Minority in English literary translation: the case of Slovak culture-bound items
The paper homes in on the analysis of culture-bound items in the English translation of the Slovak novel Rivers of Babylon (1991) which contains unique lexis symptomatic of the (post)-communist linguistic scene. By its focus on the transplantation of the Slovak culturally-marked lexis into English, the study is sensitively responsive to Cronin’s appeal (2006) that in order to stand out in the globalized world it is necessary to start to pay heed to the local. The paper draws on the premise that when dealing with cultural asymmetries between languages cultural transplantation is inevitable, which supports the interpretation of translation as an essentially cultural practice (see Hermans, 2007). Ongoing research has shown that intercultural competence and awareness, arising from experience of cultures, are far more complex phenomena than they may seem to the translator. So far, less attention has been paid to the Central European context with focus on the Slovak culture transfer. The paper aims to investigate the character of the translation techniques used for the transfer of Slovak culture-bound items based on Pym’s cutting-edge model of translation solutions (2016). The study also attempts to research the extent to which the local colour of the Slovak start text has been preserved in the English literary translation. Based on the corpus analysis, it may be argued that the translator tends to the reduction of the cultural expressiveness by domestication of culture-bound items in the target culture. The research findings are part of cultural translation and are instrumental in shedding fresh light on how Slovak culture may be reported to English culture.
Key words: culture, cultural translation, intercultural transfer, culture-bound items, translation solutions