016): Corpus methodologies explained: an empirical approach to translation studies. London/New York: Routledge, 244 p.[Notice]

  • Sandra Almeida

…plus d’informations

  • Sandra Almeida
    Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, Brazil

Throughout the years, a growing body of research in Translation Studies has relied on Corpus Linguistics, either in connection with the latest developments in Machine Translation (MT) or with empirical corpus-based translation research across languages. Apart from that, a number of statistical tools and methods have been added in order to further improve research in the field. The publication is a result of the joint effort of four translation scholars from Australia, China, Norway and UK, led by Ji, whose affiliation with the Waseda Institute of Advanced Studies of the Waseda University in Tokyo paved the way for the project here undertaken. The book is organized into five chapters: Chapter 1 presents a review of the main methods which have been used for machine translation, ranging from the rule-based model to the statistical model; Chapter 2 relies on the contrastive quantitative analysis comprising English, Chinese and translational Chinese in regard to textual complexity and genre shifting; Chapter 3 deals with translation stylistics across different versions of a source text in the language pair Chinese/English; Chapters 4 and 5 address the mutually exclusive “Over-representation of Target-language Specific Features Hypothesis” (Baker 1993, 1996) and the “Unique Items Hypothesis” (Tirkkonen-Condit 2001, 2004), challenging one against the other in the language pairs Norwegian-Spanish and English-Spanish, in an attempt to fully test the “Gravitational Pull Hypothesis” (Halverson 2003, 2007, 2009, 2010), with focus on a specific language item which is the Spanish gerund. After a brief introduction, which carefully summarizes the main goal and findings of each chapter, Chapter 1, entitled The need for corpora in machine translation and written by Oakes, is outlined so as to offer an overview of the main methodological enterprises into the field of machine translation. Starting from the rule-based system, of which TAUM METEO is a successful example, the author advances towards more complex systems, such as translation memories, the example-based system and the statistical machine translation, of which Europarl is a remarkable example, recognizing the limitations of a system based solely on rules and arguing in favor of more comprehensive machine translation models which can rely on parallel corpora, be more easily updated, be satisfactorily built for less-resourced languages, and, at the same time, be language independent. Chapter 2 is entitled A multidimensional analysis of the translational Chinese genre system and was written by Ji. It takes a corpus-driven perspective on the systematic differences found in translating certain genres from English into Chinese, which was termed as genre shifting, considering original English genres, target Chinese genres and translational Chinese genres, which are argued to differ from the previous two. In order to explain such differences, the author points out that “while the Chinese genre system is essentially reader-oriented, the English genre system is information-oriented” (Ji 2017: 72). By relying on three different corpora, namely the British National Corpus (BNC) for English, the Lancaster Corpus of Mandarin Chinese (LCMC) for original Chinese and the Zhejiang University Corpus of Translational Chinese (ZJU) for translational Chinese, the multidimensional corpus analysis is divided into two main parts: first, it deals with striking differences between original English genres and original Chinese genres; and second, it analyzes the key differences between original Chinese genres and translational Chinese genres. Several observations are made, especially regarding the translational genre system in the Chinese language, which can be summarized as follows: Chapter 3 focuses on the style adopted by the translators in producing their translations, addressed by several scholars as translator´s subjectivity and visibility (Venuti 1995), voice (Hermans 1996) or style itself (Baker 2000). Written by Defeng, Translator style: a corpus-assisted approach, as the title ...

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