Cultural Elements in the Translation of Children's Literature: Persian translation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda in focus

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Bandar Abbas Branch, Islamic Azad University, Bandar Abbas, Iran

2 English Department, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

Abstract

Translation can have long-term effects on all languages and cultures. It is not a mere linguistic act, but mostly a cultural act, since language is by nature one of the major carriers of cultural elements. Thus, the translator’s job is not just transferring the meaning of words and sentences from the source text to the target text. Culture-specific items often cause translation problems. Identifying such items in the source text and locate their rendering in the target text has been the focus of the present study. This study has attempted to spot culture-specific elements in the source text; i.e. Matilda, and to check the extent of the translator’s fidelity in rendering such elements and dealing with the concept of domain of discourse in Lefever’s (1992) words. To conduct the study, the researchers have applied a qualitative-descriptive (as well as a quantitative) method, focusing on the analysis of the text and classifying the cultural elements in the source text on the basis of Newmark’s (1988) taxonomy. The findings thereof revealed that universe/domain of discourse has changed in several cases, mostly when the translator has used domestication strategy.

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