Cultural Evolution, Memes, and Proper Names

Cultural Evolution, Memes, and Proper Names

Sonia Vaupot (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2832-6.ch005


Based on the theory of cultural evolution and memetics, this paper examines the procedures of translation of proper names as memes. Firstly, it proposes an overview of contemporary theories of cultural translation, including the theory of cultural evolution. Secondly, on the basis of the above-mentioned theoretical framework of cultural evolution and the use of the proper name, the central aim of this paper is to analyze the role of memes in translation. Lastly, after presenting and categorizing the proper names as realia words and memes, this paper will verify the (un)translatability of proper names from a multilingual point of view (French, English and Slovene) and illustrate the use of some translation procedures for the rendition of proper names as cultural memes.
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Theoretical Background

The concept of the cultural turn was presaged by the work dealing with polysystems and translation norms by Even-Zohar (1976) and by Toury (1980). They focus on the interaction between translation and culture, inter alia, on the way culture impacts and constrains translation. Toury (1995, p. 26) indicates that translation processes are determined by the norms of the target culture. He also notes that the standards used are unstable and specific to a culture. Toury defined norms as “the translation of general values and ideas shared by a group – as to what is conventionally right and wrong, adequate and inadequate – into performance instructions appropriate for and applicable to particular situations” (1999, p. 14). For Even-Zohar (1975, p. 43), an adequate translation realizes in the target language the textual relationships of a source text with no breach of its own linguistic system.

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