Cultural Issues In Translating Text Essay

947 words - 4 pages

In the "Cultural Implication for Translation" by Kate James, the author describes how translation is an activity which deals with at least two cultures, which makes translators face the problem of how to treat the cultural aspects of a source text and how successfully conveying these aspects in the target text. These problems vary according to how big the difference between the two languages is. Also, the aims of the source text will have implications for translation as well as the readers of both source text and target text.

Culture is important in translation. The difference between cultures may cause more severe complications for the translator than the difference in languages. The translator's role is to translate the source text into a suitable form of the target language. In other words, the target text must correspond to the source text version. When translating, it is important to consider the lexical impact on the target language reader and the manner in which cultural aspects may be perceived.

There are two methods for dealing with the problem of culture implications for translation: transference, which opts for keeping cultural names and concepts, and componential analysis, which excludes the culture and highlights the message.

To analyze this part, the writer focuses on the nature of the source text and the ideal reader. In the nature of the source text, he gives and example from La Première Gorger de Bière et autre Plaisirs Minuscules by Philipe Delerm: "Les Loukoums Chez L'Arabe." This text presents certain aspects of French life in both cultural and linguistic concepts. It contains several culturally specific words and notions whose implications for translation have to be considered.

He argues that there are two ideal readers: the source text reader and the target text reader. The source text reader is attributed to knowledge of certain facts, memory of certain experiences, a certain level of competence, and certain opinions, preferences and prejudices. The target text reader is unlikely to have these backgrounds. Certain differences have to be taken into account when using a culturally specific lexis. The translator's major difficulty is the construction of a new ideal reader who will have different textual expectations and cultural knowledge. In this case, the social and cultural aspects remain problematic when considering the cultural implications for translation.

In translation process, the problems when translating the source text can be limited to the understanding of a social, economic, political and cultural context, and connotative aspects of the text. The translator should take into account the extent to which it is necessary for him or her to explain or complete such information gap.

Culture implications for translation may be classed as material culture, and as gestures, habits and other cultural terms. These aspects may be translated in different ways according to their role in the...

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