Headlining in Translation: English vs. Greek Press

Maria Sidiropoulou
The University of Athens, Greece

Abstract

A hundred translated article headlines appearing in the Greek press are contrasted to their originals in the English press. The cognitive, cultural and social constraints on headline formation observed relate to a higher degree of directness associated with the Greek version of the corpus, on the one hand, and differences with respect to 'thematic ' preferences, on the other. The quantity and quality of information to be included in the schematic category Headline, in Greek, differs: the quantity of information relates to the genre the article belongs to and the difference in quality is a result of a different 'macro-rule' application.

Table of contents

The notion of 'equivalence of intended effects' (Hatim and Mason 1990: 7) seems to be taken seriously in translating titles and headlines. In fact, as Toury argues (1980: 102), the formal/functional opposition in translation theory should be supplemented by another opposition relevant to the operations carried out by the translator: whether these operations are based on an a priori dictate—or on genuine considerations. Translating book titles, for instance, may involve a priori decisions concerning the function of the whole text or parts of it: a series of 'mystery' books have been presented to the Israeli reader [ p. 286 ]as detective novels and this "attribution of the Hebrew versions to the detective genre, whether their counterparts in the source literatures also belong to it or not, brings forth . . . decisions as to the 'appropriate' Hebrew titles of individual works, which annul any necessity of 'genuine' consideration" (Toury 1980: 103). This concerns not only the actual generic identity of each book but also the functions of the books' titles with regard to the books themselves as textual wholes.

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