Investigating ideology in news features translated for two Italian media

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Series Details Volume 19, Number 2, Pages 185–203
Publication Date 13/11/2018
ISSN 1588-2519
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The paper focuses on the news backgrounder, a sub-genre which has until now received less attention in translation studies. It is a major site of the journalist’s voice and is thus deemed a fertile field for the exploration of subjectivity and ideology in translation. The paper, dealing with the language pair English–Italian, stems from an emblematic context which led to two case studies allowing for interesting comparisons.

The weekly news magazine Internazionale, counting on the collaboration of freelance professional translators and the news website Italiadallestero, supported by volunteer collaboration, are the focus of attention. The two cases share the same interest, i.e., how Italy and Italians are seen through the eyes of the foreign press and both fundamentally rely on translation. Issues of subjectivity and ideology are invariably entailed and conveyed through evaluative language choices.

In order to examine their meaning and effects, the paper makes use of an approach that combines a product- and a context-oriented methodology, the former grounded on a text-focused qualitative analysis within the framework of Appraisal theory (Martin and White 2005), the latter based on interviews with (some of) the agents who were actually involved in the translation process.

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