The future of general tendencies in translation: Explicitation in web localization

Miguel A. Jiménez-Crespo
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey


Explicitation has long been considered a tendency in translation and has been empirically investigated by a number of scholars. This paper responds to Chesterman´s (2004a: 47) call to test explicitation phenomena on different translation modalities and types, and tests the explicitation hypothesis against a comparable web corpus containing 40m words. The fast evolving field of web localization was selected given that (1) if explicitation is a potential universal or general tendency, it should be equally present in current and future translation types; (2) localization is a specific case of translation in which explicitation might not be expected due to space constraints and web usability guidelines; (3) research using comparable web corpora has produced evidence contradicting other proposed general tendencies, such as conventionalization (Jiménez-Crespo 2009a; Kenny 2001). The results of the study confirm that despite specific constraints, localized texts show explicitation if contrasted with non-translated web texts belonging to the same digital genre.

Table of contents

“Universals are absolute; translation is probabilistic”

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