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Translation Methods to Bridge the Cultural Gap between Two Languages: Based on Relevance Theory

Soon Mi Kim 1

1숙명여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper aims to show that relevance theory provides an important framework for translators when they add information in the translated material to enhance the understanding of the target readers. When the source language (SL) readers share more common knowledge with the source text (ST) author than the target text (TT) readers do, translators adjust the informativity gap with the following methods: (a) explanation within the text; (b) explanation in parenthesis within the text; (c) explanation by a translator's note within the text; (d) explanation by footnote; (e) explanation in a glossary(Kirk 2001: 137). This paper analyzed the cases of explanation by a translator's note and explanation by footnote to see if added information provided by a translator has the largest contextual effects and costs the least processing efforts(Gutt 2000: 31). Expressions with strong cultural background and different language use were collected and analyzed from five literary texts; typical problems in added information in terms of the level of relevance were found. The author made an adjustment to the translator's note or footnote of 10 problematic translation cases. Then to see whether the texts with higher level of contextual relevance and less processing efforts enhance the understanding of the TT readers, 27 students from the author's translation class at Sookmyung Women's University were surveyed. The students were asked to read comparative translated texts as TT readers and to choose texts which increas their understanding of context more effectively. The results showed that readers found added information with high level of relevance was far more understandable and closely related to their cognitive background knowledge.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.