Defining Difference

Inscribing Linguistic Variation in British and American English Translations

  • Mary Wardle University of Rome "La Sapienza"
Keywords: ELF, American English, British English, nationlects, translation, publishing industry


While English as a Lingua Franca has been increasingly researched in relation to language pedagogy and typically in commerce, diplomacy, tourism and academia, there is little investigation into how different varieties of English are chosen, promoted, excluded or otherwise dealt with within the publishing industry and, more specifically, within the field of translations into ‘English’. This paper provides an overview of the current situation, presenting a wide variety of case studies drawn from contemporary English translations of foreign- language texts, highlighting the many different strategies adopted by the industry on both sides of the Atlantic. One of the recurring characteristics across the corpus is the lack of transparency surrounding the various behaviours: this paper aims to foreground the phenomenon and lay the groundwork for further research.