A three-level methodology for descriptive-explanatory Translation Studies

María Calzada Pérez
Universidad Jaime I (Spain)

Drawing mainly on Vidal (1998), Tymoczko (2000) and Harvey (forthcoming), Hatim and Mason (1990, 1997) and Mason (2000), the present paper proposes a threefold analytical methodology consisting of: description, ideological explanation, and perlocutionary exploration of texts. In practice, the article examines the speeches uttered in Spanish and English before the European Parliament (EP) on 9th March 1993. The main focus of the study is transitivity shifts and their connection to ideological issues. This corpus has been chosen for various reasons. Amongst them, the paper sets out to test the conclusions reached by prior research (Trosborg 1997a; Koskinen 2000). Three basic questions are posed: 1. Are EP speeches odd, ‘out of place’/ ‘strange’/ ‘unusual’ (in short literal) as Koskinen (2000) maintains? (Descriptive component of analysis); 2. Does translation affect the ideological output of original texts? (Explanatory component of analysis); 3.Which perlocutionary questions may be raised as a result of the previous questions? (Perlocutionary component of analysis).

Table of contents

Throughout its history, research on translation (in its various forms) has been exposed to what Fairclough (1995: 7), drawing on Bakhtin, would call centrifugal and centripetal forces. These have resulted in dichotomies that may once have been firmly defended only to be abandoned (or kept) later on. Amongst these dichotomies, I would especially mention the following: research on literary texts vs. research on non-literary texts; experimental vs. non-experimental [ p. 204 ]methodologies; quantitative vs. qualitative results, and so on. One of the latest of these dichotomies, and currently a cause of great interest to scholars, is that of linguistics vs. cultural studies.

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