n Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa - Shakespeare in Afrikaans : a corpus-based study of involvement in different registers of drama translation : parallel / bilingual corpora

Volume 35, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-5986



This article draws on a corpus-based study of translations of Shakespeare in Afrikaans in order to contribute to the debate on what CTS (corpus-based translation studies) can offer the translation researcher. Corpus linguistic methodologies are versatile and therefore it was possible to apply aspects of Douglas Biber's (1988) multi-dimensional approach to register variation to a parallel corpus of Shakespeare's <I>The merchant of Venice&lt;/I&gt; in Afrikaans. In particular, the focus is on an investigation of the manifestation of linguistic features of involvement in different registers of Shakespeare translation. `Features of involvement' refer to those linguistic features which reflect that speaker and listener typically interact with one another (i.e., private verbs, contractions, 1st and 2nd person pronouns, analytic negation, demonstratives, emphatics, discourse markers, causative subordination, amplifiers, questions, time and place adverbials). The overall finding is one of a statistically highly significant difference between the two registers with the stage translation displaying more features of involvement than the page translation. Despite production constraints, the dialogue of a Shakespearean stage translation does indeed exhibit more features of involvement than a page translation.

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