What happens to the language fingerprints of the original work when it is translated into another language?

This project looks at the ways that English translations of foreign-language texts literature diverge from original English literature at the morpho-syntactic level and examines both the sources and the impact of those divergences. The project aims to identify the most distinguishing syntactic traits (e.g. part-of-speech tagging, mean sentence length, number of clauses, number of pronouns, etc.) for individual languages. By identifying a translator’s signal, relative to original author and genre, we can explore further the formal literary affordances that the translation process entails for each language. While the project is currently centered on Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish, the group welcomes collaborators working with other languages.

Found in Translation is a project of the Literary Lab.