Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Bibliography #6

A2 Saturday, April 29, 2006
How a culture says things reflects how it sees the world



Channel 9: A Current Affair

Regarding my research topic, I found this news article yesterday about the problems faced when it comes to translating a language into another, where it is at times almost impossible to also communicate the nuances, the meaning it was intended to get across in the first place. The article also talks about how literature, is the hardest language to translate as the writer said, “..in capturing the sense of line of poetry, we must inevitably lose its sound in the original, and in poetry this is, of course, part of its sense.”

There were also examples given regarding film titles.
“Even film titles pose challenges to the marketing boys. Jaws was rendered in French, The Teeth of The Sea, while Dog Day Afternoon, correctly and idiomatically translated Un Apresmidi de Chien did look suspiciously like An Afternoon of Dog. Someone at the Oscars years ago helped us understand that a Best Foreign Film nominee that year, Cousin, Cousine meant “Male Cousin, Female Cousin”. Not quite the same cadence”.

What most interesting about what the writer of this article said is that we cannot really begin to understand another culture so long as we have no inkling of it’s language and that, How a culture says things illustrates how it sees the world.

This point was well illustrated in an interview I saw on Channel Nine’s ‘A Current Affair’ last week, where they interviewed a Middle Eastern man, an immigrant, who when first arrive in Australia, thought, that the word "Mate", is somewhat a derogatory word, UNTIL, he learnt the language and assimilated himself with the culture.. and he laughes at himself for thinking that way in the first place.

That's for now.


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