Dichotomy Theory Of Cultural Untranslatability

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2.2 Cultural Untranslatability Before touching on CU, untranslatability is the basic notion that needs to be clarified first. Although almost all translators and translation scholars have long felt and proved the existence of untranslatability, for a fairly long time, the notion of untranslatability had been very unpopular. The official acceptance and forming of it became true only 8 in the second half of the 20th century. 2.2.1 Untranslatability Dichotomy Briefly speaking, untranslatability takes place when a translator cannot convey the meaning from one language into another. (Manafi Anari, 2003, p.14) In the early stage of translation study, there had been no specific definition and classification for “untranslatability”. It is British scholar Catford who first elaborates on this issue. In his dichotomy model of untranslatability which is the most important and logical theory about the topic, Catford identifies two kinds of untranslatability, namely, linguistic untranslatability (LU) and CU. He describes that LU arises when “failure to find a TL equivalent is due entirely to differences between the source language and target language” (1965, p.98). Since it “has nothing to do with cultural differences in the wider sense; it is purely linguistic” (Ibid, p.97), LU is not discussed in this paper. As to CU, it arises “when a situational feature, functionally relevant for the SL text, is completely absent from the culture of which the TL is part” (Ibid, p.99). In other words,

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