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College of Foreign Languages (VHUN) Postgraduate Studies

BCH NH HNG

EQUIVALENCE IN THE TRANSLATION OF VIETNAMESE CULTURAL WORDS IN THE BOOK WANDERING THROUGH VIETNAMESE CULTURE BY HUU NGOC
(TNG NG TRONG CCH DCH CC T C YU T VN HA TRONG CUN SCH WANDERING THROUGH VIETNAMESE CULTURE CA HU NGC)

Field: Code: Course: Supervisor:

English Linguistics 602215 K13 M.A. Minor Thesis Assoc. Prof. Dr. L Hng Tin

- Hanoi, July 2007 -

Abstract
This paper is a linguistic study on equivalences and the translation methods rendered to achieve the equivalent effects in a book written by the writer and translator, Huu Ngoc. More specifically, the chosen subject of investigation is the translation of Vietnamese cultural words in the book Wandering through Vietnamese culture. The reasons for this choice are both linguistic and practical. Linguistically, the translation of culture-related words has never been seen as an easy task, especially between such two distant cultures as Vietnam and English. The challenges may originate from cultural differences, the cultural knowledge of the translator etc. However, the hardest problems may be attached to non- equivalence which consists of the concepts unknown to target language readers, the non-lexicalization of the concepts, the lack of super ordinates of hyponyms etc. The main contribution of this paper is to draw out the main ways of dealing with the hurdles by investigating how an experienced translator and a famous Vietnamese cultural expert overcome the difficulty in his book. Practically, I hope that the lessons drawn from the study of his work could effectively assist me in my practical job at my university, where a Vietnamese Studies Department is to be opened with an aim to train new generation of youngsters who will narrow down the culture gaps between Vietnam and other countries.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
On the completion of this thesis, I am indebted to many people. First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere thanks to my supervisor, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Hung Tien for his valuable and prompt advice and helps, without which, this thesis could not come into being. My thanks also go to all my lecturers and officers from Post Graduate Department, College of Foreign Languages, Vietnam National University, who have facilitated me with the best possible conditions during my whole course of studying. Last but not least, let my gratitude go to my family and friends, whose encouragement and assistance are of extreme importance during the course of my writing this thesis. Hanoi, July 2007

Bach Anh Hong

TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS.......................................................................4 PART A: INTRODUCTION.................................................................5 1. Rationale...........................................................................................5 2. Scope of the study..............................................................................5 3. Aims of the study...............................................................................6 4. Methodology......................................................................................6 5. Design of the study............................................................................7 Chapter 1: Theoretical background.....................................................8 1.1. Translation theory...........................................................................8 1.1.1. Definition of translation...............................................................8 1.1.2. Translation equivalence...............................................................8 1.1.2.1. The nature of equivalence in translation................................9 1.1.2.2. Types of equivalence in translation.........................................9 1.1.3. Common problems of non-equivalence....................................11 1.2. Notion of culture in translation....................................................13 1.3. Cultural categories........................................................................14 1.4. Translation methods.....................................................................15 1.5. Conclusion.....................................................................................17 Chapter 2: Vietnamese cultural words and their equivalences.......18 2.1. The most common types of cultural words.................................18 2.2. The most common types of equivalence......................................18 2.2.1. Nil equivalence:..........................................................................20 2.2.2 Other types of equivalence.........................................................28 2.2.2.1 One-to-part-of one equivalence...............................................28 2.2.2.3 One-to-one equivalence............................................................34 PART C: CONCLUSION....................................................................36 REFERENCES.....................................................................................41

PART A: INTRODUCTION
1. Rationale
Translating from one language into another has never been an easy job even for the most experienced translators. Translation, involving the transposition of thoughts expressed in one language by one social group into the appropriate expression of another group, entails a process of cultural de-coding, re-coding and en-coding. However, the process of transmitting cultural elements is a complicated and vital task. Culture is a complex collection of experiences which condition daily life; it includes history, social structure, religion, traditional customs and everyday usage. This is difficult to comprehend completely. The more disparities that exist between any two languages, the greater the meaning loss in the translation is. As hard as it may seem, the translation of Vietnamese cultural words is now an inevitable part in our integrating life since we have become a member of WTO. Thang Long University is one of those where the Department of Vietnam Study is going to be opened with an aims of training Vietnamese students into those who can introduce Vietnamese culture to the world. This sooner or later will pose teachers of English at Thang Long University a problem of matching cultural equivalence between English and Vietnamese. However, not many empirical studies have been conducted so far on the issue of translation of Vietnamese cultural words into English. Those reasons may explain how this study came into being. The study investigates how a very famous and experienced translator, Huu Ngoc, dealt with all the Vietnamese cultural words his whole-hearted work Wandering through Vietnamese culture. It also raised the need for translators of Vietnamese-English texts, especially in treating cultural terms, to pay close attention to the linguistic and cultural elements of the source texts.

2. Scope of the study


This study sets its boundary in studying cultural words in the book Wandering through Vietnamese culture by Huu Ngoc. It will look into the equivalence and non-equivalence of Vietnamese cultural words and their translations from the following points: the most common types of equivalence the possible reasons for the non-equivalence their translations

3. Aims of the study


The main aims of the study are: To find out the most common type of equivalence used in his translation of Vietnamese cultural words To draw out the common problems of equivalence seen in the translation of Vietnamese cultural words into English To draw out the strategies and procedures that may apply to the translation of Vietnamese cultural words To suggest some implications for the translation of the cultural words.

On this ground, the study seeks answer for the retailing research questions: What are the common types of equivalence used in the translation of cultural words in the book Wandering through Vietnamese culture by Huu Ngoc? What are the most common problems in translating Vietnamese cultural words into English that can be seen in the book? What are the common methods used in the translation of Vietnamese cultural words?

4. Methodology
With the hope to go on the right track for the answers, the writer will conduct the study in following steps: Building up a theoretical background for the paper. Collecting and group the Vietnamese cultural words and their English equivalents for description, analysis, comparison and induction. Finding out the similarities and differences and draw out the translation used in the translation of cultural words. The main method is contrastive analysis.

Data collection: The Vietnamese cultural words and their translations appear in the book Wandering through Vietnamese culture by Huu Ngoc.

5. Design of the study


This study consists of three main parts, a reference, and a number of appendixes. Part A: Introduction The introduction gives rationale for the study. It also outlines the aims and the methods of the study. Part B: Development The development comprises two chapters. Chapter 1, which is named Theoretical background, provides the theory of translation and the translation of cultural words. Chapter 2 entitled Cultural words and their equivalences discusses the most common types of equivalence in translation of Vietnamese cultural words. It also studies the translation of Vietnamese cultural words and translation methods employed in their translation by Huu Ngoc in his book Wandering though Vietnamese culture. Part C, which is the Conclusion, summaries the strategies and procedures and comments. Reference includes all the books, articles or website that has been referred to during the writing of this thesis. The appendixes list examples of different groups of equivalence in order of the alphabet.

PART B: DEVELOPMENT
Chapter 1: Theoretical background
1.1. Translation theory 1.1.1. Definition of translation
Translation has been viewed differently through times and thus defined variously. Larson (1984: 3) stated Translation is basically a change of form In translation the form of the source language is replaced by the form of the receptor (target) language. Newmark (1988:5) did not seem to totally agree with Larson - who considered translation a basic change of form, by emphasizing the intended in the text as said Translation is rendering a written text into another language in the way the author intended in the text. Hatim & Mason (1990:3), on the other hand, focused more on the communicative purpose of translation by citing: Translation is a communicative process which takes place within a social context. It is then followed by other linguists, Bell (1991: 5), who thought semantic and stylistic equivalences are crucial for a translation to communicate successfully: Translation is the expression in another language (or TL) of what has been expressed in another, source language, preserving semantic and stylistic equivalences These definitions, in spite of slight differences in the expressions, share common features that they all emphasize the importance of finding the closest equivalence in meaning by the choice of appropriate target languages lexical and grammatical structures, communication situation, and cultural and the requirement to find equivalents which have similar characteristics to the original. It is this notion of equivalence, which will be taken into consideration in the next part.

1.1.2. Translation equivalence


As easily seen, equivalence can be considered a central concept in translation theory. Therefore, it is not by chance that many theorists define translation in terms of equivalence relation. Newmark (1988) defines: The overriding purpose of any translation should be to achieve equivalence effect i.e. to produce the same effect on the readership of translation as was obtained on the readership of the original. He also sees equivalence effect as the

desirable result rather than the aim of any translation except for two cases: (a) If the purpose of the SL text is to affect and the TL translation is to inform or vice versa; (b) If there is a pronounced cultural gap between the SL and the TL text. Pym(1992) has even pointed to its circularity: equivalence is supposed to define translation, in turn, defines equivalence. 1.1.2.1. The nature of equivalence in translation Equivalence has been considered the unique intertextual relation that only translations are expected to show: it is defined as the relationship between a source text and a target text that allows the TT to be considered as a translation of the ST in the first place. Nearly all traditional definitions of translation, whether formal or informal, appeal to some notion of this: translation means the replacement, or substitution, of an utterance in one language by a formally or semantically or pragmatically equivalent utterance in another language. Therefore, it is no surprise that equivalence is always taken for granted as a prescriptive criterion, as Koller (1995:196) says: Translation can be understood as the result of a text-reprocessing activity, by means of which a source-language text is transposed into a target-language text. Between the resulting text in L2 (the target-language text) and the source text in L1 (the sourcelanguage text) there exists a relationship which can be designated as a translational, or equivalence relation. Then the question to be asked is not whether the two texts are equivalent, but what type and degree of translation equivalence they reveal. Therefore, it is possible to say that equivalence is Any relation characterizing translation under a specified set of circumstances. And Equivalence was a relationship between two texts in two languages, rather than between the languages themselves (Dr. Tiens lectures- 2007). 1.1.2.2. Types of equivalence in translation Translation theorists tend to classify equivalence in accordance with different criteria and approach. Some out standings are quantitative, meaning based, form-based and function based. a. Quantitative approach:

Munday (2001) seems to stick to numeracy and suggests: One-to-one equivalence: A single expression in TL is equivalent to a single expression in SL. One-to-many equivalence: More than one TL expressions are equivalent to a single SL expression. Many- to-one equivalence: there is more than one expression in the source language but there is a single expression in target language which is equivalence to them. One-to-part-of-one equivalence: A TL expression covers part of a concept designated by a single SL expression. Nil equivalence: no TL expression is equivalent to a single SL expression -> loaned/borrowed equivalents should be used. b. Meaning-based equivalence Koller (1979) considers five types of equivalence: Denotative equivalence: the SL and the TL words refer to the same thing in the real world. Connotative equivalence: this type of equivalence provides additional values besides denotative value and is achieved by the translators choice of synonymous words or expressions. Text-normative equivalence: The SL and the TL words are used in the same or similar context in their respective languages. Pragmatic equivalence: With readership orientation, the SL and TL words have the same effect on their respective readers. Formal equivalence: This type of equivalence produces an analogy of form in the translation by their exploiting formal possibilities of TL, or creating new forms in TL. c. Form-based equivalence:

An extremely interesting discussion of the notion of equivalence can be found in Baker (1992) who seems to offer a more detailed list of conditions upon which the concept of equivalence can be defined. She distinguishes between: Equivalence that can appear at word level and above word level, when translating from one language into another. This means that the translator should pay attention to a number of factors when considering a single word, such as number, gender and tense (1992:11-12). Textual equivalence, when referring to the equivalence between a SL text and a TL text in terms of information and cohesion. It is up to the translator to decide whether or not to maintain the cohesive ties as well as the coherence of the SL text. His or her decision will be guided by three main factors, that is, the target audience, the purpose of the translation and the text type.

d. Function-based equivalence: Nida (1964) distinguishes formal equivalence and dynamic translation as basic orientations rather than as a binary choice: Formal equivalence is achieved when the SL and TL words have the closest possible match of form and content. Dynamic equivalence is achieved when the SL and TL words have the same effect on their effective readers.

1.1.3. Common problems of non-equivalence


As we all share the view that equivalence is the vital part of translation, we may easily agree that the problem of non-equivalence is the hardest hurdles of translation. Many theorists has showed their concerns in the issue of untranslatability. The following are some common types of non-equivalence at word level suggested by Barker (1994: 72): a. Culture-specific concepts

The source-language word may express a concept which is totally unknown in the target culture. The concept in question may be abstract or concrete; it may relate to a religious belief, a social custom, or even a type of food. b. The source-language concept is not lexicalized in the target language The source-language word may express a concept which is known in the target culture but simply not lexicalized, that is not allocated a target-language word to express it. c. The source-language word is semantically complex The source-language word may be semantically complex. This is a fairly common problem in translation. Words do not have to be morphologically complex to be semantically complex (Bolinger and Sears, 1968). In other words, a single word which consists of a single morpheme can sometimes express a more complex set of meanings than a whole sentence. d. The source and target languages make different distinctions in meaning The target language may make more or fewer distinctions in meaning than the source language. What one language regards as an important distinction in meaning another language may not perceive as relevant. e. The target language lacks a superordinate The target language may have specific words (hyponyms) but no general word (superordinate) to head the semantic field. Russian has no ready equivalent for facilities, meaning any equipment, building, services, etc. that are provided for a particular activity or purpose f. The target language lacks a specific term (hyponym) More commonly, languages tend to have general words (superordinates) but lack specific ones (hyponyms), since each language makes only those distinctions in meaning which seem relevant to its particular environment. g. Differences in physical or interpersonal perspective Physical perspective may be of more importance in one language than it is in another. Perspective may also include the relationship between participants in the discourse (tenor).

h. Differences in expressive meaning There may be a target-language word which has the same propositional meaning as the source-language word, but it may have a different expressive meaning. i. Differences in form There is often no equivalent in the target language for a particular form in the source text. Certain suffixes and prefixes which convey propositional and other types of meaning in English often have no direct equivalents in other languages. j. Differences in frequency and purpose using specific forms Even when a particular form does have a ready equivalent in the target language, there may be a difference in the frequency with which it is used or the purpose for which it is used. k. The use of loan words in the source text The use of loan words in the source text poses a special problem in translation. Quite apart form their respective propositional meaning, loan words such as au fait, chic, and alfresco in English are often used for their prestige value, because they can add an air of sophistication to the text or its subject matter.

1.2. Notion of culture in translation


The definition of "culture" as given in the Concise Oxford Dictionary (1999) varies from descriptions of the "Arts" to plant and bacteria cultivation and includes a wide range of intermediary aspects. More specifically concerned with language and translation, Newmark (1988:94) defines culture as "the way of life and its manifestations that are peculiar to a community that uses a particular language as its means of expression", thus acknowledging that each language group has its own culturally specific features. He further clearly states that operationally he does "not regard language as a component or feature of culture" (Newmark 1988:95) in direct opposition to the view taken by Vermeer who states that "language is part of a culture" (1989:222). According to Newmark, Vermeer's stance would imply the impossibility to translate whereas for the latter, translating the source language (SL) into a suitable form of TL is part of the translator's role in transcultural communication.

Despite the differences in opinion as to whether language is part of culture or not, the two notions appear to be inseparable. Discussing the problems of correspondence in translation, Nida (1964:130) confers equal importance to both linguistic and cultural differences between the SL and the TL and concludes that "differences between cultures may cause more severe complications for the translator than do differences in language structure". It is further explained that parallels in culture often provide a common understanding despite significant formal shifts in the translation. The cultural implications for translation are thus of significant importance as well as lexical concerns. Lotman (1978:211-32) states that "no language can exist unless it is steeped in the context of culture; and no culture can exist which does not have at its centre, the structure of natural language". Bassnett (1980:13-14) underlines the importance of this double consideration when translating by stating that language is "the heart within the body of culture," the survival of both aspects being interdependent. Linguistic notions of transferring meaning are seen as being only part of the translation process; "a whole set of extra-linguistic criteria" must also be considered. As Bassnett further points out, "the translator must tackle the SL text in such a way that the TL version will correspond to the SL version... To attempt to impose the value system of the SL culture onto the TL culture is dangerous ground" (Bassnett, 1980:23). Thus, when translating, it is important to consider not only the lexical impact on the TL reader, but also the manner in which cultural aspects may be perceived and make translating decisions accordingly.

1.3. Cultural categories


Adapting Nida, Newmark (1988:95-102) places "foreign cultural words" in several categories as follows: (1) Ecology Animals, plants, local winds, mountains, plains, ice, etc. (2) Material culture (artifacts) Food, clothes, housing, transport and communications (3) Social culture work and leisure (4) Organizations, customs, ideas Political, social, legal, religious, artistic

(5) Gestures and habits (often described in non-verbal language)

1.4. Translation methods


Language and culture may thus be seen as being closely related and both aspects must be considered for translation. When considering the translation of cultural words and notions, Newmark proposes two opposing methods: transference and componential analysis (Newmark, 1988:96). As Newmark mentions, transference gives "local colour," keeping cultural names and concepts. Although placing the emphasis on culture, meaningful to initiated readers, he claims this method may cause problems for the general readership and limit the comprehension of certain aspects. The importance of the translation process in communication leads Newmark to propose componential analysis which he describes as being "the most accurate translation procedure, which excludes the culture and highlights the message" (Newmark, 1988:96). This may be compared to the scale proposed by Hervey et al, visualised as follows:

(Hervey et al, 1992:28) Nida's definitions (1964:129) of formal and dynamic equivalence may also be seen to apply when considering cultural implications for translation. According to Nida, a "gloss translation" mostly typifies formal equivalence where form and content are reproduced as faithfully as possible and the TL reader is able to "understand as much as he can of the customs, manner of thought, and means of expression" of the SL context. Contrasting with this idea, dynamic equivalence "tries to relate the receptor to modes of behaviour relevant within the context of his own culture" without insisting that he "understand the cultural patterns of the source-language context". All in all, it can be easily seen that the above approaches are not very much different from what Venuti (1995:20) named source language oriented and target language-oriented translation approach, which may share some similarities with Newmarks ( 1988: 145) methods of translation as follows: SL emphasis Word for - word translation Literal translation Faithful translation TL emphasis Adaptation Free translation Idiomatic translation

Semantic translation Word-for-word translation

Communicative translation

This method focuses on SL word order in which words are translated by most common meaning and out of context. Therefore, the results of this method are that the translation is read like original text. Literal translation The SL text, concretely its grammatical constructions are converted to their nearest equivalents. In this method, words are translated single and out of text. Faithful translation Where the translator reproduces precise contextual meaning. Here, cultural words are not translated. Semantic translation More account is taken on aesthetic value of the SL text and some small concessions are made to the readers. As a result, the translation is more flexible and less dogmatic than the application of other methods in the group Communicative translation This method attempts to produce on its readers an effect as close as possible to that obtained on the readers of the original. However, according to Peter Newmark (1988), there are only two methods of translation that are appropriate to any texts. They are as follows. 1) Communicative translation In this method, translators try to produce the same effect on the TL readers as the original does on the SL readers 2) Semantic translation Translators attempt to reproduce the exact contextual meaning of the author with the constraints of the TL grammatical structures.

Adaptation This is the freest form of translation. It is used mainly for plays (comedies) and poetry; the themes, characters, plots are usually preserved, the SL culture converted to the TL culture and the text rewritten. The deplorable practice of having a play or poem literally translated and then rewritten by an established dramatist or poet has produced many poor adaptations have rescued period plays. Free translation Free translation reproduces the matter without the manner, or the content without the form of the original. Usually it is a paraphrase much longer than the original, a so-called intralingual translation, often prolix and pretentious, and not translation at all. Idiomatic translation Idiomatic translation reproduces the message of the original but tends to distort nuances of meaning by preferring colloquialisms and idioms where these do not exist in the original. (Authorities as diverse as Seleskovitch and Stuart Gilbert tend to this form of likely, natural translation.)

1.5. Conclusion
This part of study has just examined general translation theories. It also takes a close look on the significance of culture and the translation of cultural words. Furthermore, a variety of different approaches have been examined in an attempt to shed light on Huu Ngoc translation of cultural words in the next chapter.

Chapter 2: Vietnamese cultural words and their equivalences


2.1. The most common types of cultural words
In his classification of culture words, Newmark (1998) concluded five major categories of culture words including ecology, material culture (artifacts), social culture work and leisure, organisations, customs, ideas and gestures and habits. In Huu Ngocs book, the frequency of material culture, and to be more specific, food is the highest as compared to other types. The ratio among them can be illustrated in the chart as follows:

Culture-related words Food and drinks Others

Quantity 135 160

Rate (%) 45.9% 54.1%

Food and drinks Others

2.2. The most common types of equivalence


As mentioned above, there are many approaches to the classification of equivalence in translation. This thesis adopts Munday (2001)s perspective of quantitative equivalence which is consisted of one-to-one equivalence, many- to- one equivalence, one-to-part-of-

one equivalence and nil equivalence. We can hardly find the case of one-to- many equivalence. Therefore, this kind of equivalence is not taken into consideration. The writer of the thesis has listed almost all the cultural words occurred in his book and put them into the order of the most common types of equivalence to the least common one. The data can be easily find in the table below:

Type of equivalence Nil One-to-part-of-one

Quantity 194 39

Rate (%) 66

Examples Nc vi: voi tea C kho: fish cooked

13 One-to-one 43 14.6 Many-to-one Total 19 295 6.4

with sauce Ming tru: a betel chew n, miu, ph: temple

Nil One-to-part-of-one One-to-one Many-to-one

2.2.1. Nil equivalence:


Looking into the translation of Wandering through Vietnamese culture, one can easily see on the chart above that nil-equivalence makes up the largest part, consisting 66%. Clearly, This is not a surprise to any translator who have ever stepped into the translation land of culture related words. There are some explanations for this biggest share. The possible explanation is the availability. Normally, with exactly the same meaning, no one can say for sure that two cultures could choose to express it the same way. For example, , Vietnamese people would prefer using the buffalo in many idioms Ngu tm ngu, m tm m but the English would like to use bird as in Birds of the same feather flocks together. One other example may be hin nh c khoai, hin nh bt or hin nh cc t for Vietnamese people but their English counter part would like to say as mild as a lamb (hin nh mt ch cu non). That is the case when two cultures express the same meaning. As a consequence, one can easily guess what the situation will be like when there are abundant of things in Source Language (SL) culture but there is no such things Target Language (TL) culture. The first problem occurs when the Vietnamese word may express a concept which is totally unknown in the target language culture. To be more exact, those words often link to food and many kinds of tropical herbs and plants. For instances: Ta t H Hng Ng L chanh Hoa n Hoa th Hoa mc Hoa thin l Hoa ngu Ci cc Mi hoc Ng L khc Dip c Go t, go np

The explanation to this situation may be the climate differences. Vietnamese climate is hot and humid which is home to many tropical kinds of plants while the English climate is cold and dry, which may be suitable to totally different kinds of plants. Therefore, it can be easily understood while there are a lot of tropical plant culture-related words in his book which may not be known to English readers.

This may also be the reason for the second group of non-equivalence which is dishes. Different kinds of vegetables / herbs may lead to different ways of cooking, which leads to the existence of exotic Vietnamese dishes to Englishman. For examples: Xi gc Xi v Xi Tht kho tu G tn thuc bc Ch ln Cua ng nu thin l Min ln Gi cy

Living on land, Vietnamese (and Chinese) peasants also have their own festivals, customs or ceremonies relating to land, rice or grains, trees with special attention paid to the weather, especially rain. For instances:

L cu o (cu ma) Tt Hn Thc Tt Trung Thu

Lp Xun Cc V Tt ng Cng ng To

Tt oan Ng (dit su b) Dng cy nu ngy tt i hi lc

Additionally, the traditional games and entertainments of the Vietnamese are also various: Trng N, Trng Hoa Ma khn n quan Ma s t nh th Ma ching

Those mentioned categories are like only the tip of the Vietnamese culture iceberg which can be roughly listed as illustrations for the diversity of the source language culture. Clearly, this poses a huge challenge to the translator and the writer. So that will happen if the translator has to face with the translation of culture-related concepts? Looking into the translation of those nil-equivalents words, one can clearly see that the first common translation tool that is fully made use of is borrowings. First of all, looking at the group of typically tropical plants and vegetables, Huu Ngoc uses the third language, that is, Latin as a medium for translation. He tends to use the scientific terms of the plants to translate the Vietnamese words. For instances: Cy su Go t : : dracontomelum duppereanum Pierre Oryza sativa Lin var dura

Go np Hoa si Hoa ngu Hoa n, hoa mc Hoa thin l

: : : : :

Oryzasativa Lin glutinosa Eugenia Algaria Apotasis pergularia odoratissimasm

However, it can hardly be denied that Latin-original words can make the text difficult to understand because not all common English readers can know all the Latin words or have an available dictionary of plants and vegetables to check all the words up when necessary. One more thing is that a common reader may find it uninteresting to read a culture books with full of Latin original words. Huu Ngoc seems to understand this fact when he accompanying each Latin word with the specific description or use of each type. For instance: C cung: lethocerus indicus belostomalidae, an insect the size of cicada which gives an aromatic meat and essence Back translation: C cung: lethocerus indicus belostomalidae, mt loi cn trng c nh con ve, tht v tinh du lm gia v (my translation-Bach Anh Hong (BAH)) Qu th: The fruit of the cy th is found in countries with warm climates and grows fleshy, light yellow, aromatic fruits the size of oranges. Its scientific name is diospyros decandra lour and it belongs to the ebancea family, whose generic name in Vietnmamese is hng (khaki). (p288) Back translation: Qu th: Qu ca cy th, thng c cc nc c kh hu m p, tht mng, mu vng nht, l loi qu ta mi hng c c bng qu cam. Tn khoa hc l diospyros decandra lour, thuc h ebancea c tn Vit Nam thng gi l hng. After translating the word with the Latin-original equivalence, together with some description, the Vietnamese word is then used as a common English word. That is, the author of the book has loaned the original words as the equivalence like in: Ornamental flowers are orchids, camellias, chrysanthemums, si, mc, dahlia, peony(p 291)

Many Vietnamese words have been rendered in the translation effectively. In those cases, there is no other language that has such words to be used as the third medium: Nc vi Chui tiu Ma khn Ma Ht La chim : : : : : voi tea bananas of the kind called tieu khen dance Hat dance rice of the Chm

The second effective tool is communicative methods or to be more specifically, the free translation or paraphrasing. However, not all the words are paraphrased in the same way. With dish-related group, each word is translated by the description of how the dish is cooked: Source Language Bnh cun Nem chua Gi Ch Target Language steamed rice roll minced and fermented pork boiled pork paste sauted pork paste Back Translation Cun go hp Tht ln xay ri ln men Tht ln xay luc Tht ln xay rn

But the biggest group is translated by the detailed description of how the food is cooked plus its ingredients: Source Language Bn ch Target Language grilled pork eaten Back Translation with Tht ln nng n km bn

vermicelli rice noodles severed with Ph st vang beef stewed and flavored with wine Ph n vi tht b hm ru vang

eel cooked over a slow fire Ln nu trn la nh vi Ln om c chui with pieces of banana nhng ming c chui. rhizome In many other cases, the purpose of the things is used for paraphrasing: Source Language Thuc lo Target Language Back Translation

home grown tobacco for Thuc l nh t trng dng the water bubble pipe cho ng iu nc

Giy bn

absorbent paper to write Giy thm mc dng vit ideograms on with a brush ch tng hnh bng chi pen lng for the royal Giy dng vit cc lnh ca nh vua

Giy lnh

paper

ordinances

With the culture word relating to festivals, customs or ceremony, the author describe in detail how the process is preceded as the translation: Hi lc: people pick a twig from a tree growing on the pagodas grounds which they believe will bring them prosperity Back translation: Hi lc: mi ngi b mt nhnh t cy trng trong sn cha vi nin tin rng nhnh cy s em li s thnh vng cho h oan Ng: an occasion to kill insects on a persons system by eating and drinking, right at the drawn, anything which is better or sour : glutinous rice alcohol, green fruits (peach, plum, mango, star fruit) and other foods like the watermelons, coconut milks Back translation: oan Ng: mt dp dit cn trng trong c th ngi bng cch n v ung, ngay vo lc sng sm, bt c th g ngon hoc chua: ru np, hoa qu cn xanh (o, mn, xai, kh) v cc thc khc nh da hu, nc da The shape and appearance of things also proves its use when being rendered in translation:

Source Language Nh sn Bnh do Bnh chng

Target Language house on stilts moon shaped cake square cake

Back Translation Nh trn cc tr Bnh ging hnh mt trng Bnh vung

Literal translation is ultilized in many cases to deal with the culture-words that are totally dissimilar to the target language readers. Some illustrations are: Source Language Hoa Target Language literally, coral Hoa tai literally, flower of the ear = Ngha en, hoa ca tai = pendant Mt hoa khuyn tai Back Translation

rock flower = Ngha en, hoa = san h

literally, blossoming face Ngha en, mt nh hoa nlovely face of a woman khun mt ng yu ca ph n

S o hoa

literally, born under the Ngha en, c sinh ra star of a peach flower = to di ngi sao hoa o = be chased after by women thng b nhng ngi ph n p theo ui

The final way of paraphrasing that Huu Ngoc used is to explain in detail the difficult to understand part of the word to the commonly understandable ones. For instances, la chim and la ma or ng u rau are often heard but many Vietnamese youngsters do not understand exactly the meaning of the words. When reading the translations, the Vietnamese young readers could understand the words more, and hopefully they can do the same to English readers. Followings are some common cases:

Source Language La chim

Target Language Summer rice

Back Translation La ma h

La ma ng u rau

Autum rice The gentlemen bearing pots

La ma thu ng i ni

In general, Huu Ngoc has successfully cracked the hard culture word nuts by paraphrasing together with borrowings both from scientific names and the source language culture words. However, in some minor cases the translated version is not the best one. This is, in part, caused by the inappropriate use of the word. In many cases, the source language word is lexicalized in the target language word but is not rendered in the translation. For instance c di d was translated as testicles of billy goats, thus named perhaps because of its colour and shape. Reading the translation, no one can say for sure that the English readers could understand that it is the exact eggplant in their country. The same case may be true for the drawing orange trees (cy cam nh). Obviously, had the quat transferred into kumquat, many target-language readers would not have spent time imagining what kind of trees the translation refers to. One more case that would need further discussion is convolvulus (336:2006) in the convolvulus rau mung is well liked vegetable, especially in summer when the weather is hot and oppressive and people suffer from constant thirst. If a reader understands both English and Vietnamese, he will understand convolvulus as rau mung. But if he does not understand Vietnamese and checks it up in the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, he would find the definition of the words as a wild plant with triangular leaves and flowers that are shaped like trumpets. It climbs up walls and fences, etc, twists itself around other plants (336:2005). Our Vietnamese scholars translated the definition in T in Anh-Vit (p347:1999) as loi cy thn qun, c hoa hnh loa kn; cy bm bm. A Vietnamese would be fully aware of the kind of bm bm that often climbs up walls and fences, which is not eatable and their common rau mung. More suitably, the word should be translated as morning-glory which is more common to the target language reader. Additionally, morning-glory means bm bm hoa tm in Vietnamese which is exactly the other name of rau mung. Another thing in the translation of culture words is that the translations of the same words are not consistent from the beginning to the end of the book. For example: This time the mans family would be required to bring area nuts and betel leaves, tea, pork, glutinous rice and an equal number of glutinous rice cake (bnh dy) and square cake (bnh chng) (404:2006).

But in the New-life weeding (411:2006), one can read For the engagement ceremony alone, the brides family would demand for each member of the clan and each friend a gift consisting of one bnh chng (square cake) or bnh dy (round cake). The same case happens with nem (spring roll) and one roll of nem (pork pie) (411:2006). One more illustration could be rau mung. In P.334, he translated: Tri cn y, t cn y, cn ao rau mung cn y chum tng - as long as heaven and earth remain I will have my pond of water cress and my jar of soya sauce. However, in the next page 335, another very interesting text is dedicated to convolvulus and aubergine with the translation of: Anh i anh nh qu nh Nh canh rau mung nh c dm tng as: Far from home I think of my native hamlet Of the bowl of boiled convolvulus Of the aubergine bathed in soya sauce It is strongly doubtful that a foreigner could think round cake and glutimous rice cake refer to the same thing or one may say the same situation of nc mm (fish sauce and fish brine); ch (kebab and grilled pork); ph ti (noodles servered with parboiled or scalded beef and noodles soup with half done beef). One more inappropriateness, to the best of my understanding, is the translation of norminal group. There are common words that have been frequently used and turned into proper nouns such as name be transferred but the nominal sense of the words is not. For instance, L xem mt is translated into Looking at the face as in: The first would be an introduction ceremony called L xem mt (Looking at the face) conducted after the match-maker has got the agreement of the fiancees family. The mans family would make a visit, bringing gifts of tea and area nuts, and the two young people would be allowed to have a bring look at each other. (p404) L a du (Sending off for the Bride) would take place the following day, with the two family in a lavish meal (P 405).

L a du is not fully translated as only the name is translated, not the way the ceremony is conducted. Treated as a noun, Vietnamese people would prefer to use d l a du not ti a du. The same would happen to l xem mt. In conclusion, the first part of this chapter has found out that the most common types of equivalences the translation of the culture-related word is nil-equivalence. The major reason for this largest part is that the source language concept is unknown to the target language readers. Those non-equivalences are mainly attributed to the differences in plants, dishes, traditional customs or ceremony of festivals. The writer of the book has successfully made full use of free translation method in dealing with the non-equivalence. He also borrows word from a third language to translate the culture-related word, it is Latin. However, there still remains some minor inappropriateness such as the inconsistency in translating the same words, the misuse of some lexical items and the translation of nominal group.

2.2.2 Other types of equivalence


In the second part of the chapter, the writer of this thesis would set the aim to look into less common types of equivalence found in the book. Those are: one-to-part-of-one and manyto-one equivalence.

2.2.2.1 One-to-part-of one equivalence


Stepping into the land of one to part of one equivalence, which happens when a English expression could only covers part of a concept designated by a single Vietnamese expression. Those are the cases of Tam cuc when translated as card games or c kho as fish cooked with sauce or rng rn ln my as dragon snake game. Source Language Tam cc C kho Rng rn ln my Target Language Card games Fish cooked with sauce Dragon snake game Back translation Chi bi C nu vi nc mm Tr chi rng rn

Clearly, the back translated version has partly helped us to see the cultural gaps between the SL and TL. Mentioning card games, westerners could refer immediately to bridge, poker and whist as in:

Bridge, pocker and whish are card-games (Brit, t l kh v ut l cc tr chi bi) (English- Vietnamese Dictionary, p228: 1999). The use of card games in: A festival always includes worshipping rituals followed by a procession of palanquins and a wide variety of games and entertainments such as performances by the local folk music ban, water puppetry, card games, oriental chess in which the pieces are young men and women...(P224) may misunderstand the western readers that Vietnamese peasants also play bridge, poker and whist in traditional Vietnamese festival. In my opinion, I would like to suggest that the word tam cc or any other similarly traditional kind should be translated as Vietnamese traditional card game (chi bi truyn thng ca ngi Vit Nam). This could help make a clear distinction between the westerners card games and ours. Obviously, a source-language word does not have to be morphologically complex to be semantically complex (Bolinger and Sears, 1968). Sometimes, there is a target language word which has the same proportional meaning as the source language word but it may have a different expressive meaning. Take rng in Vietnamese and dragon in English as examples. The Vietnamese dragon is created by different small parts of many different animals: mnh rn, vy c chp, mt qu, sng nai, tai th, trn lc , chn c su, mng chim ng (Dng K c, 2001) (snake body, calf scale, devil eyes, deer stark, mammal ears, camel forehead, crocodile legs and hawk claws). Vietnamese people considered themselves children of Father Dragon and Mother Fairy. The appearance of the dragon is often accompanied with images of clouds which can bring about water - the most important factor for agriculture (nht nc, nh phn, tam cn, t ging water is the most important factor, then comes fertilizer, industriousness and breeds). Obviously, it is reasonable for people living in agriculture (Dng K c, 2001). That may be the reason why they rank dragon the first place in many lists. Dragon is put a first place in list of four worshipped animals: dragon, lion, tortoise, and phoenix. Dragon symbolizes the king images in the eyes of common people. Kings throne is named dragons throne (long ngai); kings palace is dragons place, likewise, kings bed is known as dragons bed (long sng). Dragon image is also associated with that of a noble, superior man which is in contrast with the common, inferior ones: Trng rng li n ra rng, liu iu li n ra

dng liu iu (a dragon will be hatched from a dragons egg while a snake can only give birth to a snake-noble- men are of noble origin and superior to that of common one); Rng n nh tm (A dragon visits a shrimps house- a superior man visit an inferior ones home). In a Vietnameses mind, dragon always has a positive image. It symbolizes the best things namely: power, nobility. On the contrary, the image of dragon appears in English proverbs and idioms is negative one. Vietnamese dragon itself is a flying image without any wings while its English one breathes out fire. In an Englishmans mind, dragon is a mythological monster, usually with wings and able to breath out fire (Little Oxford Dictionary, 2000, p145). Another meaning of the words is a fierce person as in an example we are really frightened of the math teacher, she was real dragon. The idioms to chase the dragon means to take a drugs. However, Huu Ngoc, as a Vietnamese writer, rather prefer to use the image of dragon in the writing: He called ng Vn and Mo Vc the head of the dragon; C Mau the tail of the Vietnamese dragon; Thng Long the soaring dragon and translated rng rn ln my as dragon snake game. Taking what the common image of the word dragon refers to in English readers mind in to consideration, it is doubtful that those translations could convey the exact meaning that the writer would wish to transfer. On the contrary, holly and positive Vietnamese dragon could be imagined as a horrible negative Western dragon. To clear this possible misunderstanding, some note at the end of the page in term of what and how Vietnamese people consider and appreciate their dragon is strongly recommended. 2.2.2.2 Many-to-one equivalence The next group of equivalence is many-to-one equivalence this kind of equivalence, in contrast with one-to-many equivalence, could occur, when there is more than one expression in the source language but there is a single expression in target language which is equivalence to them. As distant as Vietnamese and English culture, it is more common that English tends to have general words but lack specific ones. For example, Lnh: Hng dt bng t nn, mt mn bng (i T in Ting Vit; p 1024) (Lnh: fabric made of fine silk with a glossy surface- my translation) i: Hng dt bng t gc (i T in Ting Vit; p625)

(i: Fabric made of raw silk - my translation) Vc: Th hng t, nn bng (i T in Ting Vit; p1281) (Fabric made of silk, with glossy surface- my translation) Any Vietnamese woman could make a very clear distinction between those kinds of fabric. Mainly, the difference between them depends on the type of silk each type is made of. Lnh is created from fine silk, while i is from raw silk and vc is made of glossy silk in common. However, when translated into English, the translator has no other choice but to make them some kind of general silk like sateen whose meaning is: Sateen: fabric of silk or various man-made fibres, with a glossy surface on one side produced by a twill weave with the weft-threads almost hidden.(www.bamboo.net) Another case worth discussion is: n: Cng trnh kin trc tn gio xy dng nhng ni lin quan n truyn thuyt hoc s tch, cuc sng ca thn hoc ngi c cng c ln vi dn tc c tn th. (i T in Ting Vit, 623) (A religious building in legendary places of human beings or gods/goddesses who have great merit to common people and is worshipped my translation) Miu: n th nh, th thn thnh (nh miu th th a) (i T in Ting Vit,;p 435) (A small temple worshipped particular gods, e.g: god of land- my translation) Ph: n th nh, th cc Mu c trong truyn thuyt ca ngi Vit) (wikipedia.com)(A small temple devoted to the worship of Mother Goddesses in Vietnamese legends) Scrutinizing those definitions, one can easily see the dissimilarity between those three types of worshipping places of Vietnamese people belongs to who the place is devoted to. n is for national heroes or heroines while Miu is for special god and Ph is devoted to the Mother Goddesses of Vietnamese legends. Coming to the task of translating those words, in English, there is only one word, that is Temple: a building devoted to the worship, or regarded as the dwelling-place, of a god or gods or other objects of religious reverence, especially in religions other than Christianity, (Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, p1580)

This word creates the distinction by clarifying the difference between Christianity and other religions. The general clarification can not meet the demands of distinguishable worshipping places of Vietnamese people. However, to some extent, temple is the best possible choice of word in this case. The same case can easily be seen with: La: as in summer rice (p326) Cm: as in cm ba bt, o ba manh (three bowfuls of rice at mealtimes, a change of three shirts to cover ones back) (p 329) And xi as in n my m i xi gc (beggars asking for momodicar rice)(p339) Vietnamese eaters could be very upset if there were no differences things such as la (rice plant), xi (steamed sticky rice)or cm (cooked plain rice) but only one thing rice. They could not be happier to see that: Bn: Si bt t luc chn dng lm thc n (www.bamboo.com) (Bn: boiled the plain rice noodle, used as food- my translation) Min: th n gm nhng si di v nh lm bng bt u xanh (www.bamboo.com) (Min: thin, long thread of grean bean, used as food- my translation) are sometimes unavoidably translated as vermicelli as in: Nem is served hot, together with rice vermicelli, lettuce, mint, and a sweet sour sauce made of nc mm (fish brine) flavoured with vinegar, a bit of sugar, and red pepper. (p346) Back translation: Nem thng c n nng, vi bn, rau x lch, rau bc h v nc mm chua ngt c dm, mt cht ng v t. In another text of vermicelli with paddy crabs (p351), he wrote Yet, my French poet friend, the late Francoise Corrize, was quite fond of paddy crabs, eaten with vermicelli( Tuy nhin, ngi bn thi s Php qu c ca ti, Francoise Corrize, rt thch cua ng n vi bn/ min- my translation.) (p352) or in Of tastes and smells (p353) he once again

mentioned mm tm sets off the taste of boiled pig offal, vermicelli soup severed hot (bn thang) (mm tm lm dy ln hng v ca mn lng ln hoc bn thang my translation). In The Vietnamese eel (p320) he determined: Typical peasant dishes are: eel cooked over a slow fire with pieces of banana rhizome which is usually fairly salty, vermicelli with eel (min ln) More commonly, English tends to make less distinction in meanings of some words than Vietnamese people. Those meanings belong to group of religious places or, once again, food or some trees or material. In English culture, the most common religious places is church, not nh, n, miu, ph as its multi - religious counterpart. In term of food, Vietnamese environment is home to both rice and a lot other similar species which can be processed to make vercemili or noodles but it is not the case for English environment. All in all, languages tend to have a superordinate but lack hyponyms since each language makes only those distinctions in meaning which seem relevant to its particular environment. In English, there is only bamboo not tre, na, giang, mai, trc like in Vietnamese. So we have: Tre gi mng mc ( When the bamboo is ageing, the young shoots grow) Or Khi i trc cha mc mng Khi v trc cao bng ngn tre Or When I left, the shoot had not shown up On my return, it has become a full grown bamboo (p263) To deal with this problem, the translator and the writer has no other choice but to use that loan word with some addition. For example: Topping the list is the orchid, flower of the superior man and female beauty. The hoa qunh (a type of hortensia) of a candid white, blossoms only at night for poets the Ph dung (a type of hibiscus) symbolize a fast waning beauty. (p293)

Back translation: ng u danh sch ny l hoa phong lan- loi hoa ca ngi qun t v v p n tnh. Hoa qunh (mt loi hortensia) c mu trng tinh khit, ch n v m cho cc thi s. Hoa Ph Dung (mt loi hibiscusi) l biu tng ca v p chng tn phai. The other way round is that he translated the literal meaning of the words then added some detailed description: chui tiu: The group of chui tiu (in the North) and chui gi (in the South) give few calories but smell sweet and are easily digested (chui tiu literally means digestible bananas). (p271) Back translation: Nhm chui tiu ( min Bc) v chui gi ( Min Nam) c t calo nhng c mi thm v d tiu (ngha en ca t chui tiu c ngha l chui d tiu) chui ty: The group of chui ty (literally Western bananas) in the North and chui s in the South. The fruits are plump, short and starchy. (p271) Back translation: Nhm chui ty (ngha en l chui phng Ty) min Bc v chui s min Nam. Qu ca loi chui ny thng mp, ngn v giu tinh bt. 2.2.2.3 One-to-one equivalence The last but not least group is onetoone equivalence. This type of equivalence could be achieved when a single expression in Vietnamese is equivalent to a single expression in English. Given the fact that culture is the way of life and its manifestations that are peculiar to a community that uses a particular language as the means of expression (Newmark, P. 1998:94), one could question why there are still one-to-one equivalence between two distant cultures? Why can we still see some one-to-one equivalence in translation such as:

Gi c: raw fish Mc nh: wood ear Ch xin: kebab

Tht ch: native dogs meat Tht d: goats meat Tht ch: frogs meat nh u: swinging

The explanation may be that they are universal. That is, most nations in the word have undergone the developing stages of human social forms, from primitive to modern time. People in all over the world would share the common needs for food, home and clothes. In the process of development, they can share a common games or entertainment like: Th diu: flying the kite nh u: swinging Nhy l c: hopscotch C kheo: stilting game n : litho phone Or the equivalence may originate from a culture that immigrates into English culture: Ma s t: lions dance/unicorns dance Or sometimes they do raise the same animals but do not eat the same animal. In case of one-to-one equivalence, the hardest task of the translators is to find the exact equivalence to the word (literal translation). In conclusion, one-to-one equivalence between two cultures is possible but how to match them with each other requires much knowledge and experiences of the translator.

PART C: CONCLUSION
This paper starts with definition of the translation. Concerning the nature of translation, many translation theorists worded their ideas differently and lay their emphasis on dissimilar aspects of translation such as a basic change of form (Larson (1984: 3); the intended in the text Newmark (1988:5) or, the communicative purpose of translation Hatim & Mason (1990:3), semantic and stylistic equivalences Bell (1991: 5). However, they all seem to agree one the importance of achieving the closest equivalence in meaning by the choice of appropriate target languages lexical and grammatical structures, communication situation, and cultural and the requirement to find equivalents which have similar characteristics to the original. Logically, the great emphasis is now laid on equivalence. Equivalence is defined as a relation that holds between a source language text and a target language text. As far as the nature of equivalence is concerned, the question to be asked is not whether the two texts are equivalent, but what type and degree of translation equivalence they reveal. As a consequence, some main approaches to equivalence are listed such as quantitative, meaning based, form-based and function based. The next question to be answered is about the difficulties that the translator has to encounter when executing his task? Could he always achieve the long-awaited equivalence? Baker (1994: 72) has tried to give her response by synthesizing the common problems of non-equivalence such as: culture-specific concepts; the source-language concept is not lexicalized in the target language; the source-language word is semantically complex etc. In an attempt to narrow the topic, the following part of the literature review focuses on definition and notion of culture in translation. The writer of the thesis chooses to follows Newmark (1988:94) definition of translation and draw out that it is important to consider not only the lexical impact on the TL reader, but also the manner in which cultural aspects may be perceived and make translating decisions accordingly. To come to a more concrete step, some typical categories of culture-related words proposed by Newmark (1988:95-102) are listed as the theoretical basis for the latter classification of cultural words under investigation in the book. Those are ecology; material culture (artifacts); social culture work and leisure; organizations, customs, ideas;

gestures and habits. In order to lay the theoretical foundation for the translation of cultural words, the thesis writer reviews major methods assisting the translator dealing with nonequivalence and finding the equivalence with major focus on Hervey et al, (1992:28)s and Newmarks. The first chapter set its aims to lay a foundation, on which the castle of investigation on Huu Ngoc translation of cultural words will be built in the following chapter. The second chapter finds out that the frequency of material culture words, and to be more specific, food, occupying 45.9% is the highest as compared to other types. Then most of the cultural words occurred in his book is listed and put into the order of the most common types of equivalence to the least common one as follows: Nil equivalence (66 %) One-to-part-of-one equivalence (13%) One-to-one equivalence (14.6%) Many-to-one equivalence (6.4%) From investigating the data, nil- equivalence is the biggest group. Therefore, much focus is laid on figuring out the reasons for this situation. The first occurs when the Vietnamese word may express a concept which is totally unknown in the target language culture. To be more specific, those words often link to food and many kinds of tropical herbs and plants. This may also be the reason for the second group of non-equivalence which is dishes. Different kinds of vegetables / herbs may lead to different ways to cook, which leads to the existence of exotic Vietnamese dishes to Englishman. The wet-rice peasants also have their own festivals, customs or ceremonies relating to land, rice or grains, trees with special attention paid to the weather, especially rain. First of all, borrowing is the first tool that Huu Ngoc has rendered to narrow down the cultural gaps of typically tropical plants and vegetables. Huu Ngoc uses the third language, that is, Latin as a medium for translation with the specific description or use of each type. Additionally, he also uses the technique of source- language word loans, which means the original Vietnamese culture words are used as common English words preceding their detail description.

The second effective tool is communicative methods or to be more specifically, the free translation or paraphrasing. However, not all the words are paraphrased in the same way. With dish-related group, each word is translated by the description of how the dish is cooked. However, the biggest group of dish is translated by the detailed description of how the food is cooked plus its ingredients. The purpose of the things is also used for paraphrasing. With the culture word relating to festivals, customs or ceremony, the author describe in detail how the process is preceded as the translation. The shape and appearance of things also proves its use when being rendered in translation. Literal translation is utilized in many cases to deal with the culture-words that are totally dissimilar to the target language readers together with their possible equivalence in meaning The final way of paraphrasing that Huu Ngoc used is to explain in detail the difficult to understand part of the word to the commonly understandable ones. Huu Ngoc has mostly succeeded in fulfilling his task of bridging the gaps between the two cultures via the translation. However, in some minor cases the translated version is not the best one. This is, in part, caused by the inappropriate use of the word. In many cases, the source language word is lexicalized in the target language word but is not rendered in the translation. Another thing in the translation of culture words is that the translations of the same words are not consistent from the beginning. The other inappropriateness, to the best of my understanding, is the translation of nominal group. There are common words that have been frequently used and turned into proper nouns such as name be transferred but the nominal sense of the words is noting to the end of the book. Stepping into the land of one to part of one equivalence, which happens when a English expression could only covers part of a concept designated by a single Vietnamese expression. Those are the cases of Tam cuc or outstandingly, the translation of the Vietnamese rng into the English dragon. To clear this possible misunderstanding, some note at the end of the page in term of what and how Vietnamese people consider and appreciate their dragon is strongly recommended. The next group of equivalence is many-to-one equivalence this kind of equivalence, in contrast with one-to-many equivalence, could occur when there is more than one expression in the source language but there is a single expression in target language which is equivalence to them.

As distant as Vietnamese and English culture, it is more common that English tends to have general words but lack specific ones. To deal with this problem, the translator and the writer has no other choice but to use that loan word with some addition. The literal meaning of the word with some detailed description is also a good way of solving this ad-hoc. Due to the similar in process of social development and ideas of life and society, there are still one-to-one equivalence between two distant culture. The evidences can be easily found in his book but how to match them with each other remains challenges. To date, Huu Ngoc still proves himself as the leading translator in term of culture with a great number of works involving introducing Vietnamese culture to the world, which will bring about the indispensable task of translating Vietnamese authentic words of culture into English. His greatest of all work, Wandering through Vietnamese culture, is assessed by an American writer, Lady Borton as one comprehensive resource on Vietnamese culture in English (Wandering through Vietnamese culture, p 7). Similar comments from source language readers have talked louder than any praise. Huu Ngoc has shown the readers as well as the researcher of translation how flexibly free translation or paraphrasing could be used to crack the hard cultural nuts. He has also suggested a new idea of translation by borrowing, that is, borrowing from a third language as a medium for understanding. From the point of a young researcher of translation, shedding the translation of the Vietnamese culture words from the book in the light of translation theory, I would like to make following suggestions: First of all, given the fact that culture words challengingly belongs to a particular group of people, the consistency of the translation from the beginning of the book to the end of the book is crucial. This helps avoid the misunderstanding that two translated versions of the same thing could mean two different things. Secondly, when a common noun was already nominalization and treated as a proper noun in the source language culture, it should not be literally translated since its nominal sense could be lost.

Thirdly, in case the two languages may have words which are false friends, that is, they seem to be each others equivalence but in fact, they have different referential meaning, it is necessary for the translator to make clear note of the differentiation to avoid the misunderstanding. To conclude, via his book Wandering Through Vietnamese Culture, Huu Ngoc has made a significant contribution to the translation study area in Vietnam as it provides a resourceful materials for the translation studies of Vietnamese culture words. This book is like a mine of gold waiting for further reaches and studies. Some of the suggestive topics could be the study of the translation of proper names in the book or the stylistic equivalence in the translation of Sino-Vietnamese culture words into English. This is my very first research on the issue. I am fully aware that mistakes and inappropriateness are indispensable. I would be extremely grateful to any comments that could help better the study and enable me to go on with further research.

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