Challenges of Journalistic Translation

Challenges of Journalistic Translation


It’s no secret that the field of translation, like any other field, has several branches, e.g. legal translation, technical translation, medical translation, and many other areas. In this article, we discuss one of the most critical branches of translation, which is journalistic translation. Media and translation have become two inseparable disciplines in the current globalization, playing an essential role in international news reporting. Not only do they convey information to the reader, but also they facilitate the influx of this information. Translators are therefore a key element at any media organization, e.g. global news agencies, for effective communication. However, media translation has been ignored in translation studies. News translation is a fairly modern branch, however, they are performed by newspapers in different countries.

Thanks to translation, the press reaches too many readers, and translated news shapes the readers’ opinions, greatly influencing the way they view the world around them. Furthermore, bearing in mind the range of topics and events published by newspapers and magazines, it is indeed a difficult task for the true translator. The journalistic discourse is a special linguistic phenomenon involving certain special criteria and reflecting different aspects such as social, cultural, political, and ideological aspects. Journalists write stories with structure, order, point of view, and values that should be conveyed to another language.

The press release and its characteristics

First of all, let’s define the press release: it is a continuum of a particular linguistic phenomenon that requires specific criteria and is reflected in social, cultural, political, and ideological aspects. It is, therefore, a specialized speech, the translation of which poses a real challenge for the translator. In this regard, the article deals with the translation of the press address with a focus on conveyance strategies. In fact, news translations can be risky when they rely on media authority that should be respected. Moreover, they are often politically oriented.

Language is an effective social phenomenon that is used to express our feelings, ideas, and experiences. What gives language rhetorical power is the social and cultural context from which it emanates. Language and speech are therefore closely linked; as the language gives names to categories, thus helping to define their boundaries and relationships, and allows for the repetition and writing of these names, thus contributing to the apparent reality of these groups and their currency.

News reports go through a series of production processes involving journalists, correspondents, editors, translators, and editors before reaching readers. All these intermediaries must comply with the regulations and policies adopted by their organizations. From the beginning of the process, i.e. news collecting, to the final stage of news publishing, the mediators referred to make their decisions according to regulatory constraints. Thus, news reports rarely reach the public in their original form; but rather they undergo a transformation. News does not come in a void, but in a social context with structure and responsibility. Producers of news texts take into account the common knowledge and values of the organization as well as the society in which they operate.

News Translation

News translation is of a different nature and is often discussed in translation studies. Some researchers have even sought to find a name for this field of translation. News translation practices are largely determined by the expectations of target readers and time constraints. The main objective of news production and translation is to provide readers with an update without compromising the validity of news content. In doing so, great importance should be given to the expectations of readers from different communities.  News stories should, therefore, be rewritten before being passed on to target readers in another community according to the requirements of cultural impact. During this process, different transformational strategies such as addition, omission, and summarization are adopted in order to meet the cultural traditions of the target readers.