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Foreignization and Domestication in Proverb Translation

Author: HeYueJuan
Tutor: PanBingXin
School: Hebei Normal
Course: English Language and Literature
Keywords: Proverb Translation Foreignization Domestication
CLC: H059
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2006
Downloads: 1384
Quote: 2
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Proverbs are the essence and crystallization of a nation’s language and culture. They are concise in forms, rich in meanings and vivid in images and rhetorical devices. Covering the widest possible range of areas from the deepest universal significance to the commonest daily activities of every household, proverbs reflect almost every aspect of a society. As Francis Bacon once commented that "The genius, wit and spirit of a nation are discovered in its proverbs". Proverbs shine with accumulated wisdom, carry strong national characteristics and play an important role in introducing a nation’s culture. The understanding and translation, therefore, are becoming increasingly important. This thesis attempts to make a further study of foreignization and domestication in English proverb translation, and contribute to the deeper understanding and translation of English proverbs.Foreignization and domestication are two translation strategies. Foreignization is source language and culture oriented. It means the translator leaves the author in peace as much as possible and moves the reader towards him;it keeps the color and style of the source text;domestication is target language and culture oriented. It means the translator leaves the reader in peace as much as possible and moves the author towards him. It emphasizes the smoothness and naturalness of the text. English proverbs have unique characteristics: they are rich in sources and artistic in language forms. These factors lead to the principles of English proverb translation: Preservation of the original national flavour, faithfulness of the original content and maintenance of the original style.The purpose of translation is for cultural communication. With the development of economy and information in a globalization environment, contacts among different nations are more frequent than ever before. Cultures and languages of different nations are assimilating gradually. Foreignization is becoming the general trend of translation. Furthermore, foreignization can resist cultural imperialism and ethnocentrism. Advantages of foreignization in proverb translation lie in the threeaspects: Faithfulness of the original, promotion of cultural exchanges and enrichment of the target language and culture. A statistic analysis is also made to testify the preference of foreignization in English proverb translation: 153 English proverbs are selected by random and more than 100 are foreignizing translations. This analysis shows that foreignization in proverb translation is not only in accordance with the trend of foreignization in translation but also preferable. In addition, limitations of domestication in proverb translation are discussed: ignorance of different emotional colors and failure to meet readers’ requirements for exotic aesthetic values.Based on the above discussion, this thesis suggests three kinds of foreignizing translation. The thesis also puts forward that foreignization in proverb translation is not an extreme form. It isn’t suitable for all proverb translation and cannot be used without considering the time and place. With the development of globalization, foreignization is becoming increasingly important and necessary in proverb translation.

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