How are properties expressed?

07/19/2005 12:24

Linguistic properties of translations

Saar - Uni - press team Press office of the Saarland University
University of Saarland

In a new research project, the Chair for English Linguistics and Translation Studies at Saarland University is dealing with characteristic features of translated texts. The aim of the research project with the title "Linguistic properties of translations - A corpus-based investigation for the language pair English - German" is to work out those properties of translations that arise depending on the respective language pair and the translation direction as well as those that are universal, ie result from the translation process.

When we read translated texts, for example a novel translated from English, or one of the numerous websites of international companies or authorities, we occasionally stumble across expressions and formulations that give us an idea of ​​how the English original was formulated. Often the whole presentation and argumentation appears "typically English". In addition to this shining through of the source language, there are a number of other so-called translation properties that may even apply regardless of the language pair concerned. For example, it can be ascertained that information in translations is often expressed more clearly, i.e. more explicitly, than in the source-language originals.

Using the example of the English-German language pair, the new research project at the Saar University is intended to examine this translation property of explication in particular. The researchers want to build an extensive electronic text corpus and enrich it with additional linguistic information in order to create a basis for the exact description and explanation of the phenomenon under investigation. As a result of the investigations, knowledge is expected about which text structures are particularly "prone" to being expressed more clearly and thus more explicitly in the translation than in the corresponding original. The research results should also contribute to a better understanding of the translation process, which can also be relevant for practice and training in the field of translation: If translators know what is happening - sometimes unconsciously - when writing their translation, they can consciously decide whether they want to Actually want to include deviations in their work. Alternatively, they can look for a different phrase or structure that is likely to make the reader forget that what they are reading is a translation. In addition to the purely translation-oriented findings, the researchers also hope with the help of their studies to better understand what happens when languages ​​and cultures come into contact with one another - for example through translation.

The research project receives decisive support from the close interdisciplinary cooperation in the large area of ​​language research and language technology, which is excellently developed and represented at Saarland University.

The project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) was applied for jointly by Prof. Dr. Erich Steiner, Dr. Stella Neumann and Dr. Silvia Hansen-Schirra, who also conducts research in the field of computational linguistics.

Any questions? Please contact
Prof. Dr. Erich Steiner,
Tel. 302-4482,
Email: [email protected]
Dr. Stella Neumann,
Tel. 302-4485,
Email: [email protected]

Criteria of this press release:
Information technology, Language / literature, Media and communication sciences, Social studies
transregional, national
Research projects, science policy