Lithuanian Literature in English: A Corpus-Based Approach Towards Translation of Author-Specific Neologisms


Jurgita Vaičenonienė (Vytautas Magnus University)

Translation of literature plays a crucial role in enhancing cross-cultural understanding and communication. Literary works can be the first acquaintance with a culture different from one’s own. It is in the interest of a country not only to translate and spread its literary heritage worldwide, but also to inquire whether a translation represents adequately what was meant in the original. Parallel corpus and corpus-based methods can be seen as a way to analyze how Lithuanian literature is translated into English. Ongoing research in the field of Descriptive Translation Studies has concentrated on the features that pervade translated texts and possible reasons for that (Toury 1995; Baker 1993). One such proposed feature of translation is the law of growing standardization, seen as a tendency to modify textual relations of the original text in favour of more habitual options for target repertoire (Toury, 1995: 268). The feature is assumed to be especially prevalent in minor-to-dominant languages’ translation direction. The aim of the presentation is to investigate whether lexical standardization is a dominant feature of translation in the specially compiled parallel corpus of Lithuanian-English prose works consisting of 1,7 million words. The object of the research is author-specific neologisms – stylistically marked, occasional and contextually dependant lexical items in literary texts. Corpus-based methods, qualitative and quantitative analyses of the data reveal that although standardization dominates the translation of author-specific neologisms, it is not the only approach; cases of creative translation of the data occur.

Keyword: Vaicenoniene

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