2 The impact of translation direction on characteristics of translated texts. A multivariate analysis for English and German

in Empirical Translation Studies

Abstract

This chapter investigates the influence of the source and target language on translations in a selection of 150 pairs of source and target texts from a bidirectional parallel corpus of English and German texts, applying a combination of multivariate analysis, visualization and minimally supervised machine learning. Based on a procedure developed by Diwersy, Evert and Neumann (2014), it investigates the way in which translations differ from comparable original texts depending on the translation direction and other factors. The multivariate approach enables us to detect patterns of feature combinations that cannot be observed in conventional frequency-based analyses, providing new evidence for the validity of interference or shining through in translation. We report a clear shining through effect that is more pronounced for translations from English into German than for the opposite translation direction, pointing towards a prestige effect in this language pair.

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