Journal of Social Sciences, COES&R-JSS
Publisher: Centre of Excellence for Scientific & Research JournalsOnline Publication Date: 1
Cross-Cultural Communication: Perspectives fromTranslation Studies and Applied Linguistics
Dr. Hosni Mostafa El-dali
Associate Professor of Linguistics, General Linguistics Programme,UAE University, P.O.Box: 17771, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates
This paper has emerged out of the conviction that linguistic theory has more to offer totranslation theory than is so far recognized and vice versa. One reason for the relative separationbetween the two fields is, perhaps, the domination of formal approaches to language study for aconsiderable period of time. But, with the spread of functional linguistics in the last three decades,there have been growing hopes for establishing links between linguistics and translation studies.Accordingly, the discussion, in the present study, proceeds primarily from the perspectives of “Translation Studies” and “Applied Linguistics”. One major goal is to show the interrelationshipsbetween linguistics and translation, and how they benefit from each other. The basic underlyingtheme, here, is that “inside or between languages, human communication equals translation. Astudy of translation is a study of language” (Bassnett-McGuire, 1980: 23). In addition, bothtranslators and linguists deal with two linguistic systems, each with, perhaps, a different culturalsystem. So, if we agree that ‘all communicators are translators’ (Bell, 1994), we must rememberthat the role of the translator is different from that of the ‘normal communicator’: the translator is abilingual mediating agent between monolingual communication participants in two differentlanguage communities.On the other hand, there has been a great focus on using English only as a medium of instruction in all courses taught in the UAE University. Accordingly, the second goal of this studyis to try to answer the questions, “How much translation from L
is permitted in FL teaching? and“What are the factors that determine the quantity to be used?”. The view adopted in the presentstudy is that disregarding L
learners’ mother-tongue and considering it “a bogey to be shunned atall costs” is a myth. And, providing maximum exposure to the foreign language may help inlearning that language (Krashen, 1982, 1985), but, sometimes, at the expense of understanding andintelligibility.
Communication across languages, Translation, Applied Linguistics.
Statement of the Problem
One of the goals of the present study is to consider the impact of linguistics on the work of the translator and vice versa, and to look for areas where the theoretical study of language cancontinue to bring insights to the translator’s task. This paper has emerged out of the conviction thatlinguistic theory has more to offer to translation theory than is so far recognized, and vice versa.Perhaps one reason for the relative separation between the two fields is the domination of formalapproaches to language study over modern linguistic thinking and research for a considerableperiod of time. Formal approaches to language, with their focus on structure and confinement tothe sentence boundaries, are of limited benefit to translation theory and practice, for which atextually-oriented approach is more appropriate. With the spread of functional linguistics in thelast three decades, there have been growing hopes for establishing links between linguistics andtranslation studies. Although there have been a number of contributions in this direction, muchwork is still possible, and still required, to help establish such links (Halliday, 1994; Al-Wahy,1999; Hatim & Mason, 1990; Baker, 2006; Chesterman, 2006).