ABSTRACT

In this chapter the model of analysis drawn from appraisal theory will be applied to a key political event, US President Barack Obama’s inauguration speech given on 20 January 2009 in Washington, DC. The inaugural was broadcast live across the world, with live interpreting into the local languages, and reproduced verbatim and in translation in the print and online media.1 The high profi le of the English original of the speech is in stark contrast to the common practice of the ‘invisibility’ of the translator of political texts (Bielsa and Bassnett 2008, Schäffner 2008). Indeed, the wealth of interpretings and translations in so many different languages provides an unusual opportunity to analyse the strategies adopted in the construction of the TTs. The speech furthermore lends itself well to exemplify appraisal analysis specifi cally because of the inherently evaluative and ethical tone.