This article aims to investigate trainee translators’ contrastive pragmalinguistic competence, starting from the assumption that – although more elusively than knowledge about culture-specific references – it represents an important subcomponent of intercultural competence, which can determine the adequacy of translated texts. The study focuses in particular on the translation of interclausal linkage, as it is a form of cohesion which displays different preferences across languages. A multi-parallel corpus of English-to-Italian learner translations of the same source text is analysed to detect regularities and variation in the language behaviour of trainee translators. The frequency of connectives in target texts is compared to both the respective source texts and comparable non-translated Italian texts, in order to determine whether translations are mainly shaped by interference or normalisation. The results of the quantitative analysis confirm previous findings that interference is predominant, with students closely reproducing source text conjunctive patterns at the risk of making translations sound unnatural; more refined qualitative observations, however, reveal that there are also attempts at normalisation. A discussion of the relevance to translator training of the insights obtained is provided, together with suggestions for inclusion in training programmes.

Investigating trainee translators’ contrastive pragmalinguistic competence: a corpus-based analysis of interclausal linkage in learner translations

CASTAGNOLI, SARA
2016

Abstract

This article aims to investigate trainee translators’ contrastive pragmalinguistic competence, starting from the assumption that – although more elusively than knowledge about culture-specific references – it represents an important subcomponent of intercultural competence, which can determine the adequacy of translated texts. The study focuses in particular on the translation of interclausal linkage, as it is a form of cohesion which displays different preferences across languages. A multi-parallel corpus of English-to-Italian learner translations of the same source text is analysed to detect regularities and variation in the language behaviour of trainee translators. The frequency of connectives in target texts is compared to both the respective source texts and comparable non-translated Italian texts, in order to determine whether translations are mainly shaped by interference or normalisation. The results of the quantitative analysis confirm previous findings that interference is predominant, with students closely reproducing source text conjunctive patterns at the risk of making translations sound unnatural; more refined qualitative observations, however, reveal that there are also attempts at normalisation. A discussion of the relevance to translator training of the insights obtained is provided, together with suggestions for inclusion in training programmes.
Routledge
internazionale
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