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«Foreigners», «Ausländer», «Extranjeros»

Cultural and Linguistic Representations- Kulturelle und Linguistische Darstellungen


Edited By Mariann Larsen

The book investigates the European debate on culture and identity by pointing to those uses of language that shape the image and perception of migrants in host societies. The term ‘foreigner’ is highly sensitive to changes experienced by communities. Its meanings transcend its traditional semantic scope and lead to the discussion of notions such as nation, nationality, immigration, integration, citizenship, nationalism and multiculturalism. The words ‘foreigner’, ‘Ausländer’, ‘extranjero’ and the network of related terms are discussed from a multidisciplinary approach with the aim of identifying the core features of the concept of ‘foreignness’ in German, Spanish and English.
Dieses Buch untersucht die europäische Diskussion über Kultur und Identität. Im Zentrum steht dabei derjenige Sprachgebrauch, der das Bild und die Wahrnehmung hinsichtlich der Migranten in den Gastgeberländern prägt. Bei gesellschaftlichen Veränderungen wandelt sich auch der Gehalt des Begriffs «Ausländer». Seine Bedeutung geht über den traditionellen semantischen Rahmen hinaus und führt zur Diskussion über Konzepte wie Nation, Nationalität, Migration, Integration, Bürgerschaft, Nationalismus und Multikulturalität. Die Wörter ‚foreigner‘, ‚Ausländer‘, ‚extranjero‘ und deren semantisches Umfeld werden fachübergreifend behandelt, um die Grundmerkmale des Begriffs ‚Fremdartigkeit‘ auf Deutsch, Englisch und Spanisch zu identifizieren.
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The idea of Nativeness and its repercussions on the concept of Competent Translator



Due to the growing number of temporary or permanent mass migration especially within the European continent the concept of a native language underwent a series of important transformations. The analysis of new sociolinguistic communities encounters and identities have contributed to the global change of the concept of a native speaker in academic circles. Nevertheless, it needs to be acknowledged that recent academic advances and their renewed interest in the issue of native speakership have not yet filtered to public opinion. As a result, an observable phenomenon denominated folk or lay knowledge on language can be easily identified. Watts (2012:vii) understood folk knowledge as misconceptions about language and described them in the following manner: people have “odd ideas about language in which they believe fervently”. Those beliefs seem to constitute an unbroken line of assumptions, which belong to the discursive universe shared by a particular community, nourish themselves from outdated theoretical positions and scientific tenets which have already been challenged as well as conservative social discourses.

Given the limitations to the study, it aims at revising the linguistic evolution of the notion of native speaker and at raising questions about popular misconceptions on that notion, which could be said to explain particular behaviours of a cultural group. The present paper summarises most of the main points which were previously commented on in greater depth and presented as a Master’s dissertation whose oral defence took place in Universidad Complutense in Madrid.1

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