Quantities in Translation: English vs. Greek Press

Maria Sidiropoulou
Department of English Studies, University of Athens

The presentation of quantities in target discourses is expected to survive the translation strategies which allow target-oriented modifications, especially in news reporting where accuracy could be an asset for the persuasion strategy adopted. However, numerical expressions are occasionally modified in translation, even if there is an exact equivalent available in the target language. These modifications in quantity presentation, in discourse, are devices through which ideologies control discourse meaning. The present study investigates this instance of norm-governed behaviour, in English-to-Greek press news translation, in view of what kind of reality is promoted by these differing preferences in quantity presentation.

Table of contents

Teun van Dijk has claimed that "there is no lexical style in the description and evaluation of the events that does not presuppose or imply politically and ideologically based interpretations" (1994a: 5). Besides, quantities and the manner in which they are handled in press news translation comprise an area where attempts at "manufacturing consent" (van Dijk 1994b: 435) may be [ p. 320 ]detected. On the basis of these assumptions, an examination of those numerical expressions which appear to be modified in translation is expected to reveal a different 'reality' constructed for the target readership.

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