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Translation of Croatian culturemes on the example of Zadar's gastronomy


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Begonja, Helga. (2016). Translation of Croatian culturemes on the example of Zadar's gastronomy. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Linguistics.
(Poslijediplomski doktorski studij lingvistike) [mentor Anđel, Maja and Kučiš, Vlasta].

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This doctoral dissertation presents the first research ever into translation of the Croatian culturemes in gastronomy into the German language. In the first part of the dissertation theoretical issues are presented about all relevant aspects of this subject. The first chapter is focused on defining culture from the point of view of translatology. The definitions by the leading theoreticians in translatology and intercultural communication are considered and put forward in this chapter (Göhring 1978; Vermeer 1990; Ammann 1990; Nord 1993; Maletzke 1996; Witte 2007). These authors, in how they comprehend the notion of culture, emphasize the specific cultural patterns of behavior as well as linguistic and non-linguistic actions. This type of understanding culture in translatology results in stressing the intercultural competence of the translator, who needs to have, apart from linguistic competence, a high level of bicultural competence in his or her „working cultures“. In the excursus on food and diet the most important dates and inventions in history are highlighted. Numerous ingredients and new ways of preparing food have contributed to understanding food and feeding as a form of „cultural action“ and culinary habits that a person obtains in the process of enculturation make an important part of expressing his or her belonging culturally to a specific community. This implies that the translator, along with all other cultural aspects, needs to know very well the traditions and norms relating to dietary habits of the language communities he or she focuses on. These habits result in a series of culturally specific names relating to food and meals, and we call these culturemes. Starting with the theory of culturemes by Els Oksaar (1988), the dissertation continues with definitions and classifications by important scholars who approach culturemes at the lexical level. Barchudarow (1971), Kutz (1981), Newmark (1988), Gerzymisch-Arbogast (1994), Markstein (2006) develop various distributions of culturally specific notions and in doing so they use different names. However, they all emphasize in their work the names of meals as an indispensable part of cultural specificity, which reflect both the culture and the heritage of a nation. Along with emphasizing the cultural specificity of these terms, this dissertation will also emphasize their null equivalence at the lexical level as well as the translation procedures which are used to manage null equivalence. In this sense, Newmark (1988), Hansen (1996), Koller (2004), Markstein (2006), Schreiber (2006) and Lipavic-Oštir (2013; 2014) are underscored as well as the translation procedures that have been derived from their theoretical work. Considering that contemporary translatology completely relativizes the notion of „equivalence“ and underscores the functionality of translation, the main tenets of the functionalist skopos theory by K. Reiß and H. Vermeer (1984) are presented in the following part of the dissertation as well as the theory of translatorial action by J. Holz-Mänttäri (1984), which both emphasize the purpose which the translation, that is the target text needs to complete in the target culture. Having in mind that the translations of the Croatian culturemes into German are analyzed on the examples extracted from the text type 'menu', main theoretical notions about language for specific purposes are presented, with special emphasis on the language of gastronomy. In the part that focuses on the structure of the vocabulary of the language of gastronomy main features of that language are pointed out along with relevant examples from Croatian and German. What is especially highlighted in this part are the nominal style, unusual names of meals, their specific motivation, borrowings and internationalisms, verbs which denote various types of food preparation and sensory names with positive connotation for food and meals with specific adjectives. In relation to syntax, weak text cohesion or complete lack of cohesion is stressed. All the listed features of the language for specific purposes are linked with professional papers about gastronomy which handle, in compliance with the functionalist approach, conventionalized and culturally conditioned patterns of language use, systematized forms, conventional text structures and the lexicon. The empirical part of the dissertation opens with a brief overview of the most important dates in the development of hospitality industry in Zadar. Analysis of data is then presented on the percentages of nights of guests from the EU in Zadar in the last five years, which enables a comparison to be made in relation to the guests from the German speaking countries. The empirical analysis of the translations of culturemes into German was performed on the corpus of 30 menus from restaurants from Zadar’s city centre or Zadar's most frequent tourist neighborhoods. The empirical analysis encompasses the appearance, macrostructure, typographic features and additional information in the menus. What follows then is the analysis of the linguistic features in the menus, with regard to the structure of gastronomic names, the ratio of borrowings, foreign words and names with specific motivation. Verbs and adjectives are analyzed as well their role in carrying out the informative and appellative functions of the menu. The quality of the language in the translated menus is viewed with regard to errors at the semantic, grammatical and stylistic level, which is based on 894 individual items in total. The percentage is presented in a graph. The prominent point in the analysis is the review of the lack of information in the source texts - the fact that Croatian food culturemes appear without any additional information in the source text, which is a mitigating factor in the production of the functional target texts. The analysis of translation procedures of autochthonous Croatian culturemes into German then follows, which analyzes to what extent the translations into German in menus contribute to the realization of functional translations in accordance with the skopos theory framework. The empirical research carried out for this dissertation shows that the quality of language input in Croatian and German is exceptionally poor, which in itself is a clear indicator of the lack of knowledge about the functionalist theories in translatology. Anonymous translators in most cases provide literal translations, without taking into consideration the production of a functional translation. A functional translation should enable good reception and understanding of the text by the target speakers, but also highlight the items of heritage, so as to carry out the informative and appellative functions of the text by using adequate language. At the end of the dissertation an appendix is available with a list of food and meals, made on the basis of the names found in the menus in Zadar, expanded with names of the Dalmatian gastronomy culturemes, which are often found in practice. The list of meals and food presents a translation model which, in compliance with the tenets of the functionalist theories, may serve for concrete use in practice in catering and hospitality industry.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: culturemes in gastronomy, translation procedures, functionalist translatological theories, text type menu, translation adequacy
Subjects: German language and literature
Departments: Department of Linguistics
Supervisor: Anđel, Maja and Kučiš, Vlasta
Additional Information: Poslijediplomski doktorski studij lingvistike
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2016 08:23
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 08:23

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