Text analysis in translation

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1. “Extratextual Factors in Translation Text Analysis” Lecture 1. Systematic Framework for External Analysis Introduction Most writers on translation theory agree that before embarking upon any translation the translator should analyze the text comprehensively, since this appears to be the only way of ensuring that the source text (ST) has been wholly and correctly understood. Various proposals have been put forward as to how such an analysis should be carried out and how particular translation problems might best be dealt with. These tend, however, to be based on models of text analysis which have been developed in other fields of study, such as that of literary studies, of text or discourse linguistics, or even in the field of theology. But what is right for the

literary scholar, the text linguist is not necessarily right for the translator: different purposes require different approaches. Translation-oriented text analysis should not only ensure full comprehension and correct interpretation of the text or explain its linguistic and textual structures and their relationship with the system and norms of the source language (SL). It should also provide a reliable foundation for each and every decision which the translator has to make in a particular translation process. For this purpose, it must be integrated into an overall concept of translation that will serve as a permanent frame of reference for the translator. The factors of the communicative situation in which the source text is used are of decisive importance for text analysis

because they determine its communicative function. I call these factors "extraj textual" or "external" factors (as opposed to the "intratextual" or "internal" factors relating to the text itself, including its non-verbal elements). Extratextual factors may, of course, be mentioned, i.e. "verbalized", in the text, and in this case we speak of "metacommunicative utterances". The interplay between extratextual and intratextual factors can be conveniently expressed in the following set of "WH-ques-tions". Depending on their relationship to either the communicative situation or the text itself, these questions can be assigned to the extratextual or intratextual factors of analysis. Who transmits On what subject

matter to whom does s/he say what for what by which medium (what not) where in what order when using which non-verbal elements why in which words a text in what kind of sentences with what function? in which tone to what effect? Extratextual factors are analysed by enquiring about the author or sender of the text (who?), the sender's intention (what for?), the audience the text is directed at (to whom?), the medium or channel the text is communicated by (by which medium?), the place (where?) and time (when?) of text production and text reception, and the motive (why?) for communication. The sum total of information obtained about these seven extratextual factors may provide an answer to the last question, which concerns the function the text can achieve (with what function?).

Intratextual factors are analysed by enquiring about the subject matter the text deals with (on what subject matter?), the information or content presented in the text (what?), the knowledge presuppositions made by the author (what not?), the composition or construction of the text (in what order?), the non-linguistic or paralinguistic elements accompanying the text (using which non-verbal elements?), the lexical characteristics (in which words?) and syntactic structures (in what kind of sentences?) found in the text, and the suprasegmental features of intonation and prosody (in which tone?). The extratextual factors are analysed before reading the text, simply by observing the situation in which the text is used. In this way, the receivers build up a certain expectation as to