Problems of culture bound terms translation in simultaneous interpreting
2 nd year Master student, Simultaneous interpretation
2 nd year Master student, Simultaneous interpretation
Words related to culture may cause certain difficulties in translation process. This is mainly connected with the terms called cross-cultural problems of simultaneous interpretation. While dealing with cross cultural problems of translation we need to be aware of cross-cultural competence and translational cross-cultural competence. Cross-cultural competence refers to the knowledge, skills, and affect/motivation that enable individuals to adapt effectively in cross-cultural environments.
PROBLEMS OF CULTURE BOUND TERMS TRANSLATION IN
Tilavova Mukhlisa Makhmudovna
year Master student, Simultaneous interpretation,
Uzbekistan State World Languages University
Words related to culture may cause certain difficulties in translation process.
This is mainly connected with the terms called cross-cultural problems of
simultaneous interpretation. While dealing with cross cultural problems of translation
we need to be aware of cross-cultural competence and translational cross-cultural
competence. Cross-cultural competence refers to the knowledge, skills, and
affect/motivation that enable individuals to adapt effectively in cross-cultural
environments. Cross-cultural competence is defined here as an individual capability
that contributes to intercultural effectiveness regardless of the particular intersection
of cultures. Although some aspects of cognition, behavior, or affect may be
particularly relevant in a specific country or region, evidence suggests that a core set
of competencies enables adaptation to any culture.
Cross-cultural competence is not an end in itself, but is a set of variables that
contribute to intercultural effectiveness. Whereas previous models have tended to
emphasize subjective outcomes, by focusing primarily on adjustment, outcomes of
interest here include both subjective and objective outcomes.
Translation competence is a complex concept that has been addressed by a
number of researchers in the field of Translation Studies. Professional translation as
a social practice is based, framed by a specific culture (competence). The framing
culture of this social practice is composed by:
A professional culture of the translator (language skills, technical knowledge
An embedding culture (more general knowledge and values of the social
actor/group to which belongs the translator);
“personal culture” (knowledge and values characterizing the individual as
Translation competence should help to enhance the following skills and
abilities of the translator:
Recognizing and establishing the structure of the source and target texts;
Recognizing the texture of the source text and organizing that of the target
text (selection of lexical items, syntactic organization, cohesion);
A detailed understanding of the text forms of particular genres;
Developing reformulation strategies such as: paraphrasing, summarizing,
avoiding calques, and so forth;
Producing appropriate texts in the target language.
In general, translation competence is the abilities, skills and attitudes needed
to carry out an activity successfully and it therefore affects different aspects of the
’s training (and work).
Newmark also stated the relevance of componential analysis in translation as
a flexible but orderly method of bridging the numerous lexical gaps, both linguistic
and cultural, between one language and another.
Some strategies introduced by Newmark for dealing with cultural gap:
A strategy when a SL word is transferred into TL text in its original form.
2) Couplet or triplet and quadruplet:
Another technique the translator adopts at the time of transferring, naturalizing
or calques to avoid any misunderstanding: according to him it is a number of
strategies combine together to handle one problem.
Neutralization is a kind of paraphrase at the level of word. If it is at higher level
it would be a paraphrase. When the SL item is generalized (neutralized) it is
paraphrased with some culture free words.
4) Descriptive and functional equivalent:
In explanation of source language cultural item there is two elements: one is
descriptive and another one would be functional. Descriptive equivalent talks about
size, color and composition. The functional equivalent talks about the purpose of the
SL cultural-specific word.
5) Explanation as footnote:
The translator may wish to give extra information to the TL reader. He would
explain this extra information in a footnote. It may come at the bottom of the page, at
the end of chapter or at the end of the book.
6) Cultural equivalent:
The SL cultural word is translated by TL cultural word.
In Exoticism the degree of adaptation is very low. The translation carries the
cultural features and grammar of SL to TL. It is very close to transference.
Calque includes TL words but in SL structure therefore while it is unidiomatic
to target reader but it is familiar.
Cultural Borrowing is to transfer the ST expression verbatim into the TT. No
adaptation of SL expression into TL forms. After a time they usually become a
standard in TL terms. Cultural borrowing is very frequent in history, legal, social,
political texts; for example,
“La langue” and “La parole” in linguistics.
Communicative translation is usually adopted for culture specific
as idioms, proverbs, fixed expression, etc. In such cases the translator substitutes
SL word with an existing concept in target culture. In cultural substitution the
propositional meaning is not the same but it has similar impact on target reader. The
literal translation here may sound comic. The degree of using this strategy sometimes
depends on the license which is given to the translator by commissioners and also
the purpose of translation.
While dealing with cultural transplantation, it should be noted that, the whole
text is rewritten in target culture. The TL word is not a literal equivalent but has similar
cultural connotations to some extent. It is another type of extreme but toward target
culture and the whole concept is transplanted in TL. A normal translation should avoid
both exoticism and cultural transplantation.
When a translator attempts to translate a text from one language (source) to
another language (target), s/he should understand and comprehend the source text
and then translates it to the target language, the full awareness of the source and
target text for finding accurate and appropriate equivalence in rendering of the
contents of the text for reader.
While the content remains relatively intact, the form, that is, the linguistic signs
of the original, may be substituted or replaced by other signs of the TL because of
structural differences at all levels. Such substitutions are justified; they are functional
and aim at achieving equivalence. Equivalent texts in the two languages do not have
semantically identical signs and grammatical structures and equivalence is not be
confused with identity.
It is widely recognized that equivalent texts in the two languages are not
necessarily made up of semantically identical signs and grammatical structures and
equivalence should not be confused with identity. As we know, equivalence is the
reproduction of a SL text by TL means. Equivalence is not a constant but a variable
quantity and the range of variability is considerable. The degree of equivalence
depends on the linguistic means used in the SL texts and on the functional style to
which the text belongs.
It is obvious that in interlingual communication involving members of two
different cultures this common knowledge may be seriously limited which will be an
obstacle to understanding. In other words, the translated message is transferred not
only to another language but also to another culture. This fact cannot but influence
the translating process. In addition to overcoming the linguistic barrier the translator
has to surmount the cultural barrier, to make sure that the receptors of the target text
are provided with the presuppositions required for their access to the message
Summarizing all above mentioned, it is possible to come to conclusion that that
there are a number of problems related to translating cross-cultural words, and there
are different ways to solve these problems by means of certain techniques of
1. Appolova M.A. Grammatical difficulties of translation.
– М.: 1977. – P. 48.
2. Vereshagin Ye.M., Kostomarov V.G. Linguistic theory of the word.
– М., 1980.
3. Pumpyanskiy A.L. Introduction into practice of English scientific-technical
– М.:1981. – P. 251.
4. Strelkovskiy G.M., Latyshev L.K. Scientific-technical translation
– М.: 1980,
– P. 32.
5. Komissarov V.N. Theory of translation.
– М., 1990. – P. 107.
Теория и практика синхронного перевода. М., 1978. – С. 10.
Комиссаров В.Н. Современное переводоведение, М., 2002, – С. 158.
Appolova M.A. Grammatical difficulties of translation. - M.: 1977. - P. 48.
Vereshagin Ye.M., Kostomarov V.G. Linguistic theory of the word. - M., 1980.
Pumpyanskiy A.L. Introduction into practice of English scientific-technical literature translation. - M.:1981. - P. 251.
Strelkovskiy G.M., Latyshev L.K. Scientific-technical translation - M.: 1980, - P. 32.
Komissarov V.N. Theory of translation. - M., 1990.-P. 107.
Чернов Г.В. Теория и практика синхронного перевода. М., 1978. - С. 10.
Комиссаров В.Н. Современное переводоведение, М., 2002, - С. 158.