Metadiscourse in English and Swedish Non-fiction Texts and their Translations

Jennifer Herriman


This study compares the metadiscourse (i.e. the meanings which relate to the writers and readers of a text) in two samples of English and Swedish non-fiction texts and their translations in the English Swedish Parallel Corpus. Using an integrative approach to metadiscourse (Ädel & Mauranen 2012:2), it finds that there is a considerably higher frequency of metadiscourse in the Swedish original texts and a somewhat larger proportion of interpersonal metadiscourse, which represents the writer’s attitude towards the propositional content and the readers themselves. In particular, there is a more frequent usage of boosters. In both of the translation samples, there is an increase in transition markers, which raises the level of explicitness in the text. In the translations into English, a tendency was also found for translators to reduce emphasis by omitting boosters and, in some cases, inserting hedges. This, coupled with the higher frequency of boosters in the Swedish original texts suggests that there may be differences in writing conventions in English and Swedish non-fiction texts, for instance, when it comes to increasing the emphatic force of propositions.


metadiscourse; translation; metadiscourse; translation; English; Swedish; boosters; hedges

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