LINGUIST List 14.69

Thu Jan 9 2003

Diss: Translation: Smith "The Translation of..."

Editor for this issue: Karolina Owczarzak <>


  1. karen, Translation: Smith "The Translation of Advertising..."

Message 1: Translation: Smith "The Translation of Advertising..."

Date: Tue, 07 Jan 2003 12:56:21 +0000
From: karen <>
Subject: Translation: Smith "The Translation of Advertising..."

New Dissertation Abstract

Institution: University of Sheffield
Program: Russian and Slavonic Studies
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2002

Author: Karen Smith 

Dissertation Title: 
The Translation of Advertising Texts: A Study of English-Language
Printed Advertisements and their Translations in Russian

Linguistic Field: Translation

Subject Language: Russian

Dissertation Director 1: Nigel Gotteri
Dissertation Director 2: Tim Lewis

Dissertation Abstract: 

Since the end of Communism, adverts for Western products have been
flooding onto the Russian market. These have undergone translation,
with strategies ranging from complete transference of the source text
into the target culture, to the creation of new texts based on
advertisers' briefs. The choice of strategy, it appears, is dependent
on the power balance between the agents of translation, including not
only translators, but advertisers, designers, governments, text
receivers and on the cultural, historical and economic situation in
which the translation takes place. This thesis suggests advertisement
translation be considered in terms of power, culture and history. A
postcolonial framework is used to set out changes in translation
strategy, emphasize the role of power differentials and make
predictions for practice. The empirical research centres on the
absorption of the 'dominant's'culture into that of the 'subjugated',
and focuses on the interaction of 'foreign' and 'native' elements
in these translated adverts. A parallel corpus of contemporary English
adverts, their translated Russian pairs, and a control corpus of
native Russian adverts provide the research data. A taxonomy of
rhetorical figures employed in advertising headlines is constructed
and their translation investigated, highlighting rhetorical trends,
and instances where translators have been hindered by advertisers. The
visibility of the linguistic Other is examined with reference to
loanwords, loan meanings, calques and word formation; and two case
studies relating to colour terms and names. Finally, the power
relations between companies, customers and intermediaries are
discussed in light of their portrayal in the translated adverts. The
results show that contemporary Russian advertising is a mixture of
'foreign' and 'native'; and demonstrates the necessity of giving
translators the power their expert status deserves if translated
adverts are to persuade the target audience.
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