Cross-Cultural Communication: Perspectives from Translation Studies and Applied Linguistics


  • Hosni Mostafa El-dali, Dr. General Linguistics Programme, UAE University, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates



Communication across languages, Translation, Applied Linguistics


This paper has emerged out of the conviction that linguistic theory has more to offer to
translation theory than is so far recognized and vice versa. One reason for the relative separation
between the two fields is, perhaps, the domination of formal approaches to language study for a
considerable period of time. But, with the spread of functional linguistics in the last three decades,
there have been growing hopes for establishing links between linguistics and translation studies.
Accordingly, the discussion, in the present study, proceeds primarily from the perspectives of
“Translation Studies” and “Applied Linguistics”. One major goal is to show the interrelationships
between linguistics and translation, and how they benefit from each other. The basic underlying
theme, here, is that “inside or between languages, human communication equals translation. A
study of translation is a study of language” (Bassnett-McGuire, 1980: 23). In addition, both
translators and linguists deal with two linguistic systems, each with, perhaps, a different cultural
system. So, if we agree that ‘all communicators are translators’ (Bell, 1994), we must remember
that the role of the translator is different from that of the ‘normal communicator’: the translator is a
bilingual mediating agent between monolingual communication participants in two different
language communities.

On the other hand, there has been a great focus on using English only as a medium of
instruction in all courses taught in the UAE University. Accordingly, the second goal of this study
is to try to answer the questions, “How much translation from L1 is permitted in FL teaching? and
“What are the factors that determine the quantity to be used?”. The view adopted in the present
study is that disregarding L2 learners’ mother-tongue and considering it “a bogey to be shunned at


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Author Biography

Hosni Mostafa El-dali, Dr., General Linguistics Programme, UAE University, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates

Associate Professor of Linguistics, General Linguistics Programme,
UAE University, P.O.Box: 17771, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates


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How to Cite

El-dali, H. M. (2012). Cross-Cultural Communication: Perspectives from Translation Studies and Applied Linguistics. Journal of Social Sciences (COES&Amp;RJ-JSS), 1(1), 23–46.