Images of Italy?

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This chapter discusses some of the interwoven issues concerning translation, imagology, and ideology in the news. Part of a larger project investigating representations of Silvio Berlusconi’s politically incorrect discourse in the British press, the chapter analyses a small but significant corpus of online news texts that focus on the Italian leader’s alleged use of two taboo expressions. The first is “Forza Gnocca” [“Go Pussy”], a suggested new name for his People of Freedom political party (2011). Berlusconi’s purported soubriquet, ‘Culona inchiavabile’ [unscrewable big arse], for Angela Merkel is the second discursive ploy examined. Focusing on the reverberations of linguistic taboos in the process of meaning transfer from Italian into English, the chapter suggests that renderings of these unsubstantiated utterances are ideologically slanted, consciously or unconsciously, to support existing news narratives surrounding Berlusconi.


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