Taming the Stranger: Domestication vs Foreignization in Literary Translation

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The translator’s task is to bridge the gap between the source text (ST) and the target text (TT), to mediate between the source culture (SC) and the target culture (TC). Cultural mediation is always more than linguistic mediation: it facilitates understanding between cultures. Cultural mediators need to be extremely aware of their own cultural identity, understanding how their own culture influences perception (ethnocentric attitude). While foreignization introduces the TT audience to the ST culture as much as possible, making the foreign visible, domestication brings two languages and two cultures closer, minimizing the foreignness of the TT, conforming to the TC values, and making the unfamiliar accessible (Venuti 1995, Munday 2016). This paper investigates different ways to find the balance between these two tendencies, offering examples from literary translation.

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