Communication as Translation

This post is about what I learnt in class today.

Each communication act can be considered a translation. Not necessarily should communication acts be between two languages or cultures, you can even “translate” a thought into spoken words, a gesture into an explanation of its meaning and a book into a film, to make some examples.

In the video above there are some examples of translation, even in the broader meaning of the word:

  • Italian gestures are translated using an explanation of their meaning;
  • there’s an oral description, made by one of the travelers, of what a vigile does, and the other one is surprised to hear that in Italy a traffic warden carries a pistol. At the end of the video, there’s the typically Italian applause adressed to the pilot after a plane lands;
  • the captain translates his announcement into English by talking with a very strong Italian pronunciation and, when he doesn’t know how to translate something, he uses onomatopoeia.
  • there’s also the use of subtitles, i.e. a translation from oral verbal language into written one.

About Ilaria

I'm an English and French to Italian translator, and I've been a blogger since 2009.
This entry was posted in Translation & Interpreting and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Communication as Translation

  1. Alina says:

    I loved this post!!! It really made me laugh. It reminded me of my time as a teacher when I worked with a group of Italian students. They DO communicate non-verbally a lot.

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