Analysis of the Culture Specific Items in the English Translations of Orhan Kemal’s Baba Evi, Avare Yillar and Cemile
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Culture is an indispensable component of literature and language. Literary works are the pieces which are full of culture related elements and reflect a society’s cultural assets. Since a language itself is a cultural phenomenon, culture specific items are inevitable elements of literary works written in this language within a specific context or society. The fact that translation is a channel of communication between two different languages, societies, readerships, in other words, two different cultures brings about some difficulties for the translators. The focal point of an analysis from a culture specific perspective is to shed light on the difficulties occurring within the translation procedure of CSIs and choices made by the translators to deal with the cultural differences between the source and the target readership. In this study, the English translations of works of one of the canonical authors of Turkish literature, Orhan Kemal, will be analyzed within the scope of CSIs in translation. To this end culture specific items in the English translations of the three works, Baba Evi, Avare Yıllar and Cemile are scrutinized within the light of the translation strategies for culture specific items proposed by Javier Franco Aixelá (1996). Besides Aixelá’s strategies which are used as the microstrategies of the analysis, Lawrence Venuti’s (1995) concepts of domestication and foreignization are used as macrostrategies of this study. The dominant approach of the translator, i.e. domestication or foreignization, to the translation CSIs within Orhan Kemal’s Baba Evi, Avare Yıllar and Cemile are scrutinized. As a result of an in-depth case study, it has been found out that the dominant approach adopted by the translator is domestication. The extent of the use of domestication is higher than the foreignization approach. Furthermore, the possible reason behind the translator’s choices is seen as the cultural gap between thre ST and TT cultures and the incomprehensibility of the CSIs complicating the translation process and understandability of the CSI within the TT readers’ context.