TRANSFERRING CULTURAL MEANINGS: A CASE OF TRANSLATION CLASSROOM

R. Kasperavičienė, J. Motiejūnienė, D. Venckienė

Kaunas University of Technology (LITHUANIA)
Familiarising students with strategies for transferring cultural meanings (intertextual units, culture-specific idioms, culture-specific items, etc.) should be part of a comprehensive translator training programme.

The present paper focuses on strategies for transferring such meanings into other languages and explores possibilities for introducing these methods and practice to translation students.

The methodology of the research: the authors (university translation teachers) analyse the means of transferring cultural meanings from English into Lithuanian in a specific travel book, attribute these means to theoretically grounded strategies, and make calculations related to the frequency of adoption of specific strategies; translation students are familiarised with concepts and methods related to transferring cultural meanings and asked to put their theoretical knowledge into practice, i.e. interpret and translate certain culture-specific items from the same source text, and ground their decisions on theory; the comparison of the strategies employed by the professional translator of the source text (as identified by the authors of this study) and by the students is made. As a result, both students and teachers gain valuable experience, and new practices of conducting translation classes for a specific purpose evolve.

Conclusions highlight the differences and similarities of non-professional and professional choices, summarise the possibilities for introducing methods of transferring cultural meanings to students, and round up with specific considerations of the impact of theoretical knowledge and the degree of experience on decisions made in the translation process.