Corporate rhetoric in English and Japanese business reports

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This article presents some findings from an ongoing study of Japanese and English letters to stakeholders – letters from the management in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Reports – and their respective translations. Central aims of the study are to see how this global business genre is realized in these two very different cultural settings and typologically distant languages and to what extent a “cultural filter” (House 1997) is applied in translations under these conditions. For these aims a small corpus of letters to stakeholders is qualitatively and quantitatively examined. The qualitative part will give a general overview of source language interference effects and of the application of the cultural filter in the translations. The quantitative analysis will establish the use and frequency of personal pronouns in the corpus, a method that is used for example in Böttger (2007) to access cultural differences in author-reader interaction.


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