Propositions on cross-cultural communication and translation
Cross-cultural communication can be characterized by a relatively high degree of effort required to reduce complexity, by relatively high transaction costs, by relatively low trust between communication partners, and by relatively narrow success conditions that create points of high-risk discourse. To communicate successfully between cultures would thus require a special kind of risk management. Translation, as a mode of cross-cultural communication, is held to share those same features, as well as at least two specific representational maxims concerning discursive persons and textual quantity. It is argued that the related concepts of complexity, success conditions and risk can describe not only the act of translating as a mode of cross-cultural communication, but also certain features of the professional intercultures to which translators belong. Step-by-step propositions thus synthesize an approach that runs from an analysis of cross-cultural communication to a description of professional intercultures, their sources of power, and the reasons for their apparent lack of power in a globalizing age.
Keywords: communication theory, cross-cultural communication, translation, complexity theory, risk management, intercultures, power
- 1.On cross-cultural communication in general
- 2.On complexity and its reduction
- 3.On success conditions
- 4.On transaction costs
- 5.On the specificity of cross-cultural communication
- 6.On the size of communication acts
- 7.Translation versus language learning
- 8.On the nature of translation
- 9.On trust
- 10.On risk
- 11.On the nature of translation problems
- 12.Why and how complexity is reduced
- 13.On the nature of communication participants
- 14.On the nature of professional intercultures
- 15.Professional intercultures and the boundaries between cultures
- 16.Membership and identity of professional intercultures
- 17.The power of professional intercultures
- 18.Globalization and cross-cultural communication
- 19.The powerlessness of intercultures
- 20.The future of cross-cultural communication
Published online: 21 February 2005
2001 “Laws of cultural interference (draft in work)”. http://www.tau.ac.il/~itamarez/papers/culture-interference.htm. Consulted April 2004.
Grice, H. Paul
Holmes, James S.
Keohane, Robert O.
Monacelli, Claudia and Roberto Punzo
Sperber, Dan and Deirdre Wilson
Sprung, Robert C.
2002 “Not a melting pot: The challenges of multilingual communication in the European Commission”. Paper delivered to conference The translation industry today. Rimini, Italy, 11–13 October 2002.
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