A Discursive-Semiotic Approach to Translating Cultural Aspects in Persuasive Advertisements
ilze bezuidenhout


Chapter 1

This chapter deals with the discursive-semiotic approach to the cultural aspects present in persuasive advertisements. Certain elements of discourse analysis are discussed to illustrate its importance in the translation process. Selected semiotic theories of de Saussure and Peirce are compared in the light of their application for the translator. A synthesis of both disciplines provides the translator with instruments to approach the cultural elements in persuasive advertisements.

Chapter 2

In this chapter the focus is on culture and its importance in advertisements. Cultural identity and its role are discussed in terms of its semiotic significance in generating meaning. The situations in South Africa and Belgium are compared with a view to finding possible solutions to deal with cultural matters in the translation of advertisements. An additional problem is that of the impact of the American culture on smaller cultures and finding a way to prevent total domination of one world culture. Examples of multinational products and their advertisements will be discussed to illustrate their impact on other cultures.

Chapter 3

This chapter deals with translation theory relevant to the problem of difficulties in advertisements arising from cultural differences between the source text and the target text. A suitable theory is chosen to meet the nature of the requirements presented by persuasive advertisements. The interrelated nature of translation and semiotics helps the translator to apply the theory in practice.

Chapter 4

In this chapter examples of persuasive advertisements from various media will be discussed and analysed. Belgian and South African advertisements and their existing translations will be compared. Problems and possible translational difficulties in terms of cultural aspects will be isolated and discussed.

Chapter 5

Chapter 5 deals with the instrument in action. In this chapter the discursive-semiotic approach in the translation of persuasive advertisements is applied to a selection of advertisements to isolate and describe cultural aspects and assist in the cultural transference into the target language and cultural situation.

Chapter 6

A critical discussion of the usefulness and applicability of the approach is offered. The impact on and value of this approach on the South African and Belgian advertising industries are pointed out. Proposals for further research and investigation in the field conclude the dissertation.