Computers in the Translation of Literary Style 2020


Computers in the Translation of Literary Style

Roy Youdale 2020

E-Book: 258 pages

Publisher: Routledge

Price: 3000 Toman

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This volume argues for an innovative interdisciplinary approach to the analysis and translation of literary style, based on a mutually supportive combination of traditional close reading and ‘distant’ reading, involving corpus-linguistic analysis and text-visualisation. The book contextualizes this approach within the broader story of the development of computer-assisted translation — including machine translation and the use of CAT tools — and elucidates the ways in which the approach can lead to better informed translations than those based on close reading alone. This study represents the first systematic attempt to use corpus linguistics and text-visualisation in the process of translating individual literary texts, as opposed to comparing and analysing already published originals and their translations. Using the case study of his translation into English of Uruguayan author Mario Benedetti’s 1965 novel Gracías por el Fuego, Youdale showcases how a close and distant reading approach (CDR) enhances the translator’s ability to detect and measure a variety of stylistic features, ranging from sentence length and structure to lexical richness and repetition, both in the source text and in their own draft translation, thus assisting them with the task of revision. The book reflects on the benefits and limitations of a CDR approach, its scalability and broader applicability in translation studies and related disciplines, making this key reading for translators, postgraduate students and scholars in the fields of literary translation, corpus linguistics, corpus stylistics and narratology.


Introduction; Chapter 1. Using computers in literary translation; Chapter 2. Analysing the source text: structure and style; Chapter 3. CDR, translation theory and the attempt to create an ‘English Benedetti’; Chapter 4. Applying the methodology (Part 1): the translation of culture; Chapter 5. Applying the methodology (Part 2): the translation of punctuation; Chapter 6. Applying the methodology (Part 3): comparing source text and draft translation; Chapter 7. Applying the methodology (Part 4): the auto-analysis of translator style; Chapter 8. Conclusions: Assessing the potential of the methodology; References; Appendix 1. Research data; Appendix 2. Translations used for chapter 7; Index


Roy Youdale is a Research Associate in Translation Studies at the University of Bristol, UK, where he completed his PhD in 2017. He is researching the use of corpus linguistics, text visualisation and CAT tools in literary translation and has presented his work at the universities of East Anglia, Manchester and Swansea, and the Link Campus University in Rome. He is also a literary translator from Spanish and has had short story translations accepted for publication in the US and UK.


“[The book] is solid and highly recommended, especially for researchers in translation studies who would consider themselves digital natives. The lacunae in its approach create tantalising opportunities for future research to step forward and produce a broad, methodical study on the use of computers in the translation of literature in general. Youdale’s work has laid the foundation for such research to proceed, which marks it out as a potential game-changer for literary translation studies, and thus, a work of scholarship of the highest value.” – James Hadley, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, Machine Translation

“[This book] is a contribution that will hopefully make even the most “technology-resistant” translation studies scholar dare align their research methods to the a¿ordances of the twenty-¿rst century.”Raluca Tanasescu, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, Translation Studies

“All in all, the scope and depth of this book will offer significant insights for its intended readership who want to gain new and valuable perspectives on the analysis and translation of literary style.” – Jingfeng Zhang, Sanming University, China and Linxin Liang, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China, International Journal of Communicaiton