Investigating Culture-Specific Items and Translation Strategies Applied in Translating Frances Hodgson Burnettʼs The Secret Garden | January 2018 | Translation Journal

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Investigating Culture-Specific Items and Translation Strategies Applied in Translating Frances Hodgson Burnettʼs The Secret Garden

Abstract

Culture plays an important role in translating children’s literature books; therefore, translators should deal with difficulties when transferring from one language into another language. In this study, the main purpose is to analyze the culture-specific items in three Persian translations of an English literary work, The Secret Garden. In order to achieve this object, Newmark’s (1988) taxonomy of culture-specific items and Vinay and Darbelnet’s (1958) model of translation were used respectively for classifying and determining thetranslation strategies of culture-specific items applied in Persian translations of an English literary work, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. As a result, three Persian translations of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett by Reyshahri, Mahdavian, and Arjang were selected as a corpus of the study. To do so, first, the CSIs were extracted from the source text. Then, the translation strategies were identified in three Persian translations of an English literary work, The Secret Garden. Then, the translation strategies applied in culture-specific items of these three Persian translations were found. Next, the translation strategies used in culture-specific items of these three Persian translations were compared and analyzed. The results of this study showed that equivalence strategy was the dominant translation strategy, and particularization and adaptation were the least frequently used strategy in these three Persian translations of an English literary work, The Secret Garden. In conclusion, this study can be useful for translators, teachers of translation, and translation students.

Keywords: Children’s Literature Books, Culture, Culture-Specific Items, Translation Strategies

Introduction

When it is focused on cultural elements, there are translation problems due to cultural gap between the source language (SL) and target language (TL). Snell-Hornby (1988) states that translation problems not only depend on the source text (ST), but also depend on the translated text, therefore; one of the important goals of childrens literature is to familiarize readers with the cultures all around the world. According to Lathey (2006), translation is used as a means for children to learn about cultural differences and attain to the best childrens writers across the world. Therefore, translating childrens books is not an easy task because sometimes there are no close equivalents for some of the culture-specific items in target text (TT). With regard to the close relationship between culture and translation, Snell-Hornby (1988) stated that the translatability of a text relies on the specific culture of the text and the time and place of the source and target text readers. Armstrong (2005) also noted that a complete translation could be done by a bilingual and bicultural translator. One of the important aspects of children’s literature is that it not only entertains readers, but also broadens their minds and points of view. Therefore, translating children’s literature books is not an easy task. In addition, Language and culture are interrelated in the literary works in a way that conveying the message is not possible without transferring the cultural concepts to the readers. So, children’s literature is important because it makes children to learn about their own culture and other people’s culture; extend their ideas toward the topic; and develop their creativity, emotional intelligence, personality, and social skills. Shavit (1986) asserts that two principles should be considered in translating children’s books: Adjusting the source text for the purpose of making it useful for children and adjusting the plot, characterization, and language for the purpose of making it comprehensible for children. Therefore, this study intended to investigate how translators deal with translating culture-specific items in a children’s literature novel in order to suggest some procedures for translating such items. The main purpose of the present thesis was to investigate the culture-specific items of three Persian translations of English novel, The Secret Garden, based on Vinay and Darbelnet’s (1958) model of translation. This novel was one of the children’s literature books and its readers were children. Since literature or children’s literature had an important role in familiarizing readers with different people, ideas, and cultures, translatability of culture-specific items (CSIs) was always a major concern of translation theorists and translators. Therefore, the researcher aimed to study the culture-specific items of this novel from three points of view to overcome these kinds of problems. First, the researcher determined which procedures Persian translators used in translating culture-specific items. Then, the researcher investigated the procedures used more by different translators in this novel. Finally, the researcher examined the results for choosing certain procedures of rendering culture-specific items in this novel. To achieve the objectives of this study, the following research questions were posed:

Q1: Which procedures have been used by different Persian translators in translating culture-specific items of The Secret Garden as a children’s book?

Q2: Which procedures have been used more frequently in translating culture-specific items of The Secret Garden as a children’s book?

Q3: What are the results for choosing certain procedures of rendering culture-specific items of The Secret Garden as a children’s book?

Literature Review

Children’s Literature

Anderson (2006, p.57) defines children’s literature as all books written for children, “excluding works such as comic books, joke books, cartoon books, and non-fiction works that are not intended to be read from front to back, such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other reference material”. Although most children’s literature is written for children, many classic books that were written for adults are now thought as works for children, such as Twain’s Adventures of Hucleberry Finn. On the other hand, some works of fiction written or marketed for children are also read and enjoyed by adults, such as Pullman’s The Amber Spyglass, and Hadden’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. According to Landsberg (1987, p.34), “Children’s books are books which are good for children, and most particularly good in terms of emotional and moral values”. Knowles (1966, p.2) states that “children’s literature is any narrative written and published for children”. In addition, Briggs (1989, p.4) says, “Children’s books are written for a special readership but not normally by members of that readership; both the writing and quite often buying of them, is carried out by adult non-members on behalf of child members”.

Culture-Specific Items

Culture-specific items or culture-bound terms refer to those items which have no direct equivalents in the target language culture. Aixela (1996, p.58) defines culture-specific items as “those textually actualized items whose functions and connotations in a source text involve a translation problem in their transference to a target text, whenever this problem is a product of the non-existence of the referred item or of its different inter-textual status in the cultural system of the reader of the target text”. He keeps on that culture-specific items (CSIs) are linguistic items which make translational problems for translators as a result of the differences in cultural understanding. Nord (1997, p.34) uses the term "cultureme" to refer to these culture-specific items. He defines cultureme as “a cultural phenomenon that is present in culture X, but not present (in the same way) in culture Y”.

Classification of Culture-Specific Items

Newmark (1988, p.95) classifies culture-specific items into five categories: Ecology (flora, fauna, winds, etc.); material culture (artifacts, food, clothes, house and towns, transport); social culture (work and leisure); organizations, customs, and ideas (political, social, legal, religion or artistic); and gestures and habits. Aixela (1996, p.59) classifies culture-specific items into two groups: Proper nouns and common expression. Proper nouns include names and nicknames, but common expression refers to objects, institutions, habits, and opinions of each culture. Vlahov and Florin (1980,as cited in Tellinger 2000 ) classify culture-specific items in the following way: Geographical (geographic formations, man-made geographical objects, flora and fauna that is special to a certain place); ethnographic (food and drink, clothing, places of living, furniture, pots, vehicles, names of occupations and tools); art and culture (music and dance, musical instruments, feasts, games, rituals and their characters); ethnic (names of people, nicknames); and socio-political (administrative-territorial units, offices and representatives, ranks, military realia).

Strategies for Translation of Culture-Specific Items

Vinay and Darbelnet (1958) states two kinds of strategies for translating culture-specific: General and specific strategies. General strategies are Borrowing (It means using words from other languages); calque (This procedure is a literal translation at the phrasal level); literal translation (It is a word by word translation); transposition (It is a change in the form of words).; modulation (It is a change in the viewpoint); equivalence(It means using different words in the target text with the same situation which is intended in the source text); and adaptation (It is a rendering of a source language text into a target language text based on the culture of target language), but specific strategies are amplification (In this kind of strategy, a translator uses more words than the source text to express the same idea); reduction (It is the use of less words than the source text to express the same idea); explicitation (It means making explicit the terms in the target language which are implicit in the source language); implicitation (It means making implicit the terms in the target language which are explicit in the source language); generalization (It is a use of a more general term for a specific term in the source language); and particularization (It is a use of a specific term for a general term in the source language).In 1996, Aixela proposes 11 strategies for translation of culture-specific items which are as follows: Repetition (In this strategy, the translator is loyal to the source text and translates culture-specific items based on the source culture.); orthographic adaptation (This strategy involves procedures such as transliteration and transcription. It is the use of expressing the original reference in a different alphabet from the one target reader use.); linguistic translation (In this strategy, the translator chooses a very close reference to the original text and increases its comprehensibility by offering a target language version which still belongs to the cultural system of the source text.); extra-textual gloss (It is a process of using the above-mentioned procedures and giving some information about the meaning or implications of the culture-specific items. The gloss should be distinguished by footnote, endnote, glossary, commentary, translation in brackets, in italics, and etc.); intra-textual gloss (This strategy is the same as the extra-textual gloss, but is included as an indistinct part of the text in order not to disturb the reader’s attention.); synonymy (It is a strategy of finding a close equivalence for the culture-specific items in the source text.); limited universalization (When the culture-specific item is too obscure for the readers, it will be replaced with a term which also belongs to the source culture, but is closer to the target culture reader.); absolute universalization (It is the same as limited universalization, but the difference is that there is no better culture-specific items to be replaced with a term belonging to the source culture. So, any foreign connotations will be omitted and a neutral reference be selected for readers by using functional or descriptive equivalence.); naturalization (The culture-specific item is brought into the inter-textual corpus felt as specific by the target language culture.); deletion (When the culture-specific items are unacceptable ideologically or stylistically, they can be omitted by translators); and autonomous creation (It is a process of setting some non-existent cultural references in the source text.)

Studies Conducted on the Culture-specific items in Abroad

In this part, two studies of translating CSIs in abroad were elaborated. These studies were about the analysis of translation strategies on two English novels from English into Albanian. The materials of these studies were two children’s literature books which their names were Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Gulliver’s Travels. The researchers only extracted the CSIs comprising of measure units, monetary items and foods and drinks. Also, the researchers used the domesticating and foreignizing translation strategies of Venuti as a framework for translating CSIs in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Gulliver’s Travels. Venuti’s theory was included of substitution, omission, and lexical creation as a domesticating strategies and borrowing, literal translation, definition, and addition as a foreignizing strategies. First, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with its four translations was studied. The researchers found 43 CSIs and understood that the first translator translated 17 items with substitution, 2 items with omission, 1 item with lexical creation, 2 items with borrowing, 15 items with literal translation, and 6 items with addition. So, the first translator had a tendency toward foreignizing strategies. The second translator translated 18 items with substitution, 4 items with omission, 4 items with borrowing, 12 items with literal translation, and 5 items with addition. So, the second translator had a tendency toward domesticating strategies. The third translator translated 17 items with substitution, 3 items with omission, 5 items with borrowing, 13 items with literal translation, and 5 items with addition. Therefore, the third translator had a tendency toward foreignizing strategies. The fourth translator translated 20 items with substitution, 2 items with omission, 2 items with lexical creation, 2 items with borrowing, 15 items with literal translation, and 2 items with addition. Therefore, the fourth translator had a tendency toward domesticating strategies. Second, Gulliver’s Travels was investigated. The researchers identified 342 CSIs and realized that a translator translated 61 items with substitution, 14 items with omission, 23 items with lexical creation, 90 items with borrowing, 144 items with literal translation, 3 items with definition, and 7 items with addition. This study showed that the most frequent strategy was literal translation and the least frequent strategy was definition. Therefore, a translator had a tendency toward foreignizing strategies.

Studies Conducted on the CSIs in Iran

In this part, some studies conducted toward translation of CSIs in Iran were elaborated. One of the studies which were done on the translation of CSIs was about the translation strategies applied in Persian renderings of CSIs in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In this study, the researcher, Esmaeili, investigated five Persian translations of the whole chapters of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Toofan (1982), Panahi Khorasani (1992), Karami Far (1993), Bahrami Harran (1995), and Dehmishegi (1995). She used Newmark’s (1988) proposed taxonomy for classifying and translating CSIs. This study showed that Toofan who first translated this novel used cultural equivalence more than other strategies with 19 cases (58 percent) and was more consistent in translating CSIs while other translators used 10 or 8 strategies. Also, Toofan was the only translator whose major applied strategy was above 55 percent. Moreover, he did not make any mistakes in his translation. Also, he did not transfer any terms and used footnote six times to help the target text reader to understand the text better. Panah Khorasani (1992) applied functional equivalence as the major strategy with 10 cases (33 percent) and his translation was the worst because he made three mistakes in his translation. Also, he omits just one item and used footnote in only one case. He used transference strategy for translating four items into Persian language. Karami Far (1993) used transference and functional equivalence more than other strategies with 9 and 8 cases (34 and 30 percent) and applied transference strategy for translating nine CSIs and did not translate 9 items. He used footnote for two terms and did not make any mistakes. Bahrami Harran (1995) used functional equivalence and transference as major strategies with 9 and 7 cases (29 and 22 percent) and made three mistakes in his translation. Also, he did not give any footnote for any items. The only positive point of his translation was that he did not omit any terms. Dehmishegi used transference more than other strategies with 10 cases (35 percent) and applied 10 transferences and omitted seven items and did not give any footnote and made no mistakes in his translation. The second study which were done on the translation strategies of CSIs was about the translation strategies applied in translating Jalal Al-Ahmad’s By the Pen by Ghanoonparvar (1988). The researcher, Daghoughi used Newmark’s (1988) theories for classifying and translating CSIs from Persian into English. The researcher found out that Ghanoonparvar (1988) translated 50 items with transference, 26 items with naturalization, 14 items with cultural equivalent, 146 items with functional equivalent, 12 items with descriptive equivalent, 99 items with componential analysis, 115 items with synonymy, 29 items with through-translation, 3 items with compensation, 1 item with modulation, 1 item with paraphrase, 60 items with note, and 61 items with couplet. This study showed that functional equivalent was the most frequent strategy and modulation and paraphrase were the least frequent strategies for rendering CSIs in By the Pen by Ghanoonparvar (1988). So, the researcher understood that functional equivalent could be regarded as the most effective strategy in translating the CSIs of the literary books because it made such texts more comprehensible and tangible for readers of the target text. The third study which were done on the translation strategies of CSIs was about the translation strategies used in translating an English novel, Unaccustomed Earth (2008) by three Persian translators, Emami (2008), Bajelan (2008) and Haghighat (2008). In this study, the researcher, Sheshnavi used Pavlovic and Poslek’s categorization (1999) and Davies’ model (2003) for classifying and translating the CSIs of an English novel, Unaccustomed Earth. This study showed that Emami (2008) translated 52 items with perseveration of meaning, 16 items with omission, 39 items with globalization, and 19 items with localization. Emami (2008) used perseveration of meaning as the most frequent strategy and omission as the least frequent strategy. Bajelan (2008) translated 47 items with preservation of meaning, 25 items with omission, 35 items with globalization, and 11 items with localization. Therefore, she used preservation of meaning as the most frequent strategy and localization as the least strategy. Haghighat (2008) translated 49 items with preservation of meaning, 3 items with omission, 16 items with globalization, and 16 items with localization. He used preservation as the most frequent strategy and omission as the least strategy. Therefore, preservation of meaning was the major strategy in all three translations.

Method

Design of the Study

The research design of this thesis is a descriptive method. A descriptive method is a kind of research method which concerns with describing the characteristics of a particular individual or a group. Therefore, studies rely on specific predictions; narration of facts; and the characteristics of an individual or a group are examples of a descriptive method. In a descriptive method, firstly, the objectives of the study will be specified with precision to ensure that the data collected are relevant. Then, the researcher should take out some samples and make statements about the population based on the sample analysis. In addition, a researcher’s data analysis should be checked with at least two or more than two persons who are specialized in the study in order to ensure that the data analysis is done honestly and without prejudice.

Raters

After identifying the culture-specific items of the source text and deciding about the type of their translation strategies, two graduated master of science students of translation studies were selected as inter-raters and were asked to validate the researcher’s selected strategies for translating CSIs based on the framework of the study.

Materials

In this study, the researcher chose the whole chapters of an English literary work, The Secret Garden (1910) as the corpus of the study because this literary work was full of culture-specific items and no Persian translator studied on this novel. Therefore, the researcher used three Persian translations of this kind of novel to compare the CSIs of the source text with its translated texts. In this study, these three Persian translations which were done by Arjang (2003), Mahdavian (1996), and Reyshahri (1993) were explained in details in the following parts. Moreover, in this study, Dehkhoda (1994), Moeen (2006), Oxford Learner's dictionary (2012), and Merriam-Webster’s dictionary (2009) were used as the sources for finding the meanings of words in Persian and English.

Data Collection Procedure

To examine the CSIs in the children’s literature books, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1910) along with its three Persian translations were selected as the primary source text. In this study, the researcher worked on the whole chapters of this novel and extracted CSIs based on Newmark’s (1988) taxonomy which were ecology (Animals, plants, local winds, mountains, plains, ice, etc.); material culture (Food, clothes, housing, transport and communication); social culture (Work and leisure); organizations, customs, and ideas (Political, social, legal, religious, artistic), and gestures and habits. Also, the researcher only studied on the lexical and phrasal level of the CSIs of The Secret Garden (1910).

Data Analysis Procedure

After collecting the CSIs based on Newmark’s (1988) categorization of CSIs, the researcher detected the translation strategies applied by three translators in rendering CSIs into Persian and classified them based on the general and specific translation strategies of Vinay and Darbelnet’s (1958) model of translation. which is a valid, reliable, and practical model for translating collocations. Though Vinay and Darbelnetʼs model of translation is an old model, it is still used in translation of culture-specific items. Moreover, Vinay and Darbelnetʼs model of translation is a comprehensive model which consists of seven procedures for rendering the culture-specific items. Then, the occurrences of each translation strategy were calculated in three Persian translations of The Secret Garden in order to show which strategy was used more or less by each translator.

Data Analysis

The Frequency and Percentage of CSIs in The Secret Garden

As presented in Table 1, 179 CSIs were extracted from the corpus of the study. From among these, 92 samples were related to ecology; 55 samples were related to material culture; 12 samples were related to social culture; 18 samples were related to the organizations, customs, and ideas; and 2 samples were related to gestures and habits. Specific samples of CSIs in each category were shown in the following tables. Therefore, the most culture-specific items are related to the ecology category.

Table 1. The Frequency and Percentage of CSIs in Each Category

Cultural Category

Frequency

Percentage

Ecology

92

%51

Material Culture

55

%31

Social Culture

12

%7

Organizations, Customs, and Ideas

18

%10

Gestures and Habits

2

%1

Total

179

%100

The Frequency and Percentage of Strategies Used by the Three Persian Translators

As it was shown in Table 2, Arjang used 8 loan translation, 20 calque, 100 equivalence, 3 adaptation, 29 amplification, 6 reduction, 15 generalization, and 5 particularization for translating the culture-specific items of The secret Garden (1910). Therefore, she applied equivalence as her major strategy for translating the culture-specific items. Also, she made 22 mistakes in translating CSIs and did not translate 7 CSIs. In addition, there was no consistency in Arjang’ translation because in one part she translated “mole” into موش and in another part she translated this item into موش کور. In general, she was better than the two other translators because she translated the culture-specific items more precisely and did not omit many items. Mahdavian applied different translation strategies for translating the CSIs of The Secret Garden (1910). The frequency of each category is as follow: 85 cases for equivalence, 14 cases for loan translation, 4 cases for adaptation, 25 cases for generalization, 1 cases for particularization, 27 cases for amplification, 11 cases for reduction, and 15 cases for calque. In addition, he translated 25 CSIs in a wrong way which was less than Reyshahri’s mistranslations. Also, there was not consistency in Mahdavian’s translation because he translated “the deserted garden” in one part into باغ ویران and in another part into باغ متروک. He used an equivalence strategy more than other strategies for translating the culture-specific items because he wanted to make the translation more tangible for the target readers. In general, Mahdavian’s translation was very similar to Reyshahri’s translation. On the other hand, he did not translate 9 CSIs and translated most of the CSIs in their general forms. For instance, he translated bonnet into کلاه instead of its exact equivalence which was کلاه بی لبه. Mahdavian (1996)’s translation was more precisely than Reyshahri’s (1993) translation, but his translation was less precisely than Arjang’s (2003) translation. Reyshahri used different translation strategies for translating the CSIs of The Secret Garden (1910): 7 samples of Loan, 8 samples of calque, 55 samples of equivalence, 13 samples of amplification, 15 samples of reduction, 30 samples of generalization, and 2 samples of particularization. Therefore, she used an equivalence strategy as her major translation for rendering the CSIs. Also, she made 31 mistakes in translating CSIs and did not translate 46 CSIs. Her translation was worse than the two other translations because she omitted and mistranslated most of the items and translated 30 items in their general forms. For instance, she translated “cloak” into لباس which its exact equivalence was شنل. Also, there was no consistency in her translation.

Translators

Arjang’s Translation (2003)

Mahdavian’s Translation (1996)

Reyshahri’s Translation (1993)

Strategies

Frequency

Percentage

Frequency

Percentage

Frequency

Percentage

General Strategies

Calque

20

%11

15

%8

8

%6

Loan

8

%4

14

%7.5

7

%5

Equivalence

100

%54

85

%47

55

%42

Adaptation

3

%2

4

%2

0

0

Specific

strategies

Amplification

29

%15

27

%15

13

%10

Reduction

6

%3

11

%6

15

%12

Generalization

15

%8

25

%14

30

%23

Particularization

5

%3

1

%0.5

2

%2

Total

186

%100

182

%100

130

%100

Table 2. The Frequency and Percentage of Strategies Used by the Three Persian Translators

Specific samples of strategies used by each translator were discussed in the following part:

Loan Translation

Loan translation is a word or phrase borrowed from another language. In the following part, some instances of loan translation applied by the three Persian translators were shown.

Table 3. Loan Translation

Number

 

CSIs

Arjang’s Translation (2003)

Mahdavian’s Translation (1996)

Reyshahri’s Translation (1993)

1

The Blue Cow Inn

مهمانسرای گاو آبی

مهمانخانه بلوکاو

-

2

Marmalade

مربا

مارمالاد

-


First, The Blue Cow is the name of an inn. Therefore, Arjang translated this item in a calque strategy because she translated this noun phrase in a literal form, but Mahdavian translated this item in a loan translation because he translated this item based on its source language form in order to be faithful to the SL text.

Second, based on a Merriam-Webster dictionary (2009), marmalade is a sweet jelly that contains pieces of fruit. Therefore, Arjang translated this item in a general form, but Mahdavian translated this item in a loan strategy because he remained the SL form of this item.

Calque

Calque means translating a phrase in a literal form. In the following part, some examples of calque strategy were shown.

Number

CSIs

Shahla Argang

MerdadMahdavian

NooshinReyshahri

1

Kitchen-gardens

باغچه آشپزخانه

باغ آشپزخانه

باغ مطبخی

2

Apple-tree

درخت سیب

درخت سیب

درخت سیب

3

Water-rats

موشهای آبی

موشهای آبی

موشهای آبی

Table 4. Calque

In the above samples, the three translators rendered these noun phrases in a literal form. So, they used calque strategy for translating these items. For instance, Water-rats is a noun phrase which consists of two nouns and were translated based on these two nouns.

Equivalence

Equivalence means replicating the same situation as in the source text with using completely different words. In the following part, some of the examples of equivalence strategy were indicated.

Number

CSIs

ShahlaArjang

MehrdadMahdavian

NooshinReyshahri

1

A carriage

کالسکه

کالسکه

درشکه

2

Lovely young fowl and bread sauce

جوجه لذیذ و نان سس مالیده

خوراک جوجه با سس

غذا

3

Priest

مرد خدا

کشیش

کشیشی

Table 5. Equivalence

First, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary (2009), a carriage means a large vehicle with four wheels that is pulled by a horse and that carries people. Therefore, these three translators translated this item in its equivalence meaning in the target language.

Second, a lovely young fowl and bread sauce was a noun phrase which Arjang translated it in a calque strategy because she translated this noun phrase in a literal form. On the other hand, Mahdavian translated this phrase in an adaptation strategy because a lovely young fowl and bread sauce was like "خوراک جوجه با سس" in Iran which its form was different from it. Reyshahri translated this item into "غذا" and in a general way because "غذا" was included of different kinds of foods.

Third, with regard to Merriam-Webster dictionary (2009), a priest is a person who has the authority to lead or perform religious ceremonies. Therefore, Mahdavian and Reyshahri translated this item based on its equivalence in Iran which was "کشیش". Arjang translated “priest” into “مرد خدا" which was a general form because "مرد خدا" was included of priest, imams, prophets, and every religious person.

Adaptation

Adaptation means rendering a source language text into a target language text based on the culture of the target language.

Table 6. Adaptation

Number

CSIs

Arjang’s Translation (2003)

Mahdavian’s (1996) Translation

Reyshahri’s Translation (1993)

1

Rice Pudding

شیر برنج

پوره برنج

برنج

2

Buttered Toast

نان برشته کره مالیده

نان کره ای

نان و کره

3

Marigolds

گل سرخ هندی

گل های همیشه بهار

-

First, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary (2009), rice pudding means a sweet food made of rice cooked with milk and sugar. This item is like "شیربرنج" in Iran, but its texture is different from it. Therefore, Arjang translated this item based on adaptation strategy. On the other hand, Mahdavian and Reyshahri translated this item in a wrong way because "پورهبرنج" and "برنج" were not the equivalence of rice pudding.

Second, buttered toast is like "نان کره ای" in Iran, but its texture is different from it. Therefore, Mahdavian translated this item in an adaptation strategy. Arjang translated buttered toast in a calque strategy because buttered toast was a noun phrase and she translated this noun phrase in a literal form. Reyshari translated this item in a wrong way because its translation was not an equivalence of buttered toast.

Third, according to Oxford dictionary (2012), a marigold refers to a plant of the daisy family with yellow, orange, or copper-brown flowers, cultivated as an ornamental. Arjang translated this item in a wrong way and Mahdavian translated it in an adaptation strategy because "گل های همیشه بهار" were specific to Iran culture. In Iran, گل های همیشه بهار were referred to flowers which were remained alive in all seasons.

Generalization

Generalization is a use of a more general term for a specific term in the source language. In the following part, some of the instances of the generalization strategy were shown.

Table 7. Generalization

Number

CSIs

Arjang’s Translation (2003)

Mahdavian’s Translation (1996)

Reyshahri’s Translation (1993)

1

Treacle

شیره

شیره قند

-

2

Orchard

باغی

باغ میوه

باغ میوه

First, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary (2009), treacle means molasses. Arjang translated “treacle” in its general form because the exact meaning of treacle was" "شیره قند. Therefore, Mahdavian translated “treacle” more precisely and based on the equivalence strategy.

Second, based on Merriam-Webster dictionary (2009), an orchard means a place where fruit trees are grown. Therefore, Mahdavian and Reyshahri translated “orchard” into its equivalent in Persian which was "باغ میوه". So, they translated this item more precisely and based on an equivalence strategy. However, Arjang translated this item in a general form and into "باغی" in Persian because "باغی" refered to different kinds of gardens.

Particularization

Particularization means a use of a specific term for a general term in the source language. In the following part, some of the instances of the particularization strategy were shown.

Table 8. Particularization

Number

CSIs

Arjang’s Translation (2003)

Mahdavian’s Translation (1996)

Reyshahri’s Translation (1993)

1

Evergreens

شمشادها

گیاهان همیشه سبز

چمن ها

 

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary (2009), an evergreen means a plant (As a pine or a laurel) having leaves that stay green through more than one growing season. Therefore, Arjang translated this item in a particularization strategy because"شمشاد" was one kind of evergreens. Mahdavian translated evergreens in a literal form. So, he translated this item in a calque strategy. Finally, Reyshahri translated this item in a wrong way because "چمن" was not in a group of evergreens.

Amplification

Amplification means using more words than the source text to express the same idea. In the following part, some of the examples of the particularization strategy were indicated.

Table 9. Amplification

Number

CSIs

Arjang’s Translation (2003)

Mahdavian’s Translation (1996)

Reyshahri’s Translation (1993)

1

Boxing

تمرین مشت زنی

تمرین بوکس

تمرین بوکس

The three translators translated “boxing” into two words. So, they used an amplification strategy for rendering boxing into Persian language.

Reduction

Reduction meansusing less words than the source text to express the same idea. In the following part, some of the examples of the particularization strategy were shown.

Table 10. Reduction

Number

CSIs

Arjang’s Translation (2003)

Mahdavian’s Translation (1996)

Reyshahri’s Translation (1993)

1

The Private Hotel

هتل دنجی

هتلی

هتلی

2

Daughter of Pigs

دختر خوک

دختر خوک

خوک

3

Lilac Bush

بته گل یاس

بوته ای

بوته ای

In the first sample, Mahdavian and Reyshahri translated “the private hotel” into one word. So, they used a reduction strategy for rendering this item.

In the second sample, Reyshahri translated “daughter of pigs” into one word. So, she used a reduction strategy for rendering this item into Persian language.

In the third sample, Mahdavian and Reyshahri translated “a lilac bush” into one word. Therefore, they used a reduction strategy for rendering this item into Persian language.

Discussion

As the results of the study showed that the three Persian translators have used equivalence strategy more than other strategies. It shows that the three Persian translators have intended to translate a text in a fluent way into the target language to make the translated text more comprehensible and tangible for readers. Therefore, using equivalence as a major strategy shows that the three Persian translators opted for a dynamic equivalence in the target language. Moreover, it can be concluded from this study that a dynamic equivalence seems to be regarded as the most effective strategy in rendering the culture-specific items of literary works. The researcher also compared this study with similar studies on Persian translations of culture-specific items in other English literary texts and found out that most Iranian translators prefered to render the culture-specific items based on the message of the literary works in order to make the text more tangible and authentic for target readers. For instance, Esmaeili, who examined Toofan (1982), Panahi Khorasani (1992), Karami Far (1993), Bahrami Harran (1995), and Dehmishegi (1995)ʼs translations of the whole chapters of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland based on Newmark’s (1988) taxonomy understood that Toofan who first translated this novel used cultural equivalence more than other strategies, Panahi Khorasani (1992) applied functional equivalence as the most frequently used strategy, Karami Far (1993) used transference and functional equivalence more than other strategies, Bahrami Harran (1995) used functional equivalence and transference as the major strategies, and Dehmishegi used transference more than other strategies. Therefore, this study which its goal was to examine different strategies applied by three Persian translators in rendering the culture-specific items in an English literary work, The Secret Garden according to Vinay and Darbelnet’s model of translation, the researcher reached to the following conclusions based on the above results.

Q1: Which procedures have been used by different Persian translators in translating CSIs of The Secret Garden as a children’s book?

According to the obtained results, Arjang and Mahdavian have both used adaptation, calque, loan, particularization, generalization, amplification, and reduction strategies for rendering the culture-specific items of The Secret Garden (1910) from English language into Persian language, but Reyshahri (1993) has applied all the translation strategies of Arjang (2003) and Mahdavian, except the adaptation strategy.

Q2: Which procedures have been used more frequently in translating culture-specific items of The Secret Garden as a children’s book?

According to the above results, equivalence strategy was the most frequently used strategy in Arjang’s (2003), Mahdavian’s (1996), and Reyshahri’s (1993) translations of rendering culture-specific items of an English literary novel, The Secret Garden (1910).

Q3: What are the results for choosing certain procedures of rendering culture-specific items of The Secret Garden as a children’s book?

Based on the results of the study, Arjang, Mahdavian, and Reyshahri used equivalence strategy as their major strategy in translating the CSIs of an English literary work, The Secret Garden (1910) in order to make the translation more comprehensible and tangible for the target readers. Moreover, these three translators used equivalence strategy a lot in their translations of The Secret Garden (1910) in order to have the same effect on the target readers. In addition, these three translators used calque for phrases which there were no equivalence for in the target culture. Furthermore, Arjang and Mahdavian used an adaptation strategy for the CSIs that there was an equivalence for in the target culture. These three translators used a loan translation for CSIs in order to make the target readers familiar with the source culture. Also, they used reduction and generalization strategies in order to make the perception of the target text easier for the target readers. Finally, they used amplification and specification strategies in order to make the translated text more comprehensible for the target readers.

Conclusion

From the above results, the researcher understood that translating a source text into a target text was difficult without considering cultural knowledge because culture would help people to perceive the world around them better. Therefore, it is a translator’s task to regard different things to make these worlds closer to each other. Therefore, translators should be aware of both source and target language and use translation strategies when translating CSIs. Furthermore, there are different translation models for rendering CSIs from a source language into a target language. One of the most important models of translation in this domain is referred to Vinay and Darbelnet’s (1958) model of translation. Results of this study showed that the three Persian translators used equivalence as their major strategy in order to make their translations more comprehensible and authentic for the target text readers. Also, the researcher probed that some of the translation strategies were used more and some of the translation strategies were used less. Therefore, choosing an appropriate strategy should be done based on the context, purpose, and situation by the translators. Also, the researcher understood that the three Persian translators were not consistent in their translations and this may be resulted from the non- equivalent problems in translating the CSIs. This study has different implications for the translators. For instance, a translator should consider the aim of the translation when using different strategies for translating the CSIs. He or she should also figure out that his or her translation has the same function in the target culture like other translations of this kind of novel. Therefore, the findings of this study is useful for translators, translation teachers, and students of translation studies because it presents different translation strategies for dealing with cultural obstacles in translating CSIs in children’s literature books from SL into TL. In addition, this study will improve translators’ ability to render CSIs more precisely. As a result, it will widen translators’ point of view toward translating children’s books. Moreover, translating children’s literature books based on the source culture is better than translating these kinds of books based on the target culture because children will learn more about other cultures and communities. Similar to other studies, the present study is restricted by many factors. The first difficulty of this study was that there were lack of reliable sources for extracting the CSIs of this literary work. The second obstacle of this study was that there were different models of translation such as Newmark (1988), Aixela (1996), Ivir (1987), Graedler (2000) and Klaudy (2003)’s models of translation for rendering the CSIs from SL into TL, but this study only examined the translation of culture-specific items based on Vinay and Darbelnet (1958)’s model of translation. The third obstacle of this study was that there were different taxonomies for classifying the CSIs such as Aixela (1996), Thriveni (2001), and Armelino (2008), for classifying the culture-specific items, but this study only categorized the culture-specific items based on Newmarkʼs taxonomy of culture-specific items. The final limitation of this study was that this novel was translated by five Persian translators, but only three translations of this novel were applied in this study.

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