Treatment of Cultural Differences in Translation

Lihua YANG


With more and more frequent interaction between China and the West, translation plays an extremely important role in communication. Translation is no longer viewed as simple linguistic transference between two languages; cultural factors should be taken into consideration in translation process. This paper tries to analyze how the cultural differences should be dealt with in translation process. Three concrete methods are proposed to deal with different kinds of cultural factors: literal translation with cultural explanation, loan translation, and faithful translation. It is the translator’s responsibility to choose the best strategy to render cultural differences. This paper emphasizes that translation shoulders the responsibility of making the original culture intelligible to the target reader and enriching the target culture. Therefore, when a translator is confronted with cultural factors, he/she must try his/her best to overcome the untranslatability caused by the incomparability between two cultures by choosing proper translation strategies. Only through this way, the translator could play the medium role in disseminating culture.


Cultural differences; Translation strategies; Cross-cultural communication

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