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Food Translation - Essay Example

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This essay describes the cultural issues in translating menus and recipes from Arabic to English. The researcher of this essay focuses mostly on presenting translation as science and art and states that language no only reflects culture, but also the people’s beliefs, histories, behaviours…
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Food Translation
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"Food Translation"

Download file to see previous pages This essay discusses the translation of recipe and menus, that usually begins with discussing why translation is both a science and art, and the principal issues of subjectivity in translation and interpretation, foreignisation-domestication and visibility-invisibility. The researcher of this essay focuses on the main objective of translating menus and recipes, that is to provide information about the content or ingredients of the food to be cooked and the manner of preparation, as in recipe instructions, in such a manner as to be appetising, moving the reader to try it. One important and crucial application of translation that was discussed in the essay, is in the understanding of recipes and menus because of the nature that food acquires in the mind of the person, be it an American sitting at a restaurant in Cairo or an Egyptian at a restaurant in Glasgow. For both, the menu informs whether the food would agree with the body and, in the case of the Egyptian, also with the soul. The unique nature of every language system poses a paradoxical situation between the use of the common translation principles and translator strategies that were used, especially in the matter of menu and recipe translation. Part of the complex nature of translation work is due to the complexity of the social and cultural meanings of food that are unique to peoples and their geographies. It is also concluded by the researcher that a good translator must know well the translation principles and strategies to do a good and effective job.
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When different cultures interact, each culture develops and changes.
Language development gives translation its important role: by allowing one culture to communicate with another, translation improves the way cultures understand and influence each other. That, at least, is the theory.
The practice is complex and challenging because in translating from one language to another, it is not easy to capture precisely different cultural identities and make these easier for the other to understand.
This is why translation is both a science and an art.
Translation is a science because it follows objective rules and methods.
It is also an art because it entails the re-production and re-creation of an original work (source text or ST) in a source language (SL) into a target language (TL) in a new work (target text or TT).
The translation from ST to TT requires a complex set of knowledge and skills to re-produce the content, spirit, and context of the ST as faithfully as possible to enhance understanding and produce the intended effect. This is not easy because a faithful understanding of a culture is difficult for one not native to it.
Translations must reflect the thought, feeling, and style of the SL as faithfully, flexibly, and satisfactorily in the TL, which means the TT must be close to the ST in form and substance, i.e., from the literary and linguistic points of view.
Following the simplest rule of communication, the translator confronted with a ST must determine the original author's message, the meaning the author puts into that message, the author's intention, and how the author communicates that message (Venuti, 1995, 1-2).
Throughout the whole translation process, the translator has to remember ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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