Misrepresentation and Construction of Meaning in Translation of News Texts in the Context of Conflict and Intervention: the Application of Systemic-Functional Linguistics

Skorokhod, Olena (2015) Misrepresentation and Construction of Meaning in Translation of News Texts in the Context of Conflict and Intervention: the Application of Systemic-Functional Linguistics. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

This study presents an analysis of misrepresentation and construction of meaning in the
translation of news texts in the English and Russian news media. The texts analysed are
published online by the U.S. and Russian media. They discuss events in contexts of sociopolitical
instability, military conflict and intervention, including: military intervention in
Georgia (2008), humanitarian intervention and socio-political instability in Somalia (2011
and 2012) and military conflict as well as socio-political instability in Afghanistan (2010
and 2012).
This research has three main aims. The first is to examine the ways in which ideological
representation is (re-)constructed in the shift between source/s and translated news texts.
This is conducted through the analysis of individual linguistic choices. The second and
overlapping aim is to investigate the relationship between translated target news texts and
their potential source texts in the context of the issue of source-target relationship in the
area of news translation. The final aim is to assess the applicability of Systemic-Functional
Linguistics (SFL) to translated Russian news texts in contrast to their potential sources.
This is in order to analyse the ideology of representation constructed in translated Russian
news texts and examine cases of misrepresentation of sources.
This thesis discusses the production of global media in the context of conflict as well as
strategies of news media production. Key categories and components of the theory of SFL
are discussed in order to suggest an adaptation of the SFL model of analysis which can be
applied to the corpus of the news texts and their translations in the online media. These key
categories include: thematic and transitivity structure, modality and context. The SFL
model is applied to the textual analysis of news texts in the form of case studies in order to
examine individual linguistic choices – choices of lexicogrammar in the immediate
linguistic as well as a wider socio-political context. Choices of lexicogrammar are
interpreted with regard to the particular socio-political context of each political or military
event discussed. Six stages of analysis are identified: structure analysis, context analysis,
thematic structure analysis, transitivity structure analysis, modality and
interpretation/evaluation of results. The analysis is applied to a corpus of twenty news texts
drawn from the online media.
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The results of the analysis indicate that SFL can be applied effectively to the analysis of
translated news texts and their potential sources, in English as well as in Russian. The
results also show that potential sources are often misrepresented. The suggestion arising
from this is that both the question of source-target relationship and the issue of equivalence
in news translation, although problematic, may be successfully investigated, in contrast to
what has previously been suggested in the area of news translation analysis. The study
indicates that there are differences in the constructed ideologies of both representation and
meanings in the analysed news texts. The general conclusion of the analysis with regard to
constructed ideologies of representation is that national interests, existing stereotypes,
policies and practices are reinforced through translation.
In the context of news translation the study addresses and illustrates a range of relevant and
problematic issues. It also adds to the research related to contexts of political discourse by
analysing three contexts of conflict and intervention. The current situation of instability in
the region and Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine (similar to the one in Georgia in
2008) contribute to the topicality and importance of the questions of representation and
construction of meaning through translation in the media presented in this research. The
results of the analysis indicate the need for further research based on a larger corpus of
news texts. It is also suggested that further analysis may incorporate the readers’ response
as a criterion for evaluation of constructed ideology of representation in the respective
contexts of news production.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
Depositing User: Vailele Chittock
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2016 12:10
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2016 12:10
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/56885
DOI:

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