Translating Culture-Specific Items (CSIs) As a Conundrum for Iranian M.A. Translation Students: Considering the Level of Study

Document Type: Original Article

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Abstract

This study empirically investigated translation procedures employed by M.A. translation students for translating culture-specific items from English into Persian. To do so, fifty M.A. translation students were randomly selected and equally divided into the freshmen and senior students. They were asked to translate 20 statements collected from the Gypsy and the Virgin. The statements contained CSIs and classified based on Newmark’s (1988) categorization of cultural items. Moreover, his taxonomy of translation procedures was adopted as a valuable criterion for data analysis. The findings showed that among all translation procedures presented by Newmark, the senior M.A. translation students employed literal translation, transference, descriptive equivalent, functional equivalent, cultural equivalent, and compensation of which literal translation was used more and cultural equivalent was employed less than others. By contrast, the freshmen M.A. translation students applied only 5 translation procedures out of 17, including literal translation, transference, descriptive equivalent, functional equivalent, and cultural equivalent. Literal translation and cultural equivalent were the most/least used translation procedures by the freshmen students. Furthermore, the Independent Sample t test was performed to find out which group was more successful in transferring the same meaning of cultural items to the target text. The findings of the analysis indicated that the senior students had better performance and produced higher quality translations. In conclusion, the results of the study showed the influence of the level of study of the M.A. translation students on the translation qualities they produced, whereas it had no effect on the types of translation strategies they employed.

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Article Title [Persian]

Translating Culture-Specific Items (CSIs) As a Conundrum for Iranian M.A. Translation Students: Considering the Level of Study