Books or articles discussing register
Thread poster: Michelle Deeter

Michelle Deeter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:06
Member (2011)
Chinese to English
+ ...
Apr 24, 2012

Dear friends,

I am writing a paper which is commenting on a translation of a webpage on the EU website. It's actually a question and answer article, shown here.

http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/china/travel_to_eu/visa/index_en.htm

I would like to discuss the issue of register. The EU always wants to sound formal, but in the context of documents which are written for the public, it tries to be more accessible. So word choice can differ to be a little bit more understandable. Not familiar but yet not too distant. In general, in EU question-and answer documents it tries to be every so slightly more approachable. And I guess overall this document still sounds extremely formal, but not quite as formal as an actual legal document.

Do you know of any books, researchers, or articles which discuss the issues of tone and register in the context of public institutions? Or just in the context of government/law? I tried to look through the forums, but every time I search the word register it means "sign up" and not "tone."

Thanks in advance,
Michelle


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Eka Adi Nugraha
Local time: 12:06
English to Indonesian
+ ...
articles compilation on translation issues Apr 25, 2012

Register tone or register is quite an issue, which often stressed by many clients, in this profession. I have found a website that provides many articles comprising various topics in translation. I have read one of the articles discussing tone. Although it doesn't discuss register tone in the context of legal and governmental documents, but I hope it will be quite helpful.

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Eka Adi Nugraha
Local time: 12:06
English to Indonesian
+ ...
articles compilation on translation issues Apr 25, 2012

My apology for I forgot to write the web address and, also, you might google using "register tone" as your keyword so that the search engine won't regard it as "register" that means "sign up"

regard.


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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 13:06
Chinese to English
There should be lots... Apr 25, 2012

I feel like I've read a lot on this, but perhaps I've just read around it. I did find this paper, which includes some directly relevant stuff:

A textual comparison of British and American writing
D Biber
http://www.jstor.org/stable/455272

I have access to the journal online, so email me if you want a copy.


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urbom
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:06
German to English
+ ...
There are better places to search than proz Apr 25, 2012

... for that type of information. One place would be the LINGUIST list -- http://linguistlist.org/ (try searching the archive first before signing up to post a question:
http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa?REPORT&z=4&1=LINGUIST&L=LINGUIST )

These days, comparative studies across register and/or text type commonly employ corpus analysis as a methodology. You could ask your lecturer for some introductory materials on corpus linguistics if you're unfamiliar with that field.

Doug Biber (one of whose articles Phil introduced in his post above) is a prominent academic in the field of corpus linguistics. You might find some additional books and articles relevant to your topic in his list of publications: http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/biber/

If you can find a copy of the Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English (1999, ISBN 0582237254), the introductory section contains some discussion of register and variation.

This article may be useful to you not necessarily for the language feature it analyses, but for its methodology section and references.

This paper on a corpus-based analysis of certain features of EU text may be useful.

Here is a chapter comparing "translation procedures" in literary and non-literary (in this case, EU) texts. (Full TOC and title/author/ISBN for book is at http://www.pulib.sk/elpub2/FF/Gibova1/ )

Hope this gets you a little further.



[Edited at 2012-04-25 07:22 GMT]


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Michelle Deeter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:06
Member (2011)
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your help! Apr 26, 2012

Thanks for the book and article recommendations everyone, I've already started reading them and I think they are just what I was looking for.

Take care,
Michelle


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