Culture-bound elements, such as proper names, food items, and idioms not only place the story of a book in a specific culture and period of time, but also imply certain values. These elements also have an effect on how the reader identifies with the story and characters. So, it is important to find the most appropriate strategy to translate such elements.
Cultural items in translation
Translating cultural items in literary works is of great significance. There are many cultural concepts and ideas in one language that may not exist in another language. Therefore, the translator’s most important challenge is to find the exact equivalent for these items, so that the cultural concepts are completely transferred to the target language.
Word-for-word and sense-for-sense translations
Since Cicero and St. Jerome, there has been an argument over word-for-word translation and sense-for-sense translation as two dominant translation strategies. Of course, this dispute has prevailed throughout the translation history, for example, Nida’s formal and dynamic equivalence, Newmark’s semantic and communicative translation and House’s overt and covert translation.
The principle of equivalent effect
Newmark favors literal and word-for-word translation, but emphasizes on that the equivalent effect must be preserved: “the relationship between receptor and message should be substantially the same as that which existed between the original receptor and the message.”
Cultural turn in translation
In the 1950s and 1960s, translation was explored and considered both from the linguistic and political point of view. However, the whole approach changed when there was a big “cultural turn in translation”, initiated by Mary Snell-Hornby in the 1970s. It set the focus of translation on cultural and historical approaches. From this point on, translators understood that culture has the biggest impact on how we perceive the surrounding world.
Domestication and foreignization
Domestication and foreignization are strategies in translation, regarding the degree to which translators make a text conform to the target culture.
Foreignization, the translator’s visibility or resistance tends towards the author. It is a theory of translation that resists dominant target-language cultural values so as to signify the linguistic and cultural difference of the foreign text (12). So makes the reader realize that he is reading a translation of the work from a foreign culture.
On the other hand, there is domestication, the translator’s invisibility, fluency and transparency. Domestication refers to the target-culture-oriented translation in which unusual expressions to the target culture are turned into some familiar ones to make the translated text fluent and easy for the target readers.
Literary translation is a complex activity and involves cultural and social issues. The important thing in literary translation is that the translator must be very creative and use it while translating because literary translators deal with different cultures and literary texts are usually part of the culture of a nation and therefore rich in items. Are cultural.
درباره مریم پورگلوی
مریم پورگلوی، مترجم، مولف، مدرس دانشگاه و محقق اهل ایران است. او فارغ التحصیل مقطع کارشناسی ارشد مطالعات ترجمه است و به ویژه به مباحث مرتبط با ترجمه و فناوری و تاثیر فناوری های نوین بر روی صنعت ترجمه می پردازد.نوشتههای بیشتر از مریم پورگلوی