Domestication and Foreignization in Translation

1515 Words May 12th, 2011 7 Pages
Domestication and Foreignization 1. Introduction Translation does not only involve giving the equivalent meaning in the Target Language (TL), rather it involves considering the values of the TL and the Source Language (SL) whether they are linguistic values or cultural ones. Some translators prefer changing the SL values and making them readable for the TL audience. This is termed Domestication. Others, on the other hand, prefer keeping the values of the SL and exposing audience to them. “Domesticating translation” and “foreignizing translation” are two terms coined by Lawrence Venuti based on his investigation of western translation history and theories. The roots of the two terms can be traced back to the German philosopher …show more content…
Foreignization in translation is also relative. It is just a concept to bear in mind. A foreignizing method is to move the reader towards the author, but even Venuti himself questions its practicality:
“Although Venuti advocates foreignizing translation, he is also aware of some of its contradictions, namely that it is a subjective and relative term that still involves some domestication because it translates an ST for a target culture and depends on dominant target-culture values to become visible when it departs from them.”[9]
This means that a foreignizing translation is essentially depends on dominant target-culture values. In order for a foreignized translation to have an impact, it must first acknowledge the target culture, and then move away from it. The TL text is partly foreignized, surely with some degree of domestication. In other word, foreignization is just relative. 4. Examples on both methods * If an Arab translator, for example, working in a conservative society has the following sentence ‘I went camping with my girlfriend’ to translate, s/he would translate that as ‘ذهبت للتخييم مع زوجتي’. The back translation of that into English reads ‘I went camping with my wife’. Is this ‘radically’ Arabic? It would be very difficult to explain to the average Arab readers the meaning of ‘girlfriend’ with Arabic values. Hence, Domestication is the saviour.

* In one of her talks, the Egyptian British writer, Ahdaf Soueif also spoke about her excellent