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To Foreignize or To Domesticate

By Micheal White,2014-07-10 22:28
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To Foreignize or To Domesticate

     To Foreignize or To Domesticate

     Abstract1Domesticatingtranslationandforeignizingtranslationaretwo

    differenttranslationstrategies.Theformerreferstothetranslation strategyinwhichatransparent,fluentstyleisadoptedinordertominimize thestrangenessoftheforeigntextfortargetlanguagereaders,while thelatterdesignatesthetypeoftranslationinwhichatargettextdeliberately breakstargetconventionsbyretainingsomethingoftheforeignessofthe original.ButwhatisthetranslationpracticelikeinChina?Dotranslators tendtouseforeignizingmethodsordomesticatingones?Whatarethefactors thataffecttheirdecisionmaking?Thispapertriestofindanswersto thequestionsbylookingintothetranslationofEnglishmetaphorsinto Chinese. Keywords:domesticatingtranslation;foreignizingtranslation;metaphor; target languagereader 1.Introduction

    "Domesticatingtranslation"and"foreignizingtranslation"aretheterms coinedbyL.Venuti(1995)todescribethetwodifferenttranslationstrategies. Theformerreferstothetranslationstrategyinwhichatransparent,fluent styleisadoptedinordertominimizethestrangenessoftheforeigntext fortargetlanguagereaders,whilethelatterdesignatesthetypeoftranslation inwhichatargettext"deliberatelybreakstargetconventionsbyretaining somethingoftheforeignessoftheoriginal"(Shuttleworth&Cowie,1997:59). TherootsofthetermscanbetracedbacktotheGermanphilosopherSchleiermacher’s argumentthatthereareonlytwodifferentmethodsoftranslation,"either thetranslatorleavestheauthorinpeace,asmuchaspossible,andmoves thereadertowardshim;orheleavesthereaderinpeace,asmuchaspossible, andmovestheauthortowardshim"(Venuti,1995:19-20).

    Theterms"foreignization"and"domestication"maybenewtotheChinese, buttheconceptstheycarryhavebeenatleastforacenturyattheheart ofmosttranslationcontroversies.LuXun(鲁迅)oncesaidthat"before

    translating,thetranslatorhastomakeadecision:eithertoadaptthe originaltextortoretainasmuchaspossibletheforeignflavourofthe originaltext"(Xu,inLuo,1984:315).

    ButwhatisthetranslationpracticelikeinChina?RecentlyIhaveread twoarticleswhichshowcompletelyconflictingviewsonthisquestion. Inhisarticleentitled"ChineseandWesternThinkingOnTranslation", A.LefeveremakesageneralizationbasedonhiscomparisonofChineseand Westernthinkingontranslation,

    WhenChinesetranslatestextsproducedbyOthersoutsideitsboundaries, ittranslatesthesetextsinordertoreplacethem,pureandsimple.The translations taketheplaceoftheoriginal.Theyfunctionastheoriginalintheculture totheextent thattheoriginaldisappearbehindthetranslations.(Bassnett&Lefevere, 1998:14) However,FungandKiuhavedrawnquitedifferentconclusionsfromtheir

investigationofmetaphortranslationbetweenEnglishandChinese,

    OurcomparisonofthetwosetsofdatashowedthatinthecaseoftheEnglish metaphor theimageoftenthannotretained,whereaswiththeChinesemetaphors, substitutionis frequentlyused.[...]OnereasonperhapsisthattheChineseaudience aremorefamiliarwith andreceptivetoWesternculturethantheaverageEnglishreadersisto

    Chineseculture.(Fung,1995)

    Theaboveconflictingviewsarousedmyinterestinfindingoutwhether

    theChinesetendtodomesticateortoforeignizewhentheytranslatea

    foreigntext.InwhatfollowsIshallnotcomparetranslationbyWestern andChinesetranslators,butratherlookintothetranslationofEnglish metaphorsintoChinese. 2.WhatisMetaphor?

    TheRandomHouseUnabridgedDictionary(secondaddition)definesmetaphor as"afigureofspeechinwhichatermorphraseisappliedtosomething

    towhichitisnotliterallyapplicableinordertosuggestaresemblance." WhileaccordingtoBBCEnglishDictionary,"metaphorisawayofdescribing somethingbysayingthatitissomethingelsewhichhasthequalitiesthat youaretryingtodescribe."

    PeterNewmarkdefinesmetaphoras"anyfigurativeexpression:thetransferred senseofaphysicalword;thepersonificationofanabstraction;theapplication ofawordorcollocationtowhatitdoesnotliterallydenote,i.e.,to

    describeonethingintermsofanother.[...]Metaphorsmaybe’single’

    --viz.one-word--or’extended’(acollocation,anidiom,asentence,

    aproverb,anallegory,acompleteimaginativetext"(1988b:104).

    Snell-HornbyrejectsNewmark’sconceptofthe"one-wordmetaphor"infavour

    ofWeinrich’sdefinitionthat"metaphoristext"(1988:56).Shebelieves

    thatametaphorisacomplexof(atleast)threedimensions(object,image andsense),reflectingthetensionbetweenresemblanceand disparity"(1988:56-57). Thispaperwillfollowtheideathat"metaphoristext"whichincludes

    anidiom,asentence,aproverbandanallegory.

    3.Whathasbeensaidaboutthetranslationofmetaphor?

    "Incontrasttothevoluminousliteratureonmetaphorinthefieldofliterary criticismandrhetoric,thetranslationofmetaphorhasbeenlargelyneglected bytranslationtheorists"(Fung,1995).Inhisarticle"Canmetaphorbe translatable?",whichisregardedasaninitialdiscussionofthesubject, Dagutsays, "Whatdeterminesthetranslatabilityofasourcelanguagemetaphorisnot its’boldness’or’originality’,butrathertheextenttowhichthecultural experienceandsemantic

    associationsonwhichitdrawsaresharedbyspeakersoftheparticular targetlanguage" (1976). Snell-Hornbytakesmetaphortranslationinthelightoftheintegrated approach.Shesaysthat

    Thesenseofthemetaphorisfrequentlyculture-specific,[...]Whether ametaphoris ’translatable’(i.e.whetheraliteraltranslationcouldrecreateidentica

    l dimensions),how difficultitistotranslate,howitcanbetranslatedandwhetheritshould betranslatedatall

cannotbedecidedbyasetofabstractrules,butmustdependonthestructure andfunctionof

    theparticularmetaphorwithinthetextconcerned".(1988:56-9)

    vandenBroeckconceivesthetreatmentofmetaphorsasafunctionalrelevancy

    tothecommunicativesituation(1981).MaryFungalsoconsiderstranslating

    metaphorasacommunicativeeventwhichisbothinterlingualandintercultural (1995).

    Differentfromthesemantic,culturalandfunctionalperspectivesmentioned

    above,Newmarkholdsamorepragmaticapproach.Drawingonhispractical

    experience,heproposesseveralproceduresfortranslatingmetaphor:(1)

    Reproducingthesameimageinthetargetlanguage;(2)

    ReplacingtheSLimagewithanotherestablishedTLimage;(3)Replacing

    themetaphorbysimile;(4)Retainingthemetaphorandaddingthesense;

    (5)Convertingthemetaphortosense;(6)Omittingthemetaphorifitis redundant.

    Discussionsofthesubject,especiallythosewritteninChinese,arealso

    pragmaticratherthantheoretical.InE-CTranslationCoursebook(1980 )whichisthemostwi

    delyusedtranslationtextbookinChina,ZhangPeiji (张培

    )andhisco-compilerssummarizedthreepopularmethodsfortranslating

    metaphors:(1)Literaltranslation(similartoNewmark’sfirstprocedure);

    (2)ReplacingtheSLimagewithastandardTLimage(similartoNewmark’s

    secondprocedure);(3)Convertingthemetaphortosense(SameasNewmark’s

    fifthprocedure). BasedonthemethodssuggestedbyZhangandhiscolleagues,GuoZhuzhang

    (郭著章)proposesfiveinAPracticalCoursebookinTranslationBetween

    EnglishandChinese(1996,revisededition):(1)Literaltranslationplus

    explanation;(2)Literaltranslationplusmeaning;(3)Adaptingthemetaphor;

    (4)UsingChinesecoupletstorendertheEnglishmetaphor;(5)Replacing

    theSLimagewithaTLimage.

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