Explicitation and ideology in media translation: The case of MEMRI


  • Othman Abualadas The University of Jordan-Aqaba




critical discourse analysis; explicitation; ideology; media translation; MEMRI


This article describes some of the socio-political (ideological) factors affecting the use of explicitation. It explores how explicitations are utilized by a media organisation whose translations continue to construct a negative public image of a particular community. Drawing on critical discourse analysis and descriptive and functional models to translation studies, a corpus consisting of 26,000 words from Arabic-English translated news articles published by MEMRI was analyzed. The results reveal a strong tendency in explicitations to maintain the ideological perspective of the original at the micro-textual level, while promoting a religious and cultural Other at the macro-level. Instead of compromising its credibility by using misleading or inaccurate explicitations, MEMRI uses apparently accurate and faithful explicitations in translations strategically selected to accentuate an intended negative image. This casts light on the paradoxical function of explicitation in media translation: while it is assumed to reduce ambiguities and improve cultural understanding at the textual level, it may promote misunderstanding and cultural prejudice at a larger discourse level.