Discourse Analysis and Translation Studies
  • ISSN 1932-2798
  • E-ISSN: 1876-2700
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This paper presents the results of a study on the use of the Dutch modal particles (MPs) maar and wel and their translation equivalents in a translation corpus containing both Dutch-English (DU-EN) and English-Dutch (EN-DU) texts. Although a number of linguistic studies has dealt with modal particles, an in-depth translation approach is still missing. Our first aim is to detemine frequency of use from the corpus; the results point to some remarkable differences in the behavior of the MPs maar and wel in DU-EN and EN-DU target texts and in fiction versus non-fiction. These results can be evaluated against the background of an established hypothesis of translation behavior, the Unique Items Hypothesis (Tirkkonen-Condit 2004), which is relevant in the context of the translation of Dutch MPs into English. The second aim is to present an in-depth analysis of the translation of the MP wel in a number of contexts in order to determine: 1) whether the English equivalents confirm our intuition regarding the category-internal meaning variations of MP wel depending on its context of use (these meaning variations have not been sufficiently dealt with in the literature on wel; and 2) whether there are differences in the use of the English equivalents of MP wel in the DU-EN and EN-DU subcorpora


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