Domestication and Foreignization in Translation

Topics: Translation, Literal translation, Source text Pages: 10 (3097 words) Published: March 23, 2012
Domestication and Foreignization Abstract: In field of translation, there has long been a hot debate over the proper translation strategy chosen for the transmission of cultural contents. The two major approaches are domesticationa and foreignization, which have been the focus of debate since their appearance. This thesis aims to analyse the chioce of domestication and foreignization from a new approach, namely, Skopostheorie.

Keywords: domesticationa, foreignization, Skopostheorie

1.Definitions of Domesticationa and Foreignization
Domestication refers to the target-culture-oriented translation in which unusual expressions to the target culture are exploited and turned into some familiar ones so as to make the translated text intelligible and easy for the target readers. Foreignization is a source-culture-oriented translation which strives to preserve the foreign flavor as much as possible in order to transfer the source language and culture into the target one.

2.Overview of the Debate over Domesticationa and Foreignization
The debate on foreignization or domestication can be viewed as the extension of the debate on “literal translation” and “free translation”. A literal translation is a translation that follows closely not only the content but also the form of the source language, it is also known as word-for-word translation. And translators engaged in literalism have been willing to sacrifice the formal elements of the target language and even the intelligibility of the target language text for the sake of preserving what they regard as the integrity of the source text. While those who favor free translation have quite often chosen to sacrifice the form of the source language for the sake of elegance and intelligibility in the target language. But most scholars hold that literal and free translation are limited on the level of content and form, when two languages are very similar in their structures, the issue of literal versus free translating may not seen to be so acute.

The two pairs of strategies share some similarities: literal translation and foreignization put emphasis on the linguistic and stylistic features of the source text, and the target text translated in these ways may not be very smooth in language and the content may not be familiar to the target readers, so they may feel foreign when reading the translation, while free translation and domestication pay more attention to the target audience, because of the smooth sentences, the familiar expressions and cultural phenomena, sometimes the target readers may not realize that they are actually reading a translated text from another culture. However, this does not mean the two pairs are just one. There are some diferences between them. When a translator resorts to either literal translating method or free translating method, he puts his attention mainly to the linguistic factors of the source text and tries his utmost to keep the original meaning in the target text. But with the development of the translation studies, plenty of translators and theorists have realized that translation is a far more complicated activity with various cultural, poetic, political as well as economic factors related to it. Therefore, foreignization and domestication are a pair of new translation strategies which are more complex and extensive than literal translation and free translation method.

3. A New Approach: Skopostheorie
Which strategy is more appropriate as far as specific literary work is concerned ? Which strategy can make the translated text have a better efect among its target audience, foreignization or domestication? So far no theory can give a definite answer to the question, nor can any theorist completely negate one of...
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