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Istituto Statale ‘ISABELLA GONZAGA’, Chieti Liceo Linguistico Seminar
THE LANGUAGE OF TOURIST DISCOURSE
Prof.ssa Marisa DI LELLO March 15th 2014
The Language of tourism Goal
Its objective is to promote, inform and communicate the value of tourist attractions, attract, and convince the greatest number of tourists. “persuade, lure, woo, and seduce millions of human beings, and, in so doing, convert them from potential into actual clients” (G.Dann)
Simplicity, precision, accuracy, clarity, accessibility and usability
Multiplicity of ‘labels’ In the English-speaking world: J.R Firth: English for Tourism is included among the
“restricted languages”. They are designated as LSP (Languages for Specific Purposes) or more specifically (ESP English for Specific Purposes).
In Italy: De Mauro: ‘scientific language’ Berruto, Cortellazzo, Sobrero: ‘special language’ Gotti: ‘specialized language’
“Specialized languages are defined as those subsystems of the common language that are used in professional, technical or scientific fields for descriptive or communicative purposes ." The language of tourism is therefore included among the special languages because: is a 'subsystem of the common language', makes use of own lexical and morpho-syntactic rules and
own textual structures, is used in a 'particular professional field' ‘for descriptive or communicative purposes' by both experts and the general public.
Balboni observes that the language of tourism is to be
seen as a bundle of micro-languages to be broken into its various functional and thematic parts. Each part has its own features. Calvi observes that the language of tourism has an
‘elusive 'physiognomy ' since it: absorbs/borrows words from various fields (geography,
economy, sociology, psychology, history, art history, gastronomy, sport, architecture, archeology, environment, religion, business, customs and tradition, music and dance); embodies several functions (persuasive, informative, argumentative); is multidisciplinary, elusive and hybrid
LEXICAL, MORPHO-SYNTACTIC AND TEXTUAL ASPECTS
LEXICAL ASPECTS Technical terms - […] a beautifully balanced painting in which the poses of Gabriel and Mary carefully mirror one another, while the hand of God releasing the dove of the Holy Spirit provides the vanishing point (Rough Guide, 2003:43). - The most eye-catching canvas in room 2 is the anamorphic portrait of the same, syphilitic Edward VI, […] (Rough Guide, 2003:51). - Next door is the Queen’s Robing chamber, which boasts a superb coffered ceiling and lacklustre Arthurian frescoes (Rough Guide, 2003:69). - The Henry VII Chapel, in the easternmost part of the abbey, is an outstanding example of late-perpendicular architecture, with spectacular circular vaulting on the ceiling. The wooden choir stalls are carved with exotic creatures and adorned with colourful heraldic flags […] (Lonely Planet, 2004:126).
Lexical strategies keywords, used to “fire the immagination”,
“persuade, lure, woo, and seduce millions of human beings, and, in so doing, convert them from potential into actual clients” (G.Dann) Away adventure dream Imagination pleasure
The use of foreign words which are real or invented induces a feeling of inferiority in tourists who thus let themselves be influenced and guided by the tourist message. For instance: “If you are lucky, you may also see the world famous Sri Sri Radha Londonisvara” (The London Discount Guide – leaflet).
Figures of speech, in particular metaphors and
Similes are used to “manage the unfamiliarity of destination for the tourist” (G.Dann). “metaphors and hyperboles have never proved to be suitable for tourism"(Boyer e Viallon), because they do not meet tourist discourse’s prime requirements of clarity and simplicity.
Word formation common terms take on a different meaning in special languages:
package > package tour congestion > air traffic congestion (or traffic jam)
Acronyms and Initials: B&B (bed and breakfast), DLR
(Docklands Light Railway), TfL (Transport for London), LTB (London Tourist Board), internationally-accepted abbreviations of cities and airports New compound words: Half-board, full-board, hotel chain; holiday farmhouse; theme park; game reserve; one way ticket; combined ticket.
MORPHO-SYNTACTIC ASPECTS Verb Noun Passive voice Superlatives -Britain’s oldest Catholic church […] (Time Out, 2003:101) -Among the most striking armour displayed […] (Rough Guide, 2003:217) -For old Westminster is London at its grandest (The Original London Walks – brochure) -Some of the tower’s most famous prisoners were held around Tower Green (The Tower of London – brochure)
- Standing alone in the vast empty tract of the Salisbury plains and with origins dating back nearly 5,000 years, Stonehenge remains a place of wonder and mystery. (Bath, Windsor & Stonehenge – brochure). - The past is cast in stone and we take it all in: ancient Westminster Hall, the House of Parliament, the Jewel Tower, and Westminster Abbey. And to see it with a great guide is to have that past suddenly rise to the surface…like seeing a photographic print come up in a darkroom. (The Original London Walks – brochure)
Invites the tourist to participate to the attraction Gain a fascinating insight into the role of the Crown Jewels in royal pageantry with our introductory films, which include rare colour footage of HM Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. Once inside the Treasury, marvel at the Imperial State Crown worn at the Opening of Parliament and be dazzled by the world’s largest, top quality cut diamond, Cullinan I, set in the Sovereign’s Sceptre. (The Tower of London – brochure)
2. Is used to give instructions Start with your back to the entrance of Hampstead Heath train station. Turn right up South Road, with the heath looming before you on the right. (Time Out, 2003:148)
Modal verbs will, would, can, could, may, might, should, must In the language of tourism modal verbs do not indicate the future (will), probability and possibility (would, can, could, may, might), obligation (should, must), but express “a way of behaviour, a mode of action to be taken by the tourist who is being addressed” (P.Edwards e C.Carrettero). On the way to Westminster Abbey you will hear about Leonardo Da Vinci, and get a chance to see a work of him. At Westminster Abbey you can hear more stories about other important people in the book like Isaac Newton, who is buried in the Abbey. (Quality Walking Tours, Golden Tours – leaflet)
‘Ego-targetting’ strategy WE, OUR, US - tourist business YOU, YOUR - receiver/s We’ve also created a brief directory to help you find some of the area’s non-shoe & clothing offerings such as lingerie, whiskey, tea and books. Don’t miss our visit to Mon Plaisir where we enjoyed London’s best French cuisine in a wonderfully charming Gallic ambience, while our article on Traditional pubs will encourage you to join in Britain’s longstanding favourite pastime. (Covent Garden Guide, July 2005:1).
TEXTUAL ASPECTS Tourist texts for experts in tourism:
essays and articles on economics, marketing and sociology of tourism Tourist texts oriented to the general public:
leaflets, brochures, flyers, posters, descriptive panels, visitor guides, magazines, travelogues
Tourist texts are produced by: Tourist Boards City councils Private enterprises
Their goal is to promote a given locality, its tourist attractions, services and facilities. Tourist texts may be distributed abroad or made available in the host countries.
Leaflets giving information about cultural events and describing
places of historical, artistic and geographical interest
Brochures giving information about cultural events and describing
places of historical, artistic and geographical interest
Flyers advertising trips and events
Posters advertising events and artistic performances
Descriptive panels placed near monuments, areas of geographical interest or
places of worship
Visitor guides and travel guides available in booklet and brochure format
e.g. Time Out, Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, Insight Compact Guide, Mondadori, De Agostini.
Magazines Multilingual and monolingual magazines
columns in newspapers and magazines where ads and descriptive texts alternate.
A written account in which tourists describe both
positive and negative experiences of their vacation and give advice and information to potential tourists.
ANALYSIS OF THREE ENGLISH GUIDE-BOOKS
Scope of analysis: CULTURAL TOURISM Means of analysis: KEYWORDS
Keyword semantic groups HISTORY
century/ies royal James’s Tudor Henry William George Roman medieval Victoria Edward queen king’s Charles history Victorian Mary court wren war eighteenth John James Thomas Georgian gothic fire nineteenth GEOGRAPHY east Thames south north map west UK ARTS artists contemporary art/s style modern statue paintings portrait exhibition/s works architecture collection PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND CITY PLANNING street/s museum gallery/ies tower city’s square house/s room/s building/s entrance bridge hall marble chapel road temple cathedral stone floor place side abbey corner jane church brick centre theatre site dome palace public wing glass LONDON central green area/’s Chelsea city Paul’s Greenwich Westminter Hampstead soho Kensington mile bank London/’s tate Richmond Londoners hill heath SERVICES tube park garden/s pub station rail tour/s shops restaurant/s café traffic market visit walk admission bus
Keywords describe the city from different points of view (artistic, historical, geographical, architectural, urban).
All semantic fields relate to aspects of the English culture. Therefore, these keywords are classified as culture-bound words (or culture-specific items): words that are deeply rooted in the culture of origin
INTERCULTURAL ASPECTS In Tourism, language and culture are closely linked.
As well as being regulated by a code of grammar and syntax rules, the language is above all the means by which a community expresses their thoughts and values, their beliefs, their culture.
The special language of travel guides presents a high frequency of cultural expressions.
Therefore, translating continuous reference background.
tourism requires a to the cultural
Every intercultural aspect has to be taken into thorough consideration.
‘Domesticating’ translation Lawrence Venuti:
“Domestication is the strategy of making text closely conform to the culture of the language being translated to”. The aim is to prevent the culture of origin from appearing 'exotic' and 'distant' but make the tourist feel himself/herself in a cosier and more familiar context.
Some English and Italian tourist sub-genres differ significantly with regard to CONTENT and STYLE
CONTENT ENGLISH VISITOR GUIDES include information on: places of cultural and
historical interest shopping facilities car and street parking bus, coach and train services
ITALIAN VISITOR GUIDES focus mainly on: art architecture history
STYLE ENGLISH TOURIST LANGUAGE personal and informal style:
imperative, used to invite the reader to visit, explore and enjoy the attractions of a given town, city or village Impersonal: passive
ITALIAN TOURIST LANGUAGE impersonal and formal style,
often rendered by passive constructions. The personal style is reserved to
texts with a dominant appellative function and even then, the reader is usually addressed in the formal second person plural pronoun ‘VOI’. Vivid, florid descriptions in
evocative, figurative language
Tourist texts fulfil two communicative functions: Informative:
- provides information - oriented towards the context Appellative: -for persuasive purposes -oriented towards the addressee
Examples of appellative imperatives taken from English tourist brochures and leaflets
Visit the Roman City at Wroxeter. See the remarkable Iron Bridge itself and explore
seven museums (…) Discover the delicate art and mistery (…) Enjoy the unique experience of Granada Studios tour. (…)
Examples of appellative imperatives taken from an Italian tourist brochure: Preparatevi ad una sensazione di benessere (…). Lasciatevi catturare dall’essenza di questa terra (…). Pensate alle Terre di Siena e dimenticatevi tutto il
resto. Apprestiamoci a visitare quei monumenti e quei palazzi che custodiscono il segreto dei secoli passati. From ‘Acqueantiche.Terre di Siena’
TRANSLATING TOURIST TEXTS FROM ENGLISH INTO ITALIAN The convention is to adhere to the target language style: English imperatives tend to be translated with
impersonal expressions, unless the target text has a prominent appellative function. Different regulatory conventions concerning
translation of culture-bound words.
PERSONAL STYLE (imperatives)
Visit a truly unique
Scottish destination. Share with us the legacy of
ancient peoples. Absorb dramatic and
La Scozia è una meta
veramente unica. Qui è possibile condividere
l’eredità degli antichi popoli. In Scozia è possibile
ammirare scenari maestosi e mozzafiato.
Share with us the legacy of ancient peoples. Qui è possibile condividere l’eredità degli antichi popoli. (…) Potrete condividere… (…) Condividerete… Condividete…
Peculiar usage of imperatives Walk along the main street and you’ll see
some magnificent monuments. Passeggiando lungo la via principale della città,
potrete ammirare alcuni maestosi monumenti.
Live the history and solve the mistery
within this medieval attraction. Rivivendo la storia, potrete svelare i misteri
racchiusi in questa attrazione medievale.
CULTURE-BOUND WORDS (1) Monuments, museums, places of worship and historical interest Westminster Bridge
Il Ponte di Westminster
The Tower of London
La Torre di Londra
National Museum of Scotland
Museo Nazionale Scozzese
St Paul’s Cathedral
La Cattedrale di St Paul
St Alfege’s Church
La Chiesa di St Alfege
Il Castello di Glamis
CULTURE-BOUND WORDS (2) Associations, clubs, ships, colleges, observatories, shopping centre, theatres, halls, galleries, markets Old Royal Observatory
Old Royal Observatory
Royal Naval College
Royal Naval College
Royal Festival Hall
La Royal Festival Hall
Old Billingsgate Market
Old Billingsgate Market
Royal Society for the
Royal Society for the
Protection of the Birds Overgate Shopping Centre
Protection of the Birds L’Overgate Shopping Centre
Per darti nuova energia
Per farti vivere l’avventura
You’re in tune
Per farti sentire parte di noi
You’re in awe
You will find your invitation to Great Britain to visitbritain.com
Il tuo invito in Gran Bretagna è su visitbritain.com
Lexical resources for tourist translation
Monolingual Dictionaries Beaver A. (2005), English Monolingual Dictionaries: A Dictionary of
Travel and Tourism Terminology, Oxford, CAB International Harris R. and Howard J. (2001), Dictionary of Travel, Tourism and
Hospitality Terms, Global Books & Subscriptions Services Medlik S. (2003), Dictionary of Travel, Tourism and Hospitality,
Butterworth-Heinemann A & C Black Publishers Collins V. R. (2008), The Tourism Society's Dictionary for Tourism
Industry, Oxford, CAB International Chandra Nigam S. (2007), Dictionary of Tourism, Rajat Publications Russell J.(2005), Dictionary of Leisure, Travel and Tourism, A&C Black
Bilingual Dictionaries Bait, M. and Vergallo, L. (2002), Dictionary of tourism:
inglese-italiano, italiano-inglese, Milano, Modern Languages.
On-line Monolingual Dictionaries Tourism Dictionary online
http://www.tourismdictionary.com Travel Industry Dictionary
Thank you for your attention!