As the boundaries between national and international news continue to blur, news translation has become an important site for examining how issues of language, culture, and risk influence how events are framed as they cross sociocultural and linguistic barriers. The current study contributes to the growing research in this area via showing how attention to sociolinguistic features like registers, indexes, and other markers of social meaning can further our understanding of the minutia - and ultimate outcome - of these translation processes. Data comes from Japanese coverage of two statements made by Joe Biden's during the first 2020 US presidential debate which garnered international attention for their phrasing: 'Will you shut up man?' and 'It's hard to get any word in with this clown, excuse me, this person'. Comparing mainstream and independent translations, the study finds Japanese journalists translating each utterance via a diverse range of forms with links to distinct speech registers. However, mainstream and independent coverage shows broad distinctions in the forms they are willing to employ, and whether they neutralize or exaggerate the notable elements of Biden's statements, with concerns of both risk and register impacting the way these quotes are framed for a new audience.
- news translation