Quantitative and Qualitative Aspects of Corpus Selection in Translation Studies
Luc van Doorslaer
KVH Antwerpen, KU Leuven
Although research procedures for translation analysis and comparison are being adapted to the principles of induction and deduction which are necessary in intersubjective research, criteria for corpus selection are often not explicitly motivated. Since hypotheses depend for their reliability on the corpus selected, attention should be paid to the relationship between exhaustiveness and representativeness. Criteria for corpus selection are often either random or textually motivated, while exceptions and deviations in translation often require a qualitative refinement of these criteria such as that obtained from extra-textual information.
With the establishment of translation studies as an autonomous discipline during the last decades, new heuristics have been developed in order to support research procedures. Systemic approaches as applied to descriptive translation studies have been particularly concerned with reaching a level where translation [ p. 246 ]analysis, including the comparison of a source and a target text, can be carried out according to the principles of induction and deduction. On the basis of a partial analysis of a translation, the scholar surpasses the mere accumulation of data by systematizing his/her findings and formulating hypotheses as an anticipation of similar translational situations in the same text, or even other, similar texts. In the next phase, the hypotheses are checked and, if necessary, corrected on the basis of new textual material, so that they gradually become more and more solid. This procedure has already proved its effectiveness in ambitiously reconstructing the translational norms and strategies at a given moment in history, especially when complemented with extratextual (e.g. institutional) facts concerning the source and/or the target (con)text. Precisely because of these ambitions, we cannot be satisfied with single texts, or with the study of relatively isolated phenomena that do not offer a broader perspective.
Billiet, Jaak B.
1990Methoden van sociaal-wetenschappelijk onderzoek: ontwerp en datavenameling. Leuven/Amersfoort: Acco.
ed.1985The Manipulation of Literature: Studies in Literary Translation. London/Sydney: Croom Helm.
1991 “Translational Norms and Correct Translations”. Kitty Van Leuven-Zwart and Ton Naaijkens, eds. Translation Studies: The State of the Art. Proceedings of the First James S Holmes Symposium on Translation Studies. Amsterdam/Atlanta, GA: Rodopi 1991 155–169.
Holmes, James S.
1988Translated!: Papers on Literary Translation and Translation Studies. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
1991 “Cultural Constraints: A Case of Political Censorship”. Harald Kittel and Armin Paul Frank, eds. Interculturality and the Historical Study of Literary Translations. Berlin: Schmidt 1991 71–74.
1985b “Towards Research Programmes: The Function of Translated Literature within European Literatures”. Theo Hermans, ed. Second Hand: Papers on the Theory and Historical Study of Literary Translation. Antwerpen: Vereniging Algemene Literatuurwetenschap 1985 183–197.
1991aTextanalyse und Übersetzen: Theoretische Grundlagen, Méthode und didaktische Anwendung einer übersetzungsrelevanten Textanalyse. Heidelberg: Groos. [English version: Text Analysis in Translation: Theory, Methodology, and Didactic Application of a Model for Translation-Oriented Text Analysis. Amsterdam/ Atlanta, GA: Rodopi, 1991.]
1992 “Text Analysis in Translator Training”. Cay Dollerup and Anne Loddegaard, eds. Teaching Translation and Interpreting: Training, Talent and Experience. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins 1992 39–48.
1990 “The Coupled Pair of ‘Solution + Problem’ in Translation Studies”. Patrick Nigel Chaffey, Antin Fougner Rydning and Solveig Schult Ulriksen, eds. Translation Theory in Scandinavia, Proceedings from the Scandinavian Symposium on Translation Theory (SSOTT III), Oslo 11–13 August 1988. Oslo 1990 1–23.
1991 “Experimentation in Translation Studies: Achievements, Prospects and Some Pitfalls”. Sonja Tirkkonen-Condit, ed. Empirical Research in Translation and Intercultural Studies. Tubingen: Narr 1991 45–66.