A study of idiom translation from English in the Greek press
thesisposted on 06.12.2013, 10:01 by Despoina Panou
This thesis is devoted to the investigation of translational aspects of idiomatic meaning. Although plentiful in everyday language, idioms seem to constitute a particularly intriguing issue for translators primarily due to their semantic and syntactic idiosyncrasies. The main objective of this study is to answer two interrelated questions with reference to English-Greek, namely how idioms are translated and which parameters influence translators’ choices. More specifically, this thesis aims at examining the translation strategies employed in the treatment of idioms in the Greek financial press. To this end, 121 instances of idioms were examined, taken from a 101,202-word sample of 2009 news material translated into Greek (Source Text: The Economist newspaper, Target Text: the Sunday edition of Kathimerini newspaper). A new idiom classification was proposed distinguishing idioms into inward and outward, the former subdivided into cognitively and affectively-oriented idioms and the latter into general outward and business idioms. The results obtained indicate that business idioms accounted for the biggest percentage in the corpus examined whereas in terms of idiom-translation strategy, omission was the preferred strategy for both inward and outward idioms. With respect to the parameters that influence translators’ choices, it was argued that in adhering to idiomatic meaning, translators were prompted to take into account idiom and genre-related parameters. On the other hand, syntactic, semantic, pragmatic, cognitive and genre parameters gained prominance when there was idiom literalization. Lastly, idiom omission seemed to rely on pragmatic, cognitive and genre parameters whereas idiom compensation largely depended on pragmatic and genre ones. The study concludes with the suggestion that an awareness of idioms’ sensitivity to genre conventions and a realization of the multiplicity of parameters that affect the choice of idiom-translation strategy are essential for appropriateness to be met in Greek financial news translation, bearing consequences for both translation theory and translator training.