From Adaptation to Appropriation: Framing the World Through News Translation

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Abstract

Terminological issues are problematic in the analysis of translation processes in news production. In the 1980s, Stetting coined the term “transediting”, which has been widely used in the translation studies literature, but “translation” itself becomes contentious in communication studies, a discipline closely related to news translation research. Only a few communication scholars have specifically dealt with the linguistic and cultural transformations of source texts, but they tend to regard translation as word-for-word transfer, unusual news production. More productive for the study of news translation seems to be the application of the concept of framing, widely used in communication studies. Framing considers the linguistic and paralinguistic elements of news texts in the promotion of certain organizing ideas that the target audience can identify with. In news translation, this entails the adaptation of a text for the target readership, a process can lead to appropriation of source material. Two examples are mentioned to illustrate this point: the appropriation of the US Department of State cables by the Wikileak organisation, and the pro-Romanian slogans produced by the Gandul newspaper as a response to Britain’s anti-immigration campaigns. The final section relates news adaptation to adaptation of other text types, such as literary and historical works.

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