Pseudo-Retranslation: A Translational Conduit for the Dissemination of Flawed Academic Knowledge

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Yıldız M.

International Congress on Academic Studies in Translation and Interpreting Studies (ICASTIS), Bolu, Turkey, 29 September - 01 October 2022, pp.39

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Bolu
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.39
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


 Academic authors writing in their mother tongues exploit translation proper to avail themselves of previous research in foreign languages. As they do so, they may use their translational skills to translate a foreign text, commission a translator, or have recourse to its translated version. Yildiz (2020; 2021; 2022) has observed another strategy, adopted by Turkish academic authors in particular. He calls this intertextual procedure “pseudo-retranslation” and refers to it as an academic author’s partial or complete exploitation of another academic author’s translation and presenting it as a retranslation of the respective source text (Yildiz, 2021; 2022). In his previous works, Yildiz reports that pseudoretranslation as a phenomenon of translational intertextuality lends itself to the facilitated dissemination of flawed scientific knowledge. This characteristic of pseudo-retranslations is the primary concern of the present paper. To reveal how pseudo-retranslations help spread erroneous scholarly knowledge, the author created a corpus of 12 master’s theses and two doctoral dissertations in education sciences, psychology, and health sciences. These 14 academic works purport to have translated D’Zurilla and Goldfried’s (1971) five stages of problem-solving from their seminal article Problem Solving and Behavior Modification, yet the analyses herein showed that they “pseudo-retranslated” the Turkish texts in question (along with elaborations based on other international authors) from other Turkish authors’ works. The author used R (Ver. 4.0.4) (a statistical and visualization program) and Wcopyfind (a text comparison program) to generate the qualitative and quantitative data of intertextual similarity. In addition to the similarity rates of up to 100%, he operationalized common incorrect references to these two authors – e.g., D’Zruilla instead of D’Zurilla; Goldfield instead of Goldfried; Journal of Abnormal Psycology instead of Journal of Abnormal Psychology; pages 407–426 instead of 107–126; Vol. 18 instead of Vol. 78.