A Register-Based Translation Evaluation: An Advertisement as a Case in Point

Erich Steiner

Abstract

This paper illustrates key elements of a translation evaluation based on register analysis. In Section 1, the attempts in the current paper are related to linguistics and translation studies in general, and to the evaluation of translations in particular, arguing for a theoretically-based approach. A brief overview of the concept of register is also given. Sections 2, 3 and 4 cover the detailed analysis of the field, tenor and mode variables of the register of a translation, relating them critically to those of its source text. Section 5 argues that in addition to a 'register analysis, an evaluation of translations needs to take into account criteria based on comparative linguistics and language typology. Finally, it is suggested that a register-based approach links translation to co-generation under specific constraints, thus opening up the possibility of linking the translation quality to text quality in general.

Table of contents

The following exercise in translation evaluation is intended to complement a pre-translational text analysis that we have undertaken elsewhere (cf. E. Steiner 1997).

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English Version: Newsweek 24.2.1992

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German Version: Der Spiegel Nr:. 21, 1993