Translation practices at the European Central Bank with reference to metaphors

  • Luciana Tcaciuc

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    The European Union institutions represent a complex setting and a specific case of institutional translation. The European Central Bank (ECB) is a particular context as the documents translated belong to the field of economics and, thus, contain many specialised
    terms and neologisms that pose challenges to translators. This study aims to investigate the translation practices at the ECB, and to analyse their effects on the translated texts. In order to illustrate the way texts are translated at the ECB, the thesis will focus on metaphorical expressions and the conceptual metaphors by which they are sanctioned. Metaphor is often associated with literature and less with specialised
    texts. However, according to Lakoff and Johnson’s (1980) conceptual metaphor theory, our conceptual system is fundamentally metaphorical in nature and metaphors are pervasive
    elements of thought and speech. The corpus compiled comprises economic documents translated at the ECB, mainly from English into Romanian. Using corpus analysis, the most salient metaphorical expressions were identified in the source and target texts and explained with reference to the main conceptual metaphors. Translation strategies are discussed on the basis of a comparison of the source and target texts. The text-based analysis is complemented by questionnaires distributed to translators, which give insights into the institution’s translation practices. As translation is an institutional process, translators have to follow certain guidelines and practices; these are discussed with reference to translators’
    agency. A gap was identified in the field of institutional translation. The translation process in the EU
    institutions has been insufficiently explored, especially regarding the new languages of the European Union. By combining the analysis of the institutional practices, the texts produced in the institution and the translators’ work (by the questionnaires distributed to translators), this thesis intends to bring a contribution to institutional translation and metaphor translation, particularly regarding a new EU language, Romanian.
    Date of Award2013
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorChristina G Schaeffner (Supervisor)


    • institutional translation
    • European Union
    • European Central Bank
    • conceptual metaphor theory
    • Romanian

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