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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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2 Corpora and Translation Studies 33


Chapter 2: Corpora and Translation Studies The use of corpora in translation studies is relatively new. It, arguably, dates back to 1993 when Mona Baker first discussed the importance of applying corpus evidence to study the nature of translated texts per se (Baker 1993). According to Baker, one of the reasons behind the inferiority attributed to translations is that translated texts have not been recorded and explored as they really are. She further argues that translation as a unique communicative event must be recorded and explored and corpora can well serve the purpose. Baker states: “Large corpora will provide theorists of translation with a unique opportunity to observe the object of their study and to explore what it is that makes it different from other objects of study” (1993: 235). She further emphasized that the availability of large corpora of both original and translated texts along with the advances in corpus-based methodology would help translation scholars identify the distinctive features of the language of translation. She asserts: The profound effect that corpora will have on translation studies, in my view, will be a consequence of their enabling us to identify features of translated texts which will help us understand what translation is and how it works. (1993: 242-3) Furthermore, referring to the considerable advances in the field of Descriptive Translation Studies, Baker (1993) explains how corpus linguistics techniques and methodologies have shed new light on the theoretical and applied branches of Descriptive Translation Studies. A similar view is echoed by...

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