Manipulating De/Legitimation in Translation of Political Discourse

Rasool Moradi-Joz (University of Zanjan, Islamic Republic of Iran)
Elham Kavandi ()


This study seeks to gain an insight into political speech subtitle, focusing on de/legitimation as a macro-linguistic discursive strategy reflecting micro-linguistic discursive strategies so as to exemplify as to how such a discursive representation could be mediated through translation as a socio-communicative action and translation studies as a growing interdisciplinary field of inquiry. To this end, a twofold theoretical framework at both macro-linguistic and micro-linguistic levels is employed – consisting of a quadruple categorization of legitimation developed by Leeuwen (2008) on political discourse (PD) and Fairclough’s (2003) critical discourse analysis (CDA) model on linguistic modality – to analyze one of the political speeches delivered by the Iranian former president Mahmood Ahmadinejad and subtitled into English by MEMRITV (Middle East Media Research Institute TV). The results, confirming political discourse and its translation as a means of de/legitimation, indicate that although there are no overt manipulations regarding the discourse of de/legitimation in the target text (TT), the manipulation of micro-linguistic device of modality constitutes a degree of covert manipulation of de-legitimizing discourse, altering the author's (the source text enunciator’s) commitment to truth. It is concluded that viewing translation of political discourse as a means of de/legitimization in the context of micro-linguistic aspects such as modality could probably open a fruitful avenue to discourse studies in general and translation studies in particular.


Translation studies, Critical discourse analysis (CDA), Political discourse analysis, Modality, De/Legitimation, Manipulation

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