A corpus-based study of stance-taking as seen from critical points in interpreted political discourse

Binhua Wang, Dezheng Feng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Interpreted political discourse has remained underexplored in spite of the significant role played by interpreting in the recontextualisation of political discourse across languages and cultures. The present study, based on a corpus of interpreted political discourse from China, explores how the stance of the Chinese government is interpreted from Chinese to English. The parallel bilingual corpus comprises 15 transcribed press conferences of two Chinese premiers from 1998 to 2012 that were interpreted into English by seven institutional interpreters. High-frequency keywords are identified with corpus tools and patterns of their translation are analysed. The framework of stance-taking is used to discuss ‘critical points’ in interpreting and to reveal the way in which ideology is decontextualized. It is found that the interpreters’ lexical choices reflect the government’s attitude and stance on various political and social issues. The investigation of critical points in interpreting (and translation) can provide valuable insights into a nation’s stance, which might not be achieved by looking at the monolingual text alone. The study may also inform empirical approaches to critical translation studies, which integrates the methodological strengths of critical discourse analysis and descriptive translation studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-260
Number of pages15
JournalPerspectives: Studies in Translatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2018


  • corpus-based study
  • critical points in translation
  • interpreted political discourse
  • stance-taking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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