Current PhD/Reseach MA students

Nermeen Al Nafra
Developing Translators’ Skills

One of the main concerns in current approaches to translation training is to provide translators with the necessary skills in order to take responsibility for their decisions. Taking into consideration the calls for different translation training approaches in order to equip translators with the theoretical knowledge of translation to empower them in their role as cultural mediators, this study will investigate how and to what extent following a training programme at postgraduate level affects trainee translators’ ability to defend and justify their decisions. This study is based on the hypothesis that translation training and translation theory equip trainees with a level of competence which enables them to systemise their options while translating and justify their choices. This study will attempt to demonstrate to what extent trainee translators integrate the theoretical knowledge acquired throughout the course into translation practice. It focuses on the translation strategies used by trainee translators to identify translation problems and the justification of the decisions made. The one year masters degree programme in Translation Studies at the University of Birmingham is used to undertake this qualitative research. Data will be collected at different stages throughout the academic year (2012-2013). The research methods used in this longitudinal case study consist primarily of a translation task completed by trainee translators. This task is preceded by a short questionnaire and retrospective interviews. This is followed by a textual analysis using linguistic and discourse text analysis models.

Asmaa Alduhaim
Cross Cultural Political Discourse Translation

The research will conduct a comparative analysis of the translation outcome of three different countries. The analysis will start with a detailed study of the political discourse in each country, followed by the analysis of the translation carried out by the media.

Matthew Chozick
Translating Japan's cultural Cache into International Cachet: A Study of Post-Meiji 'Reverse-Importation' from The Tale of Genji to Puffy AmiYumi

Translating Japan's Cultural Cache into International Cachet: A Study of 'Reverse-Importation' from The Tale of Genji to Puffy AmiYumi.

The Japanese term gyakuyunyū describes a process of ‘reverse-importation’ by which sales of a domestic commodity increase in a native market due to popularity achieved in a foreign market. While gyakuyunyū is often used by Japanese in the context of industrial or commercial products, it is also employed to describe cultural output, and this latter usage has seen increasing frequency in recent years as Japan has sought to promote its ‘national cool’ overseas. To date, there has been little scholarship on cultural gyakuyunyū despite its influence on the reception of many Japanese literary, film and musical works. One such work is Murasaki Shikibu’s The Tale of Genji, which began to be read widely in a novelistic, central position of Japanese literature as its fin-de-siècle reputation evolved in tandem with English and then modern Japanese translations. Parsing such inter-connections between historical circumstances and linguistic polysystems, this thesis aims to better illuminate mechanisms of ‘reverse-importation’ through which foreign modes of cultural production and consumption can be domesticated.

Book reviews and literary criticism

  • Academic book reviews and criticism in Japan Times, Asian Business and Management, Literary Encyclopedia, Translation Studies Abstracts Online, Electronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies, Metropolis Magazine and other places in both English and Japanese.

Articles in academic journals

Translated books

  • Wisut Ponnimit, Him Her That, English trans. from Japanese, includes essays by translator and Banana Yoshimoto (New York and Tokyo: Awai Books 2013).
  • Tokyo Visualist, ed. by Masayo Fukaya and Kazuhiro Hasegawa, English trans. from Japanese with Luke Baker (Tokyo: D.D. Wave Co. and Kawade Shobo Shinsha 2009).

Edited collections

  • Tokyo Verb Studio, ed. with and contributed articles with Midori Ohmuro and Keisuke Tsubono (New York and Tokyo: Awai Books 2012).

Translations in books

  • Yuki Okumura, ‘On Kawara’s Pure Consciousness, or Many Worlds (and) Interpretation’, Japanese trans. from English in Dokyumento 14 no yūbe, ed National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo (Tokyo: Seigensha Art Publishing 2013).

Galateia Dimitriou
Ezra Pound in Greece, 1935-2005

Using Ezra Pound's translations in Greek as a starting point, this thesis looks at Pound's reception in Greece with a particular focus on George Seferis and contemporary poets.

Publications

  • Translation (in Greek) of George Oppen's 'The Mind's own place' in Poietiki, Issue 3, Patakis, Athens, 2009.

Renate Reichardt
Valency Sentence Patterns and Meaning Interpretation: Case study of the verb CONSIDER

The thesis explores the interrelationship of local grammar, meaning, and translation equivalence, using a case study of the English verb CONSIDER, compared in a monolingual study with its near-synonyms BELIEVE, FEEL and THINK, and in a contrastive analysis with their German translation equivalents. The methodology fuses corpus linguistics and valency grammar, analysing and comparing monolingual and parallel corpora. Corpus investigation is found to be a reliable tool in identifying key translation equivalents and in verifying sentence patterns. Valency theory is argued to be more successful than related approaches in distinguishing between different levels of language analysis. Its flexibility regarding complement categorisation types make it possible to define categories that can be applied to both German and English appropriately in a contrastive study, in spite of the surface differences between the two languages. The findings highlight the problems of investigating the interplay of lexis and grammar in a contrastive context, and indicate that from the perspective of translation, language is much less rule-based and less phraseological than is often assumed. Applications of the research to the field of bilingual lexicography are discussed. Based on the corpus analysis and the valency analysis some sample dictionary entries are proposed.

Publications

  • Reichardt, Renate. 2012. “Local Grammar and Translation Equivalents: Case Study of English Verb CONSIDER and its German translations”. Aspects of Corpus Linguistics: Compilation, Annotation, Analysis (Studies in Variation, Contacts and Change in English 12), ed. Signe Oksefjell Ebeling, Jarle Ebeling, & Hilde Hasselgård. Helsinki: Research Unit for Variation, Contacts, and Change in English. http://www.helsinki.fi/varieng/series/volumes/12/reichardt.

Paloma López Serrapio
Translation, advertising and identity in Galicia(n)

My research will consider the nature and functions of advertising language in the Galician context, as well as the languages and linguistic strategies that are used to advertise Galician products and companies. Which language is preferred for advertising in Galicia and in which context; how is advertising language translated? Does advertising contribute to the construction and projection of a Galician identity?

Aleksandar Trklja
A corpus linguistics study of translation correspondences in English and German

In my thesis I propose a model for differentiation of translation correspondences in English and German and classification of lexical items into corresponding semantic groups. The thesis aims at contributing both to the theoretical discussions from he field of contrastive lexical semantics and translation studies, as well as to the practical lexicographical issues. The proposed model combines the language in use theory of meaning with the statistically-founded distributional corpus linguistics. Translation correspondences have been identified by exploring the occurrences of lexical items in a parallel corpus. The classification of the translation correspondences into groups is based on the substitution principle proposed by Zellig Harris. Finally, the focal components of the lexical items have been established by analysing their local contexts both intralingually and interlingually. Relying on the decision theory I suggest that a bilingual onomasiological dictionary based on this model would help both translators and foreign language learners to reduce uncertainty and risk when it comes to the selection of appropriate terms in context.