Cultural Markedness and Strategies for Translating Idiomatic Expressions in the Epic Poem “The Mountain Wreath” into English

Jelena Vulanović


This paper focuses on the types of translation strategies used in rendering idiomatic expressions found in the epic poem ‘The Mountain Wreath’ into English. It seeks to explore their representation and frequency of usage, as well as the extent to which the choice of the strategy depends on cultural markedness of idiomatic units. The research is done based on the Baker’s translation model, which is for the purposes of the present study modified to include two additional strategies - apart from the standard ones, i.e. using an idiom of similar meaning and form, using an idiom of similar meaning but dissimilar form, translation by paraphrase, and translation by omission, it also incorporates loan translation (calque) and single word matches. Upon conducting both qualitative and quantitative analysis it has been concluded that loan translation and single word matches/translation by omission were the most and the least common strategies, with the frequencies of 31.94% and 1.39%, respectively. Results also suggest that the application of translation strategies involving use of idioms appears to be mostly restricted to the items expressing universal as opposed to culture-specific concepts. On the basis of these findings the paper argues that cultural markedness of idiomatic expressions could be considered as one of the most important factors behind the choice of translation strategies.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n13p210

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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