Page 10 - Translation Journal July 2015
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Father: “What is it son?”
Son: “we’re gonna die?”
Father: “we all will die one day”.


‫چیه پسرم؟‬
‫ما میمیریم؟‬
.‫یه وقتی همه میمیرن‬

The translator has showed an awareness of the intentional selection of highly casual and brief exchanges between the main two
characters, father and son in their encounters. Such concise addressing has been similarly rendered in the target language.

4.3. Mode

The final register variable of the context of situation in Steiner’s model is mode. As mentioned previously, Steiner proposed three subdivisions
for this variable namely language role, channel and medium.

As for the first subdivision, Steiner talked about two language roles: constitutive and ancillary. The former is when the text written is part
of a linguistic activity. And the latter is when the text is part of a non-linguistic activity, as in advertisements.

In the case of the novel studied here, it seems that both ST and TT are of the former type

(constitutive) since the text is a literary work. It is not an advertisement or movie text or the like. The

translated text had nothing but to adhere to this fact and reflect it the same way as it was in the source text.

The next subdivision of mode, in Steiner’s terms is channel of discourse which can be either graphic or phonic. Here in ‘The Road’ we
found that the channel of discourse in both Source text and Translated text was of graphic type, paper type and printed material.

As for the final sub-variable of Mode, Steiner drew attention to medium. Steiner distinguishes between written and spoken medium, of
which the former applied to the ST and TT of the novel ‘The Road’ obviously here.

5. Conclusion

Steiner’s highly detailed model is meant to be used as a tool for pre-translational text analysis and evaluation. The main question he asks
is: Do register variables need to remain unchanged under the process of translation? His answer is that a proper translation requires
that the register remains constant even across the process of translation. In his view, the more register changes, the more the TT will not
represent a translation in the narrower sense (Steiner, 1998).

As the application of Steiner’s model on the Persian translation of McCarthy’s award-winning novel ‘The Road’ showed in this study, we
were mostly confronted with constancy than divergence. There were little mismatches along the main three register variables, Field, Tenor
and Mode and their sub-variables in both ST and TT as our analysis revealed. This attests to the high quality of the
translation made by Hossein Noosh Azar with respect to keeping the register of the translated text as close as possible to that of the
source work.


Baker, M. (1992). In other words: a course book on Translation. London: Routledge.

Gregory, Michael. 2001. What can linguistics learn from translation? In Steiner, E. & Yallop, C. 19-

Hatim, B., & Mason, I. (1990). Discourse and the Translator. London: Longman.

Hatim, B., & Mason, I. (1997). The Translator as Communicator. London: Routledge.

House, J. (1981). A Model for Translation Quality Assessment .2nd edition. Tübingen: Gunter Narr.

House, J. 1997. Translation quality assessment: A model revisited. Tübingen: Gunter Narr.

Manfredi, M. (2012). Translating text and context: translation studies and systemic functional linguistics. Volume 2: from theory to practice.
Bologna: Centro di Studi Linguistico-Culturali (CeSLiC).

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