, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 261–283 | Cite as

Translating foregrounding in literary and non-literary texts, foregrounding translator’s conscious and unconscious thought

  • Susan Yun XuEmail author


Foregrounding, the linguistic deviation and novelty, is endowed with literary-aesthetic value which is closely associated with “literariness.” My project offers a renewed attempt to enquire into literariness in a spectrum of text types ranging from academic discourse and newspaper articles to fiction and poetry by investigating foregrounding practices in both literary and non-literary texts. Through a comparative foregrounding analysis of the translations of the four selected text types and their respective source texts, I focus on whether the foregrounding practice is retained, altered or removed in the translated texts. The analysis has identified significant stylistic differences between the source texts and their translations, which enable me to reconstruct the translator’s conscious and unconscious thought in making decisions with regard to foregrounding. My investigation shows that the translator has a varied degree of awareness of foregrounding depending on the text types. The findings highlight the needs for both translators and translation scholars to be aware of the foregrounding practice in literary and non-literary texts. For translators, such an awareness helps enhance their professional reliability; for the translation scholars, it broadens their horizons in translation process research.


Foregrounding Literariness Style Translation Conscious thought Unconscious thought 


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Singapore University of Social SciencesSingaporeSingapore

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