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Title: A corpus-based CDA study of ideological mediation through translation shifts: an analysis of the official Chinese-English translation of the governance of China
Author(s): Yang, Shu
Supervisor(s): de Pedro Ricoy, Raquel
Keywords: critical discourse analysis
corpus-based translation studies
Issue Date: Feb-2023
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This study aims to explore the extent to which President Xi’s ideological message is mediated in the official Chinese-English translation of The Governance of China via various translation shifts and analyze the possible ideological reasons behind it. Unlike previous studies whose interpretation of translation shifts has been restricted to either the linguistic level or the speech situation, this research project focuses on exploring the translation shifts’ ideological significance within the broader sociopolitical context. It adopts a mixed-methods approach, merging critical discourse analysis (CDA) and corpus-based translation studies. A parallel corpus based on the source and target texts of President Xi’s domestic speeches to officials and Party members, published in The Governance of China, was built to ensure a quantitative and qualitative analysis. It is also noteworthy that this study concentrates on the key Chinese modality markers, transitivity processes, metaphorical expressions, and referring terms that stand out in the present research corpus compared to general Chinese discourse instead of all the existing or the most frequent ones. The overall results suggest that translation shifts in modality, transitivity, metaphor, and reference have slightly increased the ideological significance of strengthening the government and the Party’s self-discipline compared to other national issues, and exhibited a tendency to contextualize considering the foreign audiences’ ideological positions. Such shifts may be related to the translation agency’s commitment and the state’s current foreign policy. Ultimately, this study reveals subtle ideological translation shifts that will be buried if researchers treat source and target texts separately. It calls for translators to raise awareness of textual features’ ideological potential and encourages audiences to pay attention to the institutional and sociopolitical background of translated texts.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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