Effect of Cultural Distance on Translation of Culture-Bound Texts

Vahid Rafieyan

Abstract


Sociolinguistic and sociocultural features of the source language can be ideally transferred to the target language when the translator’s cultural background knowledge has a high overlap with the source language culture. This signifies the crucial role of national cultural distance from the source language society in the quality of translation of culture-bound texts. To investigate the actual effect of national cultural distance on the quality of translation of culture-bound texts, the current study was conducted on two groups of participants including 38 German undergraduate students of English translation perceived culturally close to Britons (considered as the target language society) and 32 South Korean undergraduate students of English translation perceived culturally distant from Britons. Data were collected through a culture-bound text consisting of some news excerpts from The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) used as the translation quality assessment instrument. The analysis of independent-samples t-test revealed the significant positive effect of national cultural distance on the quality of translation of culture-bound texts. The pedagogical implications of the findings suggested incorporation of cultural features of the source language society into every translation course.

Keywords: Culture-Bound Texts, National Cultural Distance, Translation Quality


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References


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