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Putri & Umia

FROM TEXT TO COGNITION


Equivalence

is largely text-based. Translation processes, however, imply cognition. One of the main features of cognition is INFERENCING. Cognition The mental process of knowing, including aspects such as awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment
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Putri & Umia

EXAMPLE A8.1
Serge Cardin, a Canadian MP, had to apologize to the House for humming the theme song from The Godfather while Public Works Minister Alfonso Gagliano, who is of Italian descent, addressed Parliament. (Newsweek, Perspectives, 21 May 2001)
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TASK A8.1 CONSIDER THE ABOVE EXAMPLE OF INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATIVE DIFFICULTIES, AND ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

Why did the MP have to apologize? Is it for humming, which is a breach of parliamentary formality?
the need to apologize is underpinned by another act of inference on the part of the reader : the ethnic slur causing hurt;

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What is the relevance of the reference to The Godfather? Is it anything to do with the fact this film is a true classic?
the significance of humming a particular tune requires that the reader infer a particular kind of relationship between, say, The Godfather and a government minister;

Is descent a relevant issue in this context? What is implied by this text? the minister happens to be of Italian descent.

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INFERENCING & RELEVANCE


Relevance Theory (Sperber and Wilson 1986) Communication starts with stimulus (verbal/nonverbal), for e.g : humming a song This stimulus guides the hearer (or reader) toward precise meaning intended by the speaker (INFORMATIVE INTENTION), e.g : ethnic solidarity with/or condemnation of a government minister who is of Italian descent

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Communication and relevance would be compromised if the interaction of stimulus (e.g humming a tune), contextual assumptions (e.g Godfather Mafia corrupt minister Italian descent) and interpretation (e.g ethnic offence) were disturbed for any reason. This is what (often) happens when we do not see the point of a joke or the irony of something.

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DESCRIPTIVE VS INTERPRETIVE
Descriptive defined as giving details or something that describes (free & wider) E.g : 1. tourist brochures 2. describe what the film is, what is its plot, characters, setting, etc in French movie Interpretive The definition of interpretive is a person or thing that translates or explains. (literal) E.g : 1. advertisements 2. French movie with English subtitles, interpretive subtitles.

Putri & Umia