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Joined: 29 May 2012
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 5:50 am
Post subject: Discourse Analysis of written texts.
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I just registered and may have posted this in the wrong section.
I apologize if this is true. Embarassed

I am a student of Applied Linguistics. Hoping to become a translator of technical nature. Now, I have quite a problem here. I have always been fond of the practical part of any translation - searching for whatever I need to produce a translation of good quality, disregarding theoretical knowledge too often.

I need to conduct a discourse analysis of a technical text (have translated it). The problem is, the more I keep reading on the issue of discourse the less clear it is to me. Mostly because discourse analysis seems to be done more in-depth with spoken language.

What I am humbly asking for, is to navigate me, help me understand what issues should I look at when doing DA of a written text? So far, cohesion, coherence, the relevant devices (grammatical, lexical) seem as the proper object of analysis within DA of a written text. Discourse markers I have also looked at. Types of discourse confuse me, I have never been able to understand the connection between discourse and genre/register in terms of written texts.

I am in desperate need of guidance. I can and will read any sources I hope some of you can provide me with, I am not lazy, its just discourse seems quite a vague and hard to comprehend concept.

Thank you in advance!
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Joined: 08 Mar 2012
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Location: Illinois, USA
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 8:01 pm
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From someone inexperienced with discourse analysis, here are three points that might help you, just from my observations from others in my department, etc.

1) Discourse analysis is at least partially about interaction. So in this way it is especially well designed for conversations and interactive text, but you would probably need to approach it in a slightly different way for a one-'speaker' written text. It's not about the medium (you could easily do it for an internet chat conversation, for example), but about the type of discourse.

2) I think styles vary, so you may need to work out your own style in this, especially because your topic is a little unusual.

3) Certainly there may be some "rules" to it, but I think in general for this type of thing, one of the best ways to learn will be to look at examples-- learning hands on will probably be most useful for you.

And that's all the advice I can offer, because this isn't my field. I hope it helps, though. Some of what I said above might even be wrong, but just as general observations I think they shouldn't be too misleading Smile

One of the professors at my university does this with written texts for L2 learners, not for conversations. I didn't track down an exact reference that would help, but here's some information (and maybe you would want to send her an email):
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