Transmission of Ideology through Translation: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Chomsky’s “Media Control” and its Persian Translations

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Islamic Azad University, Bandar Abbas Branch

2 Islamic Azad University, Central Tehran


Among factors that might manipulate translators’ mind while producing a text is the notion of ideology transmission through text or talk. Adopting Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) with particular emphasis on the framework of Van Dijk (1999), the present investigation is an attempt to shed light on the relationship between language and ideology involved in translation in general, and more specifically, to uncover the underlying ideological assumptions invisible in the texts, both source text (ST) and target text (TT), and consequently ascertain whether or not translators’ ideologies are imposed in their translations.
The corpus consists of the full text of two different Persian translations of the book Media Control by Noam Chomsky, written in English. In a qualitative phase, a detailed contrastive/comparative study at the micro-level in terms of fore/back-grounding mechanisms including explanation of lexical items and dominant grammatical metaphors (passive vs. active, nominalization vs. de-nominalization, addition vs. omission, and modalization) was conducted to examine, describe and subsequently interpret the patterns in the English source text and its Persian translated versions. In order to make the research data interpretations as objective as possible, having computed frequencies of ideologically significant instances, and percentages, Chi-square formula was applied to find out any difference between proportions of information extracted from the target text concerning their fore/back-grounding and their positions against the source text as well as to test the research null hypothesis, which was consequently rejected.
The findings reveal that there are significant changes made by the two translators, either intentionally or unintentionally, in their selection of lexical items and syntactic structures in comparison to those in the source text. The findings of the study also show that many distortions or transformations between the original and the two translated versions were not only arbitrary, but also ideologically encoded in the texts, with specific purposes and functions. 


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