Instructor Letter for Final Draft

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HumanLanguage is not only a cultural product, but also a cultural symbol.Language development and adoption are an essential element inpeople’s development. This paper looks into the aspects of adoptinga new language and its impact an individual’s culture, as well ashow the source language and culture influences the translation fromone language to another. In any given language, literacy entails notonly an understanding of the cultural issue but also the issuespertaining to a particular language. This paper is addressed tostudents through assessment of all the areas in assisting newstudents in translation to develop a cross-cultural view oftranslation and observe the rules that govern the concept of culturaltranslation.

Thesisstatement: impactof developing a cross-cultural view of translation by the students,and the rules governing the aspect of cultural translation.

Using a reported case (Asian dust clouds 2000)about Beijing’s weather and climatic conditions, andspecifically about the sandstorms, the paper will look to analyzehighlight the issues in translation? Having been originally done inEnglish, the sandstones are connected the deteriorated air conditionin Beijing and also responsible for increased cases of respiratorydiseases affecting a large percentage of Beijing’s population.Visibility is also affected by the dust particles which in turnaffect traffic and the movement of people. With reference to thetarget source views this issue is also reflected in the text. Themessage, thus contained within the source text must be retained inthe target text to attain translation. Additionally, forced insertionof new source text wording in the source, target text destroys thetranslation as it denies the unification of languages and evenmeaning.

Government criticism is an accepted way of life in western culturesbut it is not in the Chinese culture. With a highly regulated mediain the country, government criticism of various policies in thecountry is usually from outside sources. Therefore, the choice ofword in the translation must respect the people’s culture in howthey view the government and the willingness of the audience to readsuch content and even be associated with it. Where ideas are tooradical for the target text, they may be censored. This is one of thegreatest challenges that learners taking translation will have toencounter in their work. Religion, culture and laws, especially inthe context of countries such as China, translators must be acutelyaware of the effects of their word choice in their work. In short,culture acts as a filter to translation.

Nonetheless,it must be acknowledged that a translator is not immune to his or herown subjective culture. This is one of the core factors that createunique identities in writing, one subjective view of the world. Thisaffects one’s choice of words in translating a message from thesource text to the target text. Take for instance the case of Englishthat possesses a wide range of synonyms and even has variousstylistic devices such as sarcasm. The Chinese understanding ofsarcasm is different. Although the current text, in which humanactivities are blamed for the sandstorms, English writers may have iteasy criticizing the government for failing to do enough than othercounterparts. However, translating such a text in criticizing agovernment in China would require cloaking criticism. In a Chinesecontext, one form of sarcasm called 指桑罵槐,to which there is no direct translation in English is used criticizepowerful officials in government by criticizing another personinstead. For instance, the weatherman may be blamed for causingsandstorms and being greedy for allowing deforestation and such.Ostensibly, the weatherman has no such power, but the criticism isdirected at government officials responsible for such activities. Assuch, the choice of how criticizing is disguised falls to individualpreferences, which translators must respect when translating toensure no meaning is lost and that the same emotions and response isevoked in the target text.

Similarto culture, religion acts as a filter in translation and poses achallenge to translators in their work. This is because religion,although it can stand alone same as the language is intertwined withculture. It influences the attitude and perception towards a certainissue. For instance, it is common knowledge that traditionalreligions attributed such natural acts as sandstorms to supernaturalpowers rather than weather and climate patterns rather humanactivities. Translators have a prerogative to shut out suchinfluences in their work to avoid distorting target text from thesource text. And just like culture, infusing these distortions to fitwith one`s religion can be automatic and unintended. Translatorshave, therefore, the same was as their subjective culture, seek anobjective approach in interpreting and analyzing source text andtranslating it to target text. For instance, a translator may becarried on his work of white that sandstorms are caused by angryheavens in the target text as opposed to being caused by climatechange as presented in the source text. For others, they might befaced with personal debates on the existence of a superior being tocontrol such weather patterns.

Otherthan having cultural awareness and addressing the above challenges,translators must be aware of their role in the whole translationprocess. They must first understand that their cross-culturalcompetence and inter-rational knowledge is not meant to divide andseparate cultures, but it is to unite and make culture universal.Through work, translation acts as a bridge to communicate in allkinds of languages. However, given that it might be seen to removebarriers in culture, it cannot be said for its purpose is to removebarriers because translators are expected to retain source textcultural context in the target text. All in all, the role oftranslators cannot be ignored. Translators must be are of theseculture and language differences and the incessant need to cross themthrough translation to facilitate inter-culture communication andeven facilitate the spread of popular culture.

Allin all, translators have a critical role to play. Although there areseveral challenges in this profession, its role in the wider societycannot be underestimated. Being aware of these challenges andaddressing them in the right manners and also respecting translationscentral need to unite cultures and harmonize knowledge should keeptranslators motivated and feeling purposeful in life. Therefore, thepaper has made it clear that translation is not a matter ofcompetence in a source and target language but also competence in thetwo cultures. This new approach assists translators in retaining themeaning and context in their work as required.

Ihave made numerous changes in the paper such as including a thesisstatement, as well as arranging the paper into the required format.In addition, I have made numerous replacements and as per theteacher’s requests. The paper is written in this way so ass toaddress the requirements as per the instructions of the teacher.

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