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Dissertation Information

Title: A Study of Idiom Translation from English in the Greek Press Add Dissertation
Author: Despoina Panou Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Degree Awarded: University of Leicester , Applied Linguistics
Completed in:
Linguistic Subfield(s): Translation;
Director(s): Kevin Armstrong
pamela Rogerson-Revell

Abstract: This thesis is devoted to the investigation of translational aspects of
idiomatic meaning. Although plentiful in everyday language, idioms seem to
constitute a particularly intriguing issue for translators primarily due to
their semantic and syntactic idiosyncrasies. The main objective of this
study is to answer two interrelated questions with reference to
English-Greek, namely how idioms are translated and which parameters
influence translators' choices.

More specifically, this thesis aims at examining the translation strategies
employed in the treatment of idioms in the Greek financial press. To this
end, 121 instances of idioms were examined, taken from a 101,202-word
sample of 2009 news material translated into Greek (Source Text: The
Economist newspaper, Target Text: the Sunday edition of Kathimerini
newspaper). A new idiom classification was proposed distinguishing idioms
into inward and outward, the former subdivided into cognitively and
affectively-oriented idioms and the latter into general outward and
business idioms. The results obtained indicate that business idioms
accounted for the biggest percentage in the corpus examined whereas in
terms of idiom-translation strategy, omission was the preferred strategy
for both inward and outward idioms. With respect to the parameters that
influence translators' choices, it was argued that in adhering to idiomatic
meaning, translators were prompted to take into account idiom and
genre-related parameters. On the other hand, syntactic, semantic,
pragmatic, cognitive and genre parameters gained prominance when there was
idiom literalization. Lastly, idiom omission seemed to rely on pragmatic,
cognitive and genre parameters whereas idiom compensation largely depended
on pragmatic and genre ones.

The study concludes with the suggestion that an awareness of idioms'
sensitivity to genre conventions and a realization of the multiplicity of
parameters that affect the choice of idiom-translation strategy are
essential for appropriateness to be met in Greek financial news
translation, bearing consequences for both translation theory and
translator training.