• ISSN: 2382-6282 (Print); 2972-3108 (Online)
    • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Lang. Lit. Linguist.
    • Frequency: Bimonthly
    • DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL
    • Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Jason Miin-Hwa Lim
    • Managing Editor:  Jennifer X. Zeng
    • Indexed by:   CNKI, Google Scholar, Crossref,
    • E-mail: ijlll_Editor@126.com
IJLLL 2024 Vol.10(2): 137-141
DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL.2024.10.2.500

Exploring Translator Style Using Word Alignments

Yunxiao Wang
School of English Studies, Shanghai International Studies University, Shanghai, China
Email: yxwang@shisu.edu.cn

Manuscript received November 2, 2023; revised December 10, 2023; accepted December 20, 2023; March 15, 2024

Abstract—How the source text is rendered in the target language reflects a translator’s linguistics choices, which is informative of the translator’s style. Leveraging computational techniques, the present research seeks to explore translator style through word alignments derived from an entire corpus. The text material is two Chinese translations of Virginia Woolf’s novel, Jacob’s Room, by translators Pu Long and Wang Jiaxiang. Using a Transformer-based model, alignments are automatically extracted from parallel texts. A Support Vector Machine classifier is trained to test whether the alignments are indicative of the translators’ styles. Chi-square feature selection is then performed to identify the most distinguishing alignments for closer examination. Results indicate that Wang favours more explicit and literal translations, while Pu utilizes more concise, diverse, and idiomatic expressions. In addition, Wang’s translation is closer to the original, while Pu’s is more distant. This method enables us to provide a wide range of qualitative and quantitative evidence, and also observe differences not readily apparent when examining the target text alone.

Keywords—translator style, word alignment, corpus methodologies, computational linguistics


Cite:Yunxiao Wang, "Exploring Translator Style Using Word Alignments," International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 137-141, 2024.

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