Multilingual collaboration for news translation analysis: Possibilities and limitations

Kayo Matsushita, Christina G Schaeffner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Advances in news gathering and dissemination technologies have made it possible that news stories are being shared simultaneously around the world. One internationally newsworthy event can generate dozens of news reports in multiple languages almost immediately by means of translation. Although news translation research has gained traction over the last 15 years, it has thus far tended to focus only on one language pair or on European language combinations because of practical limitations (e.g., language proficiency of researchers, access to content). This paper will illustrate the benefits of collaboration across languages and cultures for deepening our understanding of global news translation. To explore the possibilities as well as the limitations of this multilingual collaboration, a speech by the Japanese prime minister commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender ending World War II and reports about this speech in English and German media are analysed. For a detailed comparative analysis, two direct quotations from the speech were selected which were included in nearly all of the reports. We reflect on the variation identified in the news reports with reference to sources the journalists used, their own language proficiency and the potential role of an intermediary text or language.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-184
Number of pages20
JournalAcross Languages and Cultures
Issue number2
Early online date13 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • English
  • German
  • Japanese
  • News translation
  • Political speeches


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