Volume 68, Issue 5
  • ISSN 0521-9744
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9668
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This article explores genre variation and simplification in interpreted language from both comparable (interpreted vs. non-interpreted/non-mediated) and intermodal (interpreted vs. translated) perspectives. It draws on a newly built unidirectional comparable and intermodal corpus named the LegCo+, which features legislative proceedings in the Legislative Council of Hong Kong (including originals and their translations and interpretations from Cantonese to English), as well as original plenary speeches delivered by native English speakers in the UK Parliament. It investigates the variation patterns of four simplification features in three dimensions, namely, standardized type-token ratio (STTR) and list heads for lexical diversity, lexical density for informativeness, and average sentence length for lexical sophistication. It aims to uncover the effects of mediation and genre, as well as their interaction effects on linguistic variation. The results indicate that texts of different mediation statuses and genre categories vary with respect to simplification patterns. From a comparable perspective, interpretations rely on a narrower range of vocabulary than non-interpretations, but they are also more informative, and such informativeness is dependent on genre categories. Intermodally speaking, interpretations exhibit consistent patterns of simplification, indicating a strong modality (or mode of mediation) effect.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Baker, Mona
    1993 “Corpus Linguistics and Translation Studies: Implications and Applications.” InText and Technology: In Honour of John Sinclair, edited byMona Baker, Gill Francis, and Elena Tognini-Bonelli, 233–250. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. 10.1075/z.64.15bak
    https://doi.org/10.1075/z.64.15bak [Google Scholar]
  2. 1996 “Corpus-based Translation Studies: The Challenges That Lie Ahead.” Benjamins Translation Library181: 175–186. 10.1075/btl.18.17bak
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.18.17bak [Google Scholar]
  3. Bernardini, Silvia, Adriano Ferraresi, and Maja Miličević
    2016 “From EPIC to EPTIC – Exploring Simplification in Interpreting and Translation from an Intermodal Perspective.” Target28 (1): 61–86. 10.1075/target.28.1.03ber
    https://doi.org/10.1075/target.28.1.03ber [Google Scholar]
  4. Biber, Douglas
    1988Variation Across Speech and Writing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511621024
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511621024 [Google Scholar]
  5. Blum-Kulka, Shoshana, and Eddie. A. Levenston
    1978 “Universals of Lexical Simplification.” Language Learning28 (2): 399–415. 10.1111/j.1467‑1770.1978.tb00143.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-1770.1978.tb00143.x [Google Scholar]
  6. Chafe, Wallace
    1982 “Integration and Involvement in Speaking, Writing, and Oral Literature.” InSpoken and Written Language: Exploring Orality and Literacy, edited byDeborah Tannen, 35–54. Norwood, NJ: ABLEX Pub. Corp.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Chen, Jiansheng 陳建生 , and Cui Yani 崔亞妮
    2010 “Jiyu yuliaoku de zhongguo zhenfu gongzuobaogao yingyiben cihui tezheng yanjiu” 基於語料庫的中國《政府工作報告》英譯本詞匯特征研究 [A Corpus-based study on lexical features in the English translation of Report on the Work of the Government]. Dangdai waiyu yanjiu當代外語研究 [Contemporary foreign languages studies] 61: 39–43.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Dayter, Daria
    2018 “Describing Lexical Patterns in Simultaneously Interpreted Discourse in a Parallel Aligned Corpus of Russian-English Interpreting (SIREN).” Forum16 (2): 241–264. 10.1075/forum.17004.day
    https://doi.org/10.1075/forum.17004.day [Google Scholar]
  9. De Sutter, Gert, and Marie-Aude Lefer
    2020 “On the Need for a New Research Agenda for Corpus-based Translation Studies: A Multi-methodological, Multifactorial and Interdisciplinary Approach.” Perspectives28 (1): 1–23. 10.1080/0907676X.2019.1611891
    https://doi.org/10.1080/0907676X.2019.1611891 [Google Scholar]
  10. Evert, Stephen, and S. Neumann
    2017 “The Impact of Translation Direction on Characteristics of Translated Texts. A Multivariate Analysis for English and German.” InEmpirical Translation Studies: New Theoretical and Methodological Traditions, edited byGert De Sutter, Isabelle Delaere, and M. A. Lefer, 47–80. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. 10.1515/9783110459586‑003
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110459586-003 [Google Scholar]
  11. Ferraresi, Adriano, Silvia Bernardini, Maja Petrović, and Marie-Aude Lefer
    2018 “Simplified or Not Simplified? The Different Guises of Mediated English at the European Parliament.” Meta63 (3): 717–738. 10.7202/1060170ar
    https://doi.org/10.7202/1060170ar [Google Scholar]
  12. Gibson, James W., Charles R. Gruner, Robert J. Kibler, and Francis J. Kelly
    1966 “A Quantitative Examination of Differences and Similarities in Written and Spoken Messages.” Speech Monographs33 (4): 444–451. 10.1080/03637756609375510
    https://doi.org/10.1080/03637756609375510 [Google Scholar]
  13. Gile, Daniel
    2009Basic Concepts and Models for Interpreter and Translator Training. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. 10.1075/btl.8
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.8 [Google Scholar]
  14. Hu, Kaibao 胡開寶 , and Qing Tao 陶慶
    2010 “Hanying huiyi kouyi yuliaoku de chuangjian yu yingyong yanjiu” 漢英會議口譯語料庫的創建與應用研究 [The compilation and use of the Chinese-English conference interpreting corpus]. Zhongguo fanyi中國翻譯 [Chinese translators journal] 51: 49–56.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Hu, Xianyao, Richard Xiao, and Andrew Hardie
    2016 “How do English Translations Differ from Non-translated English Writings? A Multi-feature Statistical Model for Linguistic Variation Analysis.” Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory15 (2): 347–382. 10.1515/cllt‑2014‑0047
    https://doi.org/10.1515/cllt-2014-0047 [Google Scholar]
  16. Jantunen, Jarmo Harri
    2001 “Synonymity and Lexical Simplification in Translations: A Corpus-based Approach.” Across Languages and Cultures2 (1): 97–112. 10.1556/Acr.2.2001.1.7
    https://doi.org/10.1556/Acr.2.2001.1.7 [Google Scholar]
  17. Kajzer-Wietrzny, Marta
    2012 “Interpreting Universals and Interpreting Style.” Ph.D. diss.Adama Mickiewicza University.
  18. 2015 “Simplification in Interpreting and Translation.” Across Languages and Cultures16 (2): 233–255. 10.1556/084.2015.16.2.5
    https://doi.org/10.1556/084.2015.16.2.5 [Google Scholar]
  19. Kruger, Haidee, and Bertus Van Rooy
    2012 “Register and the Features of Translated Language.” Across Languages and Cultures13 (1): 33–65. 10.1556/Acr.13.2012.1.3
    https://doi.org/10.1556/Acr.13.2012.1.3 [Google Scholar]
  20. 2018 “Register Variation in Written Contact Varieties of English: A Multidimensional Analysis.” English World-Wide39 (2): 214–242. 10.1075/eww.00011.kru
    https://doi.org/10.1075/eww.00011.kru [Google Scholar]
  21. Laviosa, Sara
    1997 “How Comparable can ‘Comparable Corpora’ be?” Target9 (2): 287–317. 10.1075/target.9.2.05lav
    https://doi.org/10.1075/target.9.2.05lav [Google Scholar]
  22. 1998 “Core Patterns of Lexical Use in a Comparable Corpus of English Narrative Prose.” Meta43 (4): 557–570. 10.7202/003425ar
    https://doi.org/10.7202/003425ar [Google Scholar]
  23. 2002Corpus-based Translation Studies: Theory, Findings, Applications (Vol.171). Amsterdam: Rodopi. 10.1163/9789004485907
    https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004485907 [Google Scholar]
  24. Li, Dechao 李德超 , and Kefei Wang 王克非
    2012 “Hanying tongchuan zhong cihui moshi de yuliaoku kaocha” 漢英同傳中詞匯模式的語料庫考察 [A corpus-based study on lexical patterns in simultaneous interpreting from Chinese into English]. Xiandai waiyu現代外語 [Modern foreign languages] 35 (4): 409–415.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Lü, Qianxi, and Junying Liang
    2018 “Is Consecutive Interpreting Easier than Simultaneous Interpreting? – A Corpus-based Study of Lexical Simplification in Interpretation.” Perspectives27 (1): 91–106. 10.1080/0907676X.2018.1498531
    https://doi.org/10.1080/0907676X.2018.1498531 [Google Scholar]
  26. Mauranen, Anna
    2000 “Strange Strings in Translated Language: A Study on Corpora.” InIntercultural Faultlines. Research Models in Translation Studies I. Textual and Cognitive Aspects, edited byMaeve Olohan, 119–141. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Qin, Hongwu 秦洪武 , and Kefei Wang 王克非
    2009 “Jiyu duiying yuliaoku de yingyi hanyu yuyan tezheng fenxi” 基於對應語料庫的英譯漢語言特征分析 [A parallel corpus-based study of Chinese as target language in EC translation]. Waiyu jiaoxue yu yanjiu外語教學與研究 [Foreign language teaching and research] 21: 131–136.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Redeker, Gisela
    1984 “On Differences Between Spoken and Written Language.” Discourse Processes7 (1): 43–55. 10.1080/01638538409544580
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01638538409544580 [Google Scholar]
  29. Russo, Mariachiara, Claudio Bendazzoli, and Annalisa Sandrelli
    2006 “Looking for Lexical Patterns in a Trilingual Corpus of Source and Interpreted Speeches: Extended Analysis of EPIC (European Parliament Interpreting Corpus).” Forum4 (1): 221–254. 10.1075/forum.4.1.10rus
    https://doi.org/10.1075/forum.4.1.10rus [Google Scholar]
  30. Sandrelli, Annalisa, and Claudio Bendazzoli
    2005 “Lexical Patterns in Simultaneous Interpreting: A Preliminary Investigation of EPIC (European Parliament Interpreting Corpus).” InProceedings from the Corpus Linguistics Conference, 1–18. Birmingham: University of Birmingham.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Sandrelli, Annalisa, Claudio Bendazzoli, and Mariachiara Russo
    2010 “European Parliament Interpreting Corpus (EPIC): Methodological Issues and Preliminary Results on Lexical Patterns in Simultaneous Interpreting.” International Journal of Translation221: 165–203.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Schmid, Helmut
    1994 TreeTagger – A Language Independent Part-of-Speech Tagger. www.ims.uni-stuttgart.de/projekte/corplex/TreeTagger/
  33. Scott, Michael
    2012 WordSmith Tools (Version 6) [Computer software]. Lexical Analysis Software. https://lexically.net/wordsmith/downloads/
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Shlesinger, Miriam
    1989 “Simultaneous Interpretation as a Factor in Effecting Shifts in the Position of Texts on the Oral-Literate Continuum.” Ph.D. diss., Tel Aviv University.
  35. 1995 “Shifts in Cohesion in Simultaneous Interpreting.” The Translator1 (2): 193–214. 10.1080/13556509.1995.10798957
    https://doi.org/10.1080/13556509.1995.10798957 [Google Scholar]
  36. 2008 “Towards a Definition of Interpretese: An Intermodal, Corpus-based Study.” InEfforts and Models in Interpreting and Translation Research: A Tribute to Daniel Gile, edited byHansen, Gyde, Andrew Chesterman, and Heidrun G. Arbogast, 237–253. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. 10.1075/btl.80.18shl
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.80.18shl [Google Scholar]
  37. Shlesinger, Miriam, and Noam Ordan
    2012 “More Spoken or More Translated?: Exploring a Known Unknown of Simultaneous Interpreting.” Target24 (1): 43–60. 10.1075/target.24.1.04shl
    https://doi.org/10.1075/target.24.1.04shl [Google Scholar]
  38. Williams, Donna A.
    2005 “Recurrent Features of Translation in Canada: A Corpus-based Study.” PhD diss., University of Ottawa.
  39. Xiao, Richard
    2010 “How Different is Translated Chinese from Native Chinese?: A Corpus-based Study of Translation Universals.” International Journal of Corpus Linguistics15 (1): 5–35. 10.1075/ijcl.15.1.01xia
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ijcl.15.1.01xia [Google Scholar]
  40. Xiao, Richard, and Ming Yue
    2009 “Using Corpora in Translation Studies: The State of the Art.” InContemporary Corpus Linguistics, edited byPaul Baker, 237–262. London: Continuum.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Xiao, Richard, and Guangrong Dai
    2014 “Lexical and Grammatical Properties of Translational Chinese: Translation Universal Hypotheses Reevaluated from the Chinese Perspective.” Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory10 (1): 11–55. 10.1515/cllt‑2013‑0016
    https://doi.org/10.1515/cllt-2013-0016 [Google Scholar]
  42. Xiao, Richard, and Xianyao Hu
    2015 “The Features of Translational Chinese and Translation Universals.” InCorpus-based Studies of Translational Chinese in English-Chinese Translation, edited byRichard Xiao, and Xianyao Hu, 157–167. Berlin: Springer. 10.1007/978‑3‑642‑41363‑6_8
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-41363-6_8 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error