A distinctive aspect of translation: the cultural

  • Chidinma Okeogu


Simply put, translation can be said to be the re-expression of the meaning contained in a language A into another language B. Translation involves language and can equally involve culture. Culture is the way people from the same linguistic background live their lives. This includes their customs and traditions, moral values, habits; food, eating patterns, fashion and styles in clothing etc. Culture is expressed in language and so includes the practice and usage of language in a society, expressions, proverbs and metaphors. Langue is a means of communication. It is human speech either written or spoken. Language like culture expresses norms, value systems, ideas, concepts and customs. It defines man's environment and his experiences in life. The totality of man’s activity is expressed in language. Thus, both translation and culture are expressed through language either through verbal or non-verbal communication. Translation through language becomes an important tool in the dissemination of cultural knowledge. How do you translate the word “pancake” into the Igbo language knowing that the English “pancake” differs from the French “pancake”? How do you translate some Igbo words/proverbs or Yoruba words used by some Nigerian authors into English? This paper will focus on the distinctive aspect of culture in translation. It will also try to proffer solutions as to how to resolve problems emanating from cultural view points.

Keywords: translation, culture, communication, language, bilingual


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2070-0083
print ISSN: 1994-9057