While scholars from various fields have pioneered studies of fake news and its consequences, there is currently a scarcity of literature on fake news and translation. The present paper aims to investigate the phenomenon of fake news as a product of translation in the Thai context. Using a discourse analysis approach to translation studies to determine the textual profile of the translated text, the researcher examined Thai translations of international news about the COVID-19 pandemic that have been proven to be untrue. The findings reveal that there are six major characteristics of fake news translations at word-level, sentence-level, stance, style, visual manipulation, and text structure and presentation. Many of these features lend depth to the existing literature on fake news in general, but a number of minor characteristics are unique to translation; namely, foreign word insertion, citation of foreign names, reporting of foreign people’s opinions, translation of already-fake news, disclaimer of attribution at the paratextual level, display of the English source text, and pseudotranslation. These characteristics contribute to fake news in the Thai target texts, which is arguably a form of incomplete translation created as the translator attempts to summarize source news and create news that appears to be from other countries. To complement previous research on fake news detection with computerized systems, this paper returns to the basics in the hopes of shedding some light on the fundamental detection of fake news derived from translation, particularly for lay audiences.
Phanthaphoommee, N. (2023). Incomplete translation as a conduit for fake news: A case of coronavirus-related news. Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Studies, 23(1), 18-35. https://doi.org/10.14456/hasss.2023.3