Translation of a Source Text (The text for which translation is required) in English to Target Text (The translated version of the Source Text) in a fundamentally different language such as Arabic, involves the transfer from one culture to another as well. Often times the cultural differences are a bigger obstacle than the linguistic or grammatical differences between the two languages. It is thus recommended to use a native speaking Arabic translator for Arabic translations, because native speaking translators generally have far better knowledge about the Arabic culture than translators from other nations.
While translating, our aim besides literal translation is to naturalize the Source Text into the Target Language along with its cultural settings. This requires the English Arabic translator to make certain choices, between features provided by the Arabic language along with the Arabic culture, when compared with the features provided by the source culture of English language. The options available to the translator are then to be either too biased towards the culture of Source Text or be extremely biased towards the culture of Target Language. These kinds of choices are always left for the translator to make.
Exoticism refers to the cultural features of translation being too much in favor of the culture of Source Language. The target text which is translated with much preference towards the Source language will most often use grammatical and cultural features of the Source Text with less features of the Target Language. The Target Text would thus have cultural strangeness and an impact which the Source Text never had on its English speaking audience. Such translations are also close to features offered by literal translation.
Just next to Exoticism in the line of Source Culture bias, is Calque. Calque is an expression of momentary foreignness, in the Target Text which cannot be marked under Exoticism. It consists of Target Language words and respects Target Language syntax, but will often have the structure of Source Language. At times the calqued expression will become a standard cultural equivalent of the expression in Source Language.
While on the one end of cultural transfer during translation are Exoticism and Calque, the other end basically consists of Cultural Transplantation. This kind of translation favors the culture of Target Language. Cultural Transplantation stands at the extreme end of Target Culture favorism. The extreme forms of Cultural Transplantation are thus complete adaptations of Source Text into indigenous target culture setting. However so, normal translations do not follow such extreme concepts and consider the alternatives that stay in between, somewhat a mixture of these concepts.
Cultural borrowing is one such mixed concept that favors to some extent the culture of Source language or Source Text. It is a good alternative to Exoticism and Calque, and allows for the introduction of a foreign element, but does not adapt the Source Language expression literally into the Target Text. Common example is using a culturally specific term by transliteration, rather than using the translated version. We often see such words in an italicized font. Sometimes the translator may use a brief unobtrusive explanation to make the meaning clear.
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