Cross Cultural Translation By Chinua Achebe 's Things Fall Apart And Eva Hoffman 's Lost Essay

1934 WordsApr 3, 20168 Pages
Cross-cultural translation is the practice of taking the beliefs, practices and language of a people, or their culture, and translating it in such a way that it can be seen and understood across all people. Cross-cultural translation can be used then to compare various peoples, cultures and ways of thinking. The reasonable conclusion to come to when looking at cultures through this lens is that all humans share much commonality at heart, some amount of universal common ground; and if we all share so much then ethnocentric beliefs, those that assert the dominance of one culture over another, make little sense. One culture can’t truly be superior over another if the core values of both cultures, and in fact all cultures, are universally held by all of humanity. Two examples of this in literature are Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and Eva Hoffman’s Lost in Translation. In these texts the authors’ use contrasting cultures to dismantle Eurocentric, or in the case of Lost in Translation west-centric, points of view. When discussing Things Fall Apart the focus of this paper will be primarily on commonalities found between cultures, primarily religion and systems of justice. Both texts then show language as a universal means of expression, with strong cultural meanings in Things Fall Apart and a more personal significance in Lost in Translation. As well Lost in Translation provides us with a universal on a more individual level, that of personal identity and the issue of defining

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