ISLAMIC AZAD UNIVERSITY
Central Tehran Branch
Faculty of Foreign Languages – Department of English
A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement For The Degree Of Master Of Arts In Translation Studies
The Analysis of Translation Strategies of Cultural Presuppositions in James Joyce’s “Dubliners”
Dr. M. Fahim
Dr. A. Baradaran
I would like to dedicate this thesis to my beloved family for their understanding and endless love through the duration of my study. There is no doubt in my mind that without their continued love, support and encouragement I could not have completed this process.
This research project would not have been possible without the support of many people.
First, I wish to express my gratitude to my advisor, Dr. Mansour Fahim who was abundantly helpful and offered invaluable suggestions, and guided me all my way throughout the conduction of this research; without his knowledge and assistance this study would not have been successful.
I am also indebted to my dear reader, Dr. Abdullah Baradaran who patiently reviewed this study and made an invaluable contribution to its completion.
I would also like to acknowledge the support and assistance given me by all my graduate friends, for sharing the literature and helpful assistance.
Last, but not least I would like to express my deepest love and gratitude to my beloved family; for their understanding & endless love through the duration of my study and also for their support, tolerance, and enthusiasm throughout the conduction of this research.
Table of Contents
Table of ContentsV
List of TablesVIII
List of GraphsIX
CHAPTER I: BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE1
1.2. Significance of the Study7
1.3. Statement of the Problem11
1.4. Research Questions14
1.5. Definition of the Key Terms15
1.6. Limitations and Delimitations16
CHAPTER II: REVIEW OF THE RELATED LITERATURE18
2.4. Language and Culture29
2.5. Translation and Culture33
2.6. Translation Problems36
2.6.1. Linguistics Differences37
2.6.2. Social Differences41
2.6.3. Cultural Differences42
2.7.1. Philosophical Presupposition48
2.7.2. Semantic Presupposition48
2.7.3. Pragmatic Presupposition49
2.7.4. Cultural Presupposition50
2.8. Cultural Presuppositions50
2.9. Different Classifications of Cultural Presuppositions52
2.9.1. Newmark’s Classification53
2.9.2. Thriveni’s Classification58
2.9.3. Pavlovic’s Classification60
2.10. Translation Strategies63
2.11. Translation Strategies for Cultural Presuppositions66
2.11.1. House’s Strategies67
2.11.2. Newmark’s Strategies68
2.11.3. Baker’s Strategies72
2.11.4. Hervey and Higgins’ Strategies74
2.11.5. Aixela’s Strategies77
2.11.6. Vinay and Darblenet’s Strategies81
2.11.7. Wiersema’s Strategies82
2.12. Concluding Points83
CHAPTER III: METHODOLOGY84
3.3. Theoretical Framework88
3.6. Data Collection98
3.7. Data Analysis98
CHAPTER IV: RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS100
4.2. Description of the Data101
4.2.1. Cultural Presuppositions102
22.214.171.124. Material Culture (Artifacts)102
126.96.36.199. Social Culture104
188.8.131.52. Organizations, Customs, Ideas105
184.108.40.206. Gestures and Habits107
4.2.2. Translation Strategies108
220.127.116.11. Cultural Equivalent110
18.104.22.168. Functional Equivalent110
22.214.171.124. Descriptive Equivalent111
126.96.36.199. Shifts or Transposition114
188.8.131.52. Reduction and Expansion115
184.108.40.206. Couplets, Triplets, and Quadruplets116
220.127.116.11. Notes, Additions, and Glosses117
4.3. Analysis of the Data121
CHAPTER V: CONCLUSION, IMPLICATIONS, AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH126
5.3. Pedagogical Implications130
5.4. Suggestions for Further Research132
List of Tables
Table 1: Food18
Table 2: Clothes18
Table 3: Housing18
Table 4: Transport18
Table 5: Work18
Table 6: Leisure18
Table 7: Political and Administrative18
Table 8: Religious18
Table 9: Artistic18
Table 10: Historical Terms18
Table 11: Gestures and Habits18
Table 12: Transference18
Table 13: Naturalization18
Table 14: Cultural Equivalent18
Table 15: Functional Equivalent18
Table 16: Descriptive Equivalent18
Table 17: Synonymy18
Table 18: Through-translation18
Table 19: Shifts18
Table 20: Reduction18
Table 21: Couplets18
Table 22: Triplets18
Table 23: Additions18
Table 24: Notes18
Table 25: Overall frequencies of cultural presuppositions18
Table 26: Overall frequencies of translation strategies18
Table 27: All cultural presuppositions separately for each short story18
Table 28: All cultural presuppositions and their translation strategies18
List of Graphs
Graph 1: Percentages of Cultural Presuppositions18
Graph 2: Percentages of Translation Strategies18
Translation as a way to transfer the meaning is a kind of activity that involves not only two languages, but also two cultures. Like any other field of study, translation deals with all the aspects of human life such as social, industrial, and cultural. In other words it is not enough for translators to have a good command of both the source and target languages; they have to be completely aware of both the source and target cultures. Each culture creates certain messages, connotations, and denotations. Therefore it is likely that many concepts occur in one language and culture but not in the other. In other words, one of the major problems facing translators is how to find equivalents for implicit ideas, opinions, and presuppositions, which have their bases in their underlying cultures. Facing with unshared elements of culture, namely cultural presuppositions, between the source and target language, translators have a variety of options to treat the cultural aspects of the ST and finding the most appropriate strategy to convey these aspects in the TT. The present study will focus on different translation strategies which the Persian translators of James Joyce’s “Dubliners” (2001) have applied to deal with translation problems rooted in cultural presuppositions. The process of classification of cultural presuppositions and the translation strategies for dealing with them is based on Newmark’s (1988) translation categorizations.
Background and Purpose
Translating as an activity is almost as old as mankind, but the history of translation as a discipline dates back to no more than two decades ago (Schaffner & Kelly-Holms, 1995). In this short period of systematic investigation of this discipline, the nature of such studies has undergone a drastic change. Traditionally there has been a dividing line between the language and the extra linguistic reality. Although there have been different definitions of translation but most of them emphasized the linguistic aspects of the translation process. For instance, Catford’s (1974) definition of translation is as follows: “translation is the replacement of textual material in one language by equivalent textual material in another language.” (P.20). As it can be seen here what is significant is the equivalent textual material. Next, Newmark (1981) defines translation in this way: “Translation is a craft, consisting of two languages, in the attempt to replace a written message and/or statement in another language” (P.7).
Defining translation seems simple at first glance and there are many definitions of this kind. However, translation is not strictly limited to language, rather, language and culture are deeply intertwined and it is the translation which bridges the gap between different languages and hence, cultures. Here it is clear that these definitions by famous theoreticians exclude the factor of culture in translation. As Snell-Hornby (1988) claims, translation must be regarded something more than merely transcending the linguistic elements from one language to another. It has recently come to be understood as a cultural system and it was to be treated with delicate observing the cultural aspects. Gradually some theorists confirm this fact that translation is an activity which involves a kind of verbal, but never strictly verbal communication. Miremadi (1991), for instance, has stated: “it is a two-way process: from one culture to the others and form other cultures into one’s culture. In other words, there is a give and take process” (P.11). Toury (1978) also believes that “Translation is a kind of activity which inevitably involves at least two languages and two cultural traditions” (P.200). The reason for such a drastic change in the point of view toward the translation studies is that the contemporary approach sees language as the integral part of culture. Language is an expression of culture and individuality of its speakers; so cultural meanings are intricately woven into the texture of the language.
Newmark (1988) defines culture as: “the way of life and its manifestation that is peculiar to a community that uses a particular language as its means of expression” (P.93). Culture is a complex collection of experiences which condition daily life; it includes history, social structure, religious, traditional customs and every day usage. Translating as an activity and translation as the result of this activity are inseparable from the concept of culture.
Regarding this definition, it is clear that there are many words and expressions that differ from one culture to another; for instance, way of living varies from one society to another according to the beliefs of the people, the situation in which they live, the technological advances, etc. So, every culture has its own characteristics. The people of a special society know the characteristics of their culture while the people of other communities are not able to understand it. Histories of different societies and cultures are characterized by events and processes that shape their cultural cognition. It is possible that different events and processes have similar effects on language use and it is also possible that similar processes and events have different impacts on the structure of a language and how it is used by its speakers. Speakers of different languages exhibit different verbal and nonverbal behaviors in their interactions and the possibilities of misunderstanding are rife when two totally different cultures come into contact with each other. It is worth to mention here that what is interesting for people of a society within their own culture may not be enjoyable for people in another society. Each culture expresses its idiosyncrasies in a way that is “culture-bound”. That is, the origin and use of cultural words and idiomatic expressions are intrinsically and uniquely bound to the culture concerned. Since the culture of a community can determine its language, the vocabulary of a language are created and used by the people of that society according to their needs in the specific culture in which they are living. Therefore, translators obviously do not deal with translating individual words deprived of context, but deal with whole texts which are culturally embedded and based on a community of references predictably shared by most members of the source culture. The deeper a text is embedded in its culture, the more difficult it is to work on.
A “cultural presuppositions” item is created in situations when there is nonexistence on the different value of an item in the target language culture and a conflict will arise in the process of translating these kinds of items. It is clear that a word often does not mean exactly the same thing as its equivalent in another language. Ping (1999) defined Cultural presupposition as underlying assumptions, beliefs, and ideas that are culturally rooted, widespread, but rarely if ever described or defined because they seem so basic and obvious as not to require verbal formulation. Therefore, there may be some vocabulary in some cultures for which there is no equivalence in another one. Here is the point where translation problems will arise and there should be a solution.
Newmark (1988) believed that the translation of a work attempts to produce on its reader an effect as possible to that obtained on the readers of the original. However, with culturally-bound words this is often impossible. Indeed, the meaning which lies behind those kinds of expressions is always strongly linked to the specific cultural context where the text originates or with the cultural context it aims to re-create. As this statement implies, translators are permanently faces with the problem of how to treat the cultural aspects implicit in the source text (ST) and of finding the most appropriate technique of successfully conveying these aspects in the target language. These problems may vary in scope depending on the cultural and linguistic gap between the two languages concerned (Nida, 1985). Therefore, one of the most challenging tasks for all translators is how to render culture-specific elements in translating a foreign language. So, having a good understanding of both cultures can be helpful for the translator. S/he should look at differences between cultures which are a very important issue in translation of any kind and translation of literature is no exception. Indeed, not much attention has been paid to this problem by translation theories.
Literary translators face a far more complicated process. They require knowledge of linguistics, an appreciation of literature and an awareness of literary terms and concepts. Literature gives public form to private meanings and thus helps those who receive its messages to reach out to other human beings in the world, knowing that they share some of the same concerns and feelings. Therefore, one of the factors to be considered in translating literature is the role of culture. There are various cultures in the world and not all of them are the same. These cultures are different from one language to the other and this matter may cause some difficulties in translation of different works and in particular translation of literature. The present study aims to investigate the translators’ approaches and strategies in dealing with cultural presupposition items in a literature work and finding the most and the least frequent translation strategies in this regard. For the purpose of this research, the material is consisted of fifteen short stories included in James Joyce’s Dubliners. In selecting the corpus for the present research the focus was on those themes in which cultural items were more probable to appear.
1.2 Significance of the Study
As it has been stated before, translation is a process that contains the transformation of meaning from one language to another. The first language in this process is called source language (SL) and the second one is called Target language (TL). Both the source and target language have an underlying culture which shapes some underlying ideas, thoughts, beliefs and presuppositions among their speakers. During the translation process the translator comes across some translation difficulties regarding the differences between the source and target languages’ underlying cultures. These kinds of differences make the translation process more difficult in situations where the two underlying cultures are very different. In other words, where there is cultural focus, there is a translation problem because of the cultural gap or distance between the SL and TL. In order to solve such problems, namely cultural-based translation problems, the translator has to choose a way out of these situations. One of the possible solutions for dealing with these kinds of translation problems are the translation strategies that are provided by different scholars in the field of translation studies. However, it must be stated that most of the translators choose these translation strategies unconsciously.
In this study, in order to find out the most frequent translation strategies which have been used for solving culturally-based presuppositions, James Joyce’s ‘Dubliners’ (2001) and its Persian translation by Safarian and Hoseiny (1385) has been selected by the researcher as the corpus due to the fact that this book contains a great storage of culturally based presuppositions related to the Ireland, especially the Dublin and its people. The cultural presuppositions which exist in the stories of this book will be analyzed in order to find out the translation strategies which the translators have applied to deal with their translation problems.
Therefore, this study following other studies in translation was an attempt at finding the common strategies for translation of cultural presuppositions from English into Persian and determining which strategies are the most frequently used ones and which the least. It also aims to seek a regulated formulation of existing strategies applied by translators in translating culturally-based presuppositions from English to Persian. Most of the works in this regard were from Persian to English and most of the researchers worked on children literatures rather than other genres. As the researcher found no previous study carried out on locating common strategies for translation of cultural presuppositions from English into Persian in the genre of literature in Iran, this study aims at shedding light on the process of translating such culturally-based presuppositions bearing into consideration that these presuppositions are abundantly used in daily conversation, hoping that this study will draw the attention of translators to the translation of these items.
An important aspect of translation study may be to find out what translators do during the process of translation. This may have been not so much addressed in literary translation from English into Persian and may still have a large potential of academic work. Since cultural presuppositions are an intrinsic part of any language, translators have to deal with them in the process of translation. So any translator needs to know how to recognize and to translate them. Without having this knowledge, the translator will not be able to transfer their connotative meaning. Once this meaning is put through, the intended meaning of the original message will be available to and hence comprehensible for the readers.
Therefore, this study investigates the translators’ approaches and strategies in dealing with cultural presuppositions in translation. The researcher is hopeful to find the most frequent strategies for dealing with such culturally-based items at least in the genre selected. Such a pack will help those eager to enter into the field of literature’s translation to choose appropriate strategies in dealing with source text cultural presuppositions. Being aware of the translation difficulties caused by cultural differences and the appropriate solutions that translators choose for dealing with them, is one of the most important tasks of translators in order to provide an accepted translation. It can be said that the results of this study can offer a broad range of possibilities that give representative coverage to all the diversity of translation strategies which can be used to solve these translation problems. This awareness is also useful for translation teachers in order to provide practical translation tasks regarding such culturally-based translation problems.
This research is also significant as it provides the trainee translators and professional translators as well as translation educators with guidelines on translation of cultural presuppositions. Most translators at any level of proficiency may have difficulty translating cultural presuppositions in some texts or contexts. Therefore, being aware of the most and the least frequency used strategies adopted by translators, the trainee translators may be more successful in their choices. In addition to its pedagogical implications, this study will prove significant so that it can help translators who are seeking to produce new translations of cultural presuppositions. It may make it feasible for them to know strategies that have been of great importance for the previous translators. Therefore this study helps understand the techniques applied by translator for English into Persian translation of cultural presuppositions appearing in James Joyce’s Dubliners.
1.3 Statement of the Problem
In our modern life, the process of translation has made the world a much smaller place, allowing different peoples and different cultures and languages to interact more frequently. Today, translated materials attract more and more readers, in many different countries and language groups. Based on this enthusiasm, in a globalized market, translation quality is an essential part for the international success of books; therefore, translation should be accurate, comprehensible, credible, and give the impression of the original text.
The existence of cultural gaps between two different languages and cultures, create some problems for translators. Different languages employ words or expressions which represent concepts that cannot be found in other speech communities. Even if close equivalents are found, they can rarely reveal and convey the message. One of the major problems facing a translator is how to find equivalences for items and terms which are culturally presupposed by the SL reader. The correct interpretation and transfer of these cultural presuppositions play a very important role in the translation process.
Translation of these cultural presuppositions which is an impossible part of any language is one of the most difficult problems facing a translator. S/he has to determine how to find lexical and situational equivalents for objects and events which are unknown in the receptor culture; that is, there is not a corresponding word or phrase in the receptor language easily available for the translation. When the concept to be translated refers to something which is unknown in the receptor culture, then the translator’s task becomes more difficult. The translator will not just be looking for an appropriate way to refer to something which is already part of the experience of the receptor language reader, but s/he will also be looking for a way to express a concept which is new to the speakers of that language. The translator facing such a problem tries to find adequate strategies to deal with it. S/he attempts to find a way to transfer the message of the word or phrase. The main problem intended to be studied in the course of this study is therefore the most and the least frequent strategies for translating cultural presuppositions used by the translator.
There have been various studies on cultural translations and the cultural transfer of meaning between different languages. However there is a cultural gap when the utterances are translated from other languages into Persian and little attempt is being made accordingly in Iran. With regard to this study and other studies that have been done on these aspects of language by different scholars, the value system of a culture is reflected in cultural presuppositions and little problem of misunderstanding or cultural gaps take place when they share the same language and culture; the problem arises when they go beyond the boundaries of their culture. In spite of the importance of cultural presuppositions which are abundantly used in daily conversation, the researcher found no previous study conducted on translation of this kind of items. Therefore the present study aims at finding the most frequent strategies for translation of cultural presuppositions.
This study is conducted mainly to the lack of a systematic regulation for translating culturally-based presuppositions. Because the translation of cultural presuppositions are very challenging for translators and also because of the inseparable relationship between translation and cultures of SL and TL; translators have to take cultural presuppositions as serious. The ultimate purpose of this study is to find common strategies applied for translation of cultural presuppositions, appearing in the book of Dubliners written by James Joyce translated form English to Persian. Therefore the researcher made an attempt to report the findings of an empirical study consisting fifteen short stories of the Dubliners translated form English into Persian studied from the point of view of strategies used in translating cultural presuppositions in empirical situations. Its purpose is to consider the translation strategies which translators select in order to solve the translation problems of cultural presuppositions. In other words, it aims to take a close look at different translation strategies which were applied to solve the translation problems of cultural presuppositions and find any possible regulation in using these translation strategies. Moreover it tries to make a list of the least and the most frequently applied translation techniques and strategies by professional translators.
1.4 Research Questions
To fulfill the purpose of this study and to focus more clearly in this process, the researcher formulated the following research questions:
– What are the translation strategies which were used in the English to Persian translation of James Joyce’s the ‘Dubliners’ for dealing with cultural presuppositions?
– Which of the used translation strategies for dealing with cultural presuppositions are the most and the least frequent ones?
1.5 Definition of the Key Terms
In order to avoid any probable misconceptions, and help the readers to go through the study with a clear-cut understanding of the major concepts discussed in the study, all the key terms need to be defined and clarified on the onset. These definitions help to establish the frame of reference with which the researcher approaches the problem.
Source Language (SL): the language out of which a translation is made (Richards, Platt, and Plattfirs, 1985).
Target Language (TL): the language into which a translation is made (Richards et al., 1985)
Culture: Culture is an extremely complex concept covering a wide range of meaning; it embraces almost everything in the world whether material or spiritual. According to Newmark (1988) culture is “the way of life and its manifestations that are peculiar to a community that uses a particular language as its means of expression” (P.94).
Source language culture: The content item referring specifically to the Source language (Newmark, 1988).
Target language culture: The content item referring specifically to the Target language (Newmark, 1988).
Cultural Gap: Dagut (1981) states that, cultural gaps are caused by community-specific referents in one community and their absence in another culture.
Cultural Presuppositions: Cultural presuppositions are “underlying assumptions, beliefs, and ideas that are culturally rooted” (Ping, 1999, P.2).
Translation Strategies: Venuti (1998) held the idea that “strategies of translation involve the basic tasks of choosing the foreign texts to be translated and developing a method to translate it. Both of these tasks are determined by a various factors: cultural, economic, and political” (P.240). Here all methods, techniques, and procedures of translating are regarded as strategies. In the present study this term is referred to different translation strategies based on Newmark’s (1988) categorization.
1.6 Limitations and Delimitations
There are obviously obstacles in the way of every research, this research being not an exception. Like any other research project, this study has some limitations and delimitations.
Moreover, regarding the research limitations it must be stated that, the present study was supposed to be performed on the Persian translation of the James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’, because it was supposed to be written in a period of time when the culture and its manifestations were of great importance for its writer. However because its Persian translation did not get the publication’s right so far, the researcher selected another work of the same author as the corpus of the study.
Regarding the research delimitations, because of the time limitations, among all different concepts in linguistics and translation studies, the present study focuses only on the analysis of cultural presuppositions among the different kinds of presuppositions, such as philosophical presuppositions, semantic presuppositions, and pragmatic presuppositions. As it is clear, in the investigation of translation strategies for dealing with cultural presuppositions, the higher the number of the corpus involved in the study, the more precise and generalizable the result will be. Owing to the lack of time, just one short story book – James Joyce’s Dubliners – in the genre of literature which contains fifteen stories was investigated in the process of this research. Because of the limited number of books analyzed in this study and the selected genre, the result may not be generalizable to other kinds (genres) of the literature. This book has been selected because of its main theme and the researcher ignores other genres since the occurrence of cultural presuppositions in this genre are supposed to be high. Moreover, since the study does not aim to evaluate the quality of translation, the characteristics of the translators such as gender, age, native language, nationality, and last but not least their university degree is not considered by the researcher.
Review of the Related Literature
Language is a perfect manifestation of the lifestyle or activity practiced in every unique culture. In the broad sense, every language is the symbolic representation of people and their historical and cultural backgrounds as well as their way of living and thinking. Newmark (1988) defines culture as “the way of life and its manifestations that are peculiar to a community that uses a particular language as its means of expression” (P.94). There is a distinction between the meaning built in one language with a specific culture and the one built in another. It can be said that different languages, following their underlying cultures, make their speakers think, produce, and perceive specifically.
Translation as a way to transfer the meaning of the source language to the target language is a kind of activity that involves not only two languages, but also two cultures. Like any other field of study, translation deals with all the aspects of human life such as social, industrial, and cultural. Therefore, the translators’ prime job is to transfer meaning from one language /culture to another language /culture. In other words it is not enough for the translator to have a good command of both the source and the target languages; s/he has to be completely aware of both the source and the target cultures. Otherwise stated s/he should be bicultural, as well as bilingual.
Each culture creates certain messages, connotations, and denotations. Therefore it is likely that many concepts occur in one language and culture but not in the other. Newmark (1988) believes that unless there is a cultural overlap between the source and the target language, there will be a translation problem. In other words, one of the major problems facing a translator is how to find equivalents for implicit ideas, opinions, and presuppositions, which have their bases in their underlying cultures. These culturally based presuppositions as Ping (1999) states “refers to underlying assumptions, beliefs, and ideas that are culturally rooted” (P.2).
Facing with unshared elements of culture between the source and target language, the translator has a variety of options to cope with difficult matters. S/he has to find out how to treat the cultural aspects of the ST and finding the most appropriate strategy to convey these aspects in the TL. In fact, this study looks at the translation phenomenon from a cultural point of view. It describes and explains translation for a theory which regards translation as a culture-bound phenomenon.
The main purpose of this chapter is to discuss the theoretical framework used for this particular study. This chapter therefore deals with the overview of relevant literature as regards the domains of translation, culture, cultural presuppositions, and translation strategies. It provides a detailed review of the literatures related to the domains which are combined in the present research. Full detail of every domain and clear links between the domains are provided to show the interdisciplinary nature of the present study.
According to Schaffner & Kelly Holms (1995), translation as an activity is almost as old as mankind, but the history of translation as a discipline dates back to no more than two decades ago. Savory (1968) states translation is as old as original authorship and has a history as honorable and as complex as that of any other branch of literature.
As Schaffner & Adab (2000) states, it was not, however until the second half of the twentieth century that developments in translation studies led to a more systematic view of the attempts to develop a theory of translation. According to Venuti (1998) in the 20th century, translators gained some institutional authority created by a worldwide proliferation of translator training programs and as a tool of scholarly publishing. The institutionalization of translation occurred in the 1950s and 60s at a time when linguistics was the main discipline in forming the study of translation. In the 1970s and 80s interest in the theory and practice of translation grew steadily. Translation became increasingly interdisciplinary because of its borrowing from conceptual and methodological paradigms of psychology, communicative theory, anthropology and also from culture and gender studies. He states that , in fact, in the late 1970s when a growing need for translation on literal texts was felt, a shift from a mere linguistic translation to a more functional and socio-cultural study of translation started to occur, first in Germany and then in other countries. Consequently, the conceptual apparatus which give life to translation research in the 20th century is a collection of the theories and methodologies related either to the previous development in linguistics such as pragmatics, critical discourse analysis, computerized corpora, or to poly system, skopos, post-structuralism, feminism, and also to the developments in literary and cultural theory such as post colonialism, sexuality, and globalization.
As Savory (1968) says, gradually, translation turned into a topic of interest of a large group of people who even tried to formulate universal principles for translation. The truth is that there are no universally accepted principles of translation, because the only people who are qualified to formulate them have never agreed among themselves.
Different theorists proposed different definitions of the term ‘Translation’. According to Newmark (1981) “Translation is a craft consisting in the attempt to replace a written message and/or statement in one language by the same message and/or statement in another language” (P.7). He later states that the translation of a work attempts to produce on its reader an effect as possible to that obtained on the readers of the original and he called this translation a communicative translation.
Catford (1974) defines translation as follows the replacement of textual material in one language by equivalent textual material in another language. Jakobson (1959) also put forward three kinds of translation and defined the term interlingual translation as “An interpretation of verbal signs by means of some other languages” (P.114).
Others such as Nida and Taber (1982) believe that translating consists of reproducing in the receptor language the closest natural equivalent of the source language message, first in terms of meaning and secondly in terms of style. Miremadi (1991) defines translation as an act of replacing one interpretation in one language by a similar interpretation in another language
Shavit (1986) also believes that:
Actually the act of translation is understood here not in the traditional normative sense, but rather as a semiotic concept. Thus, translation is understood as part of a transfer mechanism – that is, the process, certain products are produced within the target system, which relate in various and complex ways to products of the source system. Hence, the final product of the act of translation is the result of the relationship between a source system and a target system. (P.111)
As Schaffner and Adab (2000) put, there is clearly a consensus amongst experts in translation studies that their object of study, i.e. translation, is a complex activity, involving expertise in a number of areas and skills that call for theories to come hand in hand with practices in the realm of translation. James Holmes (1972) one of the prominent figures in modern translation studies and researches claimed that the lack of a clear distinction between the branches of translation studies, as accepted in order and better-formulated disciplines such as linguistics, was one of the main obstacles to the development of research in this area.
Holmes (1972) divides the disciplines into two major areas: pure translation studies and applied translation studies. The former has the dual objective of describing translation phenomenon as they occur and developing principles for describing and explaining such phenomena. The first objective fails within the remit of descriptive translation studies. Within descriptive translation studies, she distinguishes between product-oriented DTS (text-focused studies which attempt to describe existing translation), process-oriented DTS (studies which attempt to investigate the mental process that takes place in translation) and function oriented DTS (studies which attempt to describe the function of translation in the socio-cultural context).
Here it is clear that these definitions by famous theoreticians exclude the factor of culture in translation. Baker (1992, cited in Mansouri, 2009) believes that:
Translated texts record genuine communicative events and as such are neither inferior nor superior to other communicative events in any language. They are however, different and the nature of this different needs to be explored and recorded. More ever translation should be taken seriously by related disciplines such as linguistics, literary theory and cultural and communicative studies, not least because the disciplines can benefit from the result of research carried out in the field of translation. At the same time as a phenomenon which pervades almost every aspect of our lives and shapes our understanding of the world, the study of translation can hardly be relegated to the periphery of other discipline and sub-disciplines those listed above being no expectation. What is needed is academic discipline which takes the phenomenon of translation as its main object of study. For many scholars, this discipline now exists. Some refer to it as the science of translation. Others as translatology, but the most common term today are translation studies. (P. 234)
There are various definitions of the term ‘culture’ by different scholars. Different definitions of culture reflect different understandings of the concept. Culture is a term that specialists in cultural studies try to avoid. The reason for such caution is that culture means almost everything. According to Hong Wie (1999) culture is an extremely complex concept covering a wide range of meaning; it embraces almost everything in the world whether material or spiritual. Larson (1984) defines culture as a “complex of beliefs, attitudes, values, and rules that a group of people share” (P.430). In other words, culture refers to the entire way of life of a society (De Pedro, 1999).
Many scholars have proposed definitions of culture which share some points, though they differ in many cases. Hudson’s (1990) definition of culture has in contrast with the “culture” which is found only in cultured circles _ in opera houses, universities, and the like. The term is used differently by different anthropologists, but always refers to some property of a community, especially those which might distinguish it from other communities. Tianmin (2006) also has stated that culture refers to all socially conditioned aspects of human life”. He believes that the undeniable fact is that the way people think is shaped by their culture. Culture conditions daily life; it includes history, social structure, religion, traditional customs, and everyday usage.
The definition of culture used by Newmark (1988) is: “I define culture as the way of life and its manifestation that is peculiar to a community that uses a particular language as its means of expression” (P.93). The exciting point in Newmark’s definition of culture is the inclusion of language as the culture’s means of expression. The same as Newmark is Bahameed (2008) who has defined culture as a cumulative experience, which includes knowledge, belief, morals, art, tradition, and any habits required by a group of people in a society. Culture also includes the total system of habits and behavior of which language is an essential subset.
Goodenough (1964, as cited in Hariyanto, 2010), however, has not pointed to language as a part of culture. As Goodenough has argued a society’s culture consists of whatever it is one has to know or believe in order to operate in a manner acceptable to its members, and do so in any role that they accept for any one of themselves. Moreover, Pavlovic (2003) states that “According to social scientists, culture consists of shared ideas and concepts (beliefs, values, norms, goals), and material possessions of a society that are passed on from one generation to the next” (P.1).
However complex this concept may be, it has been categorized in some levels by many theorists. According to De Pedro (1999) there are three levels of culture that are part of learned behavior patterns and perceptions:
– Cultural Traditions: the body of cultural traditions that distinguish a specific society.
– Sub-Cultural Traits: common identity, food tradition, dialect or language, and other cultural traits that come from a common ancestral background and experience.
– Cultural Universals: learned behavior patterns shared by all humanity collectively, no matter where people live in the world.
Moreover, Hong Wie (1999) divided the culture into three categories: material culture which refers to all products of manufacture, institutional culture referring to various systems and the theories that support them such as social, religious, ritual, and kinship systems and language, and mental culture which is people’s mentality and behaviors, their thought patterns, conception of values, and aesthetic tastes.
Goodenough (1981, cited in Mansouri, 2009) summarize the content of culture briefly quoted below:
a): the way in which people have organized their experience of their phenomenal world so as to give it structure as a phenomenal world of form their percept and concept.
b): the way in which people organized their experience of their phenomenal world so as to give it structure as a system of cause and effect relationship that is the prepositions and beliefs by which they explain events and accomplish their purposes.
c): the way in which people have organized their experience so as to structure their world in hierarchies of preferences namely their value or sentiment system.
d): the way in which people have organized their experience of their past efforts to accomplish recurring purpose into operational procedures for accomplishing this purpose in the future that is; set of grammatical principles of action and series of recipes for accomplishing particular end (p.62).
In her article entitled ‘Translation and culture’ Karamanian (2002) states “the term culture addresses three salient categories of human activity: ‘personal’, whereby we as individuals think and function as such; the ‘collective’, whereby we use function in a social context; and the ‘expressive’, whereby society expresses itself” (P.1).
2.4. Language and Culture
Many scholars talked about the relationship between the language and the culture of the society. As Bahameed (2008) states language is a manifestation of culture and distinctiveness of its speakers. It reflects the interests, ideas, customs, and other cultural aspects of a