Centre for Translation Studies


Past Seminars: 2013 - 2014

9th October 2013

Stylistics and the Study of Translated Online News

Dr Federico Federici, Durham University, UK

Is the lack of a breadth of studies focusing on key stylistic features of online news due to the increasingly fast production of news or is it due to the complexity of the data collection? Or perhaps to the complexity of data analysis? Carrying out research into online translated news shows, I have noticed that the significance of the authorial voice in Italian translations of foreign news influences rendering and 'usage' of translations. As journalistic style in the language combination English-Italian is a matter of stylistics, this paper contends that a new syncretism of methodological approaches related to corpus-based translation studies should be applied to study translations of journalistic style(s). This paper takes samples from a study in the language combination English-Italian in order to broaden the question and open a debate on the methodological limitations that these types of studies currently face. By providing examples of possible ways in which tools within stylistics and corpus-based translation studies could be combined, I am assessing experimental methods to study this form of translated materials and I aim to suggest ways of enhancing research methods that could be profitably used to investigate the impact of translated online news.

23rd October 2013

User-Generated Translation

Saverio Perrino, Foreign Language Versions Coordinator at BBC Worldwide, London, UK

This study seeks to make a contribution to a hitherto The talk focused on the phenomenon of User-generated Translation, and analysed current models of online mass collaboration. 

20 November 2013

Reading Minds: Interaction Shift in Translated Mental-health Leaflets

Dr Raquel De Pedro, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

Official guidelines and codes of practice referring to medical settings often state that translation is no substitute for interpreter-mediated exchanges. Nevertheless, because of developments in legislation and, at times, simply out of good practice, large numbers of medical leaflets and brochures are routinely translated so as to disseminate information. This study seeks to make a contribution to a hitherto relatively understudied field. It explores writer-reader interaction in a bilingual corpus of medical leaflets published on the website of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (UK). A comparative analysis of English STs and Spanish TTs texts was conducted to identify shifts in personal reference, which served to contrast patterns in knowledge transfer processes between mental health experts and their target audiences. The framework chosen for this study is that proposed by Thompson and Thetela (1995) and Thompson (2001), which serves to analyse the exchange between mental health experts and their target audiences. The material under study is of special interest due to the sensitivity of its subject matter and the varied constituency it addresses (not only patients, but also, and sometimes primarily, their carers and relatives). Another attribute that makes this material interesting is that the foreign-language texts have been produced and revised by mental health professionals, rather than by translators.

4 December 2013

Face Management and Audience Response in Subtitling

Dr Xiaohui Yuan, University of Nottingham, UK

The speaker discussed what face management is and how it is represented in Chinese-English subtitles. She also dealt with its impact in subtitling on viewers' interpretation of the protagonists' personality, attitude and intentions via the audience response experiment.

14 January 2014

Behind the Mind: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Translation 

Dr. Claire Yi-Yi Shih, University of Leicester, UK

Translation process research is often considered to be a unique branch of translation studies that embraces an interdisciplinary approach to translation. This talk will first of all locate translation process research in translation studies and then introduces its various research instruments, i.e. think-aloud protocols, key-logging, screen recording and the latest eye-tracking software. It will demonstrate how these research instruments are used in translation process research and provide some empirical findings that are used to model the translation process.

28 January 2014

Is Venus called the star of gold? - A comparative philosophical approach to meaning and equivalence at word level

Dr Youxuan Wang, University of Portsmouth, UK

This presentation considered a somewhat perennial issue in translation studies: the question of meaning. By examining a couple of CSIs in English and Chinese from two philosophical perspectives of western analytical philosophy and Asian Buddhist philosophy, it sought to provide two logical criteria of equivalence between ST and TT at word level. 

11 February 2014 

Gayspeak and gay subjects in audiovisual translation: strategies in Italian dubbing

Dr Irene Ranzato, University of La Sapienza, Roma, Italy

This talk will provide some insights in the analysis of fictional language of homosexuals as portrayed on the screen, as well as the way in which Italian translators and dubbing adapters have dealt with gayspeak. The words of the gay lexicon in the English and the Italian languages do not cover the same semantic areas and the lack of balance between the two languages in this particular field may create problems for the translator. Various examples from dubbed films and television series in which some of the features of gayspeak are substantially altered will help investigate whether these modifications are due to constraints determined by the vocabulary used to define the idiolect of this speech community or, rather, to overt and covert constraints imposed by a culture, the Italian, which has opened up to homosexual themes much more slowly than the Anglosaxon world.

4 March 2014

Marketing translated literature: Translation as armchair travelling

Dr Gabriela Saldanha, University of Birmingham, UK

Sociological approaches within the History of the Book have started to pay increasing attention to book marketing and how this affects a book's reception. Books are complex cultural products that often defy the predictions of marketing specialists (Squires 2009) and, in the case of translated books, their success or failure at different stages of their journey across borders cannot be explained by a single factor alone, rather, they need to be considered in "the very process of fabrication, in the way in which human, technological, financial, etc. resources are mobilized and interconnected" (Buzelin 2007, 53). Very little research has been carried out on the marketing of translated literature. In this presentation I discuss results of a preliminary research on the positions taken by key agents in the marketing process (publishers, critics, booksellers) and look at the mediascape (Appadurai 2006) created by the marketing apparatus: in particular book packaging and media reviews. I will focus on Brazilian literature translated into English as a case study. This is a particularly revelatory case because of the surprisingly poor performance of Portuguese literature in the Anglophone market considering the place of Portuguese as one of the worlds most spoken languages and the increasing influence of Brazil as an emerging power in the global political and economic scene.

18 March 2014

Engineers' favourite toy? New perspectives of MT technology for professional translators

Dr Bogdan Babych, University of Leeds, UK

Nowadays Machine Translation (MT) has become an integral part of the workflow of the professional translators. It is now integrated into state-of-the-art Translation Memories, and has been enhanced with new interactive features. Traditionally rule-based MT engines had functionality of managing user dictionaries, terminology and included interactive translation features, but nowadays this functionality finds its way into statistical MT (FP7 project MATECAT), and also new interactive features are explored (CASMACAT). There are important developments in ways how MT systems are built and evaluated, how new translation directions are covered (especially -- for under-resourced languages).

In my talk I will give an overview of these recent developments, and will show that in many respects there still a gap between the MT engineers' and professional translators' perspective on the technology. I will argue that most useful developments usually come from attempts to bridge this gap, and I will outline new features in the technology which users can expect in the coming years.

I will argue that professional translators should take a pro-active role in suggesting new features and specifications for MT-related functionality that will be useful for modern collaborative translation workflow. We need to prepare a new generation of translators who have understanding of the perspectives and limitations of the state-of-the-art MT and can work closely with engineering teams to make MT useful for a wider range of translation tasks.

6 May 2014

The challenge of video game localisation

Dr Miguel Á. Bernal-Merino, University of Roehampton, London

The phenomenon of the video game industry has been growing steadily in size and relevance in many countries around the world. The astonishing variety and global reach of these entertainment products as both individual and group activities have finally removed the stigma of playing video games as well as taken the crown as preferred leisure activity for great sections of the population. Understanding current game localisation processes is essential to appreciate the complexity of the task and the role that translation has played in this meteoric ascent. The translation of multimedia interactive entertainment software does have things in common with other multichannel products, but the intrinsic interactivity of software and the mantra of immersion demand maximum playability in all languages, affecting the game design and production like no other product before. A true challenge worth learning about for all language professionals.

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