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McNair Scholars Program

Avelina Martinez, M.A.

She/her

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Latin American studies (May 1997)

Master of Arts in English-Spanish translation from the Monterey Institute of International Studies

McNair Project: Seeking Communicative Equivalence: A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Como agua para chocolate/Like Water for Chocolate (1996)

Mentor: Bradley Shaw, Ph.D.

The following cross-cultural analysis of Laura Esquivel's Como agua para chocolate and its English translation incorporates a combination of strategies or procedures to assess attempts to achieve communicative equivalence. This includes the analysis of genre, sentence structure, and culture-norm adaptation/reproduction of such as a single text. As separate in-texts (functions), it involves word play, register, the implied reader, and the historical, political, and sociocultural context. And the analysis of rhetorical features comprises hyperbole, word play, figures of speech, idioms, and cliches.

In the final analysis, only a native linguist possesses the skills to adequately surmount the challenges and the obstacles that the translation of a culturally-bound text poses. And a cross-cultural analysis of the screenplay rather than literary text could prove to be more of a breakthrough in the discipline of translation studies.