Translation of Cultural Terms: Possible or Impossible?

This paper aims at answering the very question of the possibility or impossibility of the translation of culture, by presenting some of the most popular theories related to the culture-bound terms and their equivalents. Translation and culture are so interrelated that translators can no longer ignore cultural elements in a text. That is why, before analysing some translation theories related to cultural studies, it is very important to establish what culture is and what the problems raised by its passage into a different community are. Every language has its own way to perceive reality, which influences the way in which reality is expressed by the members of a community. When translating, people find out things about others, about a world which is not theirs. If translation did not exist, it would be difficult to communicate with people from other countries, by communication meaning not only the transmission of words and phrases but also the sense of a text, because what translators should translate is messages, senses, and texts. Different translation scholars offer various ways in which translation problems could be solved so that the receiving audience may perceive the culture and the otherness of another world. Finally, to a certain degree and losing a part of the otherness of the source culture, culture can be translated by using some translation methods like the so-called equivalence, according to the functionalist theories.

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