en English is Íslenska

Thesis (Master's)

University of Iceland > Hugvísindasvið > Meistaraprófsritgerðir - Hugvísindasvið >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/17122

  • Cultural Aspects of Translation: The Foreignizing Method. An Introduction to the Translation of Laila Lalami’s Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits
  • Master's
  • This essay is based on my translation of Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits and introduces the author, Moroccan born and raised Laila Lalami, as a writer who has chosen to write in English about her own cultural background, identifying important themes and cultural markers in her novel. I position myself within the context of cultural translation and explain the challenges faced in the translation process. Lalami’s novel gives a vivid picture of Morocco that I wanted to capture in my translation. Morocco has been a constitutional monarchy since 1999 and its cultural environment is of diverse Arabic culture, language and Islamic faith, as well as of Spanish and French culture due to their former colonial rule. French rule ended in 1956 when Morocco regained its independence, but French is still the primary language of government, business and politics and it is the language of power in North Africa. However, the two official languages in Morocco, Berber and Arabic, are the languages of daily communication.
    In this essay I consider Lalami’s decision to write the novel in a third language but about Morocco as signifying her valorization of her own subaltern culture, which is the key to my approach to the translation. In the introduction to my translation I demonstrate how Moroccan culture is permeated or controlled by the Islamic religion. I discuss cultural translation, the diverse approaches and different views, and how my theoretical approach to the translation of Hope and Other Pursuits adopts the standpoint of cultural theories that became prevalent in the 1990s and affected translation theories.
    I view the process of translation, which has moved from linguistic theories towards preoccupation with cultural transference, forming a common ground for other disciplines within the studies of culture. I clarify how the main consideration is the translator’s selection of procedure in accordance with the genre of the text and purpose of the translation. I point out how Lalami stresses the importance of Arabic culture to the reader, and consequently how I find it important to keep cultural references in the translation. I want to keep the foreignness of the original text’s culture in the translated text, and what I understand to be the most relevant for the author to mediate across the border of language and culture. I find that Lalami’s Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits cuts deep into Moroccan culture and the reader’s experience is intensified with culturally loaded markers.

  • Jan 13, 2014
  • http://hdl.handle.net/1946/17122

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