Translation under pressure and the web: A parallel corpus-study of Obama's inaugural speech in the online media

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During the last decade, the effects of time pressure in translation have been studied from an empirical-experimental approach (Jensen, 1999, 2000; De Rooze, 2003, 2008; Sharmin, Spakov, Räihä, and Jakobsen, 2008). At the same time, the immediacy of the WWW has contributed increasing time pressures for some translation processes, especially those associated with web digital genres. This paper researches this issue following a product-based corpus methodology: in the twelve hours after President Obama's inaugural speech, a parallel corpus of ten different translations into Spanish was collected from online media outlets around the world. The analysis concentrates on the effects on quality through a combination of error-based metrics and a corpus-based analysis of creativity. The results were later contrasted with the empirical process-oriented data from professional translators obtained by De Rooze (2003). Despite the difficulties in inferring cognitive processing from translation products, the objective of this analysis is to attempt to map certain features of translations under pressure that might appear in actual published translations, thus shedding some light into strategies and procedures in the professional world to deal with time pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-76
Number of pages21
JournalTranslation and Interpreting
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


  • Corpus-based translation studies
  • Journalistic translation
  • Translation under pressure

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