Translation of Tourist Material: Challenges and Best Practices
Abstract: In recent years, translation studies have been putting more emphasis on cultural influences in translation. Translation has become a significant means of information exchange and intercultural communication by bringing people with different backgrounds closer to one another. Since each community has a different perception of the world shaped by diverse life experiences, culture-specific concepts continue to be the most difficult to handle because they are well-rooted in a particular context which makes the task of transferring them to a different context a real challenge. The present article explores the influence of culture in the translation of tourist promotion materials and proposes possible best practices in cross-cultural translation building on the use of local strategies within a global purpose-driven and reader-centered approach.
Keywords: culture-specific, persuasion, reader-centered, tourist material, translation strategies.
The essence of tourist material translation resides in reproducing on the target text (TT) readers almost the same effect created on the source text (ST) readers by adapting the message and the language to meet the thinking styles of the target audience.
Since destination promotion websites are key in tourist advertising, careful consideration should be given to such translations to suit the socio-cultural context in which the text is operating, as part of building positive feelings toward a destination or a travel experience. The translation quality of the content is often responsible for the website success or failure.
Tourist translation is performed under multilingual and multicultural conditions. Thus, this study investigates the dynamic and interactive characteristics of tourism discourse and describes the influence of culture on the relationship between ST and TT. The objective thereof is to define the global strategy, and the local strategies adopted when rendering the ST from Arabic into English. It aims as well at detecting the extent to which the local strategies are in line with the global ones and complement them.
The present article explores the theoretical foundations of tourism, tourist advertisements in general and destination promotion websites in specific. It describes as well the cultural aspects of translation and outlines the challenges of tourist translation and the strategies and techniques that can be adopted in such translations at the local and global levels. This is followed by the description and analysis of the corpus selected from the official website of the Jordan tourism board. The final section summarizes the relevant findings and includes concluding remarks.
It is worth highlighting that website translation covers linguistic elements such as verbal components, and non-linguistic ones such as the intent behind the message and the visuals. The present article focuses on linguistic elements only and excludes non-linguistic ones that lie outside the scope of the current study.
Tourism, an Economic and Socio-cultural Phenomenon
Tourism is “the business of providing travel, accommodation, food, entertainment, etc., for tourists” (Dictionary of leisure, travel and tourism, 2005, p. 317). Therefore, it involves the combination of different areas of the hospitality business working together to offer visitors a service that meets or even exceeds their expectations. According to Johannesson (2005), “tourism can be understood as a practice that involves networked orderings of people, natures, materials, mobilities and cultures” (p. 141).
From an economic perspective, tourism is a key influencing sector that impacts the growth of economy in many countries by creating employment opportunities and generating income. In the current era of globalization, tourism is becoming a major driving force for economic development due to its increasing popularity. “An ever-increasing number of destinations worldwide have opened up to, and invested in tourism, turning it into a key driver of socio-economic progress through the creation of jobs and enterprises, export revenues, and infrastructure development” (United Nations World Tourism Organization, 2015, p. 2).
In addition to its commercial and economic nature, tourism involves representations that reflect socio-cultural aspects. “Every country, region, or locality has something which sets it apart from all others, something for which it is known and worth visiting: scenic beauty, architecture, feasts or festivals, works of art, etc.” (Cohen, 1972, p. 170). Every destination offers new opportunities to interact with locals and live experiences that are outside one’s usual environment.
The excitement of discovering new places and engaging in unique adventures is enhanced by the different marketing tools, namely advertisements that are designed in a way to attract prospective tourists and turn them into actual ones.
Persuasion in Tourist Advertisements and Promotional Material
Advertising is seen as “the business of using advertisements to try to persuade customers to buy a product or service” (Dictionary of leisure, travel and tourism, 2005, p. 5). It consists of the “use of paid space in publications, posters and outdoor advertising, or of time on radio or on cinema and television screens, intended to influence people to take a particular course of action or to form a particular attitude or point of view” (Medlik, 2003, p. 6). Drawing on these viewpoints, persuasion is at the heart of advertising; it is the ultimate goal of any advertisement.
Successful marketing strategies highly rely on advertisements as persuasion tools; they are constructed in a way that portrays positive images in the aim of persuading their target audience. The idea can be simple but it should be communicated in a creative and memorable way so consumers are engaged enough to be able to see themselves using the product or the service.
Advertisements are conditioned by stereotypes and socio-cultural expectations. “The essence of creating a successful brand is to build an emotional link between product and consumer” (Morgan & Pritchard, 2000, p. 277). The ad should resonate with the right people by offering them the products and services they aspire to have, addressing the challenges they face, and providing them with the solutions they are looking for; the emotional level cannot be underestimated.
In this modern age, advertising continues to be a tool of communication capable of manipulating consumers’ attitudes, and developing their curiosity and interests. “Good marketers see their business from the customer’s viewpoint and organize their entire enterprise to develop relationships with the customer based on trust” (Morgan & Pritchard, 2000, p. 6). Persuasive communication involves the use of verbal and non-verbal messages to influence consumers’ attitudes and get them to make buying choices by affecting their minds and hearts with a message that is both authentic and inspiring. Consumers recognize honesty and appreciate it. The more genuine the ad is, the more impactful it would be.
The same holds true for tourist advertisements and other promotional materials. “Advertising emerges as a key marketing tool in the tourism and leisure industries where potential consumers must base buying decisions upon mental images of product offerings, rather than being able to physically sample alternatives” (Morgan & Pritchard, 2000, p. 11). In selling images of the place, we are selling experiences to appeal to the masses. The story needs to be different and told in an interesting way to grab the attention of the receivers in an industry where the product is a service. Therefore, tourism and leisure promotional materials are expected to appeal to the tourist via an attractive form and content to get the message across.
Since tourism industry is increasingly using technology to communicate with potential customers through several advertising media and channels. Destination promotion websites have become key tools for spreading the striking and exceptional features of a destination.
Destination Promotion Websites
As the global travel market is expanding, governments use tourism ads or destination promotion websites as direct channels of communication with foreign visitors to convey the characteristics of the place or experience. They aim at popularizing destinations, influencing perceptions and motivating travel. The real interest is to reach a wide audience and turn a possible tourist into an actual one.
Official governmental tourism websites are expected to speak to the user to increase customer engagement and satisfaction in order to reach optimal efficiency. They are user-centered and powerful players in influencing receivers in the decision process through the use of attractive verbal and non-verbal content. “The discourse of tourism is a discourse of identity construction, promotion, recognition and acceptance. It is a discourse created through the creation and manipulation of linguistic and visual texts” (Hallet & Kaplan-Weinger, 2010, p. 5). The goal of such texts is to vehicle information while mediating identity construction.
Target receivers should remain a priority when developing such websites. “Your site needs to be designed to meet your online objectives and should be developed with your target market in mind” (Sweeney, 2008, p. 1). It is of paramount importance to use reader-friendly language to boost the number of visitors and inspire travel by fostering the image of the destination, promoting a positive foreign public perception, and reinforcing the positive aspects of what this destination can offer.
“Multiple languages increase the pool of potential travelers. Languages should be prioritized according to target markets. Many sites choose to include an English translation because it is the global language” (Stange, Brown, & Solimar International, p. 110). This fact increases the need for a good translation as a communication tool among the different populations and various cultures to ensure message naturalness and intelligibility.
Cultural Aspects of Translation
The field of translation studies has undergone a dramatic change when it stopped considering translation as a pure linguistic operation that prioritizes blind fidelity to the ST. The cultural turn in translation studies “led scholars to look at how translations have been influenced by cultural and ideological factors, and how translations in turn have effects on target readers and cultures” (Williams & Chesterman, 2002, p. 18).
Culture is the “system of socially transmitted group behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought” (Danesi, 2000, p. 70). Culture specific items can be: food, names of places, customs etc. According to Newmark (1988), “culture is the way of life and its manifestations that are peculiar to a community that uses a particular language as its means of expression” (p. 94). Therefore, languages are reflections of cultures, which explains the undeniable and irremovable differences among languages. The close relationship between language and culture makes translation an undeniably cross-cultural practice rather than a pure linguistic operation.
Translation becomes more complex when cultural aspects are integrated because these aspects are thought to pose the most difficult problem for translators. “The translator can have recourse to several devices for solving the problem of bridging the gap across cultures, providing that s/he is culturally aware of those differences” (Guerra, 2012, p. 5). To grasp the exact semantic content requires considerable cultural knowledge and understanding. Socio-cultural differences may hinder foreign readers from getting the true essence of the ST due to the influence of customs, values and lifestyle.
Translation is an activity involving the transfer of a source text into a target text within the frame of a different culture that conditions it. Such a socio-cultural variety makes it challenging for the translator to bridge the gap between languages. According to Hatim and Munday (2004), “these TT-oriented norms encompass not only translation strategy but also how, if at all, a TT fits into the literary and social culture of the target system” (p. 95).
The challenge for the translator resides in delivering a TT that is as fluent, natural, relevant, creative, catchy and persuasive as the ST, if not more, taking into account the different linguistic and cultural aspects. The target audience expects a fluent easily understandable text. Therefore, the final product or TT is expected to be coherent, natural and fluent and should meet what de Beaugrande and Dressler (2016) call the seven standards of textuality: cohesion, coherence, intentionality, acceptability, informativity, situationality and intertextuality.
Translators struggle with lexical and cultural gaps to overcome the natural discrepancies of languages. Transferring the intended message while retaining readability and acceptability of the TT becomes problematic especially when it comes to preserving the functionality of the translated text within its new cultural environment. As far as tourist-related materials and websites are concerned, the challenge increases even more because the receivers are international readers with diverse backgrounds, interests, cultures and values.
Tourist Material Translation, Challenges and Strategies
The specialized language of tourism presents specific features that characterize tourist texts. It is designed to fulfill multiple functions. Thus, it cannot be considered as a general language because it is mostly loaded with cultural elements and it is assigned promotional goals that are not to be ignored. For Dann (1996), tourism discourse aims at attracting and persuading receivers with the objective of turning them into actual tourists.
In a market globalization age, tourist translations are expected to use accessible language and captivating messages tailored to the target audience requirements and needs. The translator is expected to recognize the properties of tourism language and have some sort of intercultural communicative competence to enhance semantic clarity. Sanning (2010) states that “the ideal tourist texts should maintain such qualities as being informative, intriguing, realistic, practical, cultural, educational, humorous and even poetic” (p.126). The specificities of the language of tourism require that the translated message is adapted to meet the thinking styles and expectations of the target audience.
A distinguishing development in translation studies is the shift of emphasis from source text-oriented to target text-oriented approaches, or from linguistic to functionalist approaches. In conjunction with linguistic elements, translation should embrace and incorporate social, cultural and contextual factors. Tourist translation involves considering the linguistic and cultural values of both the ST and TT. “Translation of tourist texts is a kind of publicity activity. Its essence is that the translator should attempt to produce the same effect on the target language readers as is produced by the original on the source language readers” (Merkaj, 2013, p. 324). What is more important than fidelity to the ST is the performance of the TT and its ability to achieve the intended purpose in the target culture.
For a translator to capture the true essence words, it is crucial to have an in-depth understanding of the socio-cultural context in which the text is produced. In the process of meaning transfer, the translator must respect the linguistic, cultural and contextual specificity of the text in order to be able to identify the translation strategies required by the promotional aim of the TT. Then, he/ she is supposed to make a rational assessment of what is the most efficient and appropriate strategy for delivering the right intended message.
Domestication and foreignization are two major strategies adopted in the translation of tourist texts for the conveyance of cultural elements. The translator, as intercultural mediator, needs to decide whether to disseminate the original culture to the TT receivers by maintaining the ST features and adjusting them as little as possible, or to adapt the text to better fit the cultural background of the addressees and facilitate the way they understand it and accept it, as well as the extent to which they get affected by it. For Schleiermacher as cited in Pym (2014), “either the translator leaves the author in peace, as much as possible, and moves the reader toward that author, or the translator leaves the reader in peace, as much as possible, and moves the author toward that reader” (p. 31).
Translators have to be clear on the objective they want to achieve: disseminating the foreign culture to the target audience and driving the reader to deal with unfamiliar concepts, or adapting this culture as much as possible to fit the reference system of the TT receivers, and ensuring fluency and naturalness. It is worth highlighting that the use of the various approaches and strategies depends largely on different elements such as text type and text function.
Hatim and Munday (2004) made an indication to a translation approach focused on the three text types: informative, expressive and operative. For them, this categorization proved to be helpful in establishing the most adequate translation strategies based on the text type. Accordingly, it becomes evident that the translation of tourist texts that fall under the operative type, is expected to be centered around creating the needed impact on the TT receivers at the expense of the concept of fidelity and conformity to the ST.
For Reiss and Vermeer (2014), the purpose of the text or skopos is a determining factor in defining the translation strategies to be adopted. “Skopos theory focuses above all on the purpose of the translation, which determines the translation methods and strategies that are to be employed in order to produce a functionally adequate result” (Munday, 2008, p. 79). It is based on a response-based approach which makes it largely in use in the translation of advertisements in general, and tourist promotional materials in specific where the text purpose and the recipients’ requirements override any other considerations.
Bearing in mind the above viewpoints, it can be synthesized that target culture, text type and text purpose should be central in the translator’s mind when dealing with tourist texts. Such translations highly call for the creativity of the translator in overcoming communication barriers between ST and TT readers.
Local Strategies and Techniques within a Global Approach
As highlighted before, translation activity requires the translator to make key decisions concerning the global strategy as well as the local strategies to be adopted.
Depending on the text type and purpose, a global strategy or approach can be either dominantly text/ author-oriented where the focus is on staying as close and as loyal as possible to the ST structures and features, or receptor-oriented where the guiding factor is meeting the receivers’ expectations and requirements. As for the local strategies, they should be in line with the global strategy adopted; they work together to better serve the purpose of the TT.
In accordance with the above, it is worth noting that tourist texts translation is expected to be receptor-oriented or reader-centered because its ultimate goal is to influence readers’ choices and convince them to take a specific action by applying various techniques and delivering an intelligible, natural, fluent, idiomatic and persuasive TT. To that end, and based on the corpus observed, following are some strategies that can be adopted in the translation of tourist material, capable of offering solutions to potential lexical, semantic or pragmatic translational issues and gaps.
Adjustments are “techniques for producing correct equivalents and achieving dynamic equivalence in translation” (Hatim & Munday, 2004, p. 334). The motivation for this strategy is to avoid unnatural and ungrammatical translated texts. It is more concerned with the TT and the readership, rather than conformity to the ST boundaries.
Translation by addition refers to “the addition to the TT of something which does not occur in the ST” (Dickins, Hervey, & Higgins, 2002, p. 243). Many reasons may push the translator to add to the TT linguistic elements that are not listed in the ST, such as providing additional information, avoiding ambiguity, laying more emphasis on a specific matter, or delivering a TT that looks more powerful and persuasive.
Translation by omission is a “deliberate, or accidental absence of a ST element or aspect of sense in the TT” (Hatim & Munday, 2004, p. 345). In some cases, translators resort to it to avoid redundancy and wordiness. In some other cases, omission may result in a semantic loss, intensity loss or information loss. In such cases, it becomes unjustified and it should be avoided.
Paraphrasing as a translation strategy is “an expanded TT version of an ST lexical unit, written in the translator’s own words in order to reproduce the ST author’s meaning as closely as possible” (Munday, 2009, p. 214). The translator may decide to reproduce in his/her own words the same intended message to deliver a TT that is clearer, stronger, richer and more natural.
“A general definition of free translation conceives it as a strategy which is more concerned with creating a TT that sounds natural in the TL than with conforming to ST elements and structures” (Munday, 2009, p. 191). Unlike literal translation, free translation avoids word for word renderings and seeks to deliver a natural and readable TT that is more persuasive and capable of better influencing the readers opinions and attitudes.
According to Almanna (2016), “literal translation refers to the capability of transferring the ST expression, phrase, sentence and so on into the TT literally without any change apart from those required by the TL grammar” (p. 58). This strategy does not require the translator to make any amendments to the ST. It just consists of being as faithful as possible to the lexical, semantic, pragmatic and syntactic choices made by the author of the original text.
One point must be emphasized here: although reader-centered approaches may often result in free translation, literal translation may be essential as well in some instances where the communicative purpose of the TT requires an exact imitation of the ST.
Semantic repetition is “the repetition of synonyms or near-synonyms in close proximity. Semantic repetition is used in Arabic for emphasis and other purposes” (Dickins, Hervey, & Higgins, 2002, p. 241). Although it is commonly used when translating into Arabic, it can still be used with any other languages. When resorting to this strategy the TT message becomes stronger and more powerful and impactful if the lexical choices made by the translator are suitable.
A hyponym is “a linguistic expression whose denotative meaning is included in, but is narrower and more specific than, the range of denotative meaning of another expression” (Dickins, Hervey, & Higgins, 2002, p. 237). It is a specific word the meaning of which is included in the more general one, or hypernym.
As opposed to Hyponym, a hypernym or superordinate is “a linguistic expression whose denotative meaning includes, but is wider and less specific than, the range of denotative meaning of another expression” (Dickins, Hervey, & Higgins, 2002, p. 237). Both hyponymy and hypernymy help translators overcome semantic and lexical issues in the process of interlingual translation.
Drawing on the above, the translator, as decision maker, can opt for the strategies that best suit the context and the socio-cultural environment of the text to achieve a positive communication with the readers.
In the following section, part of the official website of the Jordan tourism board will serve as a representative sample to examine what strategies have been employed by the translator to render tourist information from Arabic into English.
Corpus Description and Analysis
The corpus, object of analysis, is selected from the Jordanian official tourism website: www.visitjordan.com/ General Information/ Values & Tradition/ Local Customs. It is a parallel corpus that consists of original texts in Arabic (Appendix 1) and their translations in English (Appendix 2).
After examining the present corpus, one can find out that the translator resorted to various techniques and strategies when performing the translation task. These techniques and strategies are listed hereafter in alphabetical order followed by the line number (L1, L2, L3 etc.) as they appear in the English TT. It is worth highlighting that literal translation is not mentioned because it is frequently used as a default strategy wherever it works such as in L7, L13 and L24.
L16- L17: – Do be aware that Arabs tend to stand a fraction of the distance closer when conversing than people do in the West.
L34: – Don’t slam a taxi drivers door shut.
L14: haggle with
L3: Pro-Tip Do’s
L6: from side to side
L18: Do feel free
L22: Pro-Tip Don’ts
L30- L31: the more the better!
L33: but is certainly appreciated
L1: في الأردن
L2: هل تفكر في
إنّما يكتفون بوضع اليد اليمنى على الصدر كتحية. L4:
L37: شهر (رمضان) المبارك
L6: in order to decline a refill of your coffee
L11- L12: – Do tip waiters approximately 10% gratuity in addition to the bill (unless a service charge is included in the total bill).
L28: welcome and affection
Findings and Concluding Remarks
Taking into consideration the text objective which consists of attracting potential international tourists to visit Jordan, the text type which is operative, and the text genre which is persuasive, one may conclude that the global strategy to be adopted in this case is receptor-oriented based on combining various techniques and local strategies to deliver a natural and fluent English TT capable of achieving the translation goals.
Approached from such a perspective, the present TT analysis discloses the use of a set of techniques and strategies such as omission, addition, free translation, paraphrasing, adjustment, hyponymy, hypernymy and semantic repetition as well as literal translation. A brief overview of the current translational behavior demonstrates that emphasis is laid on creating a TT based on acceptability and naturalness rather than on the concepts of adequacy and fidelity to the ST.
The general approach adopted is dominantly receptor-oriented where the primary aim of the translator is to deliver a TT that is comprehensible, relevant and acceptable in the target audience community. It shares common ground with response-based approaches where the most relevant criteria are the function of the text and the readers’ reaction to it. “In those moments, addition and omission are legitimate strategies, to an extent not envisaged in classical theories of equivalence. Further, cultural adaptation may require degrees of transformation that go well beyond the classical limits of translation” (Pym, 2010, p. 134).
Linguistic and socio-cultural barriers remain the key issues that increase the complexity of tourist material translation and make translators question themselves whether to prioritize the ST or the TT conventions, whether to disseminate the foreign culture to the readers or to make it invisible.
الأعراف السائدة في الأردن
هل تفكر في زيارة الأردن؟ إليك بعض النصائح التي ستساعدك على استيعاب الثقافة المحلية!
عليك القيام بالآتي:
– سلّم باليد عند مقابلة الناس. قد لا يمدّ الرجال أو النساء المحافظين يدهم للسلام على الجنس الآخر، إنّما يكتفون بوضع اليد اليمنى على الصدر كتحية.
– قف عند الترحيب بالناس.
– قُم بهزّ فنجانك إلى الجانبين كعلامة اكتفائك وعدم رغبتك في المزيد من القهوة.
– ارفع فنجانك كدلالة على رغبتك في المزيد.
– اقبل القهوة العربية التي يقدمها لك مضيفك، فهذه دلالة منه على حسن ضيافته.
– احمل معك كمية كافية من فكّة النقود، فالعديد من الأردنيين لا يحملون صرافة كافية معهم.
– ادفع إكرامية للنادل تعادل 10% من قيمة الفاتورة (ما لم تكن الفاتورة تتضمن تكلفة الخدمة).
– قم بتدوير قيمة أجرة التاكسي لأقرب 10 عند الدفع للسائق.
– فاوض التجار عند التسوق.
– ارتدِ ثياباً محافظة عند التجول في المناطق العامة في الأردن.
– بإمكانك احتساء المشروبات الكحولية، ولكن ليس خارج المناطق الملائمة لذلك.
– على الرجال الجلوس في المقعد الأمامي عند ركوب التاكسي كدلالة احترام.
– على النساء الجلوس في المقعد الخلفي عند ركوب التاكسي كدلالة احترام.
– افسح المجال للمسنين والنساء في وسائل النقل العامة.
عليك تجنّب الآتي
– لا تقاطع مسلماً يصليّ في مكان عام، ولا تمر من أمامه.
– لا تجاهر بالطعام والشراب والتدخين في الأماكن العامة خلال شهر رمضان المبارك.
– لا ترتدِ ثياباً تثير الغرائز عند السير في الأماكن العامة.
– لا تهلع إن قبّلك أحد معارفك على الخد كدلالة ترحيب بك، فالعرب يرحّبون ببعضهم من خلال قُبَل الخد كدليل على المودّة فيما بينهم.
– لا تنزعج إن أصرَّ مضيفك على إطعامك بشكل مبالغ به أثناء تناولك الطعام لديه، فالعرب يُعدّون الطعام رمزاً مهماً لحسن الضيافة والكرم والألفة. زيادة الطعام أمرٌ إيجابي في هذه الحالة.
– لستَ ملزماً بدفع إكرامية لسائق التاكسي، فالإكرامية غير ضرورية في هذه الحالة، ولكن إن أردتَ فعلَ ذلك عن طيب خاطر فستكون لفتة لطيفة منك.
بإمكانك احتساء المشروبات الكحولية بأريحية، فهي متوفرة في الحانات والفنادق المنتشرة في الأردن. خلال شهر رمضان المبارك، تتوفر المشروبات الكحولية في الفنادق للزوّار فقط. كذلك بالإمكان شراء المشروبات الكحولية من عدد من متاجر السوبرماركت.
L1 Local Customs
L2 Visiting Jordan? Here are a few pro-tips to help you navigate the local culture.
L3 Pro-Tip Do’s:
L4 – Do shake hands when meeting people; conservative veiled women may not reach out.
L5 – Do stand up when greeting others.
L6 – Do shake your cup from side to side in order to decline a refill of your coffee.
L7 – Do hold your cup out to signal you would like more.
L8 – Do accept when Arabic coffee is offered to you by your host, as it is a sign of hospitality.
L9 – Do carry plenty of loose change with you, as many Jordanians usually do not carry adequate L10 change.
L11 – Do tip waiters approximately 10% gratuity in addition to the bill (unless a service charge is L12 included in the total bill).
L13 – Do round your taxi fare up to the nearest tenth when paying your driver.
L14 – Do haggle with merchants when shopping.
L15 – Do dress conservatively when exploring public areas of Jordan.
L16 – Do be aware that Arabs tend to stand a fraction of the distance closer when conversing than L17 people do in the West.
L18 – Do feel free to consume alcoholic beverages, but not in outside the appropriate areas.
L19 – Men: Do sit in the front seat of the taxi as it is seen as respectful.
L20 – Women: Do sit in the back seat of a taxi as it is seen as disrespectful.
L21 – Do make space for the elderly and women on public transportation.
L23 – Don’t interrupt, or pass in front of, a Muslim who may be praying in a public place.
L24 – Don’t openly consume food, beverages, or cigarettes in public places during the holy month L25 of Ramadan.
L26 – Don’t dress provocatively when walking outdoors.
L27 – Don’t panic if an acquaintance “pecks” you on the cheeks when greeting you, as Arabs have L28 traditionally kissed each other on both cheeks as a warm gesture of welcome and affection.
L29 – Don’t feel uncomfortable if your host insists on “over feeding” you during a meal, as Arabs L30 traditionally view food as an important symbol of hospitality, generosity, and goodwill – the L31 more the better!
L32 – Don’t feel that you are required to tip your taxi driver, as tipping in such a scenario is not L33 necessary, but is certainly appreciated.
L34 – Don’t slam a taxi drivers door shut.
L36 Feel free to consume alcohol, as it is widely available at bars and hotels across Jordan. During L37 Ramadan, drinks are only available to visitors in their hotels. Alcohol can also be bought from L38 supermarkets.
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 –Final year PHD student in translation at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK), Lebanon.