Translation studies and cultural studies

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Some linguists and translation theorists argue that translation focuses only on language issues, ignoring its cultural specificity. We believe that translators should pay attention to the linguistic aspect because translation is an act of transferring a text from one language to another, but at the same time translators should be aware of the importance of the cultural dimension of a context. A basic argument is that separating language from culture would mean isolating the language from history, traditions, values and the cultural specificity of a nation. Language is an integral part of culture and some linguists sustain that it is a fact of culture. The writer is a messenger of a particular historical context and time, as well as a messenger of a different historical context and time. On the other hand, translation is a process that aims at language and culture, as they are inseparable entities. We believe that the translator must know the language and culture of the source text, as well as the language and culture of the target text. In other words, he must have linguistic and cultural competence.

The translation process is described as a difficult process because it requires overcoming thresholds that seem (and sometimes are) insurmountable. The notion of 'translation' has become vital for humanity in general, and for cultural studies in particular. The contact between cultures inevitably imposed the need for understanding between nations, between individuals belonging to linguistic and cultural communities, by means of translation. Translation can be defined as an act of intercultural communication, or more, as a communicative and intercultural act of transformation because, through it, the action of converting information, feelings, values or ideologies from one language to another can be performed.

It is a well-known fact that languages are different, and translations between two cultures or cultural events will also be different. So the perfect translation and the perfect translator remain two elusive ideals. Language is the primary means of communication between people and a constituent of human behavior. Typically, the behavior of the members of each culture reflects their values. Language, means of communication between the members of a linguistic community, is the living expression of a cultural reality. It is recognized that the act of communication is not only the transmission of a message and an exchange of information between the transmitter and the receiver but it also can be defined as a social phenomenon. The dichotomy language / speech is currently debated by linguists. Speech is also a social activity that reflects the intentions of a person engaged in a conversation. From Bonvillain's (2003, 315) point of view, the interaction rules belong to their respective culture and transmit cultural messages that are in harmony with the following factors: the environment or participants in conversation, the topics under discussion, the goals and intentions of the speakers.

Communication involves the speaker's competence or ability to achieve correct grammatical phrases, or interpret them, but also the skills of the receiver, who must be able to understand the message. Competence is essential in intercultural communication. Intercultural communicative competence is according to Chen and Starosta (1996, 86) the ability to negotiate cultural meanings. We could say that it is not entirely foreign to trade because the translator negotiates words, feelings, needs and attitudes. Currently, translation is considered an essential means to overcome barriers of language and the translator is considered a transmitter of a message beyond the confines of a culture, or a harbinger who brings to attention his intentions to the great mass of auditors and tries to make himself understood. Thus, a text from the source language doesn't represent a static discourse but an expression of the author's intent that will be interpreted by a translator.

Translation theorists belonging to different eras such as Nida (1976, 44-92) and Katan (2004, 95) considered that translation should be seen as an expression of communication. Over the years, there have been controversies regarding how to improve intercultural communication. Newmark (1995, 2) considers that translation, the most economical way of intercultural communication, mediates cultures. In addition, taking into consideration the fact that there are both cultural and linguistic differences between two nations that come into contact, there are concepts whose meanings are not preserved or impaired. Nida (1964, 110) gives another direction to the intercultural communication; he expressed the idea that successful communication can be achieved between nations due to the similarity of thought processes, cultural experiences and the ability to adapt to other behavioral patterns.

Translation is a communicative act taking place between the participants of two different social and cultural contexts. We believe that it is in fact a process of communication that can be defined as an overtaking of the absent space between cultures. Recent research has emphasized the idea that exactness lies in knowing how communication in two distinct languages function and the aim of a translation is to reconcile or mitigate differences imposed by both language and

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22.04.2018
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