Investigating the intricacies of cultural translation
Benlahrache, Wafa Safinez
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The research at hand attempts to look into the way cultural specificity is rendered in Algerian film subtitles and tries to uncover the underlying reasons behind the choice of translation strategy, both at the local and global levels. With regard to issues of power imbalance and cultural domination, the work also aims to explore whether the translation behaviour is normgoverned and whether domesticating strategies are applied as a norm when translating into English. Time change is another influencing factor that this study sets out to examine. Therefore, it was hypothesised that regular patterns in the translation behaviour would prove the existence of norms and justify the translator’s decision-making, that the latter is influenced by the socio-historical context in which it took place and that the use of foreignisation would invalidate the claim that domestication is the norm when translating into English. To test these hypotheses, a comparative study of the English subtitles of a selection of two Algerian films, namely Mostefa Ben Boulaid’ and ‘Chronicle of the Smoldering Years’, is conducted, based on Pedersen’s (2011) model of analysis. In addition, a questionnaire is administered to teachers of subtitling at European universities, in order to gain better insight into the previous concerns and reinforce the findings of the main empirical investigation. The results obtained support all the hypotheses presented. The product and the process-oriented analyses reveal that both translations conform to normative behaviour, as regular patterns in the rendering of cultural specificity are observed. They are also influenced by socio-historical variables because they are approached using opposite general methods; and the use of foreignisation in one of them invalidates the claim that translation into English favours domestication as a norm. In the light of these findings, a tendency to foreignise Algerian films that belong to the historical genre in their translation from Algerian Arabic into English is assumed. However, further research built on a more extensive and varied corpus is recommended to make any certain generalisations.
- Doctorat langue Anglaise