Panel 12: Mediation, new media and local-global reception (Teresa Musacchio)

Today's information society poses ever increasing challenges to the various actors who are involved and work within it. Interaction take place at various levels and in a number of different ways. Communication is becoming more rapid, more frequent and more complex, as well as more inter- and multi-disciplinary. Hence communication, to be successful, needs to be more ‘shared\', therefore constructed by various actors (i.e. ‘co-constructed').
The intersection of various levels means that it is necessary to consider not only how texts are produced but also, and above all, how they are received in multilingual and multicultural communities. In other words, appropriate to consider that modes of reception increasingly affect and constrain modes of production, if the goal is for communication to contribute to the development of a society that is inclusive (a society in which all actors feel accepted, involved and represented), integrated (a society which recognises and values the diversity of languages and cultures) and supportive (a society which respects and supports identity and individuality). These manifold forms of interaction are made up of one or more transfers in which different languages are used, driven by intentions which derive from factors such as globalisation, internationalisation, cosmopolitanism and interculturality.
This session will focus on text hybridisation subsequent to the development of the internet and the social media, and, on text rewriting, transediting and cultural mediation to clarify and in general make the text more accessible, to meet the expectations of the receivers. Hence this panel will discuss the processes of recontextualisation and reconceptualisation which are needed in relation to the varying objectives, values and interests of the actors present in the contemporary linguistic-cultural context. Four ‘themes’ will be the object of interest in this panel:

  • How scientific knowledge is produced, disseminated and ratified internationally
  • How public information is produced for the disabled internationally
  • How tourist sites are described and promoted internationally
  • How rewriters, web-editors and other gate-keepers operate supranationally.
In all cases, papers will focus on aspects of the quality, effectiveness, understandability, clarity and accessibility of the texts and with a view to identifying a series of criteria to be used as parameters for the reformulation and transcreation of texts in order for them to be functional in the local and multi-cultural context in which they occur.
Research disciplines and techniques to be brought into this debate include not only those overlapping with Translation Studies (linguistics, pragmatics, socio-linguistics, corpus linguistics, cultural approaches, etc.) but also others such as appraisal analysis, social anthropology, eyetracking, neuromarketing, neurolinguistic programming (NLP), and social media marketing.

Communication no longer takes place in the context of traditional locations, codes and means. It is no longer predominantly written or oral, but is increasingly multimedia and multimodal communication. Individual languages and codes adapt to the changing situation and context, but must also allow for appropriate transfer of information through different languages and must therefore also involve important intercultural aspects. The intersection of various levels means that it is necessary to consider not only how texts are produced but also, and above all, how they are received in multilingual and multicultural communities. Hence the need to adopt methods from other disciplines and sciences to investigate all the features of multimedia and multimodal communication and in particular those aspects carrying cultural values.

Thus, in this session the key question are as follows:

  • Does current cross-cultural communication in the four domains mentioned above respect individuality and diversity?
  • Under what conditions can public-institutional communication across cultures be considered effective?
  • In what situations does cultural diversity become a real impediment to communication?
  • Do people belonging to different cultures behave differently when using the new tools provided by the Internet?
  • Are texts written in English as lingua franca equally effective in each lingua-culture or should translation in more languages be fostered?
  • To what extent can new technologies and disciplines contribute to the production of effective texts?