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Tibetan-English Translation: An Example of Difficulties when Translating Foreign Texts
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Ever since the first translators undertook the prospect of translating Classical Greek texts into Latin, the question of whether free or literal translation strategies are holding the highest validity has been intensely debated. Modern theories such as Nida’s theory of equivalence, Toury’s concepts of acceptable versus adequate translations, and Berman and Venuti’s postulates concerning foreignization and domestication also reflect this debate about free versus literal translation strategies. With these theories as a theoretical framework, a Classical Tibetan text and two highly regarded English translations of it have been analyzed. Through this analysis, the aim has been to establish what strategies the translators have applied, and whether these strategies have been successful or not. The analysis shows that the translators mainly have used a free translation style – that is, the focus has been on the target language, which can be explained by the sociocultural forces in the target context demanding texts that are easy to read. Another interesting result of the analysis is that the translators have failed to adequately render into English the meaning of words that are specific for the Tibetan culture, and this can explained by the translators lacking awareness of linguistic relativity – i.e. the notion that language and culture are intricately related – and by the sociocultural restraints in the target context. The resulting translations have thus become culturally biased, and therefore also ineffective in conveying the message of this text that highly accentuates the culture of Tibet.     

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 18 p.
Keyword [en]
Translation studies, translation theory, tibetan, culture, foreignization, domestication, linguistic relativity.
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-58391OAI: diva2:420423
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2011-08-18 Created: 2011-06-01 Last updated: 2011-08-18Bibliographically approved

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Savas, Serdar
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