The Mediation of Reader Involvement in Soft News Transediting

Guang-hui Lu, Ya-mei Chen

Abstract


Soft news is primarily aimed at entertaining readers or evoking their responses, with the informative function being secondary. In order to adequately achieve its main functions and maximise communication efficiency, soft news must efficiently invite and engage its intended readers. On that account, when a soft news item is transedited into another language, the reader involvement initially constructed in the original news need to be appropriately adjusted for the target readers. Accordingly, this paper, utilising Nord‘s (1997) model of translation-oriented text functions as a theoretical framework, investigates a case study on English-Chinese soft news transediting conducted at the China Times in Taiwan (1) to compare the source and target text functions, and (2) to explore how the original reader involvement is mediated in the transedited news through various engagement expressions under the guidance of the target text functions. The results indicate that while the original reader involvement was generally retained in the target headlines, it was changed considerably in the main body part of the target news. The distance between the texts and readers was generally made closer in the transedited versions (1) with the addition of Deny and Counter resources to achieve the appellative function, and (2) with the replacement of Acknowledge expressions by those of Endorse to highlight the expressive function.


Keywords


soft news transediting; mediation; writer-reader interactions; text functions; engagement resources

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