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Socio-cultural Contexts in Translation: A Case Study of the Singapore Prime Minister’s Public Speech

Author/Editor: Xu, Yun Susan

Year of publication: 2012

Place of Publication & Publisher: Translation Quarterly 翻譯季刊 (Hong Kong : The Hong Kong Translation Society), 63(2012): 68-96

Publisher URL: http://www.hkts.org.hk/cgi-bin/pub.pl

ISBN/ISSN: ISSN 1027-8559

Publication blurb:

If one were to investigate socio-cultural contexts and their impact on translation strategies and quality of translation in an age of globalization, there is probably no better place to delve into this topic than Singapore. Multilingual texts are an integral part of everyday life in this multi-cultural and multi-racialsociety. This paper enquires into a National Day Rally speech by the Prime Minister of Singapore and analyses its text type, text function and translation. The script and its translation are closely examined and categorized according to their functions and topics. House’s “analytic framework for analysing and comparing original and translation texts”is adopted to examine the sample texts. The theoretical basis of this project is Hallidayan Systemic Functional Grammar. Through a contrastive analysis of the source text and its translation, this paper aims to examine the interconnectedness between the surface-level linguistic descriptions and the socio-cultural context at three levels: genre, register and discourse. It will consider how the socio-cultural contextual values affect the way the translation is being carried out. The paper will end with a discussion of how to use the insights from this study as parameters to explain the phenomenon of translation and assess the quality of translations.

 

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