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Typical Brazilian cooking translated into English: a corpus-based research

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Rozane Rodrigues Rebechi
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH/SBD)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Stella Esther Ortweiler Tagnin; Paola Giustina Baccin; Cleci Regina Bevilacqua; Carlos Alberto Dória; Adriana Zavaglia
Advisor: Stella Esther Ortweiler Tagnin

The aim of this dissertation is to build the Portuguese-English Dictionary of Brazilian Cooking. Although cooking is a common theme of TV shows, newspaper and magazine sections, cookbooks and various publications, it has been underestimated by scholars. Usually disregarded as specialized language, it does not count with a large supply of reference materials. This is especially true when we consider the pair of languages Portuguese-English. Regarding the typical Brazilian cooking, works covering terms and phraseologies which could help translators and writers with the production of texts in the area are nonexistent. Consequently, the task results in problems such as the use of wrong equivalents, lack of fluency and adaptations that lead to mischaracterization of cultural references. In order to identify the terms which are characteristic of Brazilian cooking which constitute the dictionary entries and their equivalents, definitions, phraseologies and other relevant information in English, we built a corpus from cookbooks. This corpus, which consists of a comparable and a parallel subcorpus, was investigated with the methodology underlying Corpus Linguistics. The first comparable corpus comprises eleven books originally written in Portuguese and in English, accounting for about 430,000 words in each language. The parallel subcorpus is made up of six of the eleven books originally written in Portuguese and their translations into English. The data were drawn by two computational tools: WordSmith Tools 6.0 and ParaConc. From simple and complex key-keywords in Portuguese words which are significantly more reccurrent in at least two of the eleven books considered , we searched for equivalents in the English texts. Results showed differences between Brazilian cookbooks written in Portuguese vis-à-vis those written in English. Concerning the recipes written in Portuguese, we observed a higher presence of emblematic dishes and ingredients which are typical of some regions. On the other hand, day to day recipes stand out in the books written in English, confirming that Brazilians are more influenced by nationalist issues when choosing their characteristic dishes, whereas foreigners seem to base their choices on observation of eating habits. Due to this discrepancy, the English books at times failed to provide equivalents for some of the Brazilian cultural references. In such cases, we resorted to the English version of the parallel subcorpus. We also observed that the recipes in Portuguese use a more informal language and are less detailed, mainly when we analyze the section devoted to preparation. To build the dictionary we used the software TshwaneLex. The results showed that the methodology was useful for identifying terms, phraseologies and equivalents in a specialized area. This may motivate other researchers to attempt to use it in other studies which deal with empirical data. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 11/19609-0 - English Translation of the Typical Brazilian Cuisine: a Study from the Perspective of Corpus Linguistics
Grantee:Rozane Rodrigues Rebechi
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate