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What does the translation culture mean?the definition of translation and culture?  

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tangoo7 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 21, 2010 at 4:24 PM via web

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What does the translation culture mean?

the definition of translation and culture?

 

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lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 21, 2010 at 10:43 PM (Answer #1)

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Translating means putting words from one language into another. Culture refers to the shared goals, attitudes, language, etc. of a people group. So, I am not sure what you are asking from your question. The tag refers to the poem by Pablo Neruda entitled Ode to my Socks. This poem has been TRANSLATED into English from Spanish by the poet Robert Bly. So, are you asking about the challenges of translating culture into literature?

When a work of literature is translated from one language into another, the translator has to be aware of the culture of the original language AND the culture of the language into which the work is being translated.

For example, a Bible translator I know  once told me that the African dialect into which he was trying to translate the Bible had no word for "snow" since the people had never seen snow. So, he was trying to translate the idea that "sins are washed as white as snow" into this African language. His challenge was to find something in the language that was very, very white, like snow, and he came upon some plant that was like cotton - we'll call it plant X. So his translation became, "your sins will be washed as white as plant X." You can see how this makes no sense to us in English.

Robert Bly has done an excellent job of translating the Neruda poem into English and if you do some research and compare them side-by-side, you will see that he was able to retain the CULTURE in both languages - English, and Spanish.

Spanish:

Me trajo Mara Mori
un par de calcetines
que tejió con sus manos de pastora,
dos calcetines suaves como liebres.
En ellos metí los pies
como en dos estuches
tejidos con hebras del
crepúsculo y pellejos de ovejas
English:
Mara Mori brought me
a pair of socks
which she knitted herself
with her sheepherder's hands,
two socks as soft as rabbits.
I slipped my feet into them
as though into two cases
knitted with threads of twilight and goatskin
Now, if this is not what you are asking, you will have to re-post your question. You can read about this poem here on eNotes and I found a knitting blog (ha ha) with the poem in Spanish and English.

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