Elena Dal Maso
Language and translation - Spanish

What do you teach at Ca’ Foscari? What are your main research interests? 
My name is Elena Dal Maso and I am originally from the province of Vicenza. Since 2018, I have been a researcher at the Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies at Ca' Foscari University Venice, where I teach Spanish. My main lines of research include Spanish-Italian contrastive phraseology, the diachronic study of modern scientific terminology and, more recently, foreign accent in Italian university students.

Tell us about your academic path.
After graduating in Modern and Comparative Languages and Literatures, I attended a PhD course in Linguistics at the University of Verona and in 2013 I obtained the titles of PhD and Doctor Europaeus (jointly with the University of Granada). Before starting to work as a researcher at Ca' Foscari, I worked as an adjunct lecturer in a number of Italian universities and carried out research activities at the universities of Malaga, Granada and Verona.

Have you always known that this was going to be your path?
I have always been passionate about studying foreign languages, but it wasn't until I finished my Master's degree and had some teaching experience with students of different ages that I realised I wanted to pursue this academic career.

What is the aspect of your research you are most passionate about?
At the moment, I am very interested in the lexicographic representation of correspondences between Spanish and Italian phraseological units. Indeed, it happens that two formally identical or very similar expressions in the two languages conceal semantic or usage differences that are very important for those who are looking for an adequate translation. Here, the role of online dictionaries becomes crucial. In the current stage of the digital age, they can offer cybernauts much more information than paper dictionaries. For this reason, a challenge that I consider very exciting and to which I have been devoting myself for some time now is developing lexicographic entries for a Spanish-Italian/Italian-Spanish bilingual dictionary of idioms. 

What does teaching and researching mean to you?
Personally, I believe that teaching and researching are not "only" two of the main goals of this job, but also - and above all - a mindset, a lifestyle. It means keeping a curious attitude towards the world around us; it means being open to discussion with colleagues and students; it means, ultimately, never taking it for granted that you have understood everything or know everything.

What has given you the greatest satisfaction in your career?
I think that the greatest professional satisfaction is linked to the network of relationships and collaborations that grow not only between lecturers from different fields and universities during the development of scientific initiatives and projects, but also between lecturers and students, both in the classroom and when writing their Bachelor's or Master's dissertations.

Last update: 28/02/2023