Frame Labeling of Competing Narratives in Journalistic Translation

Document Type : Research Article


1 Sheikhbahaee University

2 Islamic Azad University, Shahreza Branch


Studying translations during the time of conflict has gained currency in the recent decade in translation studies. One of the cases in which conflict manifests itself is in the way different countries choose to name an event or a geographical location, for example. This study set out to understand how translation of rival names and labeling was carried out in Iranian state-run news agencies. To achieve this end, English-to-Farsi translations of 4 news Websites (i.e., IRNA, ISNA, YJC, and Fars News Agency) were monitored and collected in the course of 2 weeks. Data were then analyzed based on the narrative theory approach using Baker’s (2006) model. Data analysis revealed that, in 33 cases, the names or labels adopted by the English news agencies were substituted with the names endorsed by the institutions in which the translators worked. This study demonstrated that name substitution took place when Iran’s national and international interests were conflicting with those of the Western news agencies including Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Syrian and Bahraini crises, Islamic values, and the sovereignty over the Persian Gulf. Findings suggest that translations cannot be thought of as neutral conduit through which totally disinterested message is relayed from one society to another. Findings are also indicative of translators’ critical appraisal in both decoding and encoding processes of translating.