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LCT 502
I/C NUM : 941227-10-6294
Translation is not only the process of giving equivalent meaning of the source text in the target language. It also considers other aspects of the source language as well as target language, which can be linguistics aspects or cultural aspects. As we are living in a globalized era, we know about world happenings through many various mediums such as internet, news agencies or channels. As a medium to convey messages and to transfer information, here translation plays a very important role because a mistranslated information can affect the thinking of people by misunderstanding or misjudgment. Therefore, translators need to use proper and effective translation strategies to produce correct translation with proper understanding of cultural and cross-cultural aspects in both source and target language.
Domestication and foreignization are two basic strategies in translation which provide both linguistic and cultural guidance (Yang, 2010). These strategies are to render cultural aspects in both source and target texts. Domestication and foreignization are termed by Lawrence Venuti.

According to Venuti, domestication refers to “an ethnocentric reduction of the foreign text to target language cultural values, bring the author back home”, while foreignization is “an ethnodeviant pressure on those (cultural) values to register the linguistic and cultural difference of the foreign text, sending the reader abroad (Venuti, 1995). The roots of these two terms can be traced back to Friedrich Schleiermacher’s statement. He stated that there are only two paths open for the ‘true translator, “either the translator leaves the author in peace as much as possible and moves the reader towards him, or he leaves the reader in peace as much as possible and moves the author towards him” (Schleiermacher 1813/2012).

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00Leave the author in peace as much as possible and move the reader towards him

16859254445Leave the reader in peace as much as possible and move the author towards him
00Leave the reader in peace as much as possible and move the author towards him


Domestication designates the type of translation in which a transparent, fluent style is adopted to minimize the strangeness of the foreign text for target language readers, while foreignization means a target text is produced which deliberately breaks target conventions by retaining something of the foreignness of the original (Shuttleworth & Cowie, 1997).

Domestication is a term used by Venuti (1995) to describe the translation strategy in which a transparent, fluent style is adopted in order to minimize the strangeness of the foreign text (source text) for target text readers. In translation, this will make the translated text as readable and understandable as possible in the target language, without any traces of the source text’s linguistic aspects or unfamiliar expressions, making it fluent, as Venuti (1995) puts it as transparent, in which the target text sounds more like an original rather than a translation. Domestication is often used to refer to the adaptation of the cultural context or of culture-specific terms of target language (Paloposki, 2010). Domestication is in which a translated text, can be read fluently by the readers, when the absence of any linguistic or stylistic peculiarities makes it seem transparent, giving the appearance that it reflects the foreign writer’s personality or intention or the essential meaning of the foreign text – the appearance, in other words, that the translation is not in fact a translation, but the ‘original’ (Venuti, 2008)
Foreignization aims to maintain the peculiarity of source language’s culture and aspects. This constantly reminds the target text readers that the text is not original but a translation, by allowing certain expressions or words in the source text stays as they are in the target text, in other way makes the readers feel that it is a foreign text. By reading a foreignized text, the target language readers are exposed to a new culture and aspects of a foreign language, which can help them to enhance the expressions of their own language and get to know the difference of other cultures from theirs. Foreignization is preserving the original cultural context, in terms of settings, names, etc (Paloposki, 2010). Foreignization ‘entails choosing a foreign text and developing a translation method along lines which are excluded by dominant cultural values in the target language’ (Ibid, 1955).

Choosing domestication or foreignization as translation strategy is debatable. If a translator wants to use foreignization in his translation that would lead to lack of smoothness or fluency in the text, which may sound alien to the target readers. If a translator wants to use domestication, it makes the target text to lose its originality.
The argument over domestication and foreignization was influenced by the time-worn controversy over literal and free translation (Dongfeng, 2002). Literal and free translations are the techniques to tackle the linguistic form of the source and target languages, whereas domestication and foreignization transcend linguistics boundaries, more concerned on the two cultures. Based on this statement, the domestication replaces source culture with the target culture and foreignization preserves the differences in both linguistic and cultural connotation of the source culture (Yang, 2010).

The idea of domestication and foreignization is related to Nida’s formal and functional or dynamic equivalences. According to Nida (1964), formal equivalence focuses attention on the message of source text itself, in both form and content. This means providing some insight into the lexical, grammatical and structural form of a source text, which is similar to literal translation. The message in the receptor language should match as closely as possible the different elements in source language (Nida, 1964). Therefore, it can be said that formal equivalence is determining the accuracy and correctness in translation based on source text’s structure. This equivalence is related to foreignization strategy where the aspects of the source language is given more importance than the target language.
In the other hand, functional/dynamic equivalence is mainly based on the principle of equivalent effect, where the effect on target text readers should be the same as the effect on the source text readers. In Language, Culture and Translating, a minimal definition of functional equivalence is stated as “the readers of a translated text should be able to comprehend it to the point that they can conceive of how original readers of the text must have understood and appreciated it. The maximal ideal definition stated is “the readers of translated text should be able to understand and appreciate it in essentially the same manner as the original readers did” (Nida, 1964). According to Nida (1964), dynamic equivalence is a translation which does not sound foreign to the target text readers and is natural to them. This equivalence has the same idea as in domestication, where the target readers can achieve an understanding as if they are reading an original text rather than a translation.
According to Venuti, the foreign elements should be highlighted by the translator to register the linguistic and cultural difference of the foreign text (Venuti, 1995). He argues that foreignization “entails choosing a foreign text and developing a translation method along lines which are excluded by dominant cultural values in the target language” (Venuti, 1997). He says, it is highly desirable in an effort to retrain the ethnocentric violence of translation. This can mean that the foreignization can restrain ‘violently’ domesticating cultural values of the English-language world (Jeremy, 2001). Foreignization, which was advocated by Venuti is a non-fluent or estranging translation style designed to make the presence of translator visible by highlighting the foreign identity of the source text and protecting it from the ideological dominance of the target culture (Ibid, 148).

Meanwhile Nida, favoring domestication, sees it as a strategy that seeks to achieve complete naturalness of the expression by means of ‘dynamic equivalence’ (Nida, 1964). To Nida, the dynamic translation is successful while the equivalent response is achieved and to achieve equivalent response, correspondence in meaning must have priority over correspondence in style (Munday, 2001). Therefore, ‘the message has to be tailored to the receptor’s linguistics needs and cultural expectations (Munday, 2001).

Based on the discussion on all 3 chosen articles, it cannot be certainly concluded that domestication and foreignization are complete strategies. Neither can be said which is a better strategy. The different point of views provided for or against domestication and foreignization translation strategies are various.
Domestication is a strategy used by a translator to make the target text idiomatic and easily understandable and acceptable by the target language readers. However, one cannot do domestication in translation extremely beyond limits because it may remove the peculiarities of style, art and culture in the source text. Hence, the target language reader might not be able to get to the external cultural or linguistic aspects through the translation.
Foreignization is a strategy used to make the target readers get introduced to the aspects of the source language. However, too much of foreignization in the target text may cause the readers to take more time to understand the foreign elements. The target readers, then may feel unnatural and awkward, where they can be misled.

A good translation must be having some equal degree of both domestication and foreignization strategies. In my opinion, if a text if fictional, then domestication translation can be applied to create a better effect. In the other hand, a non-fictional text can be translated using foreignization method to give a better knowledge to the target text readers about the world.
However, a translator can choose whether his translated text should read like an original or translation (Savory, 1957). In order to achieve reader-oriented translation strategy, the translator should adopt a ‘naturalizing’ method of translation and on the other hand, should apply an ‘alienating’ method of translation if the translator seeks to achieve the writer-oriented strategy (Venuti, 2001).

In a nutshell, both domestication and foreignization are related to each other while doing a translation. Hence, both domestication and foreignization strategies are equally unavoidable in translation.

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