Translation: Communication of Two Cultures

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We found it is feasible to start talking about the theoretical part of our paper by casting some definitions to important aspects. Language, cul There are many definitions of culture in relation to the process of translation. One of the oldest and widely-accepted definitions of culture was formulated by the English anthropologist Edward Burnett Tylor in 1871. Burnett defines culture as" that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, customs and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society” (Used by the Encyclopedia Britannica (1983, vol.4:657). This definition reveals a significant statement as one has to know that the term ‘culture’ refers to values, tradition, beliefs and social life which always determine man's whole life and obviously influence much of their behavior. The aim of the above discussion is to show that since all of these social aspects have to be reflected in any language, a translator will certainly be exposed to some of these elements when translating different texts. Thus, translating a text actually means transferring the cultural parallels in the target language. There are a lot of studies and arguments that have tackled this idea; scholars have been trying to show that culture and translation go hand in hand. In his article, "The Nature and Role of Norms in Translation", Gideon Toury emphasizes on presenting the remarkable relationship between translation and culture; he says, "Translation is a kind of activity which inevitably involves at least two languages and two cultural traditions" (Toury 1978:200).By stating such a definition, one has to realize that translation is not only word-to-word process (as some claim), but also a culture-to-culture process; translation is inseparable from culture. In fact, understanding the differences between the two cultures is usually more important than being familiar of the linguistic elements- including grammar and vocabulary- of these languages....
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