Translating urban tourist icons across cultures

An english-malay perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Urban tourist icons such as Paris, Istanbul or Sydney are major pull factors of a destination and are often represented in tourist promotional texts (TPTs) to persuade potential tourists to visit a destination. The use of the ‗iconic advertising approach‘(Litvin & Mouri, 2009), which capitalises on the iconicity of tourist icons, is one of the most effective advertising approaches in affecting a destination image. The strength of this approach lies in its key function of representing easily recognisable and positive images that reinforce or simply recall the audience‘s previously held perceptions about the destination. However, the ways in which urban tourist icons are represented and perceived differ from one audience to another, for it is based on the cultural background of the audience. The differences in how these icons are represented and perceived pose a key challenge for translators of TPTs, whose role is to produce an effective translation in the target language and culture in order to persuade potential tourists in that language and culture. This paper discusses some of the cultural issues involved in translating tourist icons and analyses how a particular ‗tourist icon‘ is represented in a published English TPT (source text) for an Anglo audience and how it has been translated into the Malay language for a Malay audience. The translation (target text) is analysed in terms of its functionality and effectiveness within the cultural context of the target audience. The discourse analysis of the source and target texts is complemented by findings derived from focus group discussions and an analysis of authentic TPTs in Malay (parallel texts). Based on the analysis, a functionally adequate translation which takes into consideration the cultural differences, hence preserving the iconicity of the destination, is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-173
Number of pages15
JournalGEMA Online Journal of Language Studies
Volume14
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2014

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Translating
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cultural difference
discourse analysis
group discussion
functionality

Keywords

  • Culture
  • Functional approach
  • Tourism promotional texts
  • Tourist icons
  • Translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

Translating urban tourist icons across cultures : An english-malay perspective. / Sulaiman, Mohamed Zain.

In: GEMA Online Journal of Language Studies, Vol. 14, No. 3, 01.09.2014, p. 159-173.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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