A multidisciplinary approach to the study of translation in political journalism
Translation is often an integral part of journalism, as an institutional and socio-political activity. This implies that the study of political journalistic translations cannot be isolated from the study of the institutional and socio-political factors that may influence news production processes. The aim of this paper is to propose a method of textual analysis for describing political journalistic translations in terms of their relationships with dominant political norms and ideologies in the target society. This relationship means that, depending on the ideological independence of news institutions, dominant political norms and ideologies may influence the production of political journalistic translations. Also, political journalistic translations can contribute to or challenge the social legitimacy of dominant political norms and ideologies.
To examine this relationship at an empirical level, we use the model of political discourse analysis (Chilton and Schäffner 2011) and the method of analyzing translation shifts (Gagnon 2009; Chesterman 1997). Political discourse analysis (PDA) is an appropriate analytical tool for reconstructing political norms and ideologies from discourses of leading politicians. PDA also enables analyzing source and target news discourses to investigate whether and how they contribute to a social ‘legitimization’ or ‘delegitimization’ of specific political norms and ideologies. The relevance of the method of translation shifts analysis is that it allows for a translation-oriented description of how particular strategic functions of source and target news discourses (e.g. legitimization) are enacted by means of specific linguistic elements.
The corpus, in this research, consists of 126 Persian political news pieces released by ISNA (an Iranian news agency) and their English translations by BBC. The method of textual analysis, proposed in this study, allows us to describe the impact of our sample political journalistic translations on the social legitimacy of dominant political norms and ideologies. It also allows us to hypothesize whether specific political norms and ideologies have been influential in the process of producing the political journalistic translations.
Esmaeil Kalantari est doctorant au Département de linguistique et de traduction de l'Université de Montréal