Monash University
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Translating tourism: a cultural journey across conceptual spaces

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posted on 2017-02-23, 02:12 authored by Sulaiman, Mohamed Zain
This study aims to suggest ways of improving the effectiveness of translated tourism promotional materials (TPMs). It investigates the root causes behind the failure of translated texts to reach the target audience and the challenges involved in producing effective TPM translations. Research on the translation of TPMs has concentrated mainly on individual case studies and has generally not taken account of the overall context, that is, the entire process of promoting tourism across cultures. This study attempts to fill this gap by focusing on the relationship between the cultural context of tourism promotion in the commercial world and the language of tourism promotion as employed in TPMs. This is accomplished by investigating published Malay translations of Australian TPMs to assess whether the function of the Malay translations is appropriate for its cultural context. The application of the functionalist approach to translation and the investigation into the cultural context of the translated TPMs highlight key cultural inconsistencies. I address this cross-cultural challenge by proposing a translation model - the cultural-conceptual translation model (CCT) - which identifies effective strategies for the translation of TPMs. It is a given that the creation of an effective translated TPM is also contingent on a successful negotiation between the translator and the commissioner who assigns the task to the individual translator. Therefore, the translator-commissioner relationship forms an integral part of this study. In other words, this study combines both theoretical and practical aspects. The theoretical aspect is represented by the CCT model, while the practical aspect is represented by the application of the CCT model in a translation project conducted in a simulated commercial-world setting, with the commissioner-translator interaction being a key feature. The combination of both theory and practice works towards the mapping of possible best practices in TPM translation.


Principal supervisor

Rita Wilson

Additional supervisor 1

Harry Aveling

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Languages, Cultures and Linguistics


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type


Campus location



Faculty of Arts