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Corpora in Translation

A Practical Guide


Tengku Sepoa Tengku Mahadi, Helia Vaezian and Mahmoud Akbari

Corpora are among the hottest issues in translation studies affecting both pure and applied realms of the discipline. As for pure translation studies, corpora have done their part through contributions to the studies on translational language and translation universals. Yet, their recent contribution is within the borders of applied translation studies, i.e. translator training and translation aids. The former is the major focus of the present book.
The present book in fact aims at providing readers with comprehensive information about corpora in translation studies in general, and corpora in translator education in particular. It further offers researchers and practitioners a comprehensive and up-to-date survey of studies done on corpora in translator education and provides a rich source of information on pros and cons of using different types of corpora as translation aids in the context of translation classrooms.


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1 An Introduction to Corpus Linguistics 3


Chapter 1: An Introduction to Corpus Linguistics 1.1. What is Corpus Linguistics? Corpus linguistics in simple terms can be defined as “the study of language based on examples of real life language use” (McEnery/ Wilson 2001: 1). The aim of Corpus Linguistics is in fact to describe language as it is used by its speakers and later on to derive rules based on it. The procedure it uses is thus inductive in that it is based on observing actual instances of language and making statements according to them. Any observation in corpus linguistics draws on corpus data, and any hypothesis and, later on, any generalization about the language under study is directly derived from such data. According to Teubert (2004: 100), “corpus linguistics studies language on the basis of discourse”. He further refers to the totality of texts produced over centuries by the speakers of a language as the discourse of that language and asserts that it is not possible to study all discourse; “all corpus linguistics can do is to work with a sample of discourse” which is called corpus (2004: 100). Looking historically, corpus methodologies were among the popular methodologies in linguistic studies. A century ago, for example, the study of language in the work of Breal was equated with the observation of data and looking at observable data was named as the only means of discovering the laws governing the meaning (Tognini-Bonelli 2001). As McEnery and Wilson (2001:2) state, “while not identifying themselves with the term...

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