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Translated Texts: Properties, Variants, Evaluations


Erich Steiner

This book deals with the nature of translations as texts, concentrating on English and German. Its focus is on texts rather than on sentences, on embeddedness in contexts rather than on decontextualized examples, and on units of meaning rather than on items of form. While this orientation may set the book apart from linguistic approaches of a more formalist and more narrowly structuralist leaning, it does insist on a focus on language. The argumentation presented here shows a high regard for details of linguistic realization, rather than a discourse exclusively situated on higher semiotic levels. Although the author subscribes to a basically socio-semiotic and functionalist orientation, the specific contribution attempted here to the socio-semiotic enterprise is that of the linguist and translation scholar, rather than that of the literary studies or cultural studies specialist. The approach seeks to consider translations and related forms of texts on macro- and micro-levels, offering tools for the language professional and for the researcher.
Contents: Linguistic Variation in Texts, Translation, and the Notion of Register – Pre-translational Text Analysis – Translation Evaluation – Intralingual and Interlingual Versions of Texts – The Relative Importance of Systemic Contrasts and of the Text-type «Translation» – Tools and Electronic Corpora for Research.