Literary Translation and Culture
Literary translation needs to deal with a lot of cross-culture problems. To technically and naturally cope with domestication and foreignization are of crucial importance. And the different ideas of social and history context also convey a lot in translation.
Faithfulness and exact of the translation have to be achieved by well command of cultural context difference. When translate culture-loaded text, literature in particular, domestication and foreignization must be adopted.
They are apparently opposite to each other and have distinct characters. To concentrate on neither of them will be inappropriate and almost impossible.
1. Reflecting the Intrinsic Features of Objects
Hamlet: To be, or not to be: that is the question/Whether’ tis nobler in the mind to suffer/The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune/Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
2. Reflecting the Artist’s comprehension of life
GONE WITH THE WIND: Rhett: “I hear you couldn’t even wait two weeks for me,” he said, and gives a mock sign! “How fickle is woman!”
3. Expressing translator’s secondary creation
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.
A TALE OF TWO CITIES: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
Read Also: Strategies for Filling Culture Vacancy in Literary Translation
Above is the brief interpretation of some notes in literature translation— the combination of domestication and foreignization, necessary common sense of cultural context. According to the preceding analyses and comparisons, we can come to the following conclusions: literary style not only can be translated but also should be reproduced as much as possible, and identification and comprehension of the original style is the foundation of style reproduction, and style should be reproduced as a whole rather than being done as the simple numeric operation, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, however, there are still limitations of reproduction of style and it calls for translator’s subjectivity, therefore, the translator’s style is objective and inevitable.
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