Descriptions, Translations and the Caribbean

From Fruits to Rastafarians

  • Rosanna Masiola
  • Renato Tomei

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Rosanna Masiola, Renato Tomei
    Pages 1-31
  3. Rosanna Masiola, Renato Tomei
    Pages 33-70
  4. Rosanna Masiola, Renato Tomei
    Pages 71-97
  5. Rosanna Masiola, Renato Tomei
    Pages 99-133
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 135-143

About this book


This book offers a new perspective on the role played by colonial descriptions and translation of Caribbean plants in representations of Caribbean culture. Through thorough examination of Caribbean phytonyms in lexicography, colonization, history, songs and translation studies, the authors argue that the Westernisation of vernacular phytonyms, while systematizing the nomenclature, blurred and erased the cultural tradition of Caribbean plants and medicinal herbs. Means of transmission and preservation of this oral culture was in the plantation songs and herb vendor songs. Musical creativity is a powerful form of resistance, as in the case of Reggae music and the rise of Rastafarians, and Bob Marley’s ‘untranslatable’ lyrics. This book will be of interest to scholars of Caribbean studies and to linguists interested in pushing the current Eurocentric boundaries of translation studies.

Rosanna Masiola is Professor of English and Translation at the University for Foreigners of Perugia, Italy. Masiola is the author of twenty monographs, as well as edited works including West of Eden: Botanical Discourse Contact Languages and Translation (2009) and Law Language and Translation: From Concepts to Conflicts (2015), both with Renato Tomei. 

Renato Tomei is Assistant Professor of English and Translation at the University for Foreigners of Perugia, Italy. He holds a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Tomei is author of Jamaican Speech Forms in Ethiopia(2015), and co-author of Advertising Culture and Translation: From Commonwealth to Global (forthcoming). 


lexicography phytonymy travel narratives contact language iconography vernacular orality language loss multimodality stereotyping patois creole

Authors and affiliations

  • Rosanna Masiola
    • 1
  • Renato Tomei
    • 2
  1. 1.University for ForeignersPerugiaItaly
  2. 2.University for ForeignersPerugiaItaly

Bibliographic information