Cultural Encounters in Advertisement Translation


Sociologists, linguists, and anthropologists have classified cultures along various dimensions which delineate intercultural difference. Geert and Gert Jan Hofstede, in their five dimensions of cultural communication styles, suggest that translation can significantly enhance research on cultural identity with a view to widening perception of a) intercultural difference and b) the use to which this type of knowledge may be put in practice. The condensed messages of parallel advertisement versions provide extremely rich reflections of cultural identities. Ten sample English-Greek advertisement pairs (out of 26 pairs that the data comprise) suffice to demonstrate the divergent cultural profiles of English and Greek. Evidence from other genres (in English-Greek translation) testifies to conclusions drawn about advertisement parallel/translation data. Parallel versions of advertisements are a valuable resource for heightening awareness of divergence in research and educational settings.