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Procedures of Translating

Culture-specific Concepts

Lingas, Silver C.

Some Procedures of Translating CSCs

(Graedler, 2000):
1. Making up a new word.
2. Explaining the meaning of the SL expression on
lieu of translating it.
3. Preserving the SL term intact.
4. Opting for a word in the TL which seems similar
to or has the same relevance as the SL term.

Culture-bound terms (CBTs) refers to the

concepts, institutions and personnel which are
specific to the SL culture.

Major Techniques for translating

CBTs (Harvey, 2000):
1. Functional Equivalence using a referent
in the TL culture whose function is similar to
that of the source language (SL) referent.

the ideal method of translation accdg. to

Weston (1991)
Sarcevic (1985) asserts that it is misleading
and should be avoided.

2. Formal Equivalence or linguistic


- WORD FOR WORD translation.

3. Transcription or borrowing

or , where necessary, transliterating the original

4. Descriptive or self-explanatory translation

uses generic terms to convey the meaning.

Translation Procedures (Newmark,

1. Transference transferring and SL word to a TL
text. * A transcription (Harvey, 2000)


Coup detat

Ad hoc formulation

2. Naturalization adapts the SL word first to the

normal pronunciation, then to the normal morphology

of the TL.

Ex. Biology Biologist Technology - Technologist

3. Cultural Equivalent replacing a cultural word in the

SL with a TL one.

Baccalaureat A level

4. Functional Equivalent requires the use of a

culture-neutral word.

Baccalaureat French Secondary School leaving


5.Descriptive Equivalent the meaning of the CBT is

explained in several words.

6. Componential Analysis to split up lexical

units and its sense components.
7. Synonymy near TL equivalent.

Kind person personne gentile

8. Through-translation the literal translation

of common collocations, names of
organizations and components of
Ex. Marriage of convenience marriage de

9. Shifts or transpositions involves a change

in grammar from SL to TL.
10. Modulation occurs when reproduces the
message of the original text in the TL
text in conformity with the current norms of
the TL, since the TL and the SL may appear
dissimilar in terms of perspective
(Newmark, 1988).
Ex. Safe and sound sano y salvo

11. Recognized translation normally uses

(the translator) the official or the
generally accepted translation of any
institutional term.
Ex. Rechtsstaat - a doctrine in continental European
legal thinking. Legal State

12. Compensation loss of meaning in one part

of a sentence is compensated in another part.
Ex. The atmosphere in the big gambling room had
changed. It was now much quieter.

13. Paraphrase the explanation is much more

detailed than that of descriptive equivalent.

14. Couplets two different procedures

15. Notes additional information in a
translation. *can appear in a form of

Ex. Debrecon the City of Debrecon, in West

Functions (Nida, 1964):
(a) provide supplementary information; and
(b) to call attention to the original

It can cause culture bump to the readers of
the translated texts.
"Culture bump occurs when an individual
finds himself or herself in different,
strange, or uncomfortable situation when
interacting with persons of a different
culture. (Leppihalm, 1997)