CULTURE , SOCIETY AND PSYCHOLOGY IN TRANSLATION
PROJECT WORK TITLE :
DOMESTICATION AND FOREIGNIZATION
NAME : RATHNAHJOTHI HARIKARAN
MATRICS NUM : P -TM0023/18
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 a nd
cross -cultural aspects in both source and target language.
2.0 DOMESTICATION AND FOREIGNIZATION
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, “e ither the translator leaves the author in peace as much as possible and
moves the reader toward s him, or he leaves the reader in peace as much as possible and moves the
author toward s him ” (Schleiermacher 1813/2012 ).
Domestication designates the type of translation in whi ch a transparent, fluent style is
adopt ed to minimize the strangeness of the foreign text for target language readers, while
fore ignization means a target text is produ ced which deliberately breaks tar get conventions by
retaining something of the foreig nness 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
Leave the author in peace as much as
possible and move the reader toward s him
Leave the reader in peace as much as
possible and move the author toward s
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 th e 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 t ranslation 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 or iginal 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 expose d 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 tr anslator 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 translat ion (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 d omestication replaces source culture with the target culture and foreignization
preserves the differenc es in both linguistic and cultural connotation of the source culture (Yang,
The ide a of domesticatio n and foreigniza tion is related to Nida ‘s formal and functional or
dynamic equivalences. According to Nida (1964), f ormal 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 so urce text, which is similar to literal translation.
The message in the receptor language should match as closely as possible the different element s
in source language (Nida, 1964 ). Therefore, it can be sai d 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 e quivalence 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 s ame 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 sa me 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 t o retrain the ethnocentric violence of translation. This can mean
that the forei gnization 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 translat ion style designed to make the presence of tr anslator 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 th e 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
domest ication 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 st rategies 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
dom estication 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 abl e to get
to the external cu ltural or linguistic aspects through the translation.
Forei gnization 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 u nnatural
and awkward, where they can be misled.
A good translation must be having some equal degree of both domestication and
foreignization strategies . In my opin ion, 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 reader s 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 t he 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