From Babylon to Bergen: On the usefulness of aligned texts


  • Signe Oksefjell Ebeling University of Oslo
  • Jarle Ebeling University of Oslo



After outlining a short and select history of (the usefulness of) parallel texts and alignment, this paper presents a case study where the point of departure is a Norwegian text extract aligned against its translations into seven different target languages, using the Translation Corpus Aligner, originally developed by Knut Hofland. Our main concern is cases where there is not a one-to-one correspondence at sentence level between original (source) and translation (target) text. We seek to answer questions such as why a translator, translating into a specific language has chosen to split, or merge, a sentence in the source texts, while translators, translating into other languages have chosen not to do so. The study shows that a multitude of contributing factors seem to be involved , including author and translator style, target language constraints and preferences and perhaps even country- or language-specific translation guidelines.

Keywords: alignment; parallel texts; contrastive analysis; corpora; translation strategies




How to Cite

Ebeling, Signe Oksefjell, and Jarle Ebeling. 2013. “From Babylon to Bergen: On the Usefulness of Aligned Texts”. Bergen Language and Linguistics Studies 3 (1).