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LINGUIST List 16.1640

Mon May 23 2005

Diss: Text/Corpus Ling: Izwaini: Translation and ...

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        1.    Sattar Izwaini, Translation and The Language of Information Technology

Message 1: Translation and The Language of Information Technology
Date: 23-May-2005
From: Sattar Izwaini <s.izwainiadu.ae>
Subject: Translation and The Language of Information Technology

Institution: University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology
Program: Translation
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2004

Author: Sattar Izwaini

Dissertation Title: Translation and The Language of Information Technology: A Corpus-based Study of the Vocabulary of Information Technology in English and its Translation into Arabic and Swedish

Linguistic Field(s): Text/Corpus Linguistics

Subject Language(s): Arabic, Standard (ABV)
                            English (ENG)
                            Swedish (SWD)

Dissertation Director:
Paul A Bennett

Dissertation Abstract:

The study investigates the translation of the variety of English that is
used in the field of information technology. The designation of Language of
Information Technology (LIT) is proposed to refer to this variety which is
manifested in computer manuals, online help for computer systems and
software, and interfaces of software and web sites. Besides its special
terminology, LIT is characterised by a special kind of linguistic usage
encountered in programs and web sites in the form of menus, messages and
dialog boxes. The translation of software and web sites is nowadays carried
out within what is known as localisation. Localisation involves inter alia
linguistic transference of on-line help, documentation, and interfaces of
software and web sites into the target language (TL) as well as adapting
them to the local culture.

Three corpora have been built specifically for this study for each language
investigated here. The study provides a description of LIT in terms of
lexical collocations, metaphoric use and acronymy. Then it proceeds to
examine the translation into Arabic and Swedish, focusing on the strategies
used by translators to render the vocabulary of LIT. The study identifies
nine strategies that translators usually opt for when translating the
lexical component of LIT into Arabic and Swedish. Translators also use a
combination of more than one strategy to provide equivalents for LIT
lexical items.

Literal and loan translation are used extensively, even to the extent of
producing opaque and odd lexical items. These strategies result in novel
collocations in both Arabic and Swedish. Generally, collocational
restrictions are non-operational and thus TL words tend to combine with no
difficulty. Some verb collocates, especially those of figurative character,
are toned down. Metaphor is translated literally, but also normalised if
there is collocational clash, or the concept or item is not found in the TL

Explicitation is widely used in translating LIT to provide transparent
renditions. Other strategies are borrowing, deletion, expanding and
cultural adaptation. The latter is proposed here to describe the adaptation
of lexical items, especially those of graphical user interfaces, to the TL
culture. Derivation is widely used in translation into Arabic. Translators
tend to take over abbreviations and acronyms in their Latin script into
both TLs, or much less frequently borrow or expand them. Inconsistency of
terminology is one negative outcome of the translation of LIT. The study
provides recommendations to improve translation work within localisation
activities and to unify IT terminology in both TLs.

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