OBITUARIES IN TRANSLATION: A CORPUS-BASED STUDY

Abstract Sooner or later death will affect everyone, everywhere. However, this harsh reality is faced differently across cultures. Obituaries can help unveil some of those differences and their impact on translation. Using corpus linguistics as methodology, we aim to investigate if - and to what extent - a comparable American English-Brazilian Portuguese corpus of obituaries can help with the task of raising students’ awareness of cultural peculiarities encountered in the same genre written in different languages and their consequences for equivalence retrieval. In order to accomplish our task, we selected texts published in Brazilian and NorthAmerican newspapers in 2015 and 2017. Despite addressing an everyday subject, obituaries are little explored academically. Nevertheless, this neglect is not proportional across countries, but it results from the popularity enjoyed by the genre. While obituaries are widely read in the United States, in Brazil they are rare, almost solely dedicated to famous deceased. Qualitative and quantitative analyses showed that terminology lacks in Portuguese due to cultural differences regarding the theme and that the lack of contact with the genre, in addition to ritual differences encountered in both countries/cultures, can help explain difficulties faced by Brazilian undergraduate students of Translation to render NorthAmerican obituaries into Portuguese.