Publication details [#9840]

Dollerup, Cay. 2005. Tackling cultural communication in translation. Interculturalidad & Traducción 1 : 11–30.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language


This article argues that although 'the cultural turn' is a recent buzzword in Translation Studies' circles, there has always been cultural communication in translation. This is illustrated by simple sentences that, in translation, are either interpreted differently or clearly convey information about their foreign provenance. Additional light is shed on the complex interplay by a discussion of the 'literal' vs. 'free' dichotomy and of the relationship between translators and the texts they translate. These are found to be suffused with culture, and this leads to a brief discussion of 'literal' translation and domains where it is appropriate. On the other hand, cultural texts tend to be translated 'freely'. It is suggested that linguistic and contrastive studies of cultural translation are narrowly tied to the texts they study and therefore fail to come up with results that are generally applicable. The article therefore proceeds to describe a model which appears to be more suitable for discussing the relationship between source and target texts. The model operates with four linguistic layers (a structural, a linguistic, a content, and on intentional one) in addition to a paratextual layer and chronological axis. The model is used for describing the translation of a tourist brochure (German-English), a philosophical text (English-Chinese), as well as modern literary translations between Danish and other languages.
Source : Abstract in journal