Referential cohesion and news content: A case study of shifts of reference in Hungarian-English news translation

Krisztina Károly
Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary

This study explores the (re)creation of referential cohesion in Hungarian-English translation and examines the extent to which shifts of reference are motivated by the differences between the languages, the characteristics of the translation type (news translation) and the genre (news story). As referential cohesion is hypothesized to be affected by certain universals of translation, the explicitation and the repetition avoidance hypotheses are also tested. Analyses show considerable shifts of reference in translations, but these are not statistically significant. The corpus also fails to provide evidence for the universals of translation investigated; however, the in-depth analysis of optional shifts suggests that they are conditioned by the discursive features of the genre and contribute to a more explicit presentation of news content.

Table of contents

Empirical research on translation has shown that translated texts differ in a number of ways from texts not produced via translation and that this difference may be attributed predominantly to text-level phenomena (Klaudy 2006; Toury 1986). This paper explores the validity of this statement by describing the translational behaviour of one of the seven standards of textuality identified by de Beaugrande and Dressler (1981), namely cohesion and, within that, referential cohesion. The focus of the study is on isolating norms of behaviour related to the (re)creation of referential cohesion in translation which are intrinsic to the process of news translation or which may result from constraints specific to this mode of translation.

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