Simplification, Explicitation and Normalization: Corpus-Based Research into English to Italian Translations of Children's Classics

Simplification, Explicitation and Normalization: Corpus-Based Research into English to Italian Translations of Children's Classics

by Margherita Ippolito


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The search for general laws and regularities in Translation Studies gained new momentum in the 1990s when Baker (1993) promoted the use of large electronic corpora as research tools for exploring the linguistic features that render the language of translation different from the language of non-translated texts. By comparing a corpus of translated and non-translated English texts, Baker and her research team put forward the hypothesis that translated texts are characterized by some universal features, namely simplification, explicitation, normalization and levelling-out. The purpose of this study is to test whether simplification, explicitation and normalization apply to Italian translations of children's books. In order to achieve this aim, a comparable corpus of translated and non-translated works of classic fiction for children has been collected and analysed using Corpus Linguistics tools and methodologies. The results show that, in the translational subcorpus, simplification, explicitation and normalization processes do not prevail over the non-translational one. Therefore, it is suggested that the status of translated children's literature in the Italian literary polysystem (Even-Zohar, 1979, 1990) and, from a general viewpoint, all the cultural, historical and social conditions that influence translators' activities, determine translation choices that can also tend towards processes different from those proposed by Baker.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781443845687
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Publication date: 04/01/2013
Pages: 135
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Margherita Ippolito holds an MA in Applied Corpus Linguistics from the University of Birmingham, UK, and a PhD in Translation Studies from the University of Bari, Italy. She is currently a Teaching Fellow in English Language and Translation at the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures of the University of Bari. Her research interests include the translation of childrens literature, the translation of the verbal and the visual in picture books and the application of Corpus Linguistics resources to the analysis of translations. She is the author of several articles, such as "The Relationship between Text and Illustrations: Translating Beatrix Potters Little Books into Italian" (Whose Story? Translating the Verbal and the Visual in Literature for Young Readers, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2008), "Irony in Nineteenth Century English Translations of I Promessi Sposi" (Cultures in Contact, Lang, Berna, 2011), and "Mutimodality and Learning: Comics as Teaching Tools for Early Foreign Language Acquisition" (New Trends in Early Foreign Language Learning, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2012).

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