Equivalence in the translation of vietnamese cultural words in the book “wandering through vietnamese culture” by huu ngoc

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Equivalence in the translation of vietnamese cultural words in the book “wandering through vietnamese culture” by huu ngoc College of Foreign Languages (VHUN)Postgraduate Studies BẠCH ÁNH HỒNGEQUIVALENCE IN THE TRANSLATION OF VIETNAMESE CULTURAL WORDS IN THE BOOK “WANDERING THROUGH VIETNAMESE CULTURE” BY HUU NGOC(TƯƠNG ĐƯƠNG TRONG CÁCH DỊCH CÁC TỪ CÓ YẾU TỔ VĂN HÓA TRONG CUỐN SÁCH “WANDERING THROUGH VIETNAMESE CULTURE” CỦA HỮU NGỌC)Field: English LinguisticsCode: 602215Course: K13 M.A. Minor ThesisSupervisor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lê Hùng Tiến- Hanoi, July 2007 -AbstractThis paper is a linguistic study on equivalences and the translation methods rendered to achieve the equivalent effects in a book written by the writer and translator, Huu Ngoc. More specifically, the chosen subject of investigation is the translation of Vietnamese cultural words in the book “Wandering through Vietnamese culture”. The reasons for this choice are both linguistic and practical.Linguistically, the translation of culture-related words has never been seen as an easy task, especially between such two distant cultures as Vietnam and English. The challenges may originate from cultural differences, the cultural knowledge of the translator etc. However, the hardest problems may be attached to non- equivalence which consists of the concepts unknown to target language readers, the non-lexicalization of the concepts, the lack of super ordinates of hyponyms etc. The main contribution of this paper is to draw out the main ways of dealing with the hurdles by investigating how an experienced translator and a famous Vietnamese cultural expert overcome the difficulty in his book.Practically, I hope that the lessons drawn from the study of his work could effectively assist me in my practical job at my university, where a Vietnamese Studies Department is to be opened with an aim to train new generation of youngsters who will narrow down the culture gaps between Vietnam and other countries.ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSOn the completion of this thesis, I am indebted to many people.First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere thanks to my supervisor, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Hung Tien for his valuable and prompt advice and helps, without which, this thesis could not come into being. My thanks also go to all my lecturers and officers from Post Graduate Department, College of Foreign Languages, Vietnam National University, who have facilitated me with the best possible conditions during my whole course of studying.Last but not least, let my gratitude go to my family and friends, whose encouragement and assistance are of extreme importance during the course of my writing this thesis. Hanoi, July 2007Bach Anh HongTABLE OF CONTENTS TABLE OF CONTENTS .4 PART A: INTRODUCTION .5 1. Rationale .5 2. Scope of the study 5 3. Aims of the study .6 4. Methodology 6 5. Design of the study 7 Chapter 1: Theoretical background .8 1.1. Translation theory .8 1.1.1. Definition of translation .8 1.1.2. Translation equivalence .8 The nature of equivalence in translation 9 Types of equivalence in translation .9 1.1.3. Common problems of non-equivalence 11 1.2. Notion of culture in translation 13 1.3. Cultural categories 14 1.4. Translation methods .15 1.5. Conclusion .17 Chapter 2: Vietnamese cultural words and their equivalences18 2.1. The most common types of cultural words .18 2.2. The most common types of equivalence 18 2.2.1. Nil equivalence: 20 2.2.2 Other types of equivalence .28 One-to-part-of one equivalence .28 One-to-one equivalence 34 PART C: CONCLUSION 36 REFERENCES .41PART A: INTRODUCTION1. RationaleTranslating from one language into another has never been an easy job even for the most experienced translators. Translation, involving the transposition of thoughts expressed in one language by one social group into the appropriate expression of another group, entails a process of cultural de-coding, re-coding and en-coding. However, the process of transmitting cultural elements is a complicated and vital task. Culture is a complex collection of experiences which condition daily life; it includes history, social structure, religion, traditional customs and everyday usage. This is difficult to comprehend completely. The more disparities that exist between any two languages, the greater the meaning loss in the translation is. As hard as it may seem, the translation of Vietnamese cultural words is now an inevitable part in our integrating life since we have become a member of WTO. Thang Long University is one of those where the Department of Vietnam Study is going to be opened with an aims of training Vietnamese students into those who can introduce Vietnamese culture to the world. This sooner or later will pose teachers of English at Thang Long University a problem of matching cultural equivalence between English and Vietnamese. However, not many empirical studies have been conducted so far on the issue of translation of Vietnamese cultural words into English. Those reasons may explain how this study came into being. The study investigates how a very famous and experienced translator, Huu Ngoc, dealt with all the Vietnamese cultural words his whole-hearted work “Wandering through Vietnamese culture”. It also raised the need for translators of Vietnamese-English texts, especially in treating cultural terms, to pay close attention to the linguistic and cultural elements of the source texts.2. Scope of the studyThis study sets its boundary in studying cultural words in the book “Wandering through Vietnamese culture” by Huu Ngoc. It will look into the equivalence and non-equivalence of Vietnamese cultural words and their translations from the following points:• the most common types of equivalence• the possible reasons for the non-equivalence• their translations3. Aims of the studyThe main aims of the study are:• To find out the most common type of equivalence used in his translation of Vietnamese cultural words• To draw out the common problems of equivalence seen in the translation of Vietnamese cultural words into English• To draw out the strategies and procedures that may apply to the translation of Vietnamese cultural words• To suggest some implications for the translation of the cultural words.On this ground, the study seeks answer for the retailing research questions:• What are the common types of equivalence used in the translation of cultural words in the book “Wandering through Vietnamese culture” by Huu Ngoc?• What are the most common problems in translating Vietnamese cultural words into English that can be seen in the book?• What are the common methods used in the translation of Vietnamese cultural words?4. MethodologyWith the hope to go on the right track for the answers, the writer will conduct the study in following steps:• Building up a theoretical background for the paper.• Collecting and group the Vietnamese cultural words and their English equivalents for description, analysis, comparison and induction. • Finding out the similarities and differences and draw out the translation used in the translation of cultural words. • The main method is contrastive analysis.• Data collection: The Vietnamese cultural words and their translations appear in the book “Wandering through Vietnamese culture” by Huu Ngoc.5. Design of the studyThis study consists of three main parts, a reference, and a number of appendixes.Part A: IntroductionThe introduction gives rationale for the study. It also outlines the aims and the methods of the study.Part B: DevelopmentThe development comprises two chapters.Chapter 1, which is named “Theoretical background”, provides the theory of translation and the translation of cultural words.Chapter 2 entitled “Cultural words and their equivalences” discusses the most common types of equivalence in translation of Vietnamese cultural words.It also studies the translation of Vietnamese cultural words and translation methods employed in their translation by Huu Ngoc in his book “Wandering though Vietnamese culture”.Part C, which is the “Conclusion”, summaries the strategies and procedures and comments.Reference includes all the books, articles or website that has been referred to during the writing of this thesis.The appendixes list examples of different groups of equivalence in order of the alphabet. PART B: DEVELOPMENTChapter 1: Theoretical background1.1. Translation theory1.1.1. Definition of translationTranslation has been viewed differently through times and thus defined variously. Larson (1984: 3) stated “Translation is basically a change of form… In translation the form of the source language is replaced by the form of the receptor (target) language”. Newmark (1988:5) did not seem to totally agree with Larson - who considered translation a basic “change of form”, by emphasizing the “intended in the text” as said “ Translation is rendering a written text into another language in the way the author intended in the text.”Hatim & Mason (1990:3), on the other hand, focused more on the communicative purpose of translation by citing: “Translation is a communicative process which takes place within a social context”. It is then followed by other linguists, Bell (1991: 5), who thought “semantic and stylistic equivalences” are crucial for a translation to communicate successfully: “Translation is the expression in another language (or TL) of what has been expressed in another, source language, preserving semantic and stylistic equivalences”These definitions, in spite of slight differences in the expressions, share common features that they all emphasize the importance of finding the closest equivalence in meaning by the choice of appropriate target language’s lexical and grammatical structures, communication situation, and cultural and the requirement to find equivalents which have similar characteristics to the original. It is this notion of equivalence, which will be taken into consideration in the next part.1.1.2. Translation equivalenceAs easily seen, equivalence can be considered a central concept in translation theory. Therefore, it is not by chance that many theorists define translation in terms of equivalence relation. Newmark (1988) defines: “The overriding purpose of any translation should be to achieve ‘equivalence effect’ i.e. to produce the same effect on the readership of translation as was obtained on the readership of the original”. He also sees equivalence effect as the desirable result rather than the aim of any translation except for two cases: (a) If the purpose of the SL text is to affect and the TL translation is to inform or vice versa; (b) If there is a pronounced cultural gap between the SL and the TL text.Pym(1992) has even pointed to its circularity: equivalence is supposed to define translation, in turn, defines equivalence. The nature of equivalence in translationEquivalence has been considered the unique intertextual relation that only translations are expected to show: it is defined as the relationship between a source text and a target text that allows the TT to be considered as a translation of the ST in the first place. Nearly all traditional definitions of translation, whether formal or informal, appeal to some notion of this: translation means the replacement, or substitution, of an utterance in one language by a formally or semantically or pragmatically equivalent utterance in another language.Therefore, it is no surprise that equivalence is always taken for granted as a prescriptive criterion, as Koller (1995:196) says: “Translation can be understood as the result of a text-reprocessing activity, by means of which a source-language text is transposed into a target-language text. Between the resulting text in L2 (the target-language text) and the source text in L1 (the source-language text) there exists a relationship which can be designated as a translational, or equivalence relation.”Then the question to be asked is not whether the two texts are equivalent, but what type and degree of translation equivalence they reveal. Therefore, it is possible to say that equivalence is “Any relation characterizing translation under a specified set of circumstances.” And “Equivalence was a relationship between two texts in two languages, rather than between the languages themselves” (Dr. Tien’s lectures- 2007). Types of equivalence in translationTranslation theorists tend to classify equivalence in accordance with different criteria and approach. Some out standings are quantitative, meaning based, form-based and function based.a. Quantitative approach: Munday (2001) seems to stick to numeracy and suggests:• One-to-one equivalence: A single expression in TL is equivalent to a single expression in SL.• One-to-many equivalence: More than one TL expressions are equivalent to a single SL expression.• Many- to-one equivalence: there is more than one expression in the source language but there is a single expression in target language which is equivalence to them.• One-to-part-of-one equivalence: A TL expression covers part of a concept designated by a single SL expression.• Nil equivalence: no TL expression is equivalent to a single SL expression -> loaned/borrowed equivalents should be used.b. Meaning-based equivalenceKoller (1979) considers five types of equivalence:• Denotative equivalence: the SL and the TL words refer to the same thing in the real world.• Connotative equivalence: this type of equivalence provides additional values besides denotative value and is achieved by the translator’s choice of synonymous words or expressions.• Text-normative equivalence: The SL and the TL words are used in the same or similar context in their respective languages.• Pragmatic equivalence: With readership orientation, the SL and TL words have the same effect on their respective readers.• Formal equivalence: This type of equivalence produces an analogy of form in the translation by their exploiting formal possibilities of TL, or creating new forms in TL. c. Form-based equivalence:[...]... still remains some minor inappropriateness such as the inconsistency in translating the same words, the misuse of some lexical items and the translation of nominal group 2.2.2 Other types of equivalence In the second part of the chapter, the writer of this thesis would set the aim to look into less common types of equivalence found in the book Those are: one-to-part -of- one and many-toone equivalence which is more common to the target language reader Additionally, “morning-glory” means “bìm bìm hoa tím” in Vietnamese which is exactly the other name of “rau muống” Another thing in the translation of culture words is that the translations of the same words are not consistent from the beginning to the end of the book For example: “This time the man’s family would be required to bring area nuts and betel... of equivalence in translation This thesis adopts Munday (2001)’s perspective of quantitative equivalence which is consisted of one-to-one equivalence, many- to- one equivalence, one-to-part -of- one equivalence and nil equivalence We can hardly find the case of one-to- many equivalence Therefore, this kind of equivalence is not taken into consideration The writer of the thesis has listed almost all the. .. translating the word with the Latin-original equivalence, together with some description, the Vietnamese word is then used as a common English word That is, the author of the book has loaned the original words as the equivalence like in: Ornamental flowers are orchids, camellias, chrysanthemums, sói, mộc, dahlia, peony…(p 291) Many Vietnamese words have been rendered in the translation effectively In those... variety of different approaches have been examined in an attempt to shed light on Huu Ngoc translation of cultural words in the next chapter Chapter 2: Vietnamese cultural words and their equivalences 2.1 The most common types of cultural words In his classification of culture words, Newmark (1998) concluded five major categories of culture words including ecology, material culture (artifacts), social... 2000, p145) Another meaning of the words is “a fierce person” as in an example “we are really frightened of the math teacher, she was real dragon” The idioms “to chase the dragon” means “to take a drugs” However, Huu Ngoc, as a Vietnamese writer, rather prefer to use the image of dragon in the writing: He called Đồng Văn and Mèo Vạc the head of the dragon”; Cà Mau the tail of the Vietnamese dragon”;... more inappropriateness, to the best of my understanding, is the translation of norminal group There are common words that have been frequently used and turned into proper nouns such as name be transferred but the nominal sense of the words is not For instance, “Lễ xem mặt” is translated into “Looking at the face” as in: The first would be an introduction ceremony called Lễ xem mặt (Looking at the face)”... used k The use of loan words in the source text The use of loan words in the source text poses a special problem in translation Quite apart form their respective propositional meaning, loan words such as au fait, chic, and alfresco in English are often used for their prestige value, because they can add an air of sophistication to the text or its subject matter 1.2 Notion of culture in translation The. .. Free translation Free translation reproduces the matter without the manner, or the content without the form of the original Usually it is a paraphrase much longer than the original, a so-called ‘intralingual translation , often prolix and pretentious, and not translation at all Idiomatic translation Idiomatic translation reproduces the ‘message’ of the original but tends to distort nuances of meaning by. .. problems of non -equivalence As we all share the view that equivalence is the vital part of translation, we may easily agree that the problem of non -equivalence is the hardest hurdles of translation Many theorists has showed their concerns in the issue of “untranslatability” The following are some common types of non -equivalence at word level suggested by Barker (1994: 72): a Culture-specific concepts The . used in the translation of cultural words in the book “Wandering through Vietnamese culture” by Huu Ngoc? • What are the most common problems in translating. of the studyThis study sets its boundary in studying cultural words in the book “Wandering through Vietnamese culture” by Huu Ngoc. It will look into the
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Xem thêm: Equivalence in the translation of vietnamese cultural words in the book “wandering through vietnamese culture” by huu ngoc, Equivalence in the translation of vietnamese cultural words in the book “wandering through vietnamese culture” by huu ngoc, , Rationale Scope of the study, Quantitative approach: Meaning-based equivalence Form-based equivalence:, Culture-specific concepts The source-language concept is not lexicalized in the target language The source-language word is semantically complex The source and target languages make different distinctions in meaning The target language lacks a superordina, Differences in physical or interpersonal perspective Differences in expressive meaning Differences in form Differences in frequency and purpose using specific forms The use of loan words in the source text Notion of culture in translation, Cultural categories Translation methods, Nil equivalence: The most common types of equivalence, One-to-part-of one equivalence Other types of equivalence, Many-to-one equivalence Other types of equivalence, One-to-one equivalence Other types of equivalence

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