How Cultural Barriers Impacts Translation

graphics1As a service industry, translation business is facing opportunities and challenges, in order to eliminate cross-cultural barriers, our language services must be in line with international standards.

Each nation has its cultural connotation is allusions, allusions which tend to derive various metaphorical meaning, let me presenting you some examples of following:

In Chinese idiom“项庄舞剑 Xiang zhuang wu jian”、“名落孙山míng luò sūn shān” refer to “hidden dangers", "test failure", but in English ‘shed crocodile tears’, ‘swan song’ refer to the “bad guys crocodile tears” “ death of work”. The same animals and plants both in English and Chinese color often have different symbolic metaphor meaning: Red bats in Chinese because of its with "great luck or blessing" homophonic, so red bats -- it is regarded as the symbol of auspicious happiness; But the bat in the west is considered extremely ugly, evil creatures, therefore it comes out some expressions such as ‘as blind as a bat’, ‘crazy as a bat’. In Chinese “青衿 qīng jīn”、“白袍Bai Pao”、“赭衣zhě yī”、“熏服Xun Fu” refer to “A scholar ", "juren", "prisoners" and "prostitute” , this is unique to China apparel culture phenomenon. But in English also have expressions of ‘white collar’, ‘blue collar’, ‘grey collar’, ‘golden collar’ which refer to workers in different classes.

Different culture has different etiquette, taboo, these are reflected in language and form a distinctive self depreciatory expression, such as in Chinese “犬子Quan zi” “令郎 Ling lang” “身怀六甲 Shen huai liu jia”, in English “ incomplete success” “be in a family way” and “ memorial park”.

Different cultural backgrounds often have their own different traditional aesthetic images. For Li Shangyin famous verse “春心莫共花争发,一寸相思一寸灰” Some people have the translation of following “ Never let your heart open with the spring flower; One- inch love is an inch of ashes”, english translation is obvious lack of the original poem's sad mood, its artistic appeal is obvious at a discount greatly. Some of the cultural background knowledge of the aesthetic of the original information convey important, lack of it will cause aesthetic obstacle.

In translation, language cultural communication is an indispensable part, regardless of whether they are just the translators or translation companies, we must take them into consideration when translating documents, creating multilingual websites or localizing content.

In the age of globalization, translation plays a more and more important role in introducing foreign science and technology and attracting foreign investment. It has no doubt that translation works as a vehicle to promote a nation’s progress and development.

Words translated by CCJK


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