Corpus Linguistics and Intercultural communicative approach: a synergy
Maria Elisa Fina
What A TripAdvisor Corpus Can Tell Us About Culture
The rise of Travel 2.0 has produced significant changes in the way travellers plan their holidays and TripAdvisor has now become the world’s largest travel reviews website. These reviews represent the travellers’ voice and can be considered a valuable tourist text type since they reflect the travellers’ needs and values.
This study aims to demonstrate that these values can be culturally aligned through a corpus-based analysis of the reviews.
The data include two comparable corpora made up of reviews of accommodations in Puglia (Italy) written by English and Italian travellers. The texts contained in both corpora were subject to linguistic analysis by means of TextSTAT-2.
The analysis carried out in this study is based on the methodology developed by Manca (2011), who proposes a combined quantitative and qualitative approach in corpus analysis, and on the methodology proposed by Tognini-Bonelli (2001) for the identification of functional correspondences across languages.
The analysis of reviews shows that there are significant differences in the way English and Italian travellers perceive the holiday experience. These differences have particular linguistic outcomes, which concern mainly the length of reviews, the description of places and relational issues.
The results obtained by linguistic enquiry are in line with Manca’s and are framed within Intercultural Studies. More specifically, they are interpreted in terms of Thinking Orientation (Walker et al. 2003, Katan 2004), Uncertainty Avoidance (Hofstede, 2001) and Affective Associations (Francesconi, 2007).
Silvia de Candia, Marco Venuti
Perceptions of Europe in British and Italian TV news programmes
The present paper focuses on the way Europe is construed in a corpus of British and Italian TV news programmes. We focused on TV news programmes rather than on print media since, according to a Eurobarometer report (Eurobarometer 74, 2011), 56% of EU citizens use television as a primary source for information about the EU.
News programmes were collected and orthographically transcribed from TG1 and TG5 at 20h00 in Italy, and BBC1 at 18h00 and ITV1 at 18h30 in the UK from 12 February to 6 April 2007, as part of the IntUne project. Starting from previous studies focusing on the structure of TV news bulletins (Haarman and Lombardo 2009), a specific XML annotation was added to the texts in order to encode metadata relative to source, date, the structure of news stories and speaker information in order to make use of contextual information in the interpretation of linguistic data available through the corpus. The use of comparable corpora provides the means to carry out an analysis of media texts, building models bottom up from data rather than starting from a hypothesis, while still being able to look at the contexts of culture, the environment in which the text was produced, and the context of situation, the immediate environment of the language in use. This enables the researcher to generalise from the data whilst keeping in mind the dangers of making broad assumptions from a single textual context.
Bearing these methodological premises in mind we analysed all the occurrences of Europe/Europa in the two subcorpora, highlighting how the term is highly polysemous shifting from a geographical space to a political, historical, and cultural unit. The analysis makes it possible to compare the differing perceptions of Europe reflected in British and Italian TV news programmes during the period under study.
Xiaoping Jiang and Josta van Rij-Heyligers
Intercultural space in translation education: Parallel corpus as a tool for exploration
This article aims to explore the uses of parallel corpora in translation education (Chinese-English) from an intercultural perspective. In this article, a brief discussion of corpus-based methods in translation studies is provided first, followed by examples of Chinese source texts and their translated English texts to accentuate the impact of culture on the outcome of translation. To address the challenges of cultural dissimilarities in translation, an intercultural approach is advocated to emphasize the importance of the intercultural space that can be navigated and negotiated in the translation process as the target texts contain elements of both languages and cultures. Finally, the article discusses the role of parallel corpora in translation education, and identifies the current limitations as well as promising developments in corpus design for translation studies.