Sociopragmatics of Translating Tourism Texts: A Case of Spiritual Tourism in India

Authors: Sanjukta Ghosh (Indian Institute of Technology (Banaras Hindu University), India)
Speakers: Sanjukta Ghosh
Strand: Sociolinguistics
Session Type: General Session


The translation related to spiritual tourism is a challenging area as it involves many culture-specific words and phrases that may not have any meaning to an outsider. According to news from 2018, spiritual tourism grows strongly in India for both national and international tourists. Tourism translation has been projected as a specialized discourse and the issues have been discussed from the point of view of branding and intercultural translation by several authors; Merkaj L (2013), Mityagina et al (2017), Napu (2016) to name a few. This paper analyzes the web content of Uttar Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation that is available in both Hindi and English to find out what kind of strategies are taken to translate the culture specific terms related to two religious places, viz., Mathura-Vrindavan and Varanasi. The paper also seeks to uncover the speech act and presupposition associated with these tourism advertisements and how they differ along with the translation (Bruti 2019). Our initial observations reveal that the English texts not only provides information about the cities but specifically projects their antiquity and spirituality with a package of mysticism whereas the Hindi texts emphasize on the religious and historical importance of these places with a presupposition that the readers are already familiar with the history and mythology associated with these places.

Keywords: Tourism translation, Cultural word translation, Speech acts, Presupposition