Domestication and Foreignization in Translation Essay
Domestication and Foreignization in Translation
1. Introduction Translation does not only involve giving the equivalent meaning in the Target Language (TL), rather it involves considering the values of the TL and the Source Language (SL) whether they are linguistic values or cultural ones. Some translators prefer changing the SL values and making them readable for the TL audience. This is termed Domestication. Others, on the other hand, prefer keeping the values of the SL and exposing audience to them.
“Domesticating translation” and “foreignizing translation” are two terms coined by Lawrence Venuti based on his investigation of western translation history and theories. The roots of the two terms can be traced back to the German philosopher Friedrich Schleiermacher’s argument that there are only two different methods of translation,” either the translator leaves the author in peace, as much as possible, and moves the reader towards him; or he leaves the reader in peace, as much as possible, and moves the author towards him. ”   Venuti, L.
The Translator’s Invisibility: History of Translation[M]. ?? : ????????? , 2004: 19-20. 2. Definitions * Definition to domesticating translation (or Domestication) in Dictionary of Translation Studies: “A term used by Venuti(1995) to describe the translation strategy in which a transparent, fluent style is adopted in order to minimize the strangeness of the foreign text for TL reader. ”  Schuttleworth & Cowie. Dictionary of Translation Studies[M]. ?? : ????????? , 2004: 43-44. Theoretically, domesticating translation takes language as a tool of communication.
In translation practice, it will make a translated text as readable as possible in the TL, without any traces of the source text linguistics or unfamiliar expressions, making it fluent and, as Venuti puts it, transparent. * Definition to foreignizing translation (or foreignization): “A term used by Venuti(1995) to designate the type of translation in which a TT is produced which deliberately breaks target conventions by retaining something of the foreignness of the original”   ibid. 59. Foreignization actually isn’t a translation, but a kind of transplantation.
It aims to keep the peculiarity of SL’s culture and itself. It tries to constantly remind the reader that the text is not in the original by for example allowing some words and expression to stay in the SL, changing the syntax or in other ways making the reader feel that the text is foreign. Through a foreignized translation text, the TL reader gets to know an exotic atmosphere, a new culture and the characteristics of a foreign language, which can enrich the expressions of their own language and even wipe away the weak points of their culture.
3. Domestication or Foreignization The debate on whether to use Domestication or Foreignization has attracted the attention of translation theorists for long time. All experienced translators know that if you want to keep the foreignness of the original, the translated text will be bound to lack smoothness, and if the translated text is needed to be smooth and idiomatic, the cultural peculiarity in the source text will be removed. How to make a choice?
In fact, neither domestication nor foreignization is a complete strategy. They are concepts to bear in mind. They are relative. Domestication in translation is one of the goals pursued by every translator because it can make the target text idiomatic and easy to accept by the TL reader. However, domestication in translation is relative. It can not go beyond the usual limits to be disapproved by most people, namely, domestication in translation cannot go to extremes.
If it is used excessively, it will remove the peculiarities of style, art, and culture in the original text. The spirit of the original text cannot be reflected in the TL text. As a result, TL reader cannot get to know the external world through the translation. The real value of the translated text will be affected. Besides, the TL reader feel unnatural and awkward, he may be misled. Foreignization in translation is also relative. It is just a concept to bear in mind.
A foreignizing method is to move the reader towards the author, but even Venuti himself questions its practicality: “Although Venuti advocates foreignizing translation, he is also aware of some of its contradictions, namely that it is a subjective and relative term that still involves some domestication because it translates an ST for a target culture and depends on dominant target-culture values to become visible when it departs from them. ” This means that a foreignizing translation is essentially depends on dominant target-culture values.
In order for a foreignized translation to have an impact, it must first acknowledge the target culture, and then move away from it. The TL text is partly foreignized, surely with some degree of domestication. In other word, foreignization is just relative. 4. Examples on both methods * If an Arab translator, for example, working in a conservative society has the following sentence ‘I went camping with my girlfriend’ to translate, s/he would translate that as ‘???? ??????? ?? ????? ’. The back translation of that into English reads ‘I went camping with my wife’. Is this ‘radically’ Arabic?
It would be very difficult to explain to the average Arab readers the meaning of ‘girlfriend’ with Arabic values. Hence, Domestication is the saviour. * In one of her talks, the Egyptian British writer, Ahdaf Soueif also spoke about her excellent (non-literal) translation of protest slogans from November 2005 for a piece in The Guardian. A few of the chants: ??? ??? ??? ???? ???? ?? ??? ??? ??? (domestication) (Guards, guards, guards, why? Is this a jail or an open sky? ) ??????? ????? ?? ????? …. ???? ??? ? ???? ??? (A soldier gets a lousy deal/rotten clothes, one lousy meal) ?? ?????
????? ????? : ??? ????? ?????? ???? (Hey Suzanne tell the lord: even beans we can’t afford) (foreignization) “You see what’s happening,” Soueif said. “Your translation is sort of taking the spirit of the thing, but also turning it into something you can imagine as a chant, rhythm and rhyme…. ” Indeed. With the last one, for instance, instead of saying, “Hey Suzanne, tell the bey: a plate of fuul beans* are two pounds,” Soueif chooses to render the slogans entirely in idiomatic English; erasing the difference, the “foreign” aspects that many contemporary translators feel they need.
There is no bey, and no fuul (which could be footnoted at the bottom of the text as “broad beans, a popular breakfast food, sometimes eaten with blah blah blah). There is no sense of transporting us to a strange, exotic place. Indeed, in her 2001 talk, Soueif referred to the use of foreignizing terms as “stumbling blocks to empathy, to entering the spirit of the book. ” * Applying Domestication or Foreignization has sometimes political consideration. If an Iranian translator working in Iran tries to translate into English ?????? ?????? ‘Arabian Gulf’, s/he would apply Domestication on that.
S/He would use ‘Persian Gulf’ instead. Foreignizing that would result in the possibility that the Iranian Translator would become so visible that s/he becomes unemployed! Both Arabic and Persian cultures have political values concerning that name which would pose a real problem for translators. * For example, this piece of news report can be translated into Arabic using Domestication: “… most of the Kuwaiti ruling family fled to Saudi Arabia. ” (BBC Special Report, February 19, 1998). ????? ???? ??????? ??????? ???????? ??? ???????? This translation is domesticated because the back translation reads:
Most of the Kuwaiti ruling family left to Saudi Arabia. Using ‘left’ instead of ‘fled’ is intended by the translator to avoid embarrassment especially if s/he is working in Kuwait. This is due to the ideology of the translator. BBC ,February 19, 1998. Special Report ,Kuwait and Iraq – sworn enemies, URL:http://news. bbc. co. uk/1/hi/special_report/iraq/55803. stm, accessed on 9/12/2007. 5. Conclusion Neither domestication nor foreignization is a complete strategy. They are concepts to bear in mind. Both domestication and foreignization are relative. They can not go to extremes.
If the translation is excessively domesticated, the cultural peculiarity of the SL will be removed. On the contrary, if the translation is excessively foreignized, it will become mechanical translation. A good translation text must be in some degree both domesticated and foreignized. References: Venuti, Lawrence (1995) The Translator’s Invisibility: A History of Translation. London and New York: Routledge. BBC ,February 19, 1998. Special Report ,Kuwait and Iraq – sworn enemies, URL:http://news. bbc. co. uk/1/hi/special_report/iraq/55803. stm, accessed on 9/12/2007.
Schuttleworth & Cowie. Dictionary of Translation Studies[M]. , 2004: 43-44. Munday, Jeremy. Introducing Translation Studies: Theories & Applications[M]. London & New York: Routledge, 2001: 148. On The Relativity of Foreignization and Domestication in Translation – by Wei Min – June 2007 – Xiaogan University Domestication vs. Foreignization in English-Arabic Translation| By Abdulaziz Al-Dammad | Published 02/2/2008 | Translation Theory | | http://www. proz. com/translation-articles/articles/1643/1/Domestication-vs. -Foreignization-in-English-Arabic-Translation.