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Translation Studies in the New Millennium: Volume 5 (2007)

Semiotics and the Translation of News Headlines:
Making an Image of the Other

Khalid Al-Shehari
Sana’a University, YEMEN
kshehari@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT

This paper aims to explore how certain ideologies can be signaled through the translation of news headlines. The main objective is to investigate the strategies used by an international Arab news producer (aljazeera.net) to translate into English news stories published originally in Arabic on its website. Given that readers of the target texts have different ideologies and expectations from those of the source texts’ readers, news stories will more than likely go through some modifications when translated. Publishers of news also have ideological attitudes that can be expressed through the production and translation of news stories.

The paper introduces semiotics as a tool of analysis of some key notions such as signification, myth, and syntagms and paradigms, and shows how these notions can help uncover the hidden and ideologically-motivated meanings of any particular text. A thorough analysis is then applied to a corpus collected from aljazeera.net, which comprises news headlines published in Arabic about Yemen during 2005 along with their English versions. During the year 2005, Yemen witnessed the occurrence of a number of events that had a significant influence on its political history. This paper attempts to demonstrate how an image of Yemen is introduced via mass media and how such an image is transferred to the speakers of English via translation.

KEYWORDS
Aljazeera, news headlines, semiotics, Arabic-English, Yemen

Lily Briscoe’s “Chinese Eyes”:
The Reading of Difference in Translated Fiction

Leo Chan-Tak-Hung
Lingnan University, CHINA
chanleo@ln.edu.hk

ABSTRACT

Since the eighties, translation scholars have increasingly turned to “differences” rather than similarities between the original and the translation. More important than the mere existence of these differences is the fact that they are experienced by the reader. Reading a translation can be characterized as a “border-crossing experience” in that the reader moves back and forth between two semiotic realms, one familiar, the other strange.

My paper will take as its starting point the repeated references in Virginia Woolf’s masterpiece To the Lighthouse to its central character Lily Briscoe’s “Chinese eyes.” That the Chinese reader of the translation should feel uncomfortable because Lily’s “Chinese eyes” are said to be the main obstacle to her finding a husband is symptomatic of a more general problem concerning readers’ reception of translated realist fiction. As a literary method, realism can be understood as a self-conscious effort to make literature appear to be describing directly not some other language but reality itself. Unfortunately, by their very nature, translations call attention to the target language in addition to describing a reality. In the case of Virginia Woolf’s biased reference to “Chinese eyes,” we have an interesting instance of how the reader’s sympathetic identification with the characters (encouraged by the language used—Chinese in this case) can be suddenly shattered when his attention is drawn to an unpleasant feature he, as a Chinese person, possesses. The crux of the problem lies in the fact that in translations, one language is used to capture the reality normally expressed by another. Is there reality beyond language? Can reality exist outside of language?

KEYWORDS
Translated fiction, difference, the Other, foreignness, reader response, footnotes, interpretation, decoding, alienation, textual pleasure

Breaking the Code not the Habit:
The Impact of the Unconventional Use of Language in Translated Texts

Pernilla Danielsson
University of Birmingham, UK
a.p.danielsson@bham.ac.uk

ABSTRACT

This article presents a corpus-based study...
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