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Where to stay in the UK and in Italy: a comparative study of the language of holiday accommodation advertisements

di Beatrice Stellin
Università degli Studi di Padova
Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia
Facoltà di Scienze Politiche
Dipartimento di Lingue e Letterature anglo-germaniche e slave

Relatore: Prof. Erik Castello
Tesi di laurea di: Beatrice Stellin (Matr. N. 614513 MZL)

3.3 - An analysis of tourist promotional texts and of their translations

Over recent years, the world of tourism market has radically changed, with a growing number of tourists coming from a wide range of different backgrounds. For example, people coming from a certain continent are increasingly going on holiday to other continents and many tourists now come from countries that did not generate international trips before (Swarbrooke, 2001 in Palusci / Francesconi 2006: 137). Given this state of affair, new skills are needed by the tourism industry to communicate with different customers and with "stakeholders" (Buhalis, 2001 in Palusci / Francesconi 2006: 137) living in a multicultural world. This is the reason why new technologies, such as the Internet, have influenced the way in which tourists search and obtain information about tourist resorts.
In addition to this, the global marketplace is changing, too, being characterized by intercultural encounters between companies and organizations. As people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds meet together more and more frequently, English often plays the role of lingua franca. According to this position, these changes imply that the readership of English texts promoting hotels may consist of people from a wide range of different cultures. As travellers from different parts of the world usually do not share the same knowledge, translators should pay great attention to the so called common ground - i.e. "assumptions shared by interactants about common or shared knowledge, goals, wants, values and so on" (Jucker / Smith, 1996 in Palusci / Francesconi 2006: 139) - when preparing or reviewing promotional materials.
The analyses presented in the Section consist in a comparison between English and Italian texts promoting resorts and their translation into the target language. The aim is to verify whether the main theoretical rules of translation were followed, in order to create an independent message transmitting instrument in the target culture. Another aim is to verify whether a translation "fulfils its communicative purpose without the recipient being conscious of reading or hearing a text, which, in a different form, was used before in a different communicative situation" (Nord, 1988 in de Stasio / Palusci 2007: 104).
The tables below show some extracts from the promotional texts in my multilingual parallel corpus. The most interesting parts are underlined and then an explanation is given of the reasons for their difficulty. In the column of the target text, regularly underlined terms and expressions are examples of good translations, whereas dotted underlined ones represent wrong translations.