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Foreignization and Domestication in the Translation of English Proverbs

Author: LiChunJiang
Tutor: YuYingJi
School: Ningbo University
Course: English Language and Literature
Keywords: English proverbs domestication foreignization
CLC: H315.9
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2011
Downloads: 163
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Culture is the product shared by human society. Language is the system to record the cultural phenomena. There is a close relationship between culture and language. The proverb is the language symbol that carries rich national culture. The translation of proverbs not only involves the transform of language, but also the transform of culture. In fact, translation is a cultural activity.Proverbs are rich in content and have deep moral meanings. It is the vivid image of a nation’s geography, history, social structure, social concept and social attitude. The proverb reveals the life and the living environment of a nation, so proverbs have cultural peculiarities. Due to the difference in religious beliefs, food and geographical environment between the English and the Chinese nation, the translation of English proverbs into Chinese should strive to convey the language style and rich implication of the original.This thesis makes an analysis of the two translation strategies—domestication and foreignization in the application of the translation of English proverbs into Chinese, from the angle of the aim of translation, the translator’s mission, readership and the influence of information age and globalization on the cultural communication.Domestication and foreignization are two different translation strategies. Domestication is target language oriented, which uses the expressions, easily accepted by the target readers and makes the translation natural and smooth and tries to keep the author closer to the readers. Foreignization is source language oriented, which tries to keep the exotic flavor and style of the original. English proverbs have unique characteristics. The proverbs are rich in resources, simple in form, concise in language and subtle in the use of different rhetorical devices. So it is a tough task for translators to maintain the national peculiarities of the original texts and be faithful to the content and style of the original in the translation of English proverbs. Compared with foreignization, in the translation of English proverbs, domestication has some limitations: it imposes the cultural concept of the target language to domesticate the source language culture. This type of translation activity is the indication of cultural hegemony and cultural ethnocentrism.In the translation of English proverbs into Chinese, foreignization translation may serve not only to be faithful to the original texts but also helps to promote the cultural exchange between different nations, thus enriching the target language and culture.

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CLC: > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Translation
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