A Glass of Two Languages: The Specialized Terminology of Italian Wine in Chinese


Authors: Natalia Riva, Chiara Bertulessi, Emma Lupano (University of Milan, Italy)
Speakers: Natalia Riva, Chiara Bertulessi, Emma Lupano
Topic:General Sociolinguistics
CALA 2020 General Session


Panel Abstract

Recently, Chinese consumers have shown growing interest in Italian wine tradition. The wine sector has become a promising ground for the cultural encounter between Italy and China and therefore needs linguistic tools to develop. Cultural and language mediators must explore innovative ways to facilitate communication between Italian and Chinese speakers targeting the specific field of “the language of wine”. The Dictionary of Italian wines and grape varieties (original title Dizionario dei vini e dei vitigni d’Italia), recently compiled by the Confucius Institute at the University of Milan and published by Gambero Rosso, meets the need of systemising, from a terminological perspective, the transmission in Chinese of the Italian wine culture.

This paper aims to illustrate the methods and strategies used to compile this bilingual Italian-Chinese lexicographical work, reflecting on the difficulties encountered and the solutions adopted. The study pertains to research on language for specific purposes (Trace/Hudson/Brown 2015) and Chinese translation (Pellat/Liu 2010), though, given the nature of the project, follows an interdisciplinary approach, tapping into specific issues of linguistics and applied linguistics. After briefly describing the Dictionary and introducing sector-specific source language features, the paper focuses on the target language and describes: 1) the standardisation in Chinese of names of Italian wines and grape varieties; and 2) the translation into Chinese of the definitions associated to the lexicographical entries. Both processes embrace aspects of applied linguistics and translation, with the first touching upon lexicon and word formation (Packard 2016) and the second on syntax (Shi 2015; Shi/Huang 2016) and punctuation (Stryjewska 2016).

References:
Packard, J. (2016), “Lexical Word Formation”, in Chu-Ren, Huang and Shi, Dingxu (eds.), A Reference Grammar of Chinese, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 67-80.
Pellat, V. and Liu, E. T. (2010), Thinking Chinese Translation, Routledge, Oxon/New York.
Shi, Dingxu Tim (2015), “Modern Mandarin Syntax”, in Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, edited by Rint Sybesma. Accessed August 23, 2019. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000279.
Shi, Dingxu and Huang, Chu-Ren (2016), “Syntactic Overview”, in Chu-Ren, Huang and Shi, Dingxu (eds.), A Reference Grammar of Chinese, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp.  14-66.
Stryjewska, A. (2016), “Punctuation, Modern”, in Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, edited by Rint Sybesma. Accessed August 23, 2019. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_000285.
Trace, J., Hudson, T., & Brown, J. D. (2015), An overview of language for specific purposes, in J. Trace, T. Hudson, and J. D. Brown (eds.) Developing Courses in Languages for Specific Purposes Honolulu, University of Hawaii, pp. 1-22. doi: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/14573.

Keywords: language for specific purposes, language of wine, Chinese translation, Italian-Chinese bilingual dictionary, linguistics and applied linguistics, lexicography