News translation of reported conflicts: a corpus-based account of positioning

Li Pan*, Sixin Liao

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Positioning, crucial in shaping the interpretation of a text, is usually unobtrusive in news translation. News translation of conflicts might provide an important context for investigating translators' mediation of (re)positioning, as the tension caused by opposing ideologies often requires translators to play complex and multi-faceted roles. Drawing on Appraisal Theory and Narrative Theory, this study follows the three-dimensional procedure of Critical Discourse Analysis and proposes an analytical framework for the examination of positioning in the news translation of the Tibet riots in 2008. A corpus analysis of 54 Chinese translated news reports and 129 English source texts reveals that, despite its advocacy of faithful translation, the Chinese state-run newspaper allows meticulous repositioning in actual practice. It is found that the relabelling strategy plays a crucial role in repositioning the target readers in their interpretation of the Tibet riots and their attitudes towards the participants in the conflicts. Factors that could motivate the translators' repositioning include the translators' institutional role and expectation for the target audience's reactions, the political stance of the news institution determined by its official identity, as well as the public narratives circulated by the Chinese and Western mainstream media.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-18
    Number of pages18
    JournalPerspectives: Studies in Translation Theory and Practice
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Jul 2020

    Keywords

    • (re)positioning
    • Appraisal Theory
    • conflicts
    • Narrative Theory
    • News translation

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