Realia

Ritva Leppihalme

Table of contents

Since all texts are anchored in their culture, it follows that culture-bound items in the source text can present problems for translators, especially if there are notable differences between source and target cultures. The problems are often described as extralinguistic, that is, referring to the surrounding physical and sociocultural reality ‘outside’ language, as opposed to intralinguistic translation problems, which arise from differences between source and target language systems and language usage (Nedergaard-Larsen 1993: 238, note 1). Because of their referential link with reality, words and phrases that are “intimately bound up with the universe of reference of the original culture” (Lefevere 1993: 122) are often referred to as realia (Latin for ‘real things’), following usage in Eastern European Translation Studies (e.g. Vlakhov & Florin 1970).

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References

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Further reading

Bödeker, Birgit & Freese, Katrin
1987“Die Übersetzung von Realienbezeichnungen bei literarischen Texten: Eine Prototypologie.” TextconText 2 (3): 137–165.Google Scholar
Denton, John
1994“Translation criticism, translation teaching and intercultural transfer.” Koiné: Problems and Trends in the Teaching of Interpreting and Translation IV: 49–65.  TSBGoogle Scholar
Straight, H. Stephen
1981“Knowledge, purpose and intuition: Three dimensions in the evaluation of translation.” In Translation Spectrum: Essays in Theory and Practice, Marilyn Gaddis Rose (ed.), 40–51. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
Witte, Heidrun
2000Die Kulturkompetenz des Translators. Tübingen: Stauffenburg.  TSBGoogle Scholar
Zimmer, Rudolf
1981Probleme der Übersetzung formbetonter Sprache: Ein Beitrag zur Übersetzungskritik. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag. Crossref logoGoogle Scholar