1887
Volume 33, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1461-0213
  • E-ISSN: 1570-5595

Abstract

Abstract

When a newsmaker (i.e., a newsworthy subject) is speaking or being spoken about in a foreign language, quoting requires translation. In such “translingual quoting” (Haapanen, 2017), it is not only the content of the speech but also its translatability that determines newsworthiness. While news media in some countries prefer indirect quotation, Japanese media favor direct quotes (Matsushita, 2019). This practice yields relatively clear source text (ST)-target text (TT) relationships in translingual quoting, especially when a political speech is directly quoted by newspapers, offering abundant data for news translation research (Matsushita, 2013201420152019). However, this research approach has been challenged by the rise of a public figure known for making headlines with his extemporaneous remarks: US President Donald J. Trump. Translingual quoting of Trump in the non-English media has proven at times a “nearly impossible quest” (Lichfield, 2016) because of the unique features of his utterances, such as unorthodox word choices, run-on sentences and disjointed syntax (Viennot, 2016). This difficulty is heightened for Japanese newspapers, which uphold a longstanding journalistic standard of reporting speech as faithfully as possible, even in the case of translingual quoting (Matsushita, 2019). Against this backdrop, this article examines the often-conflicting relationship between “quotability” and “translatability” by analyzing how Japanese newspaper articles have quoted Donald Trump and his predecessor, Barack Obama, through comparison of original speeches and news texts produced by Japanese newspapers. The comparison shows that institutional conventions of Japanese newspaper companies regarding direct quotes are frequently neglected by the journalists trans-quoting Trump (e.g., changed to indirect quotes or reproduced less faithfully), leading to marked differences in the textual portrayals of the newsmakers in terms of eloquence and assertiveness.

Available under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license.
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2020-10-07
2020-11-26
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): direct quotes , Japanese newspapers , news translation , political speeches and US President
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