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The Linguistic and Discursive Construction of Gender and Sexuality in the Translation of English Texts
Barbara Majcenovič Kline, 2016, master's thesis

Abstract: Studies show that our ideas of gender and sexuality are closely linked with the language that is used to define and describe these two notions. It has been further proven that there is a very close relationship between issues related to sexuality and concepts such as gender, (political) power, exploitation, supremacy and mobbing, to name but a few. Social, cultural, political, historical and other discussions regarding questions such as what sexuality is and what is permissible, acceptable and even “normal”, are inevitably part of linguistic discourse. In this MA thesis I thus research and analyze the complexity and multifacetedness of the relationship between language, discourse, gender and sexuality in the translations of English texts. I focus on the translations of texts which could be considered ambiguous in regards to expressing gender. This refers to the co-dependence between the source text, male or female translator and culture, as well as the broader circumstances that influence the translation or target text. In the first part of the thesis I focus on the theoretical background and critical insights into the relationships between language, gender and sexuality. The next stage comprises a comparison of English texts from various media sources (classical and electronic) on both linguistic and discursive levels, with the translations of these texts into Slovene, Croatian and German provided by future translators. The second part of the thesis, the research, comprises two parts: first, I am interested in how these texts and their translations are dealt with by the students – future translators – from four faculties in Maribor, Graz, Zagreb and Split. I am further interested in the level of the respondents’ awareness regarding the appropriate use of politically correct expressions, which I assume they are able to use accordingly in their translations. The second part of the research presents data collected based on the questionnaire, which was answered by future translators immediately after completion of the survey. Since the students come from different backgrounds, I am mostly interested in the reasons and possible factors that have influenced their translation choices (of individual words, expressions (terms), phrases, etc.). There are two general assumptions based on the literature review and the analysis of the translations and answers to the questionnaires provided by the future translators. The first one refers to the target text – translation – which, in most cases, depends on the current culture, social environment and time period. The emphasis is placed on the co-dependence between the source text, translator (male or female) as well as culture and other broader background circumstances which influence the translation or the target text. This assumption emphasizes the importance of translators possessing a high level of knowledge and intercultural awareness. The latter was noticable in the translations under research, yet we are still, as regards politically correct expressions, in the process of introducing norms and guidelines on a higher, state level, which might be later generally applied. The second general assumption refers to cultural, social, political, historical and ideological paradigms which annul the ideal of a translation as embodying or reflecting neutral, impartial linguistic and discursive text fidelity. From the translations into three languages, I was able to establish that there are no ideal translations. Furthermore, it was extremely difficult to find gender neutral translations, because of the differences between the three languages analyzed in the study, which would fulfill expectations in the three culturally and politically different cultures according to their individual ideological guidelines. We also have to be aware of the rapid degree of globalization, progress and change which create differences and shape new rules, rendering the old ones obsolete.
Keywords: gender, sexuality, language, discourse, translation, political correctness
Published in DKUM: 11.08.2016; Views: 1841; Downloads: 167
.pdf Full text (5,15 MB)

An Analysis of Language and Gestures in Political Discourse
Aleksandra Premužič, 2016, master's thesis

Abstract: Politicians have always used language accompanied by gestures to convince people that they are the best to lead them. The main aim of this thesis is to examine how verbal and nonverbal elements are connected in political discourse. More precisely, the study presented in the thesis examines how language and gestures are used by President Barack Obama and Borut Pahor and compare their use of gestures in their speeches. In the theoretical part we deal with verbal communication, nonverbal communication, rhetoric, gestures, political discourse and personalities of the president Pahor and the president Obama. The study that follows contains an analysis of two videos of Borut Pahor and two of Barack Obama. Screen shots from the video were made to see which gestures they use in different speeches. In total 16 gestures were examined for each video and for each of the gesture we noted what presidents were saying and which persuasive appeals of rhetoric they were using. The analysis shows that when President Obama and Pahor talk about similar topics they use similar gestures. The analysis also shows that gestures used in their speeches accompany all three lines of argument in rhetoric: ethos and pathos and also logos.
Keywords: Key words: gestures, language, political discourse, Borut Pahor, Barack Obama
Published in DKUM: 21.03.2016; Views: 2480; Downloads: 244
.pdf Full text (2,15 MB)

Monika Mešnjak, 2012, undergraduate thesis

Abstract: Nowadays, research on political speeches has become an important subject of linguistic studies. Discourse presents a language above the sentence or above the clause. Functional approach to discourse analysis is an effective way of determining the basic characteristics of political speech. Its purpose is to perceive language as a social practice. Language users do not function in isolation, but rather in a set of cultural, social, and psychological composition. Therefore discourse analysis must focus on how politicians think and consequently design their speech. In order to achieve this, metafunctions of language must be determined, as well as other functional components, which together combine the systemic functional linguistics. Political speeches are also known for their use of figures of speech, such as euphemisms, substitution, and metaphors, and other devices of language structures, for instance cohesion, the rule of three, and parallelism. This is why discourse analysis is a useful tool for translators and interpretors. Translating political speech is an important, even crucial part of spreading the discourse across individual language barriers, making it available to international audiences, giving it greater power and influence, and thus reaching more people.
Keywords: political speech, discourse analysis, process, metafunctions, translation
Published in DKUM: 17.09.2012; Views: 2445; Downloads: 169
.pdf Full text (1,19 MB)

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