'Translatability is not given by nature nore fixed by the gods. It is the result of a set of social conventions.' (Hall 2003). Over time, speakers of a culture have come to unwritten agreements of which signs stand for which concept. We learn conventions gradually and become part of our culture, internalizing the codes, becoming able to express certain concepts through systems of representation. The key idea to understanding how we construct meaning as a culture is through representation.
We hold mental representations, which classify and organise people, objects, and events into categories, in order for us to meaningfully understand the world. Concepts are organised and classified into complex relations to one another, and we are able to form our own interpretations with wider relevance. We form concepts for concrete things such as people, as well as things which are more abstract - such as love, or death. As meaning is produced, constructed, and learned by a group, the conventions of the group's culture become learned unconsciously leading to shared cultural meanings.
Hall (2003) is suggesting that the sender, the creator of the given text, does not create its own language and meaning to which the receiver responds to passively, instantly absorbing and accepting the intended meaning. He is stating that the process of representation and construction of meaning within language is double-sided and interactive.
The print advert for the computer game 'Hitman - Blood Money' is an example of a text which produces meaning, a representation, through language. By looking at the underlying rules and codes through which this text produces a