EU High Level Scientific Conference Series
Prof.Dr.H.Gerzymisch-Arbogast (Translation/Interpreting) ATRC Saarbrücken

  Multidimensional Translation - MuTra
   2005 Saarbrücken
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Abstracts of Presentations and Workshops

Michaela Albl-Mikasa (University of Tübingen)

(Non-)Sense in note-taking for consecutive interpreting

In the traditional literature on interpreting, "sense" is an all-pervading notion discussed and emphasised by virtually every author. The general, often pretheoretical view is that when taking notes consecutive interpreters must detach themselves as much as possible from the source text's surface structures, taking down "sense" rather than words. From the perspective of a cognitive theory of text processing this grasping of sense (in both consecutive and simultaneous interpreting) can be described as a cognitive process of coherence building based on the construction of a mental representation (see, for instance, Kohn & Kalina's 1996 "discourse-based mental world modelling" and Setton's 1998 "intermediate representations in meaning assembly").

However, even though the transfer from the source text to the target text occurs via a mental representation, the target text structures do not necessarily differ from the source text structures. From a descriptive perspective it can be shown that, depending on the different processing conditions and factors, interpreting studies yield different results, ranging from "formal 'distance' between SL and TL structure" (in a study of professional simultaneous interpreters working from Chinese and English into German, see Setton 1998:172) to "formal similarity" between source and target text (in a study involving professional consecutive interpreters and the language pair Spanish - Danish, see Dam 1998:52).

In my view, an important methodological aspect emerges from this. What exactly are we referring to when talking about detachment vs. non-detachment from the source text surface, or about structural differences vs. structural parallels resulting from the process of assembling meaning? How do we conceptualise 'surface structure'? Is the focus on linguistic means of expression or on propositional structures? In my analysis of note-taking in consecutive interpreting (with interpreting trainees working from English into German, see Albl-Mikasa 2007), I found correspondences where one would have expected structural differences. From the perspective of a cognitive model integrating relevance theory, it became clear that note-taking takes place on the micro-propositional level of the explicature. For instance, confronted with a source text utterance such as "The United Nations climate report stresses the imminent changes on our planet", the interpreter is likely to stick to that propositional form in the production of the reduced notation and expanded target text. It is unlikely that the interpreter notes down and processes possible implicatures that deviate from this propositional form (e.g. "According to the climate report mankind has to beware of alarming consequences in the future."). Overall, the interpreter's attention is directed to the micro-propositional level of processing to a greater degree than has been claimed so far. The didactic consequence is that propositional processing may have to be learned (rather than avoided) before more global, mental model-based strategies can be used.

  • ALBL-MIKASA, M. (2007). Notationssprache und Notizentext. Ein kognitiv-linguistisches Modell für das Konsekutivdolmetschen. Tübingen: Narr.
  • DAM, H. V. (1998). "Lexical Similarity vs Lexical Dissimilarity in Consecutive Interpreting". In: The Translator: Studies in Intercultural Communication 4 (1) (1998), 49-68.
  • KOHN, K. & KALINA, S. (1996). "The strategic dimension of interpreting". Meta 61 (1) (1996), 118-138.
  • SETTON, R. (1998). "Meaning Assembly in Simultaneous Interpretation". In: Interpreting: International Journal of Research and Practice in Interpreting 3 (2) (1998), 163-199.

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Verónica Arnáiz Uzquiza (Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, Spain)

Where are those subtitles?: Subtitle Placement in SDHH

While attempting to broaden my knowledge of Audiovisual Translation through various investigations I was offered the possibility of achieving a more profound understanding of Subtitling for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SDHH) as part of my MA dissertation. My original aim was to analyse the market in Spain for SDHH, focusing on the different elements which distinguishes it from ordinary subtitles. This apparently 'easy' subject turned out to be a real brainteaser and its investigation led to what is a complex and disorganised situation.

First I had to face a severe lack of material and access to any sources of information that would advance the study or make it an open access discipline. The first results from this research shed light in the many and varied styles in SDHH in the only country in the world with a National Standard for Subtitling.

The Standard - UNE153010- , issued in 2003 and originally designed to harmonise analogue teletext subtitling, is a non-binding set of guidelines on the practise. Apart from regulating other aspects of SDHH such as speaker identification or reading speeds, it classifies the different information elements that build up the audiovisual text. This classification is used to organise and distribute any information to be displayed: dialogues centred at the screen bottom; music and sound effects on the top left corner; paralinguistic information in brackets, just before the subtitle…

But current technological restrictions have limited subtitle placement to a single location: the bottom part of the screen. This problem related to DVD technologies is not included in the Standard but was a real constraint in the subtitling process of the 251 DVD films on sale displaying Spanish SDHH. This isolated restriction affects a number of different parameters in the existing UNE 153010 as not only those aspects related to sound effect placement, font and colour are affected, but also others such as the total number of characters displayed, or the reading speeds estimated.

This paper will give a detailed overview of the different subtitle positioning practises carried out in Spain, and of the different professional solutions emerged in recent years trying to adapt the only existing Standard to the new technological restrictions.

KEYWORDS: Subtitling, Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Standards.

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Bernd Benecke (Bayerisches Fernsehen/München)

Audio-Description and Translation: A new relationship

Audio-Description makes audiovisual media accessible to blind and visually impaired people: An additional narration describes the action, body language, facial expressions, scenery and costumes. The description fits in between the dialogue and does not interfere with important sound and music effects.

Developed in the United States it is known to people in Europe since 1989. Today we find Audio-Description in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Portugal. But every country developed the technique on its own - so if we are looking at described films in Europe today we find great differences in how the describing is done and what contents are translated.

Translated? Is Audio-Description a form of translation? A lot of people think so. But to date there has been no research on the question if and how Audio-Description fits in Translation theory. Now this is the topic of a new project at Saarland University. Actually a full description of a 90 minutes movie is analysed with translation aspects and will lead to an overall study on that matter.

This presentation will give a short overlook on the state of research and present the first outcomes in relation to the analysed movie "Slurb in Danger" (Sams in Gefahr).

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Lucja Biel (Gdansk)

Asymmetry of legal translation strategies on the example of English and Polish company law terminology

The first part of the presentation analyses properties of legal concepts and cross-linguistic and cross-systemic differences between such concepts within the methodology of Cognitive Linguistics. Legal terms are prompts for conceptual operations and activation of background knowledge; they refer to concepts that are embedded in knowledge structures of a given field of law. The knowledge base is created, to a large extent, by national legislation and case law; it is therefore unique to each legal system (larger differences to be found between common law and civil law systems). In order to characterise a legal concept it is necessary to refer to other cognitive domains which are presupposed by and incorporated in such a concept; the knowledge evoked is organised in terms of relevance and salience. Some legal knowledge has a form of scenarios and scripts: Kjær argues that legal reasoning is based on the if-then mental model while Gizbert-Studnicki sees legal terms as shortcuts that connect a set of facts with a set of consequences. Since facts and consequences are rarely identical in two legal systems, it may be difficult to find accurate equivalents in the TL. From a translator's point of view, it is also important that conceptual fields may be organised according to different rules and models. For example, English company law is based on a one-tier corporate governance model while Polish company law is based on a two-tier model (Board of Directors vs. Rada Nadzorcza and Zarzad). Therefore, the inherent incongruity between SL and TL legal concepts is connected with the system-specific background knowledge. It is not the case with the EU legislation, which tends to operate within a single supranational conceptual network. As emphasised by the ECJ, the terminology of EU legislation is 'peculiar' to it and in consequence "legal concepts do not necessarily have the same meaning in Community law and in the law of the various member states" (Case 282/81 Srl CLIFIT and Lanificio di Gavardo SpA v Ministry of Health).

Next I would like to survey major approaches to legal translation strategies focusing on how background knowledge is activated or deactivated in translation related to English and Polish company law. The main determinants identified in the literature that impact the acceptability of TL- and SL-oriented equivalents are a type of recipients, text type and function. The initial research was based on: six Polish>English and seven English>Polish legal and business dictionaries, and 3 English translations of the Code of Commercial Partnerships and Companies (KSH). It showed a certain asymmetry in translation strategies: Polish>English equivalents are more frequently SL-oriented while English>Polish equivalents tend to be TL-oriented. As a result, other factors of equivalent acceptability are proposed: directionality of translation, semantic field fragmentation, background assumptions and expectations of the target audience, including the culture-specific acceptability of the foreign. Further research was carried out on the bilingual corpus consisting of English websites of WIG 20 Poland-based companies and Polish websites of global corporations to test the asymmetry between the Polish and English company law terminology in translation. Secondly, it was intended to test whether this asymmetry is also reflected in the translation of company websites (descriptions of company structure, articles of associations and financial statements), and specifically whether the Internet elicits more TL-oriented strategies.

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Sabine Braun (Centre for Translation Studies, University of Surrey)

Audio description from a discourse perspective: Towards a framework for research

Audio description for blind and partially sighted people (AD) is a rather recent practice only now attracting academic attention. Its evolution is closely associated with the growing importance of audiovisual media and hence multimodal discourse in our society, be it for entertainment, education or professional purposes. While research into AD has focused on the production of guidelines for this activity (Dosch & Benecke 1997, OfCom 2001, Orero 2005, Vercauteren 2006), characteristic linguistic features of AD narrative (Salway, in press) and the analysis of audio described content from a text-linguistic perspective (Fix 2005), not very much is known as yet about AD-related discourse comprehension and production processes, i.e. the comprehension and production processes involved in the creation of AD narrative, and the processes involved in understanding audio described content.

The creation of AD narrative is a form of intermodal translation and as such a discourse-based activity which has a complex and ambivalent relationship with other types of translation (cf. also Hyks 2005). On the one hand, audio describers mainly start from visual perception, rather than from a verbal source text, which raises challenging new questions with regard to the comprehension of the source material. On the other hand, audio describers share with translators a lack of 'semantic autonomy' in the target text production (cf. Kohn 1990). However, while translators produce texts which are intended to be perceived in their own right, AD narrative has to 'interact' with the main verbal and auditory components of the audiovisual event (e.g. with film or theatre dialogue, music and sound effects). Furthermore, the creation of AD narrative is conditioned by timing constraints and by the specific requirements arising from producing text that is written to be spoken (or to be acted out). This raises a number of questions regarding the relationship between AD narrative and the other components of the event. From a discourse production perspective, issues of establishing reference, enabling inference and creating 'local' and 'global' coherence (within and across AD sections, and between these and the other components of the audiovisual event) are particularly relevant here. Similarly complex questions arise with regard to the comprehension of audio described content by the VIP target audience. Initial reception research conducted in the AUDETEL project (cf. OfCom 2001) has shown that an appreciation of audience expectations is vital for shaping the production of AD narrative. Research is required with regard to the nature of the underlying comprehension processes.

In this paper I will argue that a discourse-based perspective on AD provides valuable insights into the processes of creating AD narrative and understanding audio described content, and that it can therefore help to develop a framework for empirical research in this field. On the basis of this, I will outline and exemplify relevant research questions from a discourse processing perspective.

  • Dosch, E. & B. Benecke. 1997. Wenn aus Bildern Worte werden - Durch Audio-Description zum Hörfilm. München: Bayerischer Rundfunk.
  • Fix, U. 2005. Hörfilm. Bildkompensation durch Sprache. Berlin: Erich Schmidt.
  • Hyks, V. 2005. Audio description and translation. Two related but different skills. Translating Today 4, 6-8.
  • Kohn, K. 1990. Translation as conflict. In: Nelde, Peter (ed): Confli(c)t. ABLA Papers 14, 105-113.
  • OfCom 2001. ITC Guidance. audio_description_stnds/ (accessed 10 December 2006).
  • Orero, P. 2005. Audio description: professional recognition, practice and standards in Spain. Translation Watch Quarterly 1(1), 7-17.
  • Salway, A. in press. A corpus-based analysis of the language of audio description. Selected proceedings of Media for All. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
  • Vercauteren, G. 2006. Practical guidelines for audio description. Paper delivered at MuTra Conference Audiovisual Translation Scenarios, May 1-5, 2006 in Copenhagen.

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Gerhard Budin (University of Vienna)

Semantic Technologies for Collaborative Translation Workflows in Multi-domain Communication

The paper reviews a range of recently developed semantic technologies and their suitability for being used in collaborative translation in domain-specific working contexts. While most semantic technologies are (still) monolingual in nature and ignoring the fact that the world speak many different languages, there has been promising work in the field of multilingualism in semantic authoring, semantic management, etc. that is expected to change translation technologies in a sustainable way. Social software for communities of practice provide new options for many kinds of collaborative and interactive translation processes. Semantic technologies can actively support such translation workflows in the form of situation-aware adaptive web services.

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Jody Byrne (Sheffield)

Multidimensional Challenges of Technical Translation

While technical translation has enjoyed renewed interest from researchers in recent years it is clear that there is still much to be understood about this area of translation. This paper explores a number of key challenges for technical translation and will show that the challenges and their solutions alike are sometimes to be found beyond the traditional confines of translation studies.

This paper will discuss existing issues such as the lack of a clear theoretical home for technical translation which remains problematic for researchers, trainers and students alike. Despite the various models of translation and the attempts to expand and improve upon them, the fact still remains that technical translation does not seem to fit neatly into a single model (yet).

However, in the constantly evolving environment in which technical translation takes place, we see the emergence of other challenges for technical translation. Increasing levels of technology, the convergence of technical translation and technical writing as well as various commercial factors have changed the nature of technical translation and demand that we reassess our understanding of it. Furthermore, the increased emphasis on quality in technical documentation, due in no small part to national and EU legislation, places a greater responsibility on technical translators and has changed the very nature and impact of their work.

This paper will examine these issues and discuss their implications for those involved in technical translation be they practitioners, researchers or trainers.

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Mary Carroll (Titelbild/Berlin)

Experiments in Live Tandem Subtitling

Various methods are being applied to provide real-time subtitling for deaf and hearing-impaired audiences, language learners, and other target groups who are likely to benefit from intralingual or interlingual speech to text transfer.

While much emphasis is currently on the virtues of voice recognition and respeaking in this context, a feasible alternative in many situations can be written interpretation by subtitlers using tandem keyboards.

The paper will present approaches to live tandem subtitling and outline some of the challenges and skills involved. The focus will be on subtitling for live television broadcasts.

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Delia Chiaro (Bologna/Forlì)

Where We Are Now, But Where Are We Going?
Updating Research in Screen Translation

The twenty odd years of academic interest in screen translation have coincided with enormous technological advances both in the creation and consumption of products for the screen. Not only, but with each month that passes industry seems to present us with new inventions for new uses of ever more numerous types of screens that not only surround us, but are with us in our homes, our cars, our pockets and our handbags. The question this raises is whether research on translation is able to keep up with this reality or whether it has remained fixed within its ivory towers. In other words, is what we are doing relevant and useful to the technologically connoted society in which we live?

As the title suggests, this talk will explore both old and new ways in which the issue of translation has been and is being investigated and its relevance within society.

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Agnieszka Chmiel (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan)

How conference interpreters process cognates

Conference interpreters are specific bilingual or multilingual users of language. They constantly decipher meanings in a source language and render them in a target language. They have to acquire extensive vocabularies on specialist topics and find appropriate translation equivalents under immense time pressure. Their unique use of language and cognitive resources must entail a very particular arrangement of their mental lexicon. This paper will focus on the processing of cognates by conference interpreters. An attempt will also be made to reveal how the processing of vocabulary items is improved and streamlined as the interpreting skill develops.

Cognates are words in one or more languages that have a similar form because they are descended from the same word - in a common predecessor language or through interlingual borrowing. They may be very beneficial to a conference interpreter if cognates in the interpreter's working languages have the same meaning. Then, the phonological similarity facilitates word retrieval in the production stage of interpreting. However, cognates may pose a threat if they are false cognates (also known as false friends), i.e. they have different meaning despite their similar phonological forms. In this case, the interpreter has to apply extra mental effort to inhibit the false cognate that becomes activated in his/her mental lexicon due to its phonological characteristics. It might also happen that the interpreter deliberately inhibits the automatically activated source language cognate equivalent even if it happens to be a true cognate.

An experimental study was conducted to shed more light on this interesting aspect of psycholinguistic processing involved in conference interpreting. Interpreter trainees and experienced professional interpreters were asked to interpret texts with both true and false cognates (understood both as cognate words and phrases). The error rate and the number of used and inhibited true cognates served as experimental variables.

Cognitive connections between particular linguistic units in the source language semantic network and the target language semantic network are established and strengthened in the course of the interpreting training and practice. Interlingual connections between true and false cognates are a unique type of these links. In further analysis that will incorporate both the study results and the psycholinguistically and neurolinguistically oriented approach to interpreting, Gile's Gravitational Model of linguistic availability (1995) will be revised to fit the network-based model of the bilingual mental lexicon (nodes will replace orbits and connection weights will replace forces).

  • Gile, D. (1995): Basic concepts and models for interpreter and translator training, Amsterdam/Philadelphia, John Benjamins.

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Daniel Dejica (Timisoara)


In the past decades there has been a great deal of interest in the way information is structured in communication. The terminology used in research to describe information structuring includes Functional Sentence Perspective, (Firbas), information structure (Halliday), information packaging (Chafe), or informatics (Vallduvi). Under these headings, linguists speak of two information-structural parts of the sentence or the clause known as "Theme" and "Rheme" or "topic" and "comment". Another set of terms includes, on the one hand, "given," "old" or "known" information, and, on the other hand, "new" or "unknown" information.

Such notions and other emerging ones, i.e. macro- and hyper-Themes (Danes), staging (Grimes), grounding (Hopper), etc., have been applied to higher levels of text than sentence or clause level such as paragraph or whole text levels. In general, all these approaches imply that certain parts of text are more important, more salient or more foregrounded than others, and illustrate how connections between these parts account for text structure which, in its turn, accounts for text coherence.

Without denying the individual merits of such models, we claim that their usage is limited to the analysis of only certain text levels and that from this single perspectiveness they cannot offer a holistic view needed to show how thematic information is identified, structured, and maintained in texts. Another drawback of such models is that they only use syntactic and semantic parameters for the identification of thematic information, parameters which cannot always justify the selection of a particular Theme or account for the connections between Themes and Rhemes.

Starting from the premise that a text can be seen from three different, yet inter-related perspectives (see the atomistic, hol-atomistic and holistic perspectives in Gerzymisch-Arbogast, 2006), and using Gerzymisch-Arbogast's pragmatic Theme-Rheme model (2007) as starting point, the paper puts forward an integrated model applied to different text segments whose potential applications include the analysis and identification of thematic information in the ST with the aim of preserving it in the TT, the manipulation of thematic information in the TT, the improvement of ST or TT coherence and cohesion, etc.

Selected references
  1. Chafe, W. 1987. 'Cognitive constraints on information flow', in R. Tomlin (ed.), Coherence and Grounding in Discourse. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Pp. 21-51.
  2. Danes, F. 1974. 'Functional sentence perspective and the organization of the text', in F. Danes (ed.), Papers on Functional sentence Perspective. The Hague: Mouton. pp. 106-28.
  3. Dejica, D. 2006, 'Structural informatiei si coerenta în sectiunea Obiectivul proiectului din cadrul genului Propunere de proiect' in M. Pitar (ed.) Uniterm 2006, Timisoara: UVT.
  4. Dejica, D. 2006, 'Semantic Versus Pragmatic Identification of Thematic Information in Discourse' in Scientific Bulletin of the Polytechnic University of Timisoara, Transactions on Modern Languages, Timisoara: Editura Politehnica.
  5. Firbas, J. 1992, Functional Sentence Perspective in Written and Spoken Communication, Cambridge: CUP.
  6. Gerzymisch-Arbogast, H. and K. Mudersbach, 1998, Methoden des wissenschaftlichen Übersetzens. Tübingen - Basel: Francke.
  7. Gerzymisch-Arbogast/Kunold/Rothfuß-Bastian, 2006, 'Coherence, Theme/Rheme, Isotopy: Complementary Concepts in Text and Translation', In: Carmen Heine/Klaus Schubert/Heidrun Gerzymisch-Arbogast (Hrsg): Text and Translation: Theory and Methodology in Translation. Jahrbuch Übersetzen und Dolmetschen 6, 2005/6.Tübingen:Narr. 357-378.
  8. Gerzymisch-Arbogast, H. 2006, 'Text Perspectives and Translation', available at [January 1, 2007].
  9. Grimes, J. 1975. The Thread of Discourse. The Hague: Mouton.
  10. Halliday, M.A.K. 1994, An Introduction to Functional Grammar, London: Edward Arnold.
  11. Mudersbach, K. 2004. 'Kohärenz und Textverstehen in der Lesersicht. Oder: Wie prüftman die Stimmigkeit von Texten beim Lesen'. In: Juliane House/Werner Koller/Klaus Schubert (2004): Neue Perspektiven in der Übersetzungs- und Dolmetschwissenschaft. Bochum:AKS. 249-272.
  12. Vallduvi, E. 1992. The Informational Component. New York: Garland.

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Jorge Diaz-Cintas (Roehampton University)

The subtitler's profession

We all presently live in societies heavily dependent on the mass media and it will not escape anyone's attention that we are constantly surrounded by images and screens. This pervasive presence of audiovisual media has brought along a considerable increase in the number of products and programmes that travel from country to country and need to be translated so that they can be consumed by speakers of other languages.

The different forms of audiovisual translation have multiplied and their impact on viewers is increasingly more far reaching. AVT has found synergies with multimedia translation (video games, Internet communication, fansubs, fandubs, webtoons) and especially with accessibility (subtitling for the deaf and the hard of hearing, audio description and audio subtitling for the blind and the partially sighted, signed language interpreting), thus opening up new horizons and possibilities for certain sectors of the audience, and creating unforeseen potential in the field of audiovisual communication. Mobile technology, podcasts and newsbites are some of the new buzzwords in the industry.

All these developments have had - and are having - an enormous impact on the way subtitling is done. In this presentation I investigate some of the major technological changes that have recently taken place in the field in an attempt to establish in which way and manner they are affecting the professional practice of subtitling. I also take a look at the subtitler's new working environment, paying special attention to the increasing pressure on professional practice from the English language and culture and the alarming drop in quality.

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Veerle Duflou (School of Translation and Interpreting, Hogeschool Gent)

Norm research in conference interpreting: How can the study of documentary sources contribute to a better understanding of norms?

The paper will, after a short introduction on the concept of norms, discuss some methodological aspects of norm research in conference interpreting (CI). A methodology to extract indications on norms in CI from documentary sources will be exemplified by a case study on the Joint Interpreting and Conference Service (JICS) of the European Institutions.

As one of the most important institutionalised provider of CI services, JICS has in the course of its history developed a large body of documentation on various aspects of CI: testing, training, quality assessment etc. Many of these documents contain information that can provide an insight in the norms that guide interpreters strategies and decisions in practice. The author will show how an analysis of these documents can provide a basis for norm hypotheses that consequently can be tested with a variety of other research instruments.

The methodology and case study discussed are part of a PhD project on norms in CI sponsored by Hogeschool Gent and KULeuven.

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Jan Engberg (Aarhus)

On the interrelation between text and experts' concepttual structures in diachronic meaning development - a multidimensional case study

Recent studies have shown that it is useful to widen the scope of studies of communication in specialised contexts (domain-specific discourse) and include aspects of cognition and actual knowledge structuring in a higher degree as before (e.g., Engberg in press). This widening of the scope means to look not only at the object of study from the perspective of the strictly linguistic dimension of the text and the pragmatic dimension of the context, but also from the perspective of the cognitive dimension of the minds actively involved in communicating specialised meaning using texts (Roelcke 1999). However, this also means that the variety of methods to be used has to be widened, in order to achieve the enriched picture of the object of study (domain-specific discourse) that is the intent of widening the scope of this kind of studies.

Within this general framework, in my presentation I want to focus upon the question of the relation between texts, the conceptual structures of experts and the inherent dynamics of concepts which is visible as a semantic development over time of these concepts. The question is, whether we may explain observable development by comparing textual formulations and the conceptual structures of experts at different points in time. In this connection, I want to present parts of a study-in-progress in which I investigate the development of the concept of criminal liability of corporations over the last 100 years.

The field of law is relevant as object of study in connection with the above question for two reasons:
  • In law, statutes are used as the basis of interpretation. And these statutes tend not to be subject to change in formulation over the years. So it is very likely that they will be interpreted in situations that are temporally far apart from the original text production situation. Consequently, it is likely that they are read on the basis of differing conceptual structures.
  • In law, the primary function of the legal specialist is to apply rules of law contained, e.g., in superordinate texts like statutes to concrete situations and thus make decisions concerning the validity of the actions of people. Performing this task, a written text (in the form of, e.g., an argued judgement or a journal article) is his or her most important instrument. This means that in the field of law we have a possible written source to the conceptual structure of the reader of a statute that makes it possible to assess also conceptual structures of earlier times.
In my presentation I will concentrate upon showing how the textual and the cognitive dimensions may be combined via different methods of description.

  • Engberg, Jan (in press). Knowledge construction and legal discourse: The interdependence of approaches and objects. In: Gerzymisch-Arbogast, Heidrun (ed.): Challenges of Multidimensional Translation.
  • Roelcke, Thorsten (1999). Fachsprachen. Berlin: Schmidt.

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Georgios Floros (University of Cyprus)

Cultural Constellations and Translation

The problem of cultural elements in texts has been a subject of heavy debate ever since the 'cultural turn' in Translation Studies around the '80s. The approaches to the identification and translation of cultural elements in texts have focused either to microstructural aspects of the text or to the text as a whole. This paper will present an attempt to describe the manifestation of culture in texts and propose a methodology for their translation based on an approach which mediates between the two extremes. For this reason, first a definition of culture with important methodological implications for the identification of cultural elements in texts (Mudersbach 2001) will be laid down as the theoretical and methodological basis of the discussion of the two models that will follow. The first model concerns the systematic description of the manifestation of culture in texts in form of cultural constellations and the second model provides a 9-step methodology for the translation of cultural elements, thus putting the issue of the identification of cultural elements into the wider context of their translation.

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Georgios Floros (University of Cyprus)

Text linguistic concepts in the training of conference interpreters

This paper aims at discussing the practical use of integrating text linguistic concepts in the training of conference interpreters. The motive for this discussion emerged in the framework of the Masters in Conference Interpreting, which has been offered at the University of Cyprus during the last three years. Text linguistic concepts such as theme-rheme-organization (TRO) and thematic progression have formed an integral part of the theoretical training of conference interpreters ever since the MA Program was first launched. The consideration of text linguistic aspects in the curriculum of this Program generally aims at familiarizing interpreting trainees with the notion of textual organization, especially since these students come from quite different academic backgrounds and an acquaintance with texts as organized communicative entities could not be taken for granted.

The examination of the practical use of text linguistic concepts in the training of interpreters should be conducted in connection with anticipation, a term usually reserved for the microstructural aspects of discourse, implying a "guessing" of syntactic components and positions or the semantic completion of units up to the sentence level (in simultaneous interpreting). This paper proposes an expansion of the notion of anticipation in order to cover the macrostructural aspect of texts as well. Furthermore, the paper argues that text linguistic concepts a) offer a practical and necessary training tool both for consecutive and for simultaneous interpreting and b) they contribute to a better output by affecting anticipation.

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Muhammad Gamal (Osaka)

Naguib Mahfouz Abroad : challenges of Subtitling


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Claudia General & Gertrude Hofer (Zurich University of Applied Sciences Winterthur)

Pleading for quality in court interpreting: the introduction of quality standards in Switzerland

In Switzerland, as in many other countries, the professionalisation of interpreters in legal, medical, social and educational settings is an issue of prime concern. This paper focuses on the professional training of interpreters in legal settings. Although interpreters play a vital role in the legal process in Switzerland, most have received no formal training for the job. With a view to changing this situation, in 2003, the German- speaking canton of Zurich introduced training programs for interpreters working in three different areas: the courts, the prosecution service and the police. These training courses, which were conceived and provided by the Centre for Continuing Professional Development at the Institute of Interpreting and Translation (Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Winterthur) and offered at three different levels of competence, were designed (1) to meet the needs of officials working for the authorities and (2) to raise awareness, among all the parties concerned, of the complexity of interpreting. To measure this awareness, both at the outset of the training program and as the training progresses, a study is now being conducted (starting date: 2003). The aim of the study is to compare the views and attitudes of the interpreters (self-assessment) to the perceptions of the officials (assessment by a third party). Data has been collected by means of two questionnaires from 250 participants in the interpreting courses (all three levels) and from 90 officials (police, immigration office, prosecution service, courts) to date. A preliminary analysis of the data reveals a high level of heterogeneity regarding perceptions of the task of the interpreter, both among the interpreters themselves and among the officials. Perceptions differ with regard to the function of and practices involved in court interpreting, suggesting considerable potential for conflict within the two groups and also between the two groups. It would also appear that the interpreters' views converge during the training period, most likely due to the opportunity they receive to reflect on professional standards and the role and task of a court interpreter. The results of the study will be discussed in relation to the design of both present and future training programs for court interpreters and also in relation to the instruction that interpreters so often receive from the officials with whom they are working: "Just translate word for word, please". It is hoped that a broader discussion of the disparities revealed by the study will contribute to a greater understanding of the task of interpreting in legal settings.

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Heidrun Gerzymisch-Arbogast (Saarbrücken)

Universals in Multidimensional Translation

The problem of universals in translation has been a much discussed topic recently (e.g. within the Hamburg Special Research Area 'Multilingualism' and at the 2006 IATIS Conference). It is usually related to the question of whether certain features (e.g. neutralization, explicitation, text length) can be verified as a regularity to be found in all translated texts. If this could be shown in the analysis of large corpora, translated texts in general could be said to constitute a text type 'translation', irrespective of their individual translation parameters which in their interplay may have governed the translation process: language and cultural specificity, genre, applicable norms and translation purpose, intended readership, translator's perceptions, competence and preferences to name just a few.

We argue that 'universals' need to be abstract enough to exclude language specificity as well as individuality factors and propose the following thought principles:
  • To differentiate between an observer's and a participant's perspective in formulating translation research
  • To differentiate between at least three description levels on which translation concepts can be investigated: : a systems, a. collective and an individual level
  • To differentiate between at least three text perspectives leading to different views and analyses of texts and different translation methodologies (Aspektra, Relatra, Holontra).
It is shown in the paper how these principles apply to multidimensional translation. The focus will be on text perspectives and how they relate to subsequent presentations on translating culture, knowledge integration in simultaneous LSP interpreting, information structuring in audiodescription and the translation of musical texts.

  • Floros, Georgios (2003). Kulturelle Konstellationen in Texten. Zur Beschreibung und Übersetzung von Kultur in Texten. (= Jahrbuch Übersetzen und Dolmetschen. 3/2003). Tübingen: Narr.
  • Floros, Georgios (2006). Establishing the notion of idioculture. In: Heine, C./Schubert, Klaus/Gerzymisch-Arbogast, Heidrun (2006): Text and Translation. Theory and Methodology. Tübingen: Narr. 335-345.
  • Gerzymisch-Arbogast, Heidrun (1996): Termini im Kontext. Tübingen:Narr
  • Gerzymisch-Arbogast, Heidrun & Mudersbach, Klaus (1998): Methoden des wissenschaftlichen Übersetzens. (= UTB 1990). Tübingen/Basel: Francke
  • Gerzymisch-Arbogast, Heidrun/Martin Will (2005): "Informationsstrukturen als Wissenssysteme am Beispiel der Simultanverdolmetschung". Kongressberichte der 34. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Angewandte Linguistik (GAL) e.V., Mainz 2003. In: Braun, Sabine & Kohn, Kurt (Hrsg.) Sprache(n) in der Wissensgesellschaft. Frankfurt u.a.:Lang. 171 - 193.
  • Kim, Young-Jin (2005). "Cultural Constellations in Text and Translation." in: Jan Engberg, Helle V. Dam and Heidrun Gerzymisch-Arbogast (eds.) (2005). Knowledge Systems and Translation. TTCP Series. Berlin/New York:Mouton de Gruyter. 255 - 273.
  • Kunold, Jan (2006): "Die Problematik der Musikübersetzung am Beispiel der englischen Übersetzung von Schuberts 'Die schöne Müllerin'. In: Das Österreichische Lied und seine Ausstrahlung in Europa. Schneider, Herbert/Béhar, Pierre (Eds). Hildesheim: Olms. 157-177.
  • Mudersbach, Klaus (1991). "Erschließung historischer Texte mit Hilfe linguistischer Methoden." Reihe historisch-sozialwissenschaftliche Forschungen des Zentrums für historische Sozialforschung. St. Katharinen: Script Mercaturae, 318-362.
  • Ndeffo, Alexandre (2004): (Bi)kulturelle Texte und ihre Übersetzung. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann.

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Daniel Gile (Paris/Lyon)

Utopia, commendable ambitions and honest realism in translation and interpreting of specialized discourse

In professional and training circles, Translation (translation and interpreting) of specialized discourse is ideally seen as allowing Authors (authors of written texts and speakers) to convey their message, including both information and intentions, fully and clearly to a target population of Receivers (readers and listeners) in the relevant target language(s). Linguistic, domain-cultural, cognitive, economic and other factors make this a utopian objective most of the time. While training and various techniques and technologies may push back the limits to a non-negligible extent, the Translators’ product is often far from fully compliant with requirements and/or with its ideal image. One question is how to prepare trainee Translators to this gap they will encounter in the field without jeopardizing their willingness to devote considerable efforts to maximizing their Translation performance. Another is whether it is ethically acceptable to let unsuspecting clients/Receivers believe they will be provided with fully accurate renditions of source-language messages. Should they be explicitly made aware of the limitations of Translation so that they can share the responsibility of optimizing the product, perhaps through effective partnership in the process as opposed to full outsourcing? The cases of conference interpreting and translation of scientific and technical texts will be considered in a practical rather than theoretical approach.

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Yvonne Griesel (Humboldt University, Berlin)

Translation Hybrids: An exception or a new form of translation?

There are still many areas in translation theory waiting for exploration, especially in the audio-visual field. New forms of translation have come into being that go beyond current definitions.

In this presentation I would like to briefly describe the latest forms of translation and then, based on Translation in Theatre1, advance the following hypothesis: Otto Kade's2  definition introducing translation as the generic term for translating and interpreting has to be expanded to the "Translation Hybrid".

A Translation Hybrid is a process of interlingual transfer falling into phases of interpreting and translating, which cannot be looked at separately, because they are part of one process of action.

What are Translation Hybrids? Based on Translation in Theatre serving as an example I will give a description of Translation Hybrids and point out their specific aspects.

Further I will examine whether they are exceptions or not. Other Translation Hybrids, which can be found in practice, shall be discussed and there shall be given a definition of the term. Specific aspects and distinctive features with reference to interpreting and translating shall be given, that offer the possibility of a scientific approach to the phenomenon.

An "explosive device in translation theory" as Schubert3  puts it? No, it rather bridges the gap between interpreting and translating theories.

Because, as Michèle Kaiser-Cooke4  says quite correctly "Translation is a fact, therefore it must be possible. The question is only: why and how?"

1  See Griesel, Yvonne (2000): Translation im Theater. Die mündliche und schriftliche Übertragung französisch-sprachiger Inszenierungen ins Deutsche. Frankfurt a. M.: Peter Lang. and Griesel, Yvonne: Die Inszenierung als Translat. Möglichkeiten und Grenzen der Theaterübertitelung. (unpublished dissertation, will be published in 2006)
2  Kade, Otto (1968): Zufall und Gesetzmäßigkeit in der Übersetzung. Leipzig: Enzyklopädie. (=Beihefte zur Zeitschrift Fremdsprachen. I.) p. 35.
3  Schubert, Klaus (2004): "Interkulturelle Sprache". In: Müller, Ina [Ed.] (2004) Und sie bewegt sich doch ... Translationswissenschaft in Ost und West. Frankfurt a. M.: Peter Lang Verlag. p. 219.
4  Kaiser-Cooke, Michèle (2003): Translation, Evolution und Cyberspace. Eine Synthese von Theorie und Praxis und Lehre. Frankfurt a. M. : Peter Lang Verlag. p. 56.

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Barbara Blackwell Gülen (Bilkent University, Ankara)

From Theory to Application: Teaching Theatre Translation

The Bilkent University School of Applied Languages (SAL), Department of Translation and Interpretation, Ankara, Turkey is unique in Turkey because potential students are required to be proficient in English and French before beginning the four-year program. If students do not meet this prerequisite, they must complete an English and/or French preparatory program. Thus, graduates of SAL are trained to translate from French and English into their mother tongue, Turkish and study a curriculum comprised mostly of parallel translation courses in French and English, except for one. That is a two-semester 4th year, French-English, English-French translation workshop in which the students are involved in translation activities between two non-mother tongues to build 'synapses' between two languages that they are proficient in but that they have never translated between. Although such courses for non-native speakers of both languages, should concentrate on simple printed material such as tourist brochures, letters and advertisements, as the teacher of this course for the past six years, I have tried to extend the syllabus to domains that are not usually taught in the regular department curriculum, such as corpus linguistics, web translation, film dubbing and subtitling, short story translation and theatre translation, among others. My goal is not only to give them a theoretical background in the domain and in translating the specific genre, but also to design enjoyable applicable task-based activities that would further students' translating and research skills and also increase their general knowledge (Collombat, 2006)

For the past three years, I have concentrated the first semester of the workshop, which is taught in the computer lab, on various aspects of theatre translation, a domain that I have a particular interest in. When first designing the syllabus, I had a gradual four-step process in mind:
  1. The students should become familiar with the characteristics of plays by doing a comparative analysis between an original French or English play and its translation.
  2. They should read such articles of important theatre translation authors as Aaltonen, Bassnett, Pavis, Shuh and Tornqvist among others to understand what makes theatre translation different from other types of translations.
  3. They should ultimately translate a play from French-English or vice versa.
  4. The students should then perform the play they translated because "Rick Hite (1999:304) advised theatrical translators to become actors and listen to their work so that they may perceive 'the problems from translating from spoken text to spoken text' and 'become more sensitive to the vocal idiosyncrasies of both languages from their inherent rhythms, patterns and stress.' (in Zatlin, 2006, 2)

In my presentation, I will:
  1. give brief information about the four-year Department of Translation and Interpretation curriculum at the Bilkent University SAL to provide a perspective on where the above-mentioned workshop fits in.
  2. provide bio-data information about the students taking the course during the last two years gathered from questionnaires handed out during the course.
  3. show the step-by-step methodology followed during the course including task-oriented guidelines for midterm and final assignments.
  4. show a video of one of the final performances of the students.
  • Aaltonen, Sirkku (2000) Time Sharing on Stage, Clevedon: Mulitlingual Matters.
  • Bassnett, Susan & A. Lefevere (1998) "Still Trapped in the Labyrinth: Further Reflections on Translation and Theatre" in Constructing Cultures, Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
  • Collombat, Isabelle. (2006) "General Knowledge: a Basic Translation Problem Solving Tool" in Translation Studies in the New Millennium: An International Journal of Translation and Interpreting, Volume 4 (in publication)
  • Pavis, Patrice (1986) "Problems of translation for the state: interculturalism and post-modern theatre." In Salnicove, Hanna and Peter Holland. The Play Out of Context: Transferring Plays from Culture to Culture. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Shuh, Joseph Che (2002) "Compounding Issues on the Translation of Drama/Theatre Texts", Meta XLVII, 1.
  • Tornqvist, Egil (1991) Transposing Drama: Studies in Representation. London: Macmillan.
  • Zatlin, Phyllis (2006) Theatrical Translation and Film Adaptation: A Practitioner's View, Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. (p.2)

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Ernst-August Gutt (SIL International)

Relevance and translation: The value of a good theoretical foundation for translation

Many translators believe they can do their work without recourse to any theory of translation. However, the sum total of all their beliefs of what they are doing as translators is, in fact, their view or "theory" of translation. So, the issue is not whether or not to adopt a theory of translation, but which one. Furthermore, since one's interaction with the world around one is determined by how well one's view it agrees with reality, a translator interested in the effectiveness of his or her work will try to constantly improve their view - "theory" - of translation.

Taking up observations made by E. Dickens (2003/2004) on difficulties in translating from "smaller languages" as well as the case of an American translation of Antonio Tabucchi's novel Sostiene Pereira discussed by Venuti (2000), this paper argues that the problems encountered in both cases arise from the violation of a basic, cognitive requirement of human communication rather than translation-specific factors. This requirement is a 'communicability condition' entailed by the relevance theory of communication developed by Sperber and Wilson (1995). While inadequate understanding of this condition has led to unrealistic goals viz. unrealistic expectations on the part of translators and translation users respectively, its full recognition can lead to realistic solutions.

  • Dickens, E. (2003/2004). "The translator as evangelist: Translating from a smaller language." In Other Words: the journal for literary translators 22: 71-77.
  • Sperber, D. and D. Wilson (1995). Relevance: Communication and cognition. Oxford, Blackwell.
  • Venuti, L. (2000). Translation, community, utopia. The translation studies reader. L. Venuti. London, Routledge: 468-488.

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Lena Hamaidia (University of Sheffield)

Subtitling slang and dialect

The use of slang or dialect in the spoken dialogue of a film carries certain connotations and the purpose of this study is to consider whether it is possible to transfer any of these connotations or the spoken linguistic features of slang or dialect into subtitles. It represents a continuation of my ongoing research into the complex relationship between spoken and written language and the challenge of attempting to convey the subtle nuances of connotative meaning inherent in spoken language into written subtitles.

The use of slang or dialect is a feature of spoken language, which may include the distortion, rearrangement and radically changed pronunciation of words and expressions used in "standard" language. Thus the added factor of slang or dialect in the spoken dialogue creates a further challenge for the subtitler in terms of both understanding and translating the Source Text. The nature of this challenge can be seen for example in the complexity of the French back- slang verlan, which is formed by separating a word into syllables, reversing the syllables then putting the word back together (as in: Flic….fli keu….keu fli…keufli…keuf (cop))

In this paper the difficulties inherent in the translation of slang will be discussed with particular reference to the use of verlan in Mathieu Kassovitz's film La Haine (1995)

This study will begin with a brief theoretical examination of the relationship between spoken and written language. Trudgill's works on Dialectology ((1998) and Standard English (1999) will be drawn on to inform an investigation into the complex interrelation between spoken and written language and the implications thereof for subtitling. Trudgill's theories will be examined and related to the use of non standard language in the spoken dialogue of La Haine and Trainspotting.

Whilst Hatim and Mason argue that the shift from the spoken to the written mode in subtitling has a "levelling effect", which means that "features of speech which are in any way non-standard tend to be eliminated" (Hatim and Mason 1997: 79) this study will aim to demonstrate that it is possible to incorporate non- standard features of spoken language into subtitles.

The use of verlan in La Haine has been described as "the subtitler's nightmare" and the film has been selected as the main focus of this investigation as:

"It offers an almost perfect example of every possible deviation from standard French: sloppy language, bad grammar, misuse of words, use of local colloquialisms, slang, verlan (back-slang), Americanisms and Arabic." (Jäckel 2001:224)

Selected sentences of dialogue spoken in verlan (French back slang) from the film La Haine will be compared with both English and American subtitled translations in order to examine the feasibility of attempting to convey the linguistic features and the connotative meaning implicit in the spoken dialogue through the subtitles. Alternative ways of translating the slang in the spoken dialogue will be examined.

  • Chambers J.K and Trudgill P. (1998) Dialectology Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics
  • Hatim Basil and Mason (2,000) "Politeness in Screen Translating" in The Translation Studies Reader Lawrence Venuti (ed.) London Routledge
  • Jäckel Anne, (2001) "The Subtitling of La Haine : A Case Study" in Gambier I. and Gottlieb (eds.) (Multi) Media Translation Amsterdam John Benjamins
  • Trudgill Peter (1999) Standard English: What it isn't in Tony Bex and Richard J. Watts (eds): Standard English the Widening Debate London Routledge

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Reinhard Hoheisel (DGT-DE, European Commission)

The European Commission's Project of a European Master of Translation - a Status Report   (in German)

Im Zuge der Erweiterungen der EU 2004 und 2007 hat die Generaldirektion Übersetzung der Europäischen Kommission ihre Anforderungen an künftige Mitarbeiter in einem Anforderungsprofil festgehalten und ihre Vorstellungen über deren Ausbildung im Vorschlag für einen Europäischen Master Übersetzen (European Master in Translation - EMT) formuliert und veröffentlicht. Der Vortrag berichtet über den Stand des Vorhabens.

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Lihua Jiang (University of the Saarland, Saarbrücken and Sichuan, China)

Identifying Parameters in 'Discourse Interpreting'

In contrast to ‚conference interpreting', which is today a fairly well-established discipline with its own research paradigms, the bilateral 'retour' interpreting of communicative events, often referred to as 'community interpreting', is today still controversial as far as its concept and methodology is concerned. One of the most controversial issues has been the question of the interpreter's visibility in communicative situations like court, health care or social settings with views ranging from seeing her mainly as a 'verbatim' reproducer of 'accurate' messages to a role as 'cultural broker', 'mediator' or even 'conciliator'. To date, this question is still unresolved (Pöchhacker 2004). It is only when a consensus is reached about what are the constituent components for this type of interpreting and how these components interact with each other in the actual communication situations, the researchers' empirical data collection efforts will not end up in vain.

This paper argues that the identification of parameters is a vital pre-requisite for data collection and plays a significant role in this research field.

Against the variety of denominations for 'community interpreting' reflecting its unclear conceptual status, the present paper introduces the concept of discourse interpreting and positions it within the theoretical framework of discourse analysis. Within this framework the interpreter may assume responsibility for discourse management. Proceeding from the framework of discourse analysis (Brown/Yule 1983) with special reference to theme-rheme progressions (Gerzymisch-Arbogast 1987), speaker-hearer-hypotheses (Mudersbach 1989) and coherence (Mudersbach 2004) and shows how (interpersonal and factual) meanings interconnect in the interpreting process and how this influences the interpreter's scope of action within an individual setting. The model is exemplified using an English-Chinese example.

Selected References
  • Apfelbaum, Birgit (2004): Gesprächsdynamik in Dolmetsch-Interaktionen. Eine empirische Untersuchung von Situationen internationaler Fachkommunikation, Radolfzell: Verlag für Gesprächsforschung
  • Brown, Gillian & Yule, George (1983): Discourse Analysis. Cambridge University Press.
  • Gerzymisch-Arbogast, Heidrun (1987): Zur Theme-Rhema-Gliederung in amerikanischen Wirtschaftsfachtexten. Eine exemplarische Analyse. Tübingen: Narr
  • Gerzymisch-Arbogast, Heidrun & Mudersbach, Klaus (1998): Methoden des wissenschaftlichen Übersetzens. Tübingen-Basel: Francke.
  • Gerzymisch-Arbogast, Heidrun & Jiang, Li H. (2006): "Entstehung und Bezeichnung neuer Dolmetscharten", paper presented in FIT The Eighth Forum"Interpreting and Translating at Court and for Public Authorities", Zuricher Hochschule Winterthur, 3-5 November 2006.
  • Jiang, Li H. (2007): "Identifying Parameters for Corpus Analysis in 'Community Interpreting', paper presented in Conference and Workshop on Corpora and Translation Studies, Shanghai Jiaotong University, 30 March-2 April 2007
  • Mudersbach, Klaus (1989): "The Theoretical Description of Speaker-Hearer-Hypothesis", in: Dietrich, R. & Grauman, C. F. (eds.) Language Processing in Social Context, North Holland: Elsevier. 77-93.
  • Mudersbach, Klaus (2004): "Kohärenz und Textverstehen in der Lesersicht. Oder: Wie prüft man die Stimmigkeit von Texten beim Lesen", in: Juliane House & Werner Koller & Klaus Schubert (2004): Neue Perspektiven in der Übersetzungs- und Dolmetschwissenschaft. Bochum:AKS. 249-272.
  • Pöchhacker, Franz (2004): Introducing Interpreting Studies. London: Routledge.

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Sylvia Kalina (Cologne University of Applied Sciences)

The impact of media and IT on norms in interpreting

Interpreting, like any other professional activity, has undergone changes as information technology and the advent of new media have made their influence felt everywhere. Do these changes affect the nature of the interpreting act as such or do interpreters simply have to adapt to new conditions? Are these adaptations reflected in changing interpreting norms? We may assume e.g. that interpreting in and for the media would be based on norms that differ from those in what is traditionally known as conference interpreting. What are these differences? What are the consequences of the circumstance that interpreter output is no longer for use just at the moment it is produced but may be downloaded as a webcast by anyone at any point in time?

With a new perception of the services rendered by interpreters, the expectations of those for whom these services are intended will presumably also be changing. The visibility of interpreters in the media has widened the range of potential users and has made interpreters' service more vulnerable to criticism of any kind.

In my presentation, I will try to shed some light on the changes in interpreting as seen by users but also look at how interpreters themselves are responding to new conditions and requirements. In conference interpreting, there are professionals who are concerned that the quality of their service may be at risk if working conditions that used to be regarded as indispensible are not upheld. On the other hand, the advances of IT offer solutions in fields (such as preparation for an assignment) that may make the lives of inpreters much easier. Some of these novel technologies (e.g. consecutive based on a PDA audio recording of the original) will be addressed, and their pros and cons will be discussed, hopefully in lively interaction with participants.

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Elisabeth Krone (ARTE/Strasbourg)

Media Interpreting at ARTE

The presentation will introduce participants to the context in which media interpreting is organized by ARTE with special emphasis on the competence requirements for media interpreters as against 'normal' conference interpreters

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Jan Kunold (Saarbrücken)

Translating Musical Texts

The paper deals with the problem of translating musical texts as an instance of multidimensional translation and is theoretically anchored in the holistic translation approach as proposed by Gerzymisch-Arbogast/Mudersbach (1998).

Musical texts involve two semiotic systems, i.e. language and music in their individual simultaneous manifestation in the form of a musical text. So far, translating musical texts has largely been treated on only one of these levels, the level of music or the level of text (e.g. Kaindl 1995). This paper suggests that the interrelationship of the two semiotic systems and their simultaneous interaction in the translation process need to be made transparent when the translation purpose requires that the holistic 'Gestalt' of a musical text is to be preserved.

We suggest that the 'Gestalt' of a musical text can be represented and translated as an implied 'holon' following a methodological translation sequence by 1) establishing the simultaneous co-occurrence of musical and text elements as concretizations of the two semiotic systems in the musical text to be translated.. This is done by islolating constitutive aspects that co-occur in the written and musical form of the text by an Aspectra analysis of the musical text to be translated. 2) The identified aspect(s) are then elaborated as constitutive elements (holemes) of the separate holistic systems of which they are part of.and which underly the musical text in both its written and music form. This is done by Holontra analyses. 3) The identified holemes that co-occur simultaneously in both systems are then related back to the actual musical text and are identifiable as (simultaneous) concretizations of the two semiotic systems language and music. 4) The concretized elements are now presentable as transparent instances of a simultaneous interrelationship of music and text which can then be translated as an operationalized 'Gestalt' following the methodological sequence presented in Gerzymisch-Arbogast/Mudersbach 1998.

The methodology is exemplified in this paper with the aspect of Focussing as it applies to the English translation of Franz Schubert's Die Schöne Müllerin.

  • Gerzymisch-Arbogast, Heidrun/Mudersbach, Klaus (1998): Methoden des wissenschaftlichen Übersetzens. Tübingen: Francke. UTB
  • Gerzymisch-Arbogast, Heidrun/Kunold, Jan Christoph/Rothfuß-Bastian, Dorothee (2006): "Coherence, Theme/Rheme, Isotopy: Complementary concepts in text and translation". In: Heine, Carmen/Schubert, Klaus/Gerzymisch-Arbogast, Heidrun (Hrsg.): Text and translation. Theory and methodology of translation. Jahrbuch 6, 2005/2006 Übersetzen und Dolmetschen. Tübingen: Narr. 357-378. (in print).
  • Kaindl, Klaus (1995): Die Oper als Textgestalt. Tübingen: Stauffenburg.
  • Kunold, Jan (2006): "Die Problematik der Musikübersetzung am Beispiel der englischen Übersetzung von Schuberts 'Die schöne Müllerin'. In: Das Österreichische Lied und seine Ausstrahlung in Europa. Schneider, Herbert/Béhar, Pierre (Eds). Hildesheim: Olms. 157-177. (in print)

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Andrew Lambourne (SysMedia/London)

Real time subtitling - extreme audiovisual translation

Simultaneous language interpreting (audio-to-audio) is a challenging process that demands the full concentration of a skilled translator. It is probably the nearest known task to the new and equally challenging job of being a "re-speaking live subtitler". Both need to ensure that their target audiences are given a reliable rendering of the original material so that they can follow it accurately. Yet there are key differences. The subtitler does not have to perform language translation, but instead is asked to perform live audiovisual translation - representing the TV soundtrack using optional teletext subtitles laid over the pictures. The target audience will be hearing impaired people who rely on these live subtitles in order to make sense of the programme.

One approach, adopted in the US since the early 1980s, is to use a fast keyboard system such as Stenograph to create a near-verbatim real-time transcript during a live TV show, and simply to present that as a scrolling caption. This can impose a heavy reading burden, and relies on a ready source of skilled Stenographers able to access and accurately transcribe the sound-track: not available in Europe without a very costly training exercise, and possibly not the ideal method in any case.

Increasingly speech recognition tools are becoming the method of choice for live subtitle production. This is because training times are significantly reduced, and the pool of affordable potential live subtitlers is thereby greatly increased. Since 1998 SysMedia has been researching the use of speech recognition for subtitling, and has provided advice, systems and training for a number of broadcast services. Given the long history of quality interlingual subtitling for language localisation, European users are justifiably discerning in the choice of method and quality of results, and this means that a fresh look is being taken at the options for providing access for hearing impaired people to live television. Issues of cost, quality, training and style all need to be considered, and pragmatic decisions taken in order to move forwards and deliver services rather than just to debate what might or might not be possible.

This presentation aims to explain the challenges and the latest developments in this area, and to indicate what is required in order to meet the audiovisual translation challenges of live subtitling.

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Harold M Lesch (University of Stellenbosch, South Africa)

Surveying interpreting service in a multilingual parliament

Language and language policy played a seminal role in the transformation of South Africa. The legislative framework laid down a multilingual language policy by the recognition of eleven official languages but also the promotion of respect and tolerance for linguistic diversity. Many are, however, openly sceptical about the language policy and the possibility of really putting multilingualism into practise. Apart from questions regarding the economic viability, there seems to be a feeling that the language policy is merely an attempt at political correctness.

Nevertheless, societal issues and language realities necessitate that language service delivery in a multilingual country (Lesch 2005 and 2004) should play a prominent role. The role the language practice needs to play is often frequently realised in the case of written language. Extended communication with reference to interpreting practice are less frequent and are to a certain extent in its infancy shoes. Interpreting has a fairly recent visible history, namely since 1995 (Theo du Plessis 1999) in the country.

This paper surveys the reality of interpreting service within context of the highest state organ but also critically investigates the tasks language practitioners have to fulfil. In doing so the extent of the service, the utilisation thereof and attitudes towards the service is being discussed. The requirements of the interpreter as dictated by the South African market, bearing in mind that the interpreter is more than the sum total of his linguistic competencies as is often portrayed, also comes under the spotlight. The point of departure is the viewpoint that the interpreter in parliament is more than just a simultaneous interpreter but should be a language professional in his own right who should facilitate communication between speakers of minority and majority languages - also in terms of power relationships. The question in line with Angelelli (2004:1) that then arises is namely: is it the case that interpreters, powerful individuals who have occupied centre stage since the origin of cross-cultural communication, are mere language conduits, invisible parties in the communicative events also in parliament as have traditionally been portrayed? Why is it that their ability to perform complex linguistic and information linguistic tasks is often taken for granted, underplayed, underestimated or ignored?
  • Angelelli, CV 2004.Revisiting the interpreter's role. A study of conference, court, and medical interpreters in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Du Plessis, T 1999. 'The translation and interpreting scenario in the New South Africa' In Liaison interpreting in the Community.
  • Lesch, HM 2004. 'Societal factors and translation practice' In Perspectives Studies in Translatology vol 12:4 9.
  • Lesch, HM 2005. 'The scope of language services in an emerging multilingual country' In: Translating Today,United Kingdom.

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Jesús Maroto Ortiz-Sotomayor (Universitat Rovira i Virgili. Spain)

Translation Strategies in International Advertising

The communication boom that started in the 1970s with the invention of commercial satellite communication and market globalization led advertisers to invent "international" marketing strategies under the influence of the standardization approach: promoting the same product with the same brand name and the same strategy everywhere in the world. Now in the 21st century, globalization, technological progress and budgetary limitations have changed advertising around the world. The creative and communication processes used by most advertising agencies no longer satisfy the needs of brands that now engage in a two-way dialogue in the global market. A new framework, based on a historical analysis of translation strategies in international advertising, is thus proposed. The model applies Skopostheorie to the translation of advertising, positioning the trans-creator in the creative process, but also taking the latest technologies into consideration. Application of the model should offer a better understanding of the target audience and improve the consistency of communication across the media. It should thus improve efficiency and create a truly global brand based on an internationally shared ideology and locally relevant variations.

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Jenny Mattsson (Göteborg University)

Linguistic variation in subtitling - a comparison between the subtitling into Swedish of English-speaking films; on public television, commercial television and DVD.

Sweden is one of the countries in the world using subtitling the most. According to the Swedish Ministry of Culture (2003), people in Sweden spend an average of 1 ½ hours per day reading subtitles and 20 minutes reading other material, a fact which in itself makes research in this area imperative. The Swedish Language Council has stated (2003) that the quality of subtitling in Sweden is of high importance, and that a study of the different TV channels' methods of subtitling should be performed.

This last statement influenced the current study which focuses on the subtitling of English-speaking films into Swedish on a variety of TV-channels and DVD-releases. The aim is to compare the subtitling from three different sources, i.e. public television, commercial television and DVD, and to demonstrate some of the variations found. The working conditions for the subtitlers, as well as the routines for subtitling, are quite different in these three subtitling environments. At the two public TV channels, SVT 1 and SVT 2, as well as at the companies translating the DVD releases, the majority of the subtitlers are permanently employed, whereas at the three commercial channels, nearly all subtitlers are freelancers, or sometimes students. The subtitling standards vary between these different traditions, especially as far as the translation of pragmatic features is concerned. This paper will thus investigate further some pragmatic features of English and their translations into Swedish in these three different environments. My current and ongoing research shows that there are great differences mainly between the various translations of discourse markers, swear words, and the use of politeness, and that these differences are most noticeable when comparing the subtitling on public television and DVD on the one hand, to commercial television on the other. There also seems to be a difference in the treatment of spoken and written language conventions; e.g. there are varying ways of using abbreviations, slang words etc.

Possible reasons as to why these differences occur will be presented and discussed in the paper; the different standards held by the TV channels and translation companies is one, as is the working conditions and the level of enticement the actual work has for the subtitlers. These reasons can also possibly be linked to certain translation norms governing the choices of the subtitlers.

  • Chaume, Frederic. 2004. Discourse Markers in Audiovisual Translation. Meta. 49 (4), 843-855.
  • Fiske, John. 2003. Reading Television. London and New York: Routledge
  • Hatim, Basil & Mason, Ian. 1997. Politeness in Screen Translating. In: Lawrence Venuti & Mona Baker, eds. The Translation Studies Reader. 2000. London: Routledge.
  • Sinha, Amresh. 2004. The Use and Abuse of Subtitles. In: A. Egoyan & I. Balfour, eds. Subtitles-on the foreignness of film. Cambridge & London: Alphabet City Media.
  • Ivarsson, Jan & Carroll, Mary. 1998. Subtitling. Simrishamn: TransEdit.
  • The Swedish Ministry of Culture. 2003. Betänkande. Ett korrekt och välfungerande språk.
  • Verschueren, Jef. 1999. Understanding Pragmatics. London: Arnold.

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Iwona Mazur (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland)

Translating for the European Union: How to meet the challenge?

On 1 May 2007 Poland will have been a member of the European Union for three years. During those three years (but also for a number of years prior to the accession) thousands of pages of documents had to be translated into Polish, creating huge demand for translators. Was Poland prepared to respond to this huge demand? Did the translators have the right qualifications?

Judging by press articles in which the translation of the "Treaty establishing the European Union" was severely criticized (cf. Kielar 2005), we could conclude that Poland was not at all prepared to meet the immense challenge of translating the acqui communautaire as well as other documents related to the functioning of the European Union. But was the criticism well-founded and justified? Were the translators in fact to blame for the poor quality of the translation or were they just a scapegoat?

In the paper I will examine the major linguistic and extralinguistic challenges facing EU translators. The former include, for example, good command of at least two EU's official languages (which was rarely the case in Poland prior to the accession). What is more, the translators have to master a whole range of LSPs, one of the most prominent examples being Language for Legal Purposes (primarily legal discourse and terminology and the associated text types, e.g. directives, treaties, judgments, etc.). Also, it could be argued that each area tackled by European Union institutions has its own special 'language' and its special terminology, for example, fisheries, agriculture, economy, to name just a few, with which the translators have to get acquainted. And finally, it could also be claimed that eurospeak itself, with its peculiar terminology and phraseology, constitutes a language for special purposes (cf. Paskal & Chmiel 2005), the mastering of which is yet another challenge for EU translators.

Extralingustic challenges, on the other hand, include, for example, specialized knowledge in a whole range of fields or the mastering of translation memory systems and terminology management tools.

In the paper I will point out how the translation service within the European Union is organized in order to help translators meet those challenges as well as how Poland itself has tried to deal with them (for example, by establishing a range of translation schools and courses or taking advantage of EU grants and traineeships). I will make an attempt at evaluating those methods as well as make my own suggestions as to how to better train future translators working for European Union institutions.

Although my deliberations are set in the context of Poland, they could be applied to all Member States in general, and to the new ones in particular, as they could probably take advantage of Poland's experiences in this respect.

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Olivia Mok (City University of Hong Kong)

Unraveling Foreign Tongues in Audio-visual Media

This study explores how foreigners who appear in audio-visual media, either in movies or on TV programs which include live broadcasts as well, are made to be understood, either to other speakers on screen or to viewers off screen, with the former and the latter both speaking a language different from the foreigners in question. The study focuses on unintelligible speeches delivered by foreigners which appear only sparely in or throughout a movie or a TV program. Movie or TV clips captured seem to indicate that attempts at helping foreign speakers to make themselves understood to speakers of another language may include different modes of subtitling, dubbing, interpreting on screen, and sometimes even a combined mode of subtitling, dubbing and interpreting. Movie clips as well as different TV genres such as documentaries, drama series, news reports, interviews, cartoons, game shows are then presented and analyzed to determine the factors that motivate the specific mode of communication, be it subtitling, dubbing or interpreting on screen, with a view to assessing how effective the communicative value is for each mode of getting the message across to speakers not able to understand the foreign language on screen.

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Klaus Mudersbach (Heidelberg)

Universal Thought Principles

In our everyday life, we try to orient ourselves by recognizing regularities, adopting rules of behavior and action, which we have learned from teachers or by experience. - In our practical world, we are concentrated on the purpose we want to reach. We do not ask whether the rules, norms etc. of our doing have some properties in common. Even in science, we use the relative concepts and methods for describing the phenomena without asking if they follow some basic principles of thought. Only in the science of science (Wissenschaftstheorie), we can ask the questions:
  • Are there universal principles of thinking?
  • Which principles can one extract from individual scientific procedures?
  • How can we generalize individual ways of describing and analyzing?
Suppose we have found an answer to these questions, what will be the advantage of formulating universal principals of thought?
  1. We can subsume individual scientific behavior under the general principles. This will help us to understand the decisions made within one science better,
  2. We can apply the proposed universal principals in a new field of research to create new methods or to construct new models in this field.
  3. We can reflect upon interdisciplinary comparison of methods and models on the base of common properties.
In this workshop, problems in translation science will be treated. In my opening talk, mainly those universal principles are formulated which will be applied in the subsequent contributions to solve the corresponding problems.

The principles presented in my talk concern:
  • The ways of deciding between alternatives,
  • The structures the deciding person adopts based on his hypotheses,
  • The influence of emotions and belief systems on the decisions,
  • The action principles, which are used in a research procedure (structuring theories, models and methods used)
  • The linguistic principles of formulating and understanding texts of all sorts, but especially of scientific texts
  • Speech act principles in the interaction between communicants with an translator or interpreter in between,
  • The principles and methods to be used in translating texts.
My contribution offers a proposal how actions and descriptions in translation science can be embedded in general principles of scientific behavior. The principles try to be sufficiently general in formulation to cover not only behavior in humanities but in natural science as well.

The subsequent contributions in this workshop will apply and exemplify the universal principles offered in my talk.

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Sandra Nauert (Saarbrücken)

Translating Websites

Translation is becoming increasingly important in our globalized world as a means of securing communication across languages and cultures. Technological advances and internationalization have contributed to the development of new fast, often short-lived and multilingual forms of internet communication One of these new forms of international communication is website localization, which has been defined as adapting a product to a particular locale (LISA 2003, Esselink 2001).

Within the localization process, translation is regarded as only part of the process of , "modifying a website for a specific locale" (Yunker 2002:17) along with project management, image adaptation or setting up a language gateway. and involving the cultural adaptation of texts and other documents like multimedia, graphics and other programs.

Translating websites has been little discussed in the translation studies literature although it has been recognized as involving problems and decisions on a number of different translation levels (e.g. cultural adaptation, information sequencing of hypertext segments and language use). While considerable literature has been published on the topic from a computer linguistic perspective (e.g. Somers 2003), little has been written about the translation dimension. In particular, methodological proposals concerning the interdependence of the categories language material, non-linear text and cultural systems has been given little attention.

The presentation suggests a coherent strategy for translating websites on several dimensions, the integration of which will show the interdependence of a text and systems level, making the website process more systematic and transparent, less time-consuming and thus more economical.

Proceeding from different text perspectives, three interrelated levels are identified on which translation decisions are made, i.e. (1) the holistic level, on which decisions involving the entire website are made, e.g. cultural adaptations, (2) the hol-atomistic level, on which decisions involving the coherence and information sequencing decisions are made, e.g. adapting navigation paths in hypertext segments and (3) the atomistic level, on which decisions involving individual linguistic units, e.g. 'Netspeak' idiosyncracies are made. The translation methods (Aspectra, Relatra, Holontra) reflect these text perspectives and allow for an integrated methodological sequence of translating, which is adapted for localization purposes.

This is shown with a sample website localization which will illustrate the suggested methodology.

  • Esselink, Bert (2000): A Practical Guide to Localization. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Gerzymisch-Arbogast, Heidrun/Mudersbach, Klaus (1998): Methoden des wissenschaftlichen Übersetzens. Tübingen: Francke. UTB
  • Sandrini, Peter (forthcoming): "Localization". In: Gerzymisch-Arbogast et al. (eds.): Key Issues in LSP Translation. Amsterdam - Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  • Somers, Harold (ed.) (2003). Computers and Translation: A Translator's guide. Amsterdam - Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  • Yunker, John (2002): Beyond Borders. Web Globalization Strategies. Indiananpolis: New Riders Publishing.

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Minako O'Hagan (Dublin)

In Pursuit of Japanese Cool: globalizing anime, manga and videogames

In his 2002 article Japan's Gross National Cool, Douglas McGray drew attention to Japan's growing cultural influence worldwide which ranges from street fashion to the popular culture genres of anime, manga and videogames, creating "a mighty engine of national cool" (McGray, 2002:52). The latter three areas are now regarded as a strategically significant economic sector in Japan because of their potential to provide attractive content for digital media which can be distributed the world over. Over the last decade, these Japanese popular culture genres have captured the imagination of an international audience beyond Japanese shores, and this, by definition, can be attributed to the significant role played by translation. Despite their global dissemination, however, these genres have so far scarcely been addressed in translation studies proper and therefore form a well motivated area of translation research.

In relation to understanding the universal appeal associated to these products, a particularly interesting insight comes from McGray's observation that "…cultural accuracy is not the point. But what matters is the whiff of Japanese cool" (ibid:46). This comment points to something critical in the process of globalizing Japanese specific elements in anime, manga and videogames. While an extreme form of transformation often applied in dubbed TV anime may have helped to establish a wide viewer base initially, it also led to the emergence of committed and critical fans to create and distribute their own translation in search of authenticity. In fact, the tendency to pursue faithful translations incorporating cultural notes started with fansubbers who began subtitling TV anime and distributing tapes during the 1980s.

With a maturing market more exposed to these Japanese cultural products, cultural accuracy has become something of a concern among a wider audience whose sense of coolness associated to these genres is perhaps identified with the sense of authenticity. This, in turn, is becoming implemented in the commercial globalization strategies for these products. A good example is the increasing adoption of the original Japanese book format in manga translations which used to have pages flipped to conform to the Western convention of opening books the other way round. Furthermore, some translated manga even retain the original Japanese onomatopoeia used as sound effects in order to display a sense of authenticity. The notion of coolness in these genres partly results from the unfamiliar. For example, story-oriented Japanese RPGs (Role Playing Games) are considered to be completely different from their action-based US counterparts while Japanese anime are well noted for their unique narrative structures and graphics, with manga's breadth in terms of subject coverage and other visual characteristics not found in comics from the rest of the world. Looking into some of the recent examples from each genre of anime, manga and videogames, this paper homes in on translation issues arising from globalizing Japanese popular culture content whose universal appeal so delicately hinges on the notion of cool.

  • McGray, Doublas (2002). Japan's Gross National Cool. Foreign Policy, 44-54.

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Jan Pedersen (Stockholm University)

Subtitles for television: the current Scandinavian situation

This paper presents the major findings of a project called Scandinavian Subtitles, which is a comparative study of the subtitling norms of Sweden, Denmark and Norway. The project has a descriptive approach (DTS, cf. Toury 1995) and is based on a corpus of 100 Anglophone films and TV programmes and their Swedish, Danish and (to a certain extent) Norwegian subtitles. The material was recorded on Scandinavian TV channels over one year and represents multiple genres and programme types, from documentaries to reality shows, with an emphasis on fiction.

The objective of the project has been to uncover the Scandinavian subtitling norms (following Hermans, cf. e.g. 1991). The study has a two-fold focus: the first explores quantitatively what could be called technical norms of subtitling (condensation rate, exposure times, etc.), and also how subtitling relates to other forms of Audiovisual Translation (AVT) in Scandinavia.

The other focus of the project has been to uncover qualitative norms of subtitling, by exploring translation strategies. Specifically, it explores the strategies involved in the rendering of Extralinguistic Cultural References (ECRs, linguistic expressions pertaining to realia, fiction etc. cf. Pedersen: forthcoming) The project assumes that there are three ways in which a viewer/reader can access ECRs: Encyclopaedically and/or intertextually, i.e. through knowledge about the world and other texts; deictically, i.e. through the polysemiotic context (cf. Gottlieb 1997) or the co-text; or "translatorically", i.e. through the use of interventional strategies employed by the subtitler. The project uses a taxonomy with seven base-line categories for rendering ECRs: Official Equivalent, Retention, Literal Translation, Specification, Generalization, Substitution and Omission. The first three are minimum change strategies (cf. Leppihalme 1994), so they do not help the viewer to access the ECR, whereas the last four are interventional, and thus offer guidance to the viewers.

The following major findings has been made in the project: the technical norms have converged to the point where it now makes sense to talk about a pan-Scandinavian norm, rather than national norms; and the overall choice of strategy for rendering ECRs is on the whole fairly similar in both Sweden and Denmark, which used not to be the case. One of the most important results of the investigation is that Retention (leaving the ECR as it is) is nowadays by far the most common strategy, even for inaccessible ECRs. This is partly due to the Anglicization of the Scandinavian countries, which means that many Anglophone cultural items can be retained unchanged. However, much of the explanation can be found in the new AVT companies which work on a pan-Scandinavian or even global level, and which tend to use generic subtitling norms, rather than submitting to national norms. These companies also use techniques such as central cueing (using the same time-code for multiple language versions), which has a further converging effect on the old national norms. This convergence also affects the norms of the public service companies, through the use of subcontracting and free-lancing subtitlers.

So, due to the powerful influence of English on the Scandinavian scene and the practices of the multinational AVT companies, the national norms of subtitling are now heavily under siege by the emergent Scandinavian subtitling norm. We already find almost complete homogeneity for technical norms, and the trend is similar for qualitative norms, such as the rendering of ECRs. In a few years time, will it still make sense to speak about a Swedish, Danish or Norwegian norm, or will the old national norms have been completely superseded by the new pan-Scandinavian norm?

  • Gottlieb, Henrik. 1997. Subtitles, Translation & Idioms. Copenhagen: Center for Translation Studies, University of Copenhagen..
  • Hermans, Theo 1991. "Translational Norms and Correct Translations" in Van Leuven-Zwart, Kitty M. & Ton Naaijkens (eds.) 1991. Translation Studies: The State of the Art. Proceedings of the First James S Holmes Symposium on Translation Studies. Amsterdam & Atlanta, GA: Rodopi. Pp. 155 - 169.
  • Leppihalme, Ritva. 1994. Culture Bumps: On the Translation of Allusions. Helsinki: University of Helsinki: English Department Studies 2.
  • Pedersen, Jan. (forthcoming) "How is culture rendered in subtitles?" in MultidimensionalTranslation: Challenges. Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing
  • Toury, Gideon. 1995. Descriptive Translation Studies - And Beyond. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

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Franz Pöchhacker & Waltraud Kolb (University of Vienna)

Interpreting in asylum hearings: A multidimensional role

Asylum adjudication proceedings are now among the most frequent assignments for interpreters working in legal settings. Research interest in this domain has focused on the interpreter’s role performance, with demands for a more active “intercultural agent” role to offset the asylum seeker’s structural disadvantages in the hearing.

Whereas survey findings have tended to reinforce the classic “honest spokesperson” norm, discourse-based analyses of authentic asylum hearings have revealed a number of ways in which interpreters actively shape the proceedings and go beyond their normative role.

Our presentation, based on a 25-hour audio corpus of interpreter-mediated asylum appeal hearings, highlights the interpreter’s multidimensional role in this specific institutional context. We will show how interpreters sometimes act as co- interviewers and as co-producers of the written record, and generally depart from the norm of stylistically equivalent reproduction to take on an active mediator role, particularly when rendering technical terms for the asylum seeker.

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Joaquim Pujol (Barcelona)

Audio description or Audio narration? That is the Question

The audio description of audiovisual material for the visually impaired community is a recent practice. It is also increasingly popular because of rising awareness about accessibility and the forthcoming European legislation with the paradigm "Media for All". For this reason, scientific studies are needed to establish guidelines and improve the efficacy of this recently created specialist field in the area of Audiovisual Translation.

A key starting point that should be examined prior to any further analysis is the nature of this practice. Although it was spontaneously named "audio description" in most countries (audiovision in French), in reality the term "description" is defined by most authors (Bordwell 1985, Carroll 1990, Stam, Burgoyne and Flitterman-Lewiss 1992, and Plantinga and Smith 2004 to quote a few) in contrast to "narration". For them, with description action is a secondary feature that is not essential for the comprehension of the plot, whereas with narration the opposite is the norm. If we analyze any audio-described film we see that an audio description script does not match this definition, for it is filled with action, which is essential for an understanding of the plot. Therefore, should we talk about audio narration?

In Film Studies the term narration is the most commonly accepted structure for narrative with an initial situation, a sequence leading to a change or reversal of that situation, and a revelation made possible by the reversal of the situation (also including concepts like climax and final situation). This does not match the structure of audio description scripts either.

The reason for this is quite obvious: the scripted dialogues partly fulfill this task and audio description only conveys meaningful narrative elements that are not expressed verbally. Thus, we will speak of audio description as a partial narration based on intersemiotic translation.

Nevertheless, if we look closely at the audio described text, we realize that this definition matches it to a great extent, but that some elements don't have the goal of partial narration. If we analyze these elements according to Jakobson's functions of language we will find that the function is mainly poetic and phatic. This means that these extra elements are present either to check whether the channel is working (phatic function, reassuring the blind spectator that he/she is not missing anything important) or express with words the beauty of the image (poetic function, trying to compensate with words the aesthetic pleasure caused by images). What is now called "audio description" is thus the sum of a partial narration based on intersemiotic translation with phatic and poetic elements.

The awareness of these features will help the audio describer in his/her task in order to provide a better service for the visually impaired community.

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Aline Remael & Bart van der Veer (Hoger Instituut voor Vertalers en Tolken, University College Antwerp)


The dialogic interaction between the needs of specific target audiences and new technological developments is resulting in the creation of innovative forms of text production. One such form is live subtitling produced with speech recognition technology, used mainly for news and current affairs programmes on television. Its target public is the diverse audience of deaf and hard of hearing people.

In brief, such live subtitling allows broadcasters to produce subtitles as a programme is broadcast, with a minimal delay. The subtitler listens to the newsreader or journalist who is presenting the programme, and respeaks, his/her words either verbatim or in an edited version into a microphone connected to speech recognition software. The software transforms the spoken text into a written subtitle form, usually on teletext.

This new form of text production has been gaining importance rapidly over the past decade as an increasing number of broadcasters find themselves under legal obligation to produce subtitled programmes for deaf and hard of hearing audiences. However, respeaking requires special skills, translation skills in the case of interlingual subtitling, summarizing skills in the case of edited subtitles, interpreting skills in order to manage the combined tasks of listening, reformulating and speaking.

Special skills require special training, but in order to train respeakers, as these subtitlers are usually called, some insight is required into which skills a good respeaker should have. This appears to be rather problematic. Research into the new method for subtitle production is in its infancy. What is more, and as often happens with new research paradigms, terminology appears to be a problem. For instance, what exactly is the subtitler doing? Is he respeaking, revoicing or rewording? What do these terms signify? Is the linguistic skill required linked with the broadcasting technique used? That is: does one respeak for block subtitles and reword for scrolling subtitles? Are all of these concepts well-defined? Once terminological problems have been dealt with, comes the stage of determining the skills required for the production of live subtitles using speech recognition. Again, this is problematic because more research is required, but training cannot wait: mandatory subtitling quotas are rising and must be met. Broadcasters count on translator/interpreter training courses to supply skilled personnel. Or they may provide in-house training, but only have their own experience on which to base their training programmes.

In this paper we aim to provide a survey of the problems one encounters when trying to set up a course in live subtitling with speech recognition, as we are doing at University College Antwerp. We hope to provide a catalogue of questions that must be answered, starting with terminological issues and then moving on to basic skills, thereby undoubtedly providing food for thought and research. We will also discuss the choices made at UCA, based on a survey of the literature available so far, and the collaboration between the departments of translation and interpreting at HIVT-UCA with the Flemish public TV channel VRT.

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Margret Rogers (Surrey)

Terminological equivalence: Probability and determinacy in technical translation

With the growth of Translation Studies as a discipline, the key notion of 'equivalence' has become increasingly problematised. In this paper I would like to renew our acquaintance with Catford's (1965) early notion of 'textual equivalent', which is expressed in terms of probabilities of occurrence. Using the notion that an equivalence probability of 1 can be understood as a fully determinate ST term-TT term relationship, actual correspondences will be investigated in the translations of a safety-critical medical text from German into French and English. The correspondences will be analysed in the linguistic framework of lexical cohesion, using lexical chains. It will be argued that even in genres and subject fields which might be assumed to be highly-determinate with respect to lexical selection, terminological correspondences in texts can be variable, raising interesting questions for terminological codification and the expertise of the specialist translator.

  • Catford, J.C. 1965. A Linguistic Theory of Translation. An Essay in Applied Linguistics. London: OUP

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Linda Rossato (University of Naples: Federico II)

Good Bye Lenin: Farewell to the Brave Old World of Prejudices on Humor and Culture

This study aimed at testing how far the humour in the film Good Bye Lenin (Wolfgang Becker, Germany, 2003) a Rip Van Winkle parable, and at the same time satire of the communist state, was appreciated by audiences who were not necessarily familiar with former East Germany. In order to do this, three different groups of spectators were selected and asked to watch the film and respond to a purpose-built questionnaire: (a) a group of West Germans; (b) a group of Germans who had lived in East Germany before 1990 and (c) a group of Italians who were asked to watch the film in its dubbed version. Interestingly enough the study seemed to prove a wider perceptive gap between the two German audience groups, than between the German and the Italian group, thus implying that humour perception losses were less related to translation and cultural gaps than to an emotive distance from the facts narrated in the film. Interesting considerations also emerged from comparing the perception of the three audience groups of sad or tragic keynote scenes. Last but not least, the three groups of spectators displayed significant dissimilarities in the perception of items, typical of East German everyday life, such as clothes, means of transportation and food, thus suggesting that differences in humour perception may often be based on very volatile cultural subtleties. This study begs the question of to what extent differences in humour perception of the same product in the original and dubbed version are simply a matter of linguistic humour-export solutions and to what extent it is a matter of spectator knowledge of the world, perception and attitude towards the product and the facts narrated in the film.

Key Words: Multimedia translation, audience perception, humour, quality of translation, dubbing, German cinema, GDR.

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H. Safar (University of Mons)

Vidioconference interpreting and Tele-interpretation

As a trainer in simeltaneous interpretation and audiovisual translation, I supervise a researche on distance interpreting , with my team at the Center of Multimedia Studies(CERM). We work on an audiovisual translation typology which I presented last May in Berlin.

Simeltaneous interpreting is not integrated in this typology of audiovisual translation, but on the other hand both the Tele-interpretation and moreover the visioconference interpreting which corresponds to distance simultaneous interpretation are integrated within this framework.

The difference between visio and videoconference interpreting is that the last one is not simultaneous, even if it could be conveniant for a distance interpretation (prepared before and) sent on demand like for example dubbing with or without audiodecription.

These two disciplines (visioconference interpreting and tele-interpretation)resulting obviously from simultaneous and consecutive traditional interpretation are based on an important audiovisual and technological dimension without which those two fields could not exist as disciplines; this fact allows us to place them in the typology of Audiovisual Translation (AVT).

To be able to offer this service to our society by including one of those disciplines of Tele-interpretation or of visioconference interpreting, it is of course important to know the techniques of traditional interpretation and the new technologies related to both fields.

Tele-interpretation exists already on certain Asian and European markets, but on the other hand the visioconference interpreting as we are conceiving in our Center is not yet widespread. Thus we are still awaiting the development of more powerful and more operational tools.Unfortunately, some of the available tools on the Market are not very efficient.

The theory of visioconference interpreting and tele-interpretation is till now in a phase of construction and is thus not accessible to all. According to its methodology we can say that this one is in an advanced phase of its development. In our University, we propose this training within the post-graduate studies in audiovisual translation beside the other disciplines such as subtitling, dubbing, audiodescription, respeaking, Machines Translation MT, Computer Aided Translation CAT and other fields of the A. V.T.

The Research in this field requires Tools and Means that our universities and training institutions, cannot offer to us. In fact, In addition to necessary material connections, it is essential to have the most powerful technological tools, so that the " band-width " is guaranteed in quality and durability. To give an indication, a " postgraduate station of training " in this teaching sector can cost nearly 30.000 euros. Consequently, in addition to those aspects, theoretical, methodological and technological dimensions, are still in need of the latest researchs in this field but more specifically are in need of the will to promote this type of training.

Because of the development of new technologies , we clearly perceive the need of the market growing for this type of know how. We encourage for example our students to create their own companies of audio-visual translation from which they will be able to propose those services at the same time, as the equipment of visioconference might be used for both.

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Annalisa Sandrelli (Bologna/Forlì)

Corpus-based analysis of interpreted speeches: trends emerging from the European Parliament Interpreting Corpus (EPIC)

Corpus-based research is an established branch of Translation Studies. By contrast, corpus tools and techniques are not widely used in Interpreting Studies, despite calls in this direction from leading figures in the field (Shlesinger 1998). Indeed, empirical research in simultaneous interpreting is hampered by the problem of collecting sufficient material (recordings of conference speeches and interpreted target texts) for the testing of hypotheses and scientific validation of existing theories. Experimental studies can help build larger sets of data, but on the other hand pose methodological questions, as they do not reflect real working conditions. Moreover, most studies are based on the manual analysis of data: this means that it is not possible to exploit the software applications developed in corpus linguistics and corpus-based Translation Studies.

In order to transfer aspects of the corpus-based method to Interpreting Studies, several factors must be taken into account. Firstly, transcribing spoken material for (semi-) automatic analysis is particularly challenging and time-consuming (Leech, Myers & Thomas 1995). Clearly, it is impossible to represent all the features of speech in writing: what is transcribed and how it is transcribed depend on the objective of the study (O'Connell & Kowal 1994; Orletti & Testa 1991). Moreover, the transcripts need to be both user-friendly (to enable researchers to work on them) and machine-readable: these two principles are not easily reconciled.

One of the first attempts to face the above-mentioned challenges is EPIC (European Parliament Interpreting Corpus), an open, parallel, multilingual corpus of European Parliament speeches and interpretations being compiled at the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies in Translation, Languages and Cultures of the University of Bologna at Forlì. In 2004 a group of researchers (the Directionality Research Group) recorded a number of European Parliament plenary sittings off the satellite news channel EbS (Europe by Satellite), which enables viewers to select different sound channels for different EU languages. All the material thus obtained was digitized and edited to extract all the source language speeches in Italian, English and Spanish and related target language interpretations in the same languages. The resulting EPIC multimedia archive is a collection of video clips of speakers delivering speeches in the three languages in question and audio clips of the interpreters at work in the English, Italian and Spanish booths. A significant part of the recordings has already been transcribed and forms the EPIC corpus. Work is continuing to expand the size of the corpus that currently stands at about 180,000 words (roughly 20 hours of spoken material). The corpus is made up of three sub-corpora of SL speeches and 6 sub-corpora of interpreted speeches covering all combinations and directions of the three languages under study. EPIC is fully machine-readable and in order to make automatic analysis possible, it has been POS-tagged and lemmatized by using TreeTagger for English and Italian and Freeling. It has also been indexed by using the IMS Corpus Work Bench (Christ 1994), which enables users to carry out simple and advanced queries. The corpus can be queried through a dedicated web interface that is available at the following address:

The proposed paper aims to illustrate the first analyses of the corpus that have been carried out over the past two years. Until now, research work has been focused on lexical density and disfluencies in interpreting. However, EPIC materials are also being analyzed by interpreting students at the Advanced School for Interpreters and Translators (SSLMIT) of the University of Bologna at Forlì. Interpreting trainees on the "Terminology for interpreters" course have studied the material as part of their assignments: their attention has been focused on collocations in EPIC. Furthermore, a number of graduation theses have already been produced, dealing with different aspects of interpreting.

The paper will conclude by outlining current and future research activities connected with EPIC.

  • Bendazzoli Claudio and Annalisa Sandrelli (forthcoming) "An approach to corpus-based interpreting studies: developing EPIC (European Parliament Interpreting Corpus)", in Proceedings of MuTra. Challenges of Multidimensional Translation 2005. EU High-Level Conference Series, Saarbruecken 2-6 May 2005.
  • Bendazzoli Claudio, Monti Cristina, Sandrelli Annalisa, Russo Mariachiara, Baroni Marco, Bernardini Silvia, Mack Gabriele, Ballardini Elio and Peter Mead (2004) "Towards the creation of an electronic corpus to study directionality in simultaneous interpreting", in N. Oostdijk, G. Kristoffersen, G. Sampson (eds.), Compiling and Processing Spoken Language Corpora, LREC 2004 Satellite Workshop, Fourth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation, 24 May 2004: 33-39.
  • Bendazzoli Claudio, Sandrelli Annalisa and Mariachiara Russo (2006), "Disfluencies in simultaneous interpreting: a corpus-based analysis", Paper delivered at the 2nd Conference of the International Association of Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS) Intervention in Translation, Interpreting and Intercultural Encounters, University of the Western Cape, 12-15 July 2006.
  • Carreras, Xavier, Chao Isaac, Padró, Lluís and Muntsa Padró (2004) "Freeling: an open-source suite of language analyzers", in Lino, Maria Teresa, Xavier, Maria Francisca, Ferreira, Fátima, Costa, Rute, and Raquel Silva (eds.), Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation, ELRA, vol. 1, pp. 239-242.
  • Christ, O. (1994) "A Modular and Flexible Architecture for an Integrated Corpus Query System", COMPLEX '94, Budapest 1994.
  • Gile, Daniel (1997), "Interpretation research: realistic expectations", in Kinga Laudy & János Kohn (eds.), Transferre necesse est. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Current Trends in Studies of Translation and Interpreting, 5-7 September 1996, Budapest, Hungary, Scholastica: 43-51.
  • Laviosa, S. (1998) "Core patterns of lexical use in a comparable corpus of English narrative prose", Meta XLIII: 4, 557-570.
  • Leech, Geoffrey, Myers, Greg & Jenny Thomas (eds.) (1995) Spoken English on Computer: Transcription, Mark-up and Application. New York: Longman.
  • Monti Cristina, Bendazzoli Claudio, Sandrelli Annalisa and Mariachiara Russo (2005) "Studying Directionality in Simultaneous Interpreting through an Electronic Corpus: EPIC (European Parliament Interpreting Corpus)", Meta 50 (4).
  • Moreno, A. and Guirao, J. M. (2004) "Tagging a Spontaneous Speech Corpus of Spanish", in N. Nicolov, K. Bontcheva, G. Angelova & R. Mitkov (Eds.), Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing III, Selected Papers from RANLP 2003, Borovets, Bulgaria. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  • Moreno, A. and Guirao, J. M. (forthcoming) "Morphosyntactic Tagging of the Spanish C-ORAL-ROM Corpus: Methodology, Tools and Evaluation", in Y. Kawaguchi, S. Zaima, T. Takagaki & M. Usami (Eds.), Usage-Based Linguistic Informatics Vol.V. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • O'Connel, Daniel C. and Sabine, Kowal (1994). "Some Current Transcription Systems for Spoken Discourse: A Critical analysis". Pragmatics 4: 81-107.
  • Orletti, F. e R. Testa (1991) "La trascrizione di un corpus di interlingua: aspetti teorici e metodologici", Studi italiani di linguistica teorica e applicata 20:2, 243-283.
  • Sandrelli Annalisa and Claudio Bendazzoli (2005) "Lexical Patterns in Simultaneous Interpreting a Preliminary Investigation of EPIC (European Parliament Interpreting Corpus)", in Proceedings from the Corpus Linguistics Conference Series, 1(1), ISSN 1747-9398, available on-line at
  • Sandrelli Annalisa and Claudio Bendazzoli (2006) "Tagging a Corpus of Interpreted Speeches: the European Parliament Interpreting Corpus (EPIC)", in Proceedings of the LREC 2006 Conference, Genova, Magazzini del Cotone 24-26 May 2006. Genova: ELRA, 647-652.
  • Sandrelli Annalisa and Claudio Bendazzoli (2006) "Tagging a Corpus of Interpreted Speeches: the European Parliament Interpreting Corpus (EPIC)", in Proceedings of the LREC 2006 Conference, Genova, Magazzini del Cotone 24-26 May 2006. Genova: ELRA, 647-652.
  • Sandrelli, Annalisa, Mariachiara Russo, and Claudio Bendazzoli (2007) "The impact of topic, mode and speed of delivery on interpreter's performance: a corpus-based quality evaluation" Paper delivered at CRITICAL LINK 5 Quality in interpreting: A shared responsibility, 11-15 April 2007, Parramatta, Sydney, Australia.
  • Schmid, H. (1994) "Probabilistic Part-of-Speech Tagging Using Decision Trees. International Conference on New Methods in Language Processing" (44-49) Online:

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Belén Santana López (University of Salamanca)

TRACCE. Evaluation and management of accessibility resources for the handicapped through audiovisual translation: audio-description for the blind. Investigating the formation of future teachers

Both in Europe and America there is a wide range of audiovisual products marketed for the blind and deaf. They include programs of audiodescription. However, very few of these products are in consonance with the needs of these two groups, despite the fact that audiovisual programs constitute essential tools, which facilitate access for the handicapped to cultural and leisure activities. In the opinion of the visually and aurally impaired, these two areas are precisely those where handicapped people have fewer possibilities of integration.

The objective of the research group TRACCE. Evaluation and management of accessibility resources for the handicapped through audiovisual translation: audio-description for the blind. Investigating the formation of future teachers is initially to evaluate products such as DVDs, CDs and videotapes of films and documentaries, which include information so that blind people can access the information that they contain. Evaluations will be made of text content as well as of the computer systems and interface language used.

The most important part of this project phase will be the analysis of how well both groups are able to understand these products, which in theory have been especially prepared for them. Factors to be taken into account are the success of the products as well as the expectations and needs of the groups of handicapped people involved. In this sense, we will first base our study on programmatic proposals, which analyze the parameters of comprehension, expectations, and success. We shall also refer to studies that have been previously carried out by Federations and Institutes for the blind and deaf, which eloquently point to the total lack of objective standards of adequacy and the inexistence of quality parameters. Despite the fact that there is a Spanish Quality Standard (AENOR) for audiodescription, and that a Spanish Center for Subtitling and Audiodescription (CESyA) has recently been created, there are still no quality standards that could be the base for quality criteria in order to convert them in a theoretical and methodological base for the formation of future teachers and professionals in the audiodescription field.

Consequently, this project intends to lay orginal and innovative foundations for the elaboration of a standard that will guarantee the achievement of the objectives of the Spanish government and the European Union. It shall also be useful for the creation of a bureau of consultation for companies and organisms devoted to subtitling and audiodescription for the handicapped. It will finally facilitate the creation of a liason office between official organisms and companies, which is one of the objectives of the Spanish government.

In this way, we shall be able to use the criteria of adequacy and quality standards that arise from this project to fulfill the needs of the visually and aurally handicapped as well as provide documentation for training trainers, who wish to teach specialized courses on audiodescription for the blind as a further curricular development within Translation Studies.

The third MuTra conference on the topic of LSP Translation and specially its section on Audiovisual Translation Scenarios is not only a perfect forum to present this challenging research project, but also a wonderful opportunity to exchange views and know-how with relevant professionals and scholars in this field.

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Arma Saveria (University of Bologna)
& Carlo Eugeni (University of Naples Federico II)

Real Time Reporting at the Italian Parliament: Stenotyping vs Speech recognition

In the framework of audiovisual translation, stenotyping and speech-to-text technology are very useful to produce real time intra-lingual subtitles for the deaf and the hard-of-hearing. In both cases, the best candidates are both specialized stenographers and simultaneous interpreters turned subtitlers. What happens when these techniques are adapted to reporting?

Parliamentary reporting is a very difficult task once falling under the competence of well trained secretaries with short-hand writing abilities. The great amount of work, time constraints, technical and technological achievements have then required reporters to operate real time. In the last decade, thanks to the progress made in the field of speech-to-text technology, respeaking has started replacing stenotyping, thus proving a valid competitor to stenotyping, since it is based on a well established tradition in reporting. Much more recently speech automatic transcription has also showed some good results, but has not yet turned to be a viable option. In Italy, parliamentary reporting is carried out through stenotyping at the Senate and respeaking at the Chamber of Deputies. It is a very demanding task since it requires deep knowledge of the very specific domains dealt with by the national legislative commissions; and of the genre to produce (a report has to adhere to specific patterns; it is a public document used for official purposes); it also calls for simultaneous interpreting skills. Reporting a parliamentary session requires indeed abilities in reformulating an impromptu speech by a member of the speech community the intended receivers belong to.

Drawing on the results of the authors' in progress experience as real time reporters at the Italian Chamber of Deputies, this presentation will analyse parliamentary reporting and its multi-faceted aspects and a parallel will be drawn between the technologies used to produce it, stenotyping and speech recognition. In this perspective, thanks to an undergoing research project, a new multidisciplinary scenario will be defined: real time inter-lingual parliamentary reporting.

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Klaus Schubert (Flensburg)

Multidimensional Control in Technical Translation

Technical translation is a type of communicative activity which can be modelled in four dimensions, viz. the technical content, the linguistic form, the technical medium and the work processes. The relationship between the content and its linguistic expression is the traditional object of linguistics in general and several specialized disciplines such as translation studies, technical communication studies and terminology. Those dimensions which have more recently entered the focus of attention in communication-related research, that is, the technical medium and the work processes, cannot be fully encompassed by linguistic categories alone.

The talk attempts at taking stock of the controlling influences which steer a technical translator's communicative activity. Among these are influences of certain technical media such as print and data formats or constraints of space and time. They also include controlling influences of requirements of translational equivalence at a technical level such as in page-identical or layout-identical translation. The customer as well influences the translators' communicative activity with a variety of instruments, among which are consistency provisions, style guides and the requirement to use a controlled language or a specific information design. Some of these influences may in turn condition the work process which can have feedback effects on the content and the language of the translation.

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Mary Snell-Hornby (Vienna)

"Das weite Land": A critical comparison of the varying fields of translation.

The lecture sets out to analyze a broad range of translation issues in professional practice today, concentrating on the perspectives and strategies involved in fields outside specialized translation and (language) technology, as illustrated by texts from German and English.

Beginning with examples of non-fiction, subtleties of idiomatic general language will be discussed, particularly those concerning complex issues of syntax or fuzzy-edged culture-bound lexical items as against standardized terminology. Attention will be directed in this regard to the use of English as a global lingua franca. Further types of multidimensionality will then be presented as seen in expressive narrative prose such as the satirical and postcolonial novel, and finally in multimodal texts such as the stage play.

The conclusion drawn from a comparison of these examples is that a professional translator working in any area must at least be aware of the varying translation issues investigated in Translation Studies today - including those that lie outside his or her special field.

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Michael S. Stinson & John A. Albertini (NTID/Rochester NY)

Using The C-Print Real-Time Transcription System to Provide Broader Access to Academic English

This paper will demonstrate and describe use of the C-Print real-time transcription system as a support for access to academic English for students with disabilities and for those for whom English is a second language. A trained operator, called a C-Print captionist, produces a text of the spoken content using a software application (C-Print Pro™) developed at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). The captionist usually types text using an abbreviation system, which reduces keystrokes. Captionists may also use automatic speech recognition. The captionist is skilled in text-condensing strategies and generally provides a meaning-for-meaning rendition of the spoken English content. A text display of the message appears approximately 3 seconds after the words are spoken and remains on the screen for approximately a minute. This provides students far more time to consider these words than if they were listening to a speaker or watching an interpreter.

The C-Print Pro software that is used to provide services to students includes features for: (a) two-way communication between the captionist and student, which supports student participation in class discussion; and (b) notetaking capabilities in the Client application which enable students to highlight the real-time display of text and to take notes.

Development of C-Print arose out of a need to provide communication access to deaf students who attend classes with hearing students at RIT. Research findings and anecdotal reports from services that support the deaf students provided evidence that although a sign-language interpreter was helpful to many students, a large number of students still had difficulty comprehending lectures. Given the importance of learning from lectures, C-Print was developed to provide a text-based alternative to interpreting which deaf students could use to understand class lectures and discussions. Today, C-Print is being used successfully to provide communication access to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing in many programs in the United States; it is also used in other countries. Students who are deaf-blind and students with normal hearing who have learning disabilities also use C-Print. Over 1020 individuals from approximately 600 educational programs in at least 48 states and four foreign countries have completed, or are undergoing, the 6-week training to become C-Print service providers.

In addition, interest in use of C-Print to support individuals with normal hearing learning English as a second (or foreign) language is growing. This presentation will include discussion of how use of C-Print displays in the native language of the teacher or in the native langue of the student may aid comprehension. This discussion will review evidence of studies that suggest that this type of support aids learning from presentations in academic English by students for whom English is not their primary language.

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Min Sunwoo (Bonn/Saarbrücken)

Operationalizing the translation purpose (Skopos)

The aim of this research project is to operationalize the purpose of a translation, the so called  'Skopos'  (Reiß/Vermeer 21991). Operationalizing the 'Skopos' means to make this term concrete by defining it and showing how this kind of translation purpose is interfaceable with existing methods.

A consistent claim amongst functional researchers is that 'Skopos' is of great importance; however they fail to show how a 'Skopos' effects the translation process or appears in a translated text. Moreover, the given examples do not even explain under which actual 'Skopos' the translation has been done, so that until now, translators and students do not exactly know, to what purpose and with what results a 'Skopos' serves within the translation process.

If we want 'Skopos' to be a useful term in science, the following requirements have to be fulfilled:
  1. Taking the translation order as a starting point we have to find out how 'Skopos' is related to it. Can the translation order already be regarded as a 'Skopos'?
  2. We have to know which minimum information is needed to determine the 'Skopos'.
  3. We have to know how 'Skopos' can be integrated into existing methods. This step is necessary, if we want to draw a line between translation as a fully creative act and translation as a scientific discipline, which can be taught in universities.
In order to solve these problems, a method has been developed which allows to build an integrated translation purpose on the basis of the methods Aspektra, Holontra, Relatra (Geryzmisch-Arbogast/Mudersbach 1998) and the Textsituierungsmodell (Mudersbach - in preparation).

With the help of a translation example, the method will be presented step-by-step.

  • Gerzymisch-Arbogast, Heidrun / Mudersbach, Klaus (1998): Methoden des wissenschaftlichen Übersetzens. Tübingen, Basel: Francke.
  • Mudersbach, Klaus (in preparation): Das Textsituierungsmodell.
  • Reiß, Katharina; Vermeer, Hans J. (1991): Grundlegung einer allgemeinen Translationstheorie, vol 147. 2 ed. Tübingen: Niemeyer.

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Gert Vercauteren (Hoger Instituut voor Vertalers en Tolken, University College Antwerp)

Can relevance-oriented insights in film editing techniques help audio describers prioritise information?

Following pioneering countries like the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany and Spain, ever more countries are starting to provide audio descriptions for both recorded material and live events. This evolution results in a growing need for professionally trained audio describers, which in turn requires that training programmes are set up and that adequate didactic tools teaching beginning describers how best to describe the material at hand, are developed. One of the flaws of the existing guidelines is that they do not provide sufficient answers for situations where audio describers cannot describe everything due to temporal constraints (Vercauteren, forthcoming), and where they have to decide on what information should get priority, or in other words, what elements are most relevant.

As films are a form of communication, we could turn to relevance theory for possible answers to this problem. However, Sperber and Wilson (1995 [1986]) state that, "to varying degrees, all non-verbal communication is weak communication [...]: one can never be sure which of a variety of assumptions made manifest by the communicator she herself actually had in mind". They go on to explain that the verbal aspect of communication adds an element of explicitness that other forms of communication lack. This implicit nature of film then, means that describing images always implies interpreting what one sees. If we want to provide adequate "structural" descriptions, we will have to provide beginning describers with guidelines that help them limit this element of interpretation to a minimum.

One possible partial answer could possibly be found in the distinction Sperber & Wilson make between "phenomena" and "stimuli", the latter being phenomena that are specifically designed (by a communicator) to achieve cognitive effects, to attract the audience's attention. The aim of this paper will be to translate this idea to film, and more in particular to film editing, to help describers determine what elements are most relevant. Reisz and Millar (1968 [1953]) argue that the director of a film ('the communicator') can use various kinds of editing techniques ('stimuli') to show his intentions and capture the spectator's interest ('attract the audience's attention'). In other words, when the audio describer gets a better insight in editing techniques and understands how the director can use them to tell his story, he will to a greater extent be able to retrieve the assumptions the director had in mind, which will limit the amount of interpretation needed and result in a more structural description offering blind audiences a viewing experience that comes closer to the one the sighted viewer gets and to the one the director intended to communicate.

To illustrate the transposition of this distinction between phenomena and stimuli, the theoretical part of the paper will be complemented by some practical examples in which the existing description will be compared with an alternative one to which the above-mentioned idea was applied.

  • Reisz, Karel & Millar, Gavin (1968, [1953]). The Technique of Film Editing. Oxford: Focal Press.
  • Sperber, Dan & Wilson, Deirdre (1995 [1986]). Relevance. Communication & Cognition. Oxford UK & Cambridge USA: Blackwell.
  • Remael, Aline & Vercauteren, Gert (forthcoming). "Audio describing the exposition phase of films. Teaching students what to choose". Trans 2007.
  • Vercauteren, Gert (forthcoming). "Towards a European Guideline for Audio Description." In: Pilar Orero, Aline Remael & Jorge Díaz Cintas (eds.) Media for All. Accessibility in Audiovisual Translation.

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Anna Votisky (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest)

The Questions of Redubbing Films (in Hungary)

Hungary has always been a dubbing country, yet, the new tendency of the last couple of years is slightly surprising: more and more films are redubbed for different reasons. Numerous films can be seen with two distinct dubbed versions; however, there are instances for three or four simultaneously running versions as well. Both the dialogues and the voices of the same film can be different depending on whether one watches it in the cinema, on television, DVD or VHS.

The reasons for redubbing films are of two broad types, linguistic and technical. Interestingly enough in most cases films are redubbed for technical reasons, including financial questions, deterioration of the old TL versions recorded with analog technology, remakes or new extended (director's) version and much more.

When redubbing films, usually the whole SL dialogue list is to be retranslated, in most cases by a new screenwriter; consequently the target language script will differ from the earlier version to a certain extent.

The first part of my presentation will focus on retranslation in general, while the second and greater part will investigate the retranslation and redubbing of films. In this part I'll analyze the main reasons of redubbing in details, and then with the help of examples of special films I'll highlight the differences between the earlier and later TL versions. I'll examine, which version is more loyal to the source text and whether it can be noticed that the translator of the later TL version used the earlier TL version. Finally, the advantages and disadvantages of redubbing will be enumerated with special attention to the problems emerging while redubbing.

KEYWORDS: redubbing, retranslation

  • Gambier, Y., Gottlieb, H. (eds.). 2001. (Multi) Media Translation: Concepts, Practices, and Research. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
  • Orero, P. (ed.). 2004. Topics in Audiovisual Translation. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
  • Gambier, Y. (ed.). 2004. META. Traduction audiovisuelle. Volume 49, Numéro 1.
  • Brownlie, S. 2006. Narrative Theory and Retranslation Theory. Across Languages and Cultures. Vol. 7. No. 2. 145-171

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Brigitte Widler & Mandana Taban (Center for Translation Studies, University of Vienna)

Blended learning in subtitle teaching

As part of the "Wissens- und Lerntechnologie" project headed by Prof. Dr Gerhard Budin at the University of Vienna research is conducted with the aim to establish a subtitling course with integrated eLearning elements.

The Center for Translation Studies has been offering a subtitling course since November 2005 and interest from students has been strong. In this presentation we will give an overview of our teaching experience since the start of the course. We will also take a look at what the course could look like in the future and how subtitling could be taught in a blended learning environment.

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Martin Will (Saarbrücken)

Knowledge Management for Simultaneous Interpreters in LSP Conferences

The following abstract summarizes the content of a research project that the author is conducting at Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken, Germany. The project deals with the problem of how conference interpreters constitute and use terminological and specialized LSP knowledge for the preparation of and during simultaneous interpretation assignments. The aim of the project is to develop a model for the systematic identification, constitution and application of relevant knowledge & terms covering different phases of an interpreting assignment. It proceeds from theoretical foundations relating to the text term model which describes structures of individual terms within texts (Gerzymisch-Arbogast 1996) and the holistic model which integrates individual terms into functionally and hierarchically organized knowledge systems to represent the background knowledge necessary to understand the texts to which they relate (Mudersbach 1999).

Professional conference interpreters typically work for many different clients and in a variety of settings often of a spezialized LSP nature. In this situation. they are called to work for specialists who share expert knowledge that is totally or partially unknown to laypersons and/or outsiders. As it would be impossible to acquire an amount of knowledge comparable to their expert listeners, conference interpreters need to be able to identify and constitute relevant spezialized knowledge in a very systematic, economical and effective be quickly available and put to use during a conference interpreting assignment. But so far research is unclear about how this should be done.

The present study suggests a solution along two lines: (1) through the concept of Terminological Knowledge Entity (TKE) it systematically describes WHAT knowledge interpreters need for an individual CI assignment involving LSP conferences. (2) by relating TKEs to six stages of the interpreting process it is shown HOW LSP knowledge is identified, constituted and put to use during simultaneous interpretation. The knowledge management process is exemplified with an authentic example using the Pöchhacker corpus (1994).

Theoretical references:
  • Budin, Gerhard (1996). Wissensorganisation und Terminologie. Tübingen: Narr, 1996
  • Gerzymisch-Arbogast, Heidrun (1996). Termini im Kontext: Verfahren zur Erschliessung und Übersetzung der textspezifischen Bedeutung von fachlichen Ausdrücken. Tübigen: Narr, 1996
  • Mudersbach, Klaus (1999). "Die holistische Betrachtung von Fachtexten und deren Übersetzung". In: Gerzymisch-Arbogast, Gile, House, Rothkegel (Hrsg.): Wege der Übersetzungs-und Dolmetschforschung. Gunter Narr Verlag, Tübingen 1999, S.13-42.
  • Pöchhacker, Franz (1994). Simultandolmetschen als komplexes Handeln. Tünbingen: Narr, 1996
  • Will, Martin (2000). "Bemerkungen zum Computereinsatz beim Simultandolmetschen". In: Kalina, Sylvia, Buhl, Silke und Heidrun Gerzymisch-Arbogast (2000): Dolmetschen: Theorie - Praxis - Didaktik mit ausgewählten Beiträgen der Saarbrücker Symposien. . St. Ingbert: Röhrig Universitätsverlag (=Arbeitsberichte des Advanced Translation Research Center (ATRC) an der Universität des Saarlandes 1/2000) 125-135.

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Lew Zybatow (Innsbruck)

Turns and Ground-Breaking Paradigms of Translation Theory and the Unbreakable Basis of the Methodology of Science

Translation Studies is a dynamic discipline, which over the last 20 years underwent a remarkable development permanently creating new ideas, new orientations and turns like functional, cultural, gender based, post-colonial etc. But the question is: despite of these permanent changes, replacements of ideas and "ground-breaking" (s. Snell-Hornby 2006) new paradigms - is there a common "unbreakable" ground or reliable scientific basis of the discipline? Is there a common methodology which is usually valid for any science and scientific work? Or is Translation Studies a completely special scientific discipline independent of any general scientific methodology? Can Translation Studies do without answering such (as far as I see) open questions, as: What kind of science is Translation Studies? Do we need basic or only applied research in Translation Studies? Is it right to reject the term ' Translation Theory' (Übersetzungsstheorie) altogether - as some colleagues do - and to speak instead merely of research in the field of translation (Übersetzungsforschung) (s. Albrecht 2006). And even the question of the above mentioned translatological new "turns" and "paradigms" turns out to be adaquately answered just on the basis of general scientific methodology, because the very notion of (scientific) "paradigm" belongs into the discipline called Theory of Science or Methodology of Science.

In the paper I try to draw attention to the apparent desideratum in our discipline: the necessity, the place and the significance of scientific methodology in Translation Studies and to stimulate a discussion in this special field.

I will focus on two aspects: 1) Do we need a common scientific methodological basis for research in translation and theorizing on translation and what could that be? 2) What is common for different kinds of translation (and what is different) including some consequences for translation theories illustrated on literary translation with respect to recent discussions in this field.
  • Albrecht, Jörn (2006): Literarische Übersetzung. Geschichte. Theorie. Kulturelle Wirkung. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft
  • Snell-Hornby, Mary (2006): The Turns of Translation Studies. New paradigms or shifting viewpoints? John Benjamins

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Workshop — Theory and Practice in respeaking for the deaf
     •   Wednesday, 10:00 to 12:45

Andrew Lambourne (Sysmedia/London) & Carlo Eugeni (University of Naples Federico II)

Television, today, is still the biggest mass medium in the world speaking to many millions of viewers. However, a large part of the population, mainly the deaf, still does not have a full access to it because of many factors, ranging from allegedly expensive technology to an alleged lack of skills to a not so alleged lack of awareness of the end users' needs and expectations.

While some progress has been made by a few researchers in the field of pre-recorded subtitling for the deaf and the hard-of-hearing, nothing consistent has yet been explored in the field of real-time subtitling, and particularly respeaking. For the time being, just the BBC and very few European broadcasters have experimented with it on a regular basis. The biggest problems are still: Who should respeak? How to respeak? And for whom?

In this workshop, an answer to these questions will be proposed and discussed. Then, thanks to the technology offered by the well known Sysmedia, UK, participants will be given the possibility to experiment with speech recognition technology and to produce real-time subtitles in English for a semi-live program. This exercise will be equally valuable to newcomers to the subject and to experienced respeakers wishing to reflect on new practices.

The workshop will be divided into two major sections:
  1. Practice: what is respeaking?
  2. Theory: who are the 'deaf'?
Analysis of the script of an audiovisual text;
Introductory training on the phonetics of respeaking;
A practical experiment.

An introductory talk focusing on the main issues to be taken into account when (semi-)live subtitling for the deaf and the hard-of-hearing; Points to be addressed:

Overview of real-time subtitling
Introductory talk on the use of voice in respeaking
Creating a voice model
Simulating a semi-live situation
  1. preparing a text to be accessible to the deaf
  2. introducing all unknown words to the software database
  3. preparing to the rhythm of the source text
  4. simulation of respeaking on air
Discussion on the results

What does it mean to be Deaf, deaf or Hard-of-hearing?
Understanding the end users' needs and requirements in accessing audiovisual texts
Reformulating versus transcribing: which type of respeaking for which audience? Final discussion

Target Audience: All those interested in live subtitling for the D/deaf and Hard-of-Hearing. Both professional respeakers, and student/professional simultaneous interpreters as well as total newcomers to the field

Prerequisite Knowledge: Good pronunciation in English. Simultaneous interpreting skills would be a plus but not essential

Outcomes: All attendants will get an insight into the special needs of both D/deaf and Hard-of-Hearing people, and acquire the essential skills to become a conscious respeaker.

Professional respeakers will possibly be confronted with a different and new way of looking at the subject.

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Workshop — Audio Description

     •   Thursday, 16:00 to 19:00

Joel Snyder (Audio Description Associates, USA)

I propose a two-and-one-half-hour workshop on the fundamentals of Audio Description (AD). As an introduction or as a refresher, this session is designed to be a valuable overview of what I developed as the "four fundamentals" of AD:
  1. OBSERVATION In his book, "Seen/Unseen: A Guide to Active Seeing," the photographer, John Schaefer, coins the phrase "visual literacy." Schaefer refers to the need to 'increase your level of awareness and become an active "see er."
  2. EDITING Audio describers must then edit or cull from what they see, selecting what is most critical to an understanding and appreciation of an event
  3. LANGUAGE We transfer it all to words objective, vivid, imaginatively drawn words, phrases, and metaphors.
  4. VOCAL SKILLS Finally, in addition to building a verbal capability, the describer (or whoever will voice the descriptions) develops the vocal instrument through work with speech and oral interpretation fundamentals.
At this interactive, multi-media session, participants will experience how describers are trained and, in small groups, develop description for video excerpts.

Program Outcomes/Content: At the conclusion of the session, participants will know/experience:
  • who are "the blind"?
  • the history of Audio Description
  • Active Seeing / Visual Literacy
  • the art of "editing" what you see
  • using language to conjure images
  • using Audio Description in video/film, on the web, and in live settings
Outline of the proposed session:
  • overview of Audio Description-its fundamentals/interactive exercises;
  • participants are divided into small groups-depending on time constraints, two to four video excerpts are screened and participants have the opportunity to draft description
The workshop will involve approximately 20% lecture, 20% powerpoint-slide-video presentation, and 60% participation.

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Workshop — Subtitling for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing
     •   Thursday, 16:00 to 19:00

Josélia Neves (Instituto Politécnico de Leiria)

In this workshop participants will be taken through the main issues to be addressed when preparing intralingual or interlingual subtitles for hearing impaired viewers. In so doing, they will be invited to draw up a set of minimal guidelines which may account for the main concerns to be had when providing subtitles for Deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences.

Special attention will be given to the enhancement of readability through subtitle composition, segmentation and adaptation.

Given the fact that d/Deaf people cannot access sound in all its richness, participants will also work through techniques to provide the identification of speakers and the conveyance of emotion (paralinguistic information), sound effects and music.

The workshop will include practical exercises in which participants will be invited to write their own subtitles, analyse and question solutions and see their output on subtitling software.

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Workshop — Visualizing LSP Texts & Translation
     •   Friday, 10:00 to 12:45

Annely Rothkegel (Chemnitz) &
Heidrun Gerzymisch-Arbogast (Saarbrücken)

Visualizations are useful in depicting complex structures. Text visualizations represent interrelated facts and ideas in graphic form and thus allow us to see, think about and understand multidimensional levels of text structures that are otherwise not readily accessible in linear texts. Translations are 'mirror images' of text pairs (source and target texts) which show more or less similarity by visualizing their interrelated structures as semantic networks. Their visualization allows us to see the structure of texts as whole networks, and at the same time allow the eye to "zoom in" on individual parts.

In the workshop, we will introduce several text and translation representations and their visualization including text matrices, semantic networks and holistic structures of texts using authentic examples to show how visualizations enhance understanding. Both theoretical aspects as and text applications are discussed.

With respect to the dimension 'translation' it is shown how translation-specific bottom-up text analyses lead to represent different text representations and how the corresponding visualizations support decision-making processes in translation on several levels including topic and isotopic structures and holistic world knowledge underlying a text. Such visualizations allows us to see the structure of texts as whole networks, and at the same time allow the eye to "zoom in" on individual parts. This way, four text dimensions are shown:
  1. individual parts (atomistic view),
  2. the whole structure (holistic view),
  3. intermediate stages (hol-atomistic view) and
  4. the interrelationship of these three levels, i.e. how parts of the text functionally interrelate to the whole text.
It is discussed how translation parameters e.g. language and cultural specificity, genre, applicable norms and translation purpose interplay to govern the production of translated texts.:

Within the text dimension, "text" is redefined in terms of different "text states" and the corresponding transitions between them. In this view a variety of specified text tasks on several levels of descriptions can be distinguished, e.g. the state of knowledge and some knowledge systems in a text, the state of the macrostructure of topics and sub-topics, the different states of information during the information flow along the linearization chains, etc. Visualizations of those text states support the transitions between single languages as well as between cultural systems.

  • Gerzymisch-Arbogast, Heidrun (1996): Termini im Kontext. Tübingen: Narr. (=Forum für Fachsprachenforschung.31).
  • Gerzymisch-Arbogast, Heidrun (1999): "Kohärenz und Übersetzung: Wissenssysteme, ihre Repräsentation und Konkretisierung in Original und Übersetzung". In: Gerzymisch-Arbogast, Heidrun/Gile, Daniel/House, Juliane/Rothkegel, Annely (Hg.): Wege der Übersetzungs- und Dolmetschforschung.Tübingen: Narr (= Jahrbuch Übersetzen und Dolmetschen. 1/1999). 77-106.
  • Gerzymisch-Arbogast, Heidrun (2005b): "Text und Translation". In: Zybatow, Lew (Hrsg.): Translationswissenschaft im interdisziplinären Dialog. Innsbrucker Ringvorlesungen zur Translationswissenschaft. Band 3. Frankfurt u.a.: Lang. 35-54.
  • Gerzymisch-Arbogast, Heidrun (2006), 'Text Perspectives and Translation', available at [January 1, 2007].
  • Mudersbach, Klaus (1991). "Erschließung historischer Texte mit Hilfe linguistischer Methoden." Reihe historisch-sozialwissenschaftliche Forschungen des Zentrums für historische Sozialforschung. St. Katharinen: Script Mercaturae, 318-362.
  • Mudersbach, Klaus (1999). "Die holistische Betrachtung von Fachtexten und deren Übersetzung". In: Gerzymisch-Arbogast, Gile, House, Rothkegel (Hrsg.): Wege der Übersetzungs-und Dolmetschforschung. Gunter Narr Verlag, Tübingen 1999, S.13-42.
  • Rothkegel, Annely (1998): Präsentation und/oder Repräsentation in Hypermedia. In: Strohner, Hans/ Sichelschmidt, Lorenz/ Hielscher, Martina (Hrsg), Medium Sprache, 79-89. Frankfurt: Lang.
  • Rothkegel, Annely (2000): Transfer of knowledge in cross-cultural discourse. In: Lundquist, Lita/Jarvella, Robert J. (eds), Language, Text, and Knowledge, 189-206. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Rothkegel, Annely (2003): Text Tasks and Multilingual Text Production. In: Gerzymisch- Arbogast, Heidrun/ Hajicova, Eva/ Sgall, Petr/ Jettmarová, Zuzana/ Rothkegel, Annely/ Rothfuß-Bastian, Dorothee (Hg) (2003): Textologie und Translation, 249-259. Tübingen: Narr.
  • Rothkegel, Annely (2004): Textpaare - ein Beitrag zur Diskussion eines erweiterten Übersetzungsbegriffs. In: House, Juliane/ Koller, Werner /Schubert, Klaus (Hg), Neue Perspektiven in der Übersetzungs- und Dolmetschwissenschaft, 321-332. Bochum: AKS-Verlag.
  • Tonfoni, Graziella / Rothkegel, Annely (2007): Die Visualisierung von Textprozessen. Wiesbaden: VS-Verlag.

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