Page 5 - Translation Journal July 2015
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itional elements which made it particularly fit for translations (Manfredi, 2012).
Steiner began with the assumption that all texts are situated language. By ‘situated’ he meant being manifestations of a language
system under contextual restrictions. He did not view texts as strings of sentences from some idealized language system, but instead as
instances of language varieties which are determined by the context of situation (Manfredi, 2012).
Steiner’s register theory is a theory of the context of situation and of linguistic variation in such contexts. This theory was found to be
particularly useful in offering a theoretically motivated model to the practical analysis of a source text and the evaluation of a translated
text. It was able to connect language, text and context.
1.2. Steiner’s tripartite model:
In his model, each register variable i.e., Field, Tenor and Mode is divided into 3 sub-variables. Examine figure 1:

Figure 1- Steiner’s model of register analysis (Steiner, 2004)
1.2.1. Field
Three internal aspects are conceived of for the Field of discourse: experiential domain, goal orientation, and social activity.
Experiential domain is actually the subject matter or topic of discourse. In translated texts it is better to talk about domains rather than
domain since there are many involved which need to be recognized by translator. The most typical linguistic that is morphosyntactic
realizations are:

• transitivity of clauses
• types of participants
• lexical fields
• terminologies
• cohesive lexical chains
• time / tense / aspect features
• aspects of reference
• headings/ titles
• paragraphing.
By social activity, Steiner shows interest in the function that the text has in its context of culture. The different types of social activity he
thinks of are: production, exchange, communication, reproduction, consumption, etc. (Steiner, 1997).
With goal orientation, Steiner shows interest in participants’ goal, both the author’s and the translator’s and on the function of both source
text (ST) and translated text (TT). The goal of a text can be: interchange, exposition, persuasion, argumentation, description, narration,
etc. Steiner distinguishes between short term and long term goals. The latter is related to the global rhetorical aim of the whole text
and the former is about the aim(s) on descending ranks (text- paragraph-clause-complex). Goal orientation is perceived to be basic in
translation because it can change from the source text to translated text (Steiner, 2004).

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