B.A. Dual Degree: Communication Studies and Modern Languages & Cultures

Dr. Antonia Garcia-Rodriguez, Faculty Advisor

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This thesis is an attempt at a Spanish-to-English translation of part of a comedy skit by Venezuelan American comedian George Harris performed on October 11, 2022, in Miami, Florida. As an academic, I have been captivated by foreign languages since a young age and have studied German up to the collegiate level. After moving to New York and studying at Pace University, an educational institution that does not offer German, I decided to teach myself Spanish. I reached the Advanced level of the language within my second semester of officially studying it at Pace University. I believe that the future of America is within its Spanish speakers, and there is true power in communicating with someone within their native language. As immigration patterns continue to suggest a rise of Latino immigrants in the United States, Latino media has an opportunity to be appreciated, available, and translated for American audiences.

Throughout my academic studies of Spanish, I was consistently drawn to the culture and history of Venezuela. Notably, I was struck by the unimaginable effect of the diaspora of its people across the world since the rule of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro, as, at one time, Venezuela was once the wealthiest country in the world. I believe that Venezuela is misunderstood in the modern day on the global stage - particularly, within the United States. When proceeding with my thesis topic, I focused on translation and weighed between various options therein; I found myself constantly returning to Venezuela and wanting to work with a piece of media from the country.

With Communication Studies being one of my majors, much of my coursework covered media studies. Considering Venezuelan culture is not a widely known topic to most Americans, I decided to complete a translation of Venezuelan culture in the modern-day, and I selected George Harris, a Venezuelan comedian, as the central focus of my translation. Despite their displacement worldwide, comedians like George Harris act as a cultural anchor to many Venezuelan Americans and exemplifies Venezuelan culture’s magnitude in Miami, Florida. So, in order to translate a genuine, and comedic piece of modern Venezuelan Pop Culture, I researched translation studies, particularly within the translation of media (as today’s world continues to spread foreign media to new audiences) and was not surprised to find that it is not without its flaws.