Cavagnoli, Stefania, Elena di Giovanni, Raffaela Merlini (eds) (2009). La Ricerca nella Comunicazione Interlinguistica.
Milan: Franco Angeli, 512 pp. EUR 35.00. ISBN: 978 88 568 1056 1.
This publication arose from the TILS 2008 Conference 'Translation, Interpreting and LSP. Research in cross-lingual communication: theories and methodologies' held at the Università di Macerata in Italy. It is one of the latest volumes in the Lingua, traduzione, didattica series, which focuses on the description and analysis of Italian and other modern and old languages in their written or oral modes, as well as on language and translation teaching.
As the title suggests, La Ricerca nella Comunicazione Interlinguistica is primarily interested in research carried out on communication between languages, be it in written or oral mode, whether involving general or specialised language. The publication contains 29 papers, some in English and some in Italian, and is organised into three excellently interrelated parts. Issues present throughout the book are essentially the interdisciplinarity typical of Translation Studies, and the multiplicity of methodological and theoretical approaches applied to the wide variety of studies presented. The use of corpora is a theme that features frequently, signalling an emphasis on empirical rather than merely observational or introspective approaches.
Coordinated by Stefania Cavagnoli and entitled "La comunicazione specialistica intra- e interlinguistica come area di competenza pragmatico-testuale," the first part of the book basically focuses on LSP. It contains essentially descriptive studies, several of which look at various aspects of terminology (Natascia Leonardi; Barbara De Santis, Melissa Tiberi and Fulvio Mazzocchi; Irene Russo). Klaus-Dieter Baumann conducts a thorough examination of emotion in relation to LSP, with a particular focus on cognitive elements, while Francesca Santulli provides an interesting perspective on scientific journalism. Legal and institutional language is an area of common interest to the papers by Maria Vittoria Dell'Anna and Carla Serpentini, Maria Laura Pierucci, and Paola Polselli and Greta Zanoni, in the contexts of EU institutions, the textual genre of sentences and multilingual communication respectively. The publication's first section concludes with a paper in which Massimiliano Morini advocates a pragmatic theory of translation.
The second part, "La comunicazione interlinguistica scritta come luogo di incontro tra culture, esperienze e saperi," coordinated by Elena di Giovanni, encompasses a wide range of translation-related topics. It opens with a reminder from Jeremy Munday on the dynamism in the interdiscipline of Translation Studies. Interdisciplinarity and the proximity between translation and LSP are frequently recurring themes, featuring, for example, in the paper by Cecilia Varcasia, Alessandra Cattani, Simona Cocco and Adriana Orlandi on ICT language, and in that by Maria Teresa Musacchio and Giuseppe Palumbo on economic texts. Gianna Tarquini, meanwhile, comments on the necessarily interdisciplinary approach to the translation of videogames, which combines Game Studies, the GILT (Globalisation, Internationalisation, Localisation and Translation) framework, Translation Studies and audiovisual translation. Elsewhere, the paper contributed by Federico Gaspari and Silvia Bernardini looks at translation universals, hypothesising that the features that constitute such universals can also be found in L2 written production, although their research is still at an early stage and has yet to produce specific results. Dominic Stewart analyses the linguistic and cultural implications of the nomenclature applied to the act of translating into a foreign language, and suggests that the wide variety of names used may indicate terminological uneasiness in the area of directionality. In relation to modern translator training, Fiorenza Mileto and Luigi Muzii present two postgraduate-level computer-assisted translation and localisation courses geared to enhancing students' chances of succeeding as professional translators, while David Katan explains exactly what 'intercultural competence' entails and proposes careful planning for the gradual acquisition of the relevant skills. Provided by Cui Feng and Chiara Galletti, the two final papers in this section share a focus on the transmission of ideology, social and cultural values through literature.
The book's third section is devoted to interpreting. Coordinated by Raffaela Merlini and entitled "La comunicazione interlinguistica orale come interazione sociale," it starts with Franz Pöchhacker establishing links between interpreting and LSP based on examples from interpreting practice for political asylum seekers. Similarly, the papers by Roberta Favaron and Gabriele Bersani Berselli give examples of interpreting situations in which all the participants involved contribute to facilitating communication. The three papers by Ira Torresi, Seyada Eraslan Gercek and Daniela Zorzi look at attitudes often attributed to the figure of the interpreter, including neutrality, invisibility and impartiality, in different interpreting contexts and modalities. Methods of conducting research into interpreting are examined in the papers by Alessandra Riccardi, who comments on case studies and experimental studies, and Estela Martin-Ruel, who looks at the use of questionnaires, while Federico Farini presents methodological reflections on the benefits of combining conversational analysis and social system theory. Finally, Cynthia Jane Kellett Bidoli describes a study involving different modes of translation, genres, target audiences, etc., which has produced data, if only of a limited, descriptive nature, on how information is transferred.
In conclusion, La Ricerca nella Comunicazione Interlinguistica is a very interesting book for those involved in research in any or all of the three areas it covers.
Patricia Rodríguez-Inés, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona