Assessing cultural differences in translations: A semantic network analysis of the universal declaration of human rights

Kyounghee Kwon, George A. Barnett, Hao Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Intercultural communication, in many cases, is cross-lingual communication. Effective cross-lingual communication requires successful translation processes. Translation quality involves two factors, the technical and the linguistic. Focusing on the influence of language factor, this study demonstrates the application of semantic network analysis and spatial modeling to examine translation equivalence. The examined texts are seven different linguistic versions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (six official languages and Korean). The results suggest that translations are roughly equivalent but with subtle differences reflective of each language's cultural predispositions. The paper concludes by discussing the importance of translation and language issues for intercultural communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-138
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of International and Intercultural Communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Cultural Difference
  • Language
  • Semantic Network Analysis
  • Spatial Modeling
  • Translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication

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