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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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3 What Information can Corpora Offer to Translators? 63


Chapter 3: What Information can Corpora Offer to Translators? In the last chapter, we elaborated on the applications of corpora in translation studies in general. We noted that corpora of different types have influenced the studies on translation universals, translation evaluation, and translator’s style and ideology. We further explained how corpora have affected the translation profession and what professional translators do and we further elaborated on the effects corpora have had on Computer-based Translation Aids. We later focused on the applications of corpora in terms of translation competence and in the context of translator education. We now turn our attention to the kind of information corpora have to offer to translators in general. To have a better overview of how corpora can provide translators with translationally-relevant information, we have made use of a 1,500,000 word disposable corpus of English political texts solely compiled for the purpose of this book. 3.1. Collocational Information Collocations are defined as “words that appear together with a greater than random probability” (Bowker 2002: 64). To put it in simple terms, two words are considered collocates if they typically co-occur. In the context of translation, making use of natural collocates can help translators produce target texts that sound more natural to target readers. Collocational information is particularly useful for those translators translating out of their mother tongue who may not have a native-like mastery of the language they are translating into. The concordancer and collocates features in corpus analysis tools can be used to...

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