Translating cultural differences

Yifeng SUN

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article argues that untranslatability is part of the cultural incompatibility between the two languages involved in translation. Translation is borne out of a need to understand what is different in a foreign cognitive environment and it is cultural alienation that leads to breakdowns in communication. It is a paradox that translation must, at one and the same time, introduce and appropriate difference. Cultural incomprehensibility is a stumbling block, but translation theory also lacks a cogent theory of culture as part of communication. A multicultural appreciation of human diversity is indeed important, yet we should also be sensitive to cultural differences. Therefore we should not overestimate target‐audience's familiarity with the unique source‐language culture. Cultural appropriation is essential in facilitating assimilation which, in turn, bridges the communication gap between the source and target text. Translation confronts cultural differences by employing feasible and coherent strategies to accommodate the culture of the source text. Cultural awareness, identity, and subsequent appropriation are needed to help target‐language readers infer associations and relationship in translations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-36
Number of pages12
JournalPerspectives: Studies in Translatology
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003

Fingerprint

cultural difference
communication
cultural alienation
incompatibility
assimilation
Cultural Differences
Translating
lack
Communication
language

Cite this

SUN, Yifeng. / Translating cultural differences. In: Perspectives: Studies in Translatology. 2003 ; Vol. 11, No. 1. pp. 25-36.
@article{8125b2b9231046f2a75f55799058a436,
title = "Translating cultural differences",
abstract = "This article argues that untranslatability is part of the cultural incompatibility between the two languages involved in translation. Translation is borne out of a need to understand what is different in a foreign cognitive environment and it is cultural alienation that leads to breakdowns in communication. It is a paradox that translation must, at one and the same time, introduce and appropriate difference. Cultural incomprehensibility is a stumbling block, but translation theory also lacks a cogent theory of culture as part of communication. A multicultural appreciation of human diversity is indeed important, yet we should also be sensitive to cultural differences. Therefore we should not overestimate target‐audience's familiarity with the unique source‐language culture. Cultural appropriation is essential in facilitating assimilation which, in turn, bridges the communication gap between the source and target text. Translation confronts cultural differences by employing feasible and coherent strategies to accommodate the culture of the source text. Cultural awareness, identity, and subsequent appropriation are needed to help target‐language readers infer associations and relationship in translations.",
author = "Yifeng SUN",
year = "2003",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1080/0907676X.2003.9961459",
language = "English",
volume = "11",
pages = "25--36",
journal = "Perspectives: Studies in Translatology",
issn = "0907-676X",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "1",

}

Translating cultural differences. / SUN, Yifeng.

In: Perspectives: Studies in Translatology, Vol. 11, No. 1, 01.01.2003, p. 25-36.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Translating cultural differences

AU - SUN, Yifeng

PY - 2003/1/1

Y1 - 2003/1/1

N2 - This article argues that untranslatability is part of the cultural incompatibility between the two languages involved in translation. Translation is borne out of a need to understand what is different in a foreign cognitive environment and it is cultural alienation that leads to breakdowns in communication. It is a paradox that translation must, at one and the same time, introduce and appropriate difference. Cultural incomprehensibility is a stumbling block, but translation theory also lacks a cogent theory of culture as part of communication. A multicultural appreciation of human diversity is indeed important, yet we should also be sensitive to cultural differences. Therefore we should not overestimate target‐audience's familiarity with the unique source‐language culture. Cultural appropriation is essential in facilitating assimilation which, in turn, bridges the communication gap between the source and target text. Translation confronts cultural differences by employing feasible and coherent strategies to accommodate the culture of the source text. Cultural awareness, identity, and subsequent appropriation are needed to help target‐language readers infer associations and relationship in translations.

AB - This article argues that untranslatability is part of the cultural incompatibility between the two languages involved in translation. Translation is borne out of a need to understand what is different in a foreign cognitive environment and it is cultural alienation that leads to breakdowns in communication. It is a paradox that translation must, at one and the same time, introduce and appropriate difference. Cultural incomprehensibility is a stumbling block, but translation theory also lacks a cogent theory of culture as part of communication. A multicultural appreciation of human diversity is indeed important, yet we should also be sensitive to cultural differences. Therefore we should not overestimate target‐audience's familiarity with the unique source‐language culture. Cultural appropriation is essential in facilitating assimilation which, in turn, bridges the communication gap between the source and target text. Translation confronts cultural differences by employing feasible and coherent strategies to accommodate the culture of the source text. Cultural awareness, identity, and subsequent appropriation are needed to help target‐language readers infer associations and relationship in translations.

UR - http://commons.ln.edu.hk/sw_master/4035

U2 - 10.1080/0907676X.2003.9961459

DO - 10.1080/0907676X.2003.9961459

M3 - Journal Article (refereed)

VL - 11

SP - 25

EP - 36

JO - Perspectives: Studies in Translatology

JF - Perspectives: Studies in Translatology

SN - 0907-676X

IS - 1

ER -