Skip to main content

TRA2110 Culture and Translation: Home

Course Description

This course examines the distance between source text and target text cultures, considers the origins of this difference, addresses the issues of translation and cultural exchange, and studies the techniques of finding information needed to understand cultural specifics.

Recommended Books

Translation, History & Culture

This book collates 12 articles on Translation studies from the perspective of culture rewriting. The 12 articles all testify to the fact that translation as an activity is always doubly contextualized, the culture of the source text, and the culture of the translated text. The practice of translation may serve for certain purpose, and the functions of translations may have also been shaped by culture. Bassnett and Lefevere fully adopt Mary Snell-Hornby’s theory of cultural turn, which calls for a transformation of translation studies from linguistic text translation to culture rewriting. In their opinion, the study of translation practice has turned to the larger issues of context, history and convention.

Translating Cultures: An Introduction for Translators, Interpreters and Mediators

This book is an introduction to current understanding about culture and its importance in communication, translation and interpretation. This book serves for interpreters and translators working between English and any other language. The book is divided into 4 parts. Part 1 introduces the subject of culture from the perspective that culture is a system for making sense of experience and that the organization of experience is a simplification and distortion of reality. Part 2 presents strategies a cultural mediator needs to adopt. Part 3 outlines the major influences culture can have on communication. Part 4 models the translator and interpreter’s changing identity, beliefs and strategies.

Constructing Cultures: Essays on Literary Translation

This book is a collection of the essays on literary translation from the cultural perspective by Susan Bassnett and André Lefevere. It appeals to cultural studies scholars, literary theorists, anthropologists, ethnographers, psycholinguists, language philosophers, and all general readers who are interested in multicultural socialization processes. In this book, Bassnett and Lefevere not only report on the developments in the field of translation studies, but also point to new directions for the discipline. As a central theme, they argue that the study of translation is the study of cultural interaction, and that translation studies scholars need to learn from methods of cultural studies disciplines to broaden their investigations.

Translation in a Postcolonial Context: Early Irish Literature in English Translation

This book focuses on the translation of early Irish literature into English in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It investigates the translation of early Irish literary texts as one of the discursive practices that contributed to freeing Ireland from colonialism. According to Tymoczko, translation from Irish to English was carried on primarily within the framework of Irish cultural nationalism, and thus translation in the Irish context became an intense ideological and even political activity as a cultural resistance to colonization, which led eventually to political action and physical confrontation. Nevertheless, Tymoczko argues that subordination to English norms, values, and poetics actually coexist with resistance in the translation of these Irish literature.

The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays

This book is a collection of 15 essays by Clifford Geertz published between 1957 and the mid-1960s. In these essays, Geertz clarified the object of cultural study- not hidden subjectivities or whole ways of life but publicly available symbols. Other issues dealt with in these essays include the incompleteness of human nature without culture to organize action and experience, different conceptions of the continuity of human personality in different cultures, the resurgence of ethnic particularisms in the new nations, and the problem of when and why ritual practices break down or fail, etc.

Recommended Databases