Written by: Dr. Irina Petrovska, Assistant professor
University St Kliment Ohridski, Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality – Ohrid, R. Macedonia
The paper aims to identify categories of specialized lexis and selected specialized terms by the method of contrastive analysis. Data consist of a set of brochures and lists of dishes Macedonian-English available in the area. The second part of the paper examines whether selected specialized terms are left in Macedonian, or translated, and if left in Macedonian whether they are explained.
Tourism becomes very important channel of globalisation. Communication practices and processes and the media are of fundamental concern to humanities and social sciences disciplines. Although languages and communication are central aspects of tourism studies, this is relatively unexplored area of study.
International tourism and hospitality industry is a rapidly growing industry entailing the need for using the English language instrumentally as a lingua franca (ELF) in cross-cultural communication .When English taking on the role of a global language and tourists coming from a range of countries, English language texts in multilingual and bilingual promotional materials for the Ohrid tourist area can be said to be aimed at a multicultural audience. Even if one or two “English speaking cultures” are considered prime targets, the readership of English texts may in fact represent a number of cultures, especially when the material is in Macedonian and English only. Whatever their linguistic background, visitors or potential visitors, from different parts of the world do not share the same knowledge of the local geography, culture, tradition, specialties and so on. The situation is further complicated by the need for the choices – whether on the part of translators or members of local organizations – about whether to maintain a specialized in the local language or ‘translate’ it.
The notion of ‘Total Quality Management’ has become popular worldwide, clearly calling for error-free performance in all domains, including composing visitor materials. As for the composers of such materials, influential writers in applied linguistics commonly advocate strategies that would involve a great deal of thinking about meaning and help non-native learners understand and use the ‘natural’ English idiom in a coherent discourse. However, adult learners of English, who have already acquired a vast amount of knowledge about the surrounding world, tend to use foreign words in accordance with thee way of use characteristic of their respective native languages. They are inclined to simplify, replace or avoid certain combinations of words or structures commonly used by native speakers, which may eventually jeopardize successful communication. To this effect M. Lewis (1993:88,89), one of the most influential proponents of lexical approach in applied linguistics argues that ‘since the purpose of language is the communication of meaning, language teaching activities should invariably be meaning-centered.’ He also highlights that ‘language consists of grammaticalized lexis, not lexicalized grammar. Lexis is the core or heart of language but in language teaching has always been the Cinderella”. The following lines aim to emphasize the importance of exploring modern monolingual dictionaries as a springboard for communication and as a source of information about the way English words are used and combined into multi-word units to generate meanings typical of professional settings, such as composing visitor materials.
This paper explores the notion of common ground, examining the use of specialized lexis in bilingual and monolingual visitor materials for the Ohrid area and suggests some applications for improvement of the quality of these materials.
Tourism in the Republic of Macedonia emerges as predominantly English speaking industry. Both tourism and hospitality industry rely heavily on English as lingua franca. Whatever their linguistic background, visitors or potential visitors from different parts of the world do not share the same knowledge of the local geography, culture, traditions specialties and so on.
In this context common ground, used as a general term for those assumptions shared by interactants about common or shared knowledge, goals, wants, values, and so on takes on an important role. Since, the use of specialized lexis can contribute to common ground (Brown and Levinson 1978/1987:102), an investigation of its use is significant, especially when different cultures are involved. These specialized terms can be used to communicate a destination’s attractions and to help build a particular image. They have a potential to reflect a local identity and brand, and to take on a positive connotation. In addition, an examination of the presupposition behind the use of specialized lexis in different languages relates to wider issues concerning marketing communication.
The authentic visitor materials explores culture in different ways thus providing models of values, behaviours, traditions and needs for the visitors. Durant (Durant, 1996:123-141) states that the promotional literature similarly to the tourist guides is not just presentation of information but also it holds the role of a wider presentation of the cultural life and understanding. In addition travel logs as well as other promotional materials are ‘active interpreters of culture trough which they travel’. In this way, they are actually ‘translations’ of the culture into language and as it is the case with all translations they are product in time. (Cronin, 2000:23).From country to country, the social taboos, politics and religious traditions and values differ. These cultural variables are recognized and contrasted in the visitor materials for Ohrid area as well.
In the process of composing the promotional text the choice of specialized lexemes is of crucial importance. The analysis of the visitor materials showed certain characteristics of the promotional text. It is a restricted text with a choice of specialized lexemes. This choice should attract reader’s attention and make him wish visiting the destination.
The promotional visitor material is the most important document used in promoting a destination. It is a text with an exceptionally usage of a descriptive language a combination of an adjective + noun or a group of adjectives + noun, a combination known as brochure language. (Jacob & Strut, 1997:48).
мирни изолирани градини
базен на отворен простор
декорирани спални соби
Very often the composer implements more than one adjectives as modificators in order to create an image of attractiveness of the promoted destination. The order of the adjectives is as followed: subjective opinion, qualificator, (largeness, age, form), color, origin, material of which the specialized lexeme is made of.
the hectic pace of the fast-changing Great Britain Capital
‘брзиот начин на живеење во главниот град на Велика Британија кој постојано се менува’
a pleasant rural setting
‘пријатен рурален пејзаж’
CATEGORIES OF SPECIALISED LEXIS
Data used in this paper consist of a set of multilingual brochures Macedonian – English available in the Local Office for tourism in Ohrid and selected web pages concerning tourism in Ohrid. Additional data were gathered by analyzing a number of lists of dishes collected from the most popular dining restaurants. Most of them are focused on nearby resort areas. We identified seven categories of specialized lexis:
Geography and natural surroundings:
mountain huts, villas,
St. Bogorodica Perivleptos
Local culinary specialties and beverages
Sports and outdoor activities
Non-sports vacation activities
First and last names of people
Cyril and Methodius
Other events and activities related to local culture and not included in the above categories
Balcan festival of folk dances and songs
By examining the data we came to a conclusion that the selected specialized terms are treated differently in different promotional materials.
There is a list of specialized terms that are translated into English with no explanation at all. The conclusion behind this is that the composer of such promotional materials presupposes the notion of common ground for the potential visitors.
Lake Ohrid, cultural heritage,
However, specialized terms which seem to represent local specialties and attractions seem to cause greater problem. A number of these specialized terms are left in Macedonian with no explanation in a number of brochures. This can cause additional proglem for the potential visitor who might find himself confused when making a choice.
Krstdjamija (religious monument, a church transformed into a mosque)
gravce-tavce (national specialty)
The following specialized terms are left in Macedonian and described in English. There are many situations when these terms are left in Macedonian in one brochure and then described into English in another brochure. Most of them refer to national specialties such as:
The translations and/or descriptions may also differ, which can cause doubt and cultural misunderstanding between the interactants in the tourism discourse. In addition, the implications of these differences appear in terms of building a particular image for an awareness of the area and its specialties and emphasising the issue of identity , that is what is a local identity’ or ‘brand identity’ for a local specialty.
Many specialized terms are in their original form but accompanied with additional visual details. Visitor materials is characterized with creative usage of the material form of the language, with the shapes of ther letters, the font, with the presentation of the words and sentences. Cook, (Cook, 1992:45), uses the term paralanguage to describe this inclination. Examples for such presentation are present in the analyzed visitor materials fro Ohrid tourist area. The Heritage of Ohrid churches and Cathedral expressed through archaic fornt of words, replacement of words with icons, etc. This is similar to the slogan I love Ohrid Lake, where the verb сакам ‘love’ is being replaced by red heart.
The phenomenon as tourism itself is, asks for an interdisciplinary approach in future composing of visitor materials.
The paper shows that in a number of cases a potential visitor may find himself confused with the diversity of variety of forms in the texts in English language. It arises the issue of coordinating visitor materials, especially linguistic choices, when a number of organizations produce them. Finally the role of internet has to be considered since the internet gains in quality as well as in quantity as overtaking the role of presenting the area’s attractions to audiences whose background knowledge and motivations may vary. These differences build a particular image for an awareness of the area and its specialties.
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