The “Dead Body” Approach

The ‘dead body’ approach. Not much is really said about the use of corpora in translation amongst the majority of practitioners. Why? Well, before a discussion is begun then it might be good to briefly describe this approach. The ‘dead body’ being referred to here is the ‘corpus’ or ‘body of text’. This tool is well-known in academia, but not really commonly used by most translators. The corpus is basically a large collection of real life data and stored in electronic form. It’s running text and not individual words. The point? Well, by using a corpus or rather searching through a corpus one can gain access to authentic examples of native language in use. For the translator the corpus can give us interesting information about the collocations that go with a particular phrase as well as what kind of set phrases function in a given domain, field or genre, whether it’s business, finance, law, fiction or whatever.

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