Proceedings from the CALS conference 2014
Edited By Kristina Cergol Kovačević and Sanda Lucija Udier
Bilingual abstracts of scholarly papers as a type of self-translation
This paper deals with the self-translation of scholarly paper abstracts. In this study one focus is on the differences, the so-called ‘shifts’, between an original abstract and its translation, specifically on the optional shifts. The translation shifts are explored using Vinay and Darbelnet’s methodology for the analysis of translation, as described in Munday (2008: 56 ff.). I will take the number of optional shifts (including optional additions and omissions) as an indicator of the degree of ‘freedom’ in translation, and based on that degree I will try to determine whether self-translation as a mode of translation differs from ‘ordinary’ translation. The analyzed corpus consists of bilingual abstracts (in language combinations German-Croatian, Croatian-English, Croatian-German, English-Croatian, and English-German) from a collection of papers on translation (Karabalić and Omazić 2008). Another focus is on strategies and procedures commonly employed in self-translation of abstracts, which is investigated by means of an online survey.
The term ‘self-translation’ (also known as ‘auto-translation’) is not really self-explanatory, and it is thus in need of a definition. As Grutman (2005: 17) puts it, “[t]he terms auto-translation and self-translation refer to the act of translating one’s own writings or the result of such an undertaking”. Montini (2010: 306) reminds us of Popovič’s (1976: 19) basic definition of self-translation as “the translation of an original work into another language by the author himself”. The research topic of this paper is self-translation of scholarly paper abstracts, a...
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