The Translation of Mus'id and Mus'ida's "The Gat" as an Arabic Source Text into English
Within the Framework of Theories and Strategies in Translation
The Translation of Mus'id and Mus'ida's "The Gat" as an Arabic Source Text into English as a Target Text, Within the Framework of Theories and Strategies in Translation
1. An Introduction
Translating cultures is one of the most difficult tasks for translators. Due to numerous differences of cultures that’s caused by language, differences may occur at the level of the word and above the level of the word as well. It is not surprising if a word may connote a different thing in one context, and the same time it connotes another thing in another context. Culturally speaking, the same word may connote a certain meaning in one culture while has different connotations in another culture. All that is due to certain reasons ascribed to ideology, attitude, association, pragmatics, or otherwise expressed. Hall (1976) presents an analogy that culture is similar to an iceberg. He proposed that 10% of the culture (external or surface culture) is easily visible like the tip of the iceberg such as food, clothing, art, dance etc, while 90%, of culture (internal or deep culture) is hidden below the surface like idiom, collocation, proverbs, metaphor and other figurative speech. To illustrate, the source text is from the Middle East Culture, especially from the traditionally Yemeni culture (Mus'id and Mus'ida Broadcasting), needs to be transferred into totally different culture (Western Culture). The translator has to bridge the gap by using strategies like Foreignization and Demostication, to reach the main purpose of the ST.
The purpose of the current text is to acquaint the target reader about the new culture which is not found there in the target culture. To illustrate, the source text is a mixture of socio-cultural habituations, constructed within the Arabic underlined by Sana'ni Dialect (genre shift). Thus, revealing such merged discourse and transfer it the way the ST requires is absolutely a tough task for any translator, many tools (Methods and Strategies such as Skopos Theory, Saussure's Signifier and Signifier, Baker's Translating Idiomatic Expressions and Venuti's Foreignization and Domestication.) of translation should be tackled during the process of translation.
According to Translation Studies and Approaches, there are not theoretical models of translation to solve all the problems a translator encounters, instead, theories should formulate a set of strategies for approaching problems and for coordinating the different aspects entailed. In the following analysis, it is our intention to examine the functionality (the Skopos) of the source spoken texts produced for the English Speakers, especially the American and British people. Since the Skopos Theory meets the growing need for non-literary translation in the latter half of the twentieth century (Schäffner, 1998:235).
2. The literature Review
2.1 A Brief Outline of Cultural Translation
In field of translation, there has been a long hot debate over the proper translation strategy chosen for the transmission of cultural contents. Since a publicity text is "content-focused" rather than "form-focused" (Reiss 2000), the translator should transmit the ST's conceptual content and does not have to preserve the ST's linguistic form or original style insofar as the TT fulfills its intended skopos or function. Most cultural words are easy to detect, since they are associated with a particular language cannot be literally translated, but many cultural customs are described in ordinary language. So it was worthy to find the most adequate theory of translation to adequate the TT culture not to accurate the ST. According to Nord (1997: 47-48), s/he must adhere to the principle of loyalty, which has two directions: towards the ST, and towards the TT reader. Nord, stressing the concept of loyalty, considers that the translator’s task is to “mediate” between the two cultures without falling into the trap of “cultural imperialism”, i.e. without pretending that the concept of culture A is superior and, therefore, must be adopted by others.
2.2 A Brief Outline of the Skopos Theory
The Skopos Theory was developed in Germany in the late 1970s. Since it reflects a general shift from linguistic and formal translation theories to a more functionally and socio-culturally oriented concept of translation, it has become "a welcome addition to translation studies" (Gentzler 2001:71). Initially formulated by Reiss in the 1970s, the theory was enunciated by Vermeer in the 1980s, and was further developed in the 1990s by Nord, one of its most important second-generation scholars. The basic principles of the Skopos Theory are summarized as follows:
Any form of translational action, including translation itself, may be conceived as a "purposeful activity" (Nord 1997:12). The action should observe the "skopos rule," which postulates that the form of a target text (TT), including translation strategies and methods adopted, should above all be determined by the purpose or skopos that the TT is intended to fulfill in the target context; that is, "the end justifies the means" (Reiss and Vermeer 1984:101). Proponents of this approach maintain that it is the ‘skopos’ or purpose of a translation, and the manner and degree to which target culture norms are treated or ignored in a translation which are of overriding importance for translator to take them into account during rendering.) Reiss and Vermeer 1984)
A distinction is made by Reiss and Vermeer (1984) between equivalence and adequacy in translation. Equivalence in Reiss and Vermeer's view refers to the relationship between an original and its translation whenever both fulfill the same communicative function, and adequacy is the relationship between an original and a translation where no functional match is obtained, and where the "Skopos" of the translation has been consistently attended to. Therefore, Skopos Theory was found as the best approach to approach the cultural gap of both Yemeni and Western Cultures. Throughout the whole text, the main purpose of such analysis is to transfer the strange culture (ST) to the (TT) readers. Another purpose is to persuade the readers as the 'cause-effect relations'. To translate the current text according to Skopos theory, we should take into account certain rules during translation; the skopos rule, the fidelity rule, the coherence rule, and the loyalty principle are proposed to guide translators in their translation process.