Wandering through vietnamese culture



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2. Scope of the study


This 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 translations

3. Aims of the study


The 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. Methodology


With 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 study


This study consists of three main parts, a reference, and a number of appendixes.

Part A: Introduction

The introduction gives rationale for the study. It also outlines the aims and the methods of the study.



Part B: Development

The development comprises two chapters.



Chapter 1, which is namedTheoretical 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: DEVELOPMENT

Chapter 1: Theoretical background

1.1. Translation theory

1.1.1. Definition of translation


Translation 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 equivalence


As 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.





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