On the Role of Discourse Analysis in Translation Studies – How to Make Discourse Analysis More Translation-oriented

Date: 27/11/2002

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Location: Centre for Translation, DLB 701, David C. Lam Building, Shaw Campus, Hong Kong Baptist University, Renfrew Road, Kowloon Tong

Speaker: Ms Shang Yuanyuan

Translation Seminar Series


Discourse analysis has drawn wide attention in translation studies in recent years. Researchers with varied positions on translation proper come to reach consensus on the necessity of carrying out discourse analysis in either translation studies or translation practices (including translator training and translation criticism). However, controversies over the extent, depth and elements of discourse analysis applied to translation studies exist among scholars who hold different point of views about the role of discourse analysis in the process of translation. A large part of such disagreement or dissent arises from the inconsistent use of the terminologies or varied understanding of the notions in discourse analysis from different theoretical frameworks. Accordingly, this paper intends to argue that in order to make discourse analysis pertinent and applicable to the study of translation phenomenon, researchers need to screen discourse analysis in a more consistent way so that relevant analysis with regard to Source Text and Target Text will be more translation-oriented. The paper will first review briefly the trend of eclecticism in the application of discourse analysis in translation studies up to present. And then by focusing on three terms in discourse analysis which are commonly adopted and broadly discussed in translation studies, namely, context, genre and register, the paper will try to illustrate that although eclecticism has its merits in explaining translation phenomenon, more consistent following of given theoretical framework would tend to result in more feasible and effective elucidation about the process of translation. Throughout the discussion, the paper will have recourse to one particular approach to discourse analysis, that is, the Systemic Functional Linguistics, as the theoretical guideline and use a piece of political discourse as example for relevant analysis and discussion.

About the Speaker:

Shang Yuanyuan is a lecturer and in-service PhD candidate in the School of Foreign Languages of Sun Yat-sen University (formerly as ZhongShan University) in Guangzhou. She received her MA degree in applied linguistics from Beijing Normal University and she has published papers on functional linguistics, social linguistics and translation studies. Her research interest covers systemic functional linguistics, discourse analysis and translation studies. She is currently in the Department of Linguistics of the University of Hong Kong as a visiting scholar for one year.

On the Role of Discourse Analysis in Translation Studies – How to Make Discourse Analysis More Translation-oriented
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