Translating Politeness in Bilingual English-Spanish Business Correspondence

  • Pedro A. Fuertes-Olivera, Sandro Nielsen
  • Meta Journal des traducteurs, January 2008, Consortium Erudit
  • DOI: 10.7202/019246ar

How dictionaries can help you to be polite in a foreign language.

What is it about?

Bilingual dictionaries help translators in business across cultures, but dictionaries do not contain the relevant pragmatic information. The analysis focuses on a Spanish-English business dictionary and its treatment of politeness in business correspondence and shows that the treatment is insufficient, because users' business-language competence does not enable them to express the right level of politeness. Proposals on what to include and how this can be done are made, with a view to helping translators.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Sandro Nielsen