The processes underlying textual formalisation in specialized languages can be classified according to two dimensions. Whilst the horizontal dimension focuses on the contents that a specialized language aims to convey, the vertical dimension – i.e. diaphasic variation - considers the different communicative contexts of use, target audience, and text typologies and genres through which specialized language is transmitted (Cortelazzo 1994; Dardano 1994; De Mauro 1994; Gualdo & Telve 2011). Over the years a widely accepted view has emerged. According to this view, scientific communication - particularly in healthcare settings – is heading towards two different directions, i.e. research activity, which must be characterised by a high level of specialisation, or common and non-homogenous audience, where medical discourse is said to be constructed and organized in a clear and transparent way in order to facilitate comprehension between non-experts (Greco 2007). This paper aims to analyse an Italian-Chinese information booklet addressed to women in order to explain contraception and pregnancy prevention. Starting from guidelines for effective health communication set by the World Health Organisation and the Italian government, this paper discusses the textual and communicative strategies used in both languages to facilitate – or rather, hinder - dialogue between experts and non-experts. On the basis of my data, one can state that the information booklet’s Italian edition is characterised by what Calvino described as “anti-language”, while the Chinese edition contains a number of translation mistakes which are due to translator’s low extra-linguistic skills and – most importantly - to the source text’s incorrect use of the Italian language at pragmatic, textual, and syntactic level.

The Misuse of Medical Language in Health Professionals and Non-Experts' Communication: An Analysis of an Italian-Chinese Information Booklet

S. Zuccheri
2020

Abstract

The processes underlying textual formalisation in specialized languages can be classified according to two dimensions. Whilst the horizontal dimension focuses on the contents that a specialized language aims to convey, the vertical dimension – i.e. diaphasic variation - considers the different communicative contexts of use, target audience, and text typologies and genres through which specialized language is transmitted (Cortelazzo 1994; Dardano 1994; De Mauro 1994; Gualdo & Telve 2011). Over the years a widely accepted view has emerged. According to this view, scientific communication - particularly in healthcare settings – is heading towards two different directions, i.e. research activity, which must be characterised by a high level of specialisation, or common and non-homogenous audience, where medical discourse is said to be constructed and organized in a clear and transparent way in order to facilitate comprehension between non-experts (Greco 2007). This paper aims to analyse an Italian-Chinese information booklet addressed to women in order to explain contraception and pregnancy prevention. Starting from guidelines for effective health communication set by the World Health Organisation and the Italian government, this paper discusses the textual and communicative strategies used in both languages to facilitate – or rather, hinder - dialogue between experts and non-experts. On the basis of my data, one can state that the information booklet’s Italian edition is characterised by what Calvino described as “anti-language”, while the Chinese edition contains a number of translation mistakes which are due to translator’s low extra-linguistic skills and – most importantly - to the source text’s incorrect use of the Italian language at pragmatic, textual, and syntactic level.
Italian Association for Chinese Studies Selected Papers 3
204
218
S. Zuccheri
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/761530
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