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Food Translation - Essay Example
Pages 16 (4016 words)
This essay describes the cultural issues in translating menus and recipes from Arabic to English. The researcher of this essay focuses mostly on presenting translation as science and art and states that language no only reflects culture, but also the people’s beliefs, histories, behaviours…
This essay discusses the translation of recipe and menus, that usually begins with discussing why translation is both a science and art, and the principal issues of subjectivity in translation and interpretation, foreignisation-domestication and visibility-invisibility. The researcher of this essay focuses on the main objective of translating menus and recipes, that is to provide information about the content or ingredients of the food to be cooked and the manner of preparation, as in recipe instructions, in such a manner as to be appetising, moving the reader to try it. One important and crucial application of translation that was discussed in the essay, is in the understanding of recipes and menus because of the nature that food acquires in the mind of the person, be it an American sitting at a restaurant in Cairo or an Egyptian at a restaurant in Glasgow. For both, the menu informs whether the food would agree with the body and, in the case of the Egyptian, also with the soul. The unique nature of every language system poses a paradoxical situation between the use of the common translation principles and translator strategies that were used, especially in the matter of menu and recipe translation. Part of the complex nature of translation work is due to the complexity of the social and cultural meanings of food that are unique to peoples and their geographies. It is also concluded by the researcher that a good translator must know well the translation principles and strategies to do a good and effective job.
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