Engagement markers in translated academic texts
Tracing translators’ interventions
The author-audience interaction is an important issue in academic writing, but when academic texts are translated, new issues regarding the author-audience relationship arise because of the translator’s involvement in the text. This paper examines translators’ interventions in academic writing by focusing on one dimension of the author-audience interaction, i.e., reader-oriented strategies or engagement markers. Corpus analysis is employed to explore the use of engagement markers in academic texts translated into English, their corresponding source texts originally written in Slovene, and in comparable original English texts. The analysis reveals that while the frequency of engagement markers is relatively similar in the two sets of originals, it is considerably lower in the translated texts. This means that translators’ interventions resulted in a reduction in the use of engagement markers. The findings identify several potential reasons for translators’ intervention, including a tendency to avoid risky strategies such as the use of directives, adaptation of the target text to the conventions of the target language/culture, and adaptation of the target text to a new audience.
Keywords: translation, interaction, engagement markers, academic discourse, translators' intervention
Published online: 24 November 2016
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