Publication details [#10858]

Slater, Jonathan R. 1987. Beyond the language barrier: the translation of image-centered messages. In Kummer, Karl, ed. Across the language gap. Medford: Learned Information. pp. 37–40.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language


Technical documents, books, speeches and various other spoken and written messages are transferred between languages in massive quantities every day all over the world. Yet the effectiveness of translation as a procedure is limited to only these sorts of communication. When images are combined with linguistic, effective cross-cultural communication is often impeded. The present article discusses how translation theory does not extend beyond concern for the spolek or printed word. Translators therefore require a means of approaching iconic messages, such as those commonly employed by the advertising industry. While methods of linguistic translation appear insufficient for negotiating these communications, the fields of semiotics and structural anthropology suggest an approach. Semiotics, the science of signs, and structural anthropology, the study of cultural systems of expression, rely on principles that indicate that visual texts depend on another system, besides linguistic coding, in order to generate meaning.
Source : Based on abstract in book