A corpus-based study of stance-taking as seen from critical points in interpreted political discourse
Perspectives: Studies in Translatology
Interpreted political discourse has remained under-explored in spite of the significant role played by interpreting in the re-contextualisation of political discourse across languages and cultures. The present study, based on a corpus of interpreted political discourse from China, explores how the stance of the Chinese government is interpreted from Chinese to English. The parallel bilingual corpus comprises 15 transcribed press conferences of two Chinese Premiers from 1998 to 2012 that were
... erpreted into English by seven institutional interpreters. The keywords that are high in frequency are identified with corpus tools and patterns of their translation are analysed. Such 'critical points' of decision-making in interpreting are discussed using the framework of stance-taking and the way in which ideology is re-contextualised is revealed. It is found that the interpreters' lexical choices reflect the government's attitude and stance on various political and social issues. The investigation of critical points in interpreting (and translation) can provide valuable insights into a nation's stance, which might not be achieved by looking at the monolingual text alone. The study may also inform empirical approaches to critical translation studies, which integrates the methodological strengths of critical discourse analysis and descriptive translation studies.