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NEGOTIATING COMMUNICATIVE STYLE, SITUATIONAL CONTEXT AND TT MODELS IN ADVANCED L2 CULTURAL MEDIATION PEDAGOGY: A CASE STUDY FROM THE ITALIAN–ENGLISH TRANSLATION

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Author(s): Dermot HEANEY

Journal: Novitas-ROYAL
ISSN 1307-4733

Volume: 5;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 229;
Date: 2011;
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ABSTRACT
L2 translation is increasingly viewed as a legitimate and consolidated area of research within Translation Studies. In this paper, the feasibility of training L2 translators as cultural mediators is examined. The analysis is presented in the form of a case study of advanced L2 students translating from Italian into English. This sample was assessed primarily in terms of cultural mediation. Given this emphasis, the source text (ST) was taken from the domain of cultural information for the general public. The principal assessment criterion was the source language (SL) conventional metaphor “percorso”, a pervasive JOURNEY metaphor, widely used in that domain. This trope was chosen because it combines significant source culture (SC) attitudes to communicative style and expresses values attributed to official culture itself. The paper analyses how students responded to the challenge of negotiating between SC values, situational context, possible target language (TL) models and legitimate target text (TT) reader expectations. The sample is then assessed referring to Bennett's (1993) Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity. Significantly different levels of cultural competence emerged, and these accounted for important differences in the effectiveness of the translations. On the basis of this preliminary case study, a tentative model of advanced L2 cultural mediators is proposed.
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