Discourse analysis, interpreting and translation

Authored by: Stefan Baumgarten , Melani Schröter

The Routledge Handbook of Translation Studies and Linguistics

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  December  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138911260
eBook ISBN: 9781315692845
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter differentiates between Discourse Analysis (DA) and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), reviewing their impact and applicability for Translation Studies (TS). DA deals with the study of language as a social practice by accounting for discursive, situational and (inter)textual dimensions of communicative exchanges, while CDA highlights the ideological dimensions of language with reference to the way discourse shapes and is shaped by (naturalised) manipulative and discriminatory practices. Both approaches however tend to concentrate on ideologies embedded within structures and processes pertaining to intracultural (patterns of) communication. The contribution makes a case for dinstinguishing between contrastive, intercultural and crosscultural discourse analysis, the latter of which would study the ways in which translation and interpreting are shaped by power relations and ideological interests. More specifically, a method of enquiry labelled contrastive cultural discourse analysis (CCDA) could alleviate DA’s and CDA’s persistent bias toward intracultural discourse along national lines and their continuous Eurocentrism and overreliance on hegemonic languages, especially English. The crosscultural dimension of CCDA would focus on translation and interpreting as communicative and semiotic phenomena in their own right, as instances of crosscultural communication based on linguistic mediations through cultural recontextualisations. CCDA would look at the ways in which translation and interpreting are embedded in crosscultural networks of social and economic power, influence and authority against the backdrop of rising socioeconomic pressures of globalization.

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