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Translating Politeness Across Englishes

The Princess and the Pea

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Rehana Mubarak-Aberer

Due to the increasing lingua-cultural heterogeneity of today’s users of English, it has become necessary to examine politeness, translation and transcultural communication from a different perspective. This book proposes a concept for a transdisciplinary methodology to shed some light onto the opaque relationship between the lingua-cultural biographies of users of English and their patterns of perceiving and realizing politeness in speech acts. The methodology incorporates aspects of CAT tools and business intelligence systems, and is designed for long-term research that can serve as a foundation for theoretical studies or practical contexts, such as customer relationship management and marketing.

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Interlude: Who are the princesses and what’s beneath their bedding?

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I am not sure how many young ladies had to undergo the “pea test” in 1835, before the real princess was found. I also wonder if all princesses had the same pea under their bedding or if each of them had a different pea or at least a different pea-REALITY. We are not likely to find this out, but unlike in 1835, today’s technical developments enable us to look at a large number of princesses and the pea from different perspectives and detect commonalities and differences in perceiving the pea. The observations cannot represent all princesses and all peas in the world, but the explication of the findings may help increase the awareness for and sensitivity towards politeness in translation across Englishes…

Figure 2: Perceiving politeness – perceiving the pea

Source: Author←51 | 52→ ←52 | 53→

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