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THE RELATION OF TRANSLATION AND CULTURE
By: Tutik Nurcahyani NPM. 08420445 Class 5N
ENGLISH DEPARTMENT FACULTY OF LANGUAGES AND ARTS EDUCATION IKIP PGRI SEMARANG 2010
Moreover. should consequently allocate corresponding attributes vis-a-vis the target culture to ensure credibility in the eyes of the target reader. which is a present-day phenomenon. The sharp outlines that were once distinctive now fade and become blurred. as a result. whose origin and use are intrinsically and uniquely bound to the culture concerned.. plays a role here. Multiculturalism. multicultural considerations are brought to bear to an everincreasing degree. started a merging process whose end (-point?) is difficult to predict. Translation. the dominant criterion is the communicative function of the target text. entails a process of cultural de-coding. re-coding and en-coding. because it has had an impact on almost all peoples worldwide as well as on the international relations emerging from the current new world order.' whereby we function in a social context. The process of transfer. alejandra@baspeech. it therefore underpins the three pillars upon which culture is built.' whereby society expresses itself. i. As cultures are increasingly brought into greater contact with one another. Is it our task to focus primarily on the source culture or the target culture? The answer is not clear-cut. proverbs and of course idiomatic expressions. re-coding across cultures. We are at the threshold of a new international paradigm.' whereby we as individuals think and function as such. Now. As translators we are faced with an alien culture that requires that its message be conveyed in anything but an alien way. nations and their cultures have. most importantly it is the "cultural" aspect of the text that we should take into account. Boundaries are disappearing and distinctions are being lost. business and international matters and a French/Spanish Translator. the 'collective. Nevertheless. So we are called upon to do a cross-cultural translation whose success will depend on our understanding of the culture we are working with.THE RELATION OF TRANSLATION AND CULTURE By Alejandra Patricia Karamanian a Certified Sworn English/Spanish/English Translator specialized in legal. That culture expresses its idiosyncrasies in a way that is 'culture-bound': cultural words. as technology develops and grows at a hectic pace.ar The term 'culture' addresses three salient categories of human activity: the 'personal. space and socio-political situation. Language is the only social institution without which no other social institution can function. involving the transposition of thoughts expressed in one language by one social group into the appropriate expression of another group.com. .e. how do all these changes influence us when we are trying to comprehend a text before finally translating it? We are not just dealing with words written in a certain time. and the 'expressive.
and a "saludo a Ud. the? Integrated Approach? Seems to be the most appropriate. and a "saludo a Ud. if not indeed multicultural. Let us take business correspondence as an example: here what we do is to follow the language commercial correspondence protocol commonly observed in the target language. Finally. translators must be both bilingual and bicultural. the dominant criterion is the communicative function of the target text. situation and culture. In conclusion. atentamente" will become "Sincerely yours" in English and "Veuillez agreer Monsieur. attention is drawn to the fact that among the variety of translation approaches. So "Estimado" will become "Dear" in English and "Monsieur" in French. being decided by their relevance in the larger context: text. This approach follows the global paradigm in which having a global vision of the text at hand has a primary importance. the importance of individual items. re-coding and encoding?-the term 'transcoding' appears here for the first time) process should be focused not merely on language transfer but also-and most importantly-on cultural transposition. which states that an analysis of parts cannot provide an understanding of the whole. Nevertheless. In conclusion. mes sentiments les plus distingues" in French. Such an approach focuses from the macro to the micro level in accordance with the Gestalt-principle. it can be pointed out that the transcoding (de-coding. atentamente" will become "Sincerely yours" in English and "Veuillez agreer Monsieur. translators must be both bilingual and bicultural if not multicultural. the 'Integrated Approach' seems to be the most appropriate. So "Estimado" will become "Dear" in English and "Monsieur" in French. the importance of individual items being decided by their relevance within the larger context: text.Let us take business correspondence as an example: here we follow the commercial correspondence protocol commonly observed in the target language. it can be pointed out that the transcoding process should be focused not merely on language transfer but also-and most importantly-on cultural transposition. mes sentiments les plus distingues" in French. Is it our task to focus primarily on the source culture or the target culture? The answer is not clear-cut. attention is drawn to the fact that among the variety of translation approaches. . Finally. thus translation studies are essentially concerned with a web of relationships. Such an approach focuses from the macro to the micro level in accordance with the Gestalt-principle which lays down that an analysis of parts cannot provide an understanding of the whole and thus translation studies are essentially concerned with a web of relationships. As an inevitable consequence (corollary?) of the previous statement. situation and culture. As an inevitable consequence of the previous statement. This approach follows the global paradigm in which having a global vision of the text at hand has a primary importance.
com/journal). Journal .TranslationDirectory.com). Re-produced here courtesy of (www.This article was originally published at Translation (http://accurapid.
Very much similar to this definition is that by Savory (1968) who maintains that translation is made possible by an equivalent of thought that lies behind its different verbal expressions. there is no indication that culture is taken into account except in that of Nida and Taber. They maintain that the equivalent sought after in . it is suggested that a translator should take into account the purpose of the translation in translating the culturally-bound words or expressions. In this definition. The translation procedures discussed should also be considered. we can infer that cultural consideration is considered. the concept or reference is actually general but expressed in a way specific to the source language culture. In practice. Nida and Taber (1969) explain the process of translating as follows. however. Yet. In the definitions appearing in 1960s-1970s. it is still vague in terms of the type of equivalence. Cultural perspective. translation procedure. The first definition is presented by Catford (1965: 20). language universals. the concept or reference of the vocabulary items is somehow specific for the given culture. Actually Nida and Taber themselves do not mention this matter very explicitly. Translating consists of reproducing in the receptor language the closest natural equivalent of the source language message. First.1 Abstract Related to translation. He states that translation is the replacement of textual material in one language by equivalent textual material in another language. Next. the most important thing is equivalent textual material. and (3) the translator has an obligation to seek for the closest equivalent in the TL. Culture is not taken into account. some similarities have been found: (1) there is a change of expression from one language to the other. however. Yet. first in terms of meaning and secondly in terms of style. This can be seen in most of the following definitions. however. (2) the meaning and message are rendered in the TL. has never been brought into discussion.2 Background It has been long taken for granted that translation deals only with language. Second. culture manifests in two ways. Following their explanation on "closest natural equivalent". Key words: culture.CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION 1. translation possibility 1. translation purpose.
including scientific or technical texts which are not deeply embedded in any culture. it is understood that the translation should be done to every language. Eskimo culture does not know "lamb". 1980: 2). Thus. Instead of "Lamb of God". are meant to explain the experts' view on translation theory to be applied in the translation of all types of material. he prefers "Seal of God" to transfer the message. The later ones keep on not touching this matter. that is the translation of "Lamb of God" into the Eskimo language. This definition is actually a specific one. For material that is not very much embedded into a specific culture. cultural consideration may not be necessary. . especially in the context of sacrifice. As the content addresses all walks of life and culture plays an important role in human life. but not so closely that the TL structure will be seriously distorted (McGuire. It is known that from definitions above only one takes cultural aspects into account. His celebrated example is taken from the Bible. the word does not symbolize anything. should be considered. however. Here he considers cultural aspects. Thus. By nature. rooted from the practice of the Bible translation. The inclusion of cultural perspective in the definition of translation unfortunately does not continue. therefore. Here "lamb" symbolizes innocence. "Translation involves the rendering of a source language (SL) text into the target language (TL) so as to ensure that (1) the surface meaning of the two will be approximately similar and (2) the structure of the SL will be preserved as closely as possible.every effort of translating is the one that is so close that the meaning/message can be transferred well. See the following definition. The other definitions. it can be momentarily hypothesized that cultural consideration must be taken if the material to translate is related to culture. As a matter of fact. culture. The concept of closest natural equivalent is rooted in Nida's concept of dynamic equivalent. the one by Nida and Taber.
there is the need for documents to be translated to support the merger as well as marketing materials to inform stockholders and employees. . What is different is only the surface structure. See the following excerpts for illustration. however. theoretically the degree of probability for perfect translation depends on how far the source language text (SLT) is embedded in its culture and the greater the distance between the culture between SLT and target language text (TLT). It can be summarized that this definition suggests three things: (a) culture seen as a totality of knowledge and model for perceiving things. Culture in this discussion should be seen in a broad sense. If it is so. and user manuals. Later it is developed into the concepts of deep structure and surface structure by Chomsky. it should culturally given when we have to translate some texts. It should be noted also that some other definitions claim that both knowledge and material things are parts of culture Another point of view. Large financial institutions through mergers and takeovers have become world wide in operation and must maintain relationships in other countries whether they are merged there or not. but it refers to all socially conditioned aspects of human life. business correspondence. loan papers. and insurance products. This has created the demand for translation services for documents – financial reports. marketing and sales promotional materials. It lies not in choosing any of the two. Culture is not only understood as the advanced intellectual development of mankind as reflected in the arts. asserts the opposite. translation is theoretically always possible. we are faced with two extremes. the higher is the degree of impossibility. Ironically this also goes back to Humboldt's idea bout inner and outer forms of language. as in anthropological studies. and (c) culture's dependence on norms. the answer lies between the two. reports. The role of translation services is most commonly associated with the business world. The vast majority of documents to be translated include contracts. In brief. product catalogs. Following these concepts. All in all. the outer from. Inner form and deep structure is what generally known as idea. The source language (SL) is Indonesian and the target language (TL) is English.CHAPTER II DISCUSSION Translation and culture is two different objects. Accordingly. all ideas are universal. (b) immediate connection between culture and behavior and events. When a merger takes place. If the extremes are put at the ends of a cline. bank notes. Moreover. but they have an indicator that can’t be separated. translation is only a change of surface structure to represent the universal deep structure.
This paper may show that a translator does not appear to be successful in his challenging task efficiently the effect of allusions in favor of preserving graphical or lexical forms of source language. the allusions either in the name of fidelity or brevity. both as a translation strategy and a translation procedure. seems to be indispensable so that the foreign language readership could benefit from the text as much as the readers do. It can be claimed that the best translation method seems to be the one that allows translator to utilize 'notes. a competent translator is well advised not to deprive the TL reader of enjoying. employing 'notes' in the translation.' Furthermore. .CHAPTER III CONCLUSION It seems necessary for an acceptable translation to produce the same (or at least similar) effects on the readers as those created by the original work on its readers. or even recognizing. In other words.
Bratawidjaja. Concepts. Chukovsky. 1965. The Art of Translation.com. New York: Gardner Press Inc. Wiyasa. and Philosophical Perspectives.) 1952. A Linguistic Theory of Translation. J. 1976. Implication. p. W. Tempo. By Lauren G. Catford. Translation Studies. Burung Manyar Versi Hunter. Kornei. The Third Language: Recurrent Problems of Translation into English. 23 March. Pedoman Pengindonesiaan Nama dan Kata Asing. 1996. Translation: Application and Research. Franz (ed.C.ar Pusat Pengembangan dan Pembinaan Bahasa. Ltd. Jakarta: Pustaka Sinar Harapan. Translation: Literary. T. Papers on Translation: Aspects. London: Oxford University Press. Ricard. Upacara Tradisional Masyarakat Jawa. Leighton. Oxford: Pergamon Press. Translation and Translating: Theory and Practice. London: Longman Group Ltd. Bassnett-McGuire.REFERENCES alejandra@baspeech. 1985. Duff. Singapore. 1983. Alan. Frawley. 1980. 1984. New York: Mathuen & Co. 1991. Leila S. transl. SEAMEO RELC. William (ed. Chudori. . 1981. Linguistics. Cranbury: Associated University Presses Inc. Eppert.). 1991. Jakarta: Balai Pustaka. Bell. Roger T. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press. 77. Brislin.
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