The translator as cultural mediator

Bedeker L. ; Feinauer I. (2006)


The increased focus on the importance of culture and communicative function in translation has led to a view of translators, not as mere transferrers of words or sentences as units of texts, but as cultural mediators who are responsible for successful cross-cultural communication and for the creation of functionally optimal target texts in target cultures. In order for this to take place translators need sound knowledge of the source text and the target culture, the function that the source text and the target text fulfil in their respective cultures, and the translation strategies available to the translator during the process of cultural transfer. This article aims to investigate this mediating role of the translator and the importance of cultural awareness during the process of translation. The Afrikaans translations Harry Potter en die beker vol vuur (Oosthuysen, 2001) and Harry Potter en die orde van die feniks (Oosthuysen, 2003) of J.K. Rowling's (2000) Harry Potter and the goblet Potter of fire and Harry Potter and the order of the phoenix (2003) are used to illustrate the importance of such awareness within a functional approach to translation, and to emphasise the importance of careful consideration and planning of translation strategies. Copyright © 2006 NISC Pty Ltd.

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