'The prime minister said...': voices in translated political texts


A variety of texts are translated to fulfil functions for political communication across languages, cultures, and ideologies. For example, newspapers regularly provide quotes of statements by foreign politicians, without explicitly indicating that these politicians were actually speaking in their own languages. Politicians react to statements by other politicians as they were presented to them in translation. Political scientists and other experts often debate the potential political consequences of (the translation of) a statement. This chapter addresses the (in)visibility of translation in political communication and the link between textual profiles of translations and the socio-political contexts in which they are produced. The analyses are conducted from the perspective of Translation Studies. The focus is on institutionalised forms of political discourse, i.e. texts that originate in political or media institutions. The link between translation profiles and the social, institutional, ideological conditions of text production is illustrated with reference to authentic political texts (interviews, speeches by politicians, press conferences), mainly involving English, French and German as source and target languages.



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