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Shifting Readership in Journalistic Translation

Shifting Readership in Journalistic Translation

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Published by: lixiaoxiu on Feb 19, 2009
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18 February 2009 
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Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House,37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK
Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information:http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~content=t794297831
Eirlys E. Davies
King Fahd School of Translation, Tangier, MoroccoOnline Publication Date: 08 December 2006
To cite this Article
Davies, Eirlys E.(2006)'SHIFTING READERSHIPS IN JOURNALISTIC TRANSLATION',Perspectives,14:2,83 — 98
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Full terms and conditions of use:http://www.informaworld.com/terms-and-conditions-of-access.pdfThis article may be used for research, teaching and private study purposes. Any substantial orsystematic reproduction, re-distribution, re-selling, loan or sub-licensing, systematic supply ordistribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden.The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contentswill be complete or accurate or up to date. The accuracy of any instructions, formulae and drug dosesshould be independently verified with primary sources. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss,actions, claims, proceedings, demand or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directlyor indirectly in connection with or arising out of the use of this material.
Eirlys E. Davies, King Fahd School of Translation, Tangier, Morocco
Taking as a basis for discussion an article from the British press and its translation into French,this paper examines the ways in which the content of such journalistic texts may be judged torequire adaptation to suit the needs of the target audience. It focuses on the strategies of omissionand addition frequently adopted in this translation, and relates the decisions made to the relativeimportance or relevance of certain elements in the source text. Key concepts have to be clearlyconveyed even if this sometimes requires lengthy or even clumsy insertions, but other componentsof the article, despite contributing much to its appeal to the original readers, may be judged cum-
bersome, obscure, or quite simply superfuous in the translation
The translator’s decisions aimat preserving a balance between conveying the essential and ensuring that the organisation, toneand style are acceptable to the target audience
Key words:
English-French translation; journalism; delity in translation; omission andaddition in translation; varying readerships.
 Journalistic translation is oen seen as something relatively straightforward, as bread and buer compared to the jam and cream of literary translation. Thuswhile students of translation may feel that the translation of literature demandsa creativity and ingenuity which is beyond them, they may be condent in theirability to make an eective translation of a newspaper article simply by pro
ducing a clear and accurate paraphrase of the content of the source text. Thistask may seem all the easier if the readerships of the source and target texts arerelatively similar in cultural background and outlook.In today’s globalised world, journalistic translation does indeed provide the bread and buer for many translators. The work of many respected journalistscrosses national and language boundaries; for instance, columns originally pub
lished in a single British or French newspaper may be translated into severalother languages and be read by people across Europe. Yet despite the commonEuropean background of these various readers, it will be argued below that thetranslator’s task is oen not as simple as might be thought. For an article to besuccessfully transmied even to readers in an immediately neighbouring coun
try, such as France in the case of a British source text, various types of adapta
tions may need to be made to the content and style of the original. This will beillustrated through a detailed comparison of one article and its translation.The study takes for its subject a single comment article. The source text,
Howthe dreaded superstate became a commonwealth
 , by Timothy Garton Ash, appearedin English in the British daily
The Guardian
on October 6 2005, while its transla
tion into French by Julie Marcot was published in the French daily
Le Monde
three days later, on October 9. The article is inspired by the European Union’shotly debated decision to open membership negotiations with Turkey. Whilemany articles published at the same time as Garton Ash’s were concerned large
ly with the question of whether Turkey’s admission was desirable or not, Gar
ton Ash adopts a wider perspective and takes as his major topic the implications
0907-676X/06/02/083-15 $20.00Perspectives: Studies in Translatology© 2006 Eirlys E. DaviesVol. 14, No. 2, 2006
2006. Perspectives: Studies in Translatology. Volume 14: 2
of the decision for the status of the EU itself, claiming that the opening up ofnegotiations with Turkey, whether or not they culminate in its admission, willlead to further enlargement of the European Union, which will in turn ensurethat its status evolves into the looser association of states he refers to as a com
monwealth, rather than the tightly bound unit he calls a superstate. His viewson whether Turkey should be admied or not appear in three paragraphs to
wards the end of the article, but these function almost as a digression from hismain point, to which he returns in the concluding paragraph.Of course, the comparison of a translated journalistic article with its source isnot a common activity among the intended audience of either the source or thetarget text. Those who are accustomed to reading in the language of the sourcetext will not usually feel the need to seek out another version of it, while thosewho read the translated version of a text usually do so because they cannotread the original, either because they are not uent in the source language or because they simply do not have access to it. It seems fair to say, then, that thetranslators of such articles would not normally expect their translations to comeunder close scrutiny from readers searching for discrepancies between sourceand target materials. For the student of translation, however, such comparisonsmay be very fruitful.The comparison made here reveals that the translator has not simply rewrit
ten Garton Ash’s remarks in French, but has made many adjustments and ad
aptations, most of them relatively minor when looked at one by one, but whichwhen viewed as a set can be seen to reect certain general strategies for dealingwith aspects of the text which may be problematic if presented without changeto the target audience. On the one hand there are many instances of omission orsimplication, where elements contained in the source text are not included inthe translation; on the other, there are a number of instances where the transla
tor has used addition or elaboration, incorporating into the translation materialnot present in the source text.Discussions of translation procedures frequently seem to imply that strate
gies like these are incompatible with the goal of delity. For instance, the strate
gy of omiing from the translation elements present in the source text has oen been referred to as some kind of weakness or failing on the translator’s part;thus Cliord Landers (2001: 95) describes omission as “the equivalent of uncon
ditional surrender, an admission that a certain word, phrase or construction is beyond the translator’s ability to render.” Similarly, Antoine Berman (2000: 288)includes expansion, the process of adding to the translation material not presentin the source text, as one item in his list of twelve “deforming tendencies” foundin translations. The discussion below will aempt to show that, on the contrary, both omission and expansion may be necessary and eective translation strate
gies. It will illustrate the important distinction between elements which are es
sential to a text’s message or eect, and which therefore need to be included ina translation even at the cost of elaboration or insertion, and those whose pres
ence in a translation may constitute an obstacle to its communicative success,and which therefore may justiably be omied. With the change of readershipmay come a change of perspective which causes certain elements to become lessrelevant or crucial in the translation than they might have been for the originalaudience, while other elements almost taken for granted in the source text may

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