Proceedings from the CALS conference 2014
Edited By Kristina Cergol Kovačević and Sanda Lucija Udier
A study of translation universals in a Croatian translation of a maritime institutional text
The following paper serves as a contribution to the ongoing debate on the issue of the existence of translation universals, i.e. shared features which all translations supposedly have in common regardless of the pairs of languages involved. Therefore, translation universals are first reviewed and then a study is undertaken to confirm or dispute their existence in a Croatian translation of a maritime institutional text originally written in English. The tools used in the analysis are borrowed from the field of corpus linguistics and combined with the introspective-driven research and manual analysis. We describe the texts and methods used in the analysis and discuss our results and findings from other similar research papers. Our results show that some structural features of the target language affect the translation more than the supposedly inherent procedures of the translation process itself, thus disproving some of our initial hypotheses about the potential manifestation of translation universals in the Croatian text. For instance, based on previous findings form similar research, we hypothesized that explicitation would result in Croatian translation having longer sentences and overall larger number of total words. However, the opposite turned out to be the case, i.e. the majority of sentences in the source text were longer than their translated versions, which could partly be explained by structural differences between the two languages (English being an analytic language and Croatian a synthetic one). This also exposed text length and sentence length as too superficial and unreliable criteria in the...
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