Pursuit of naturalness in translation: The case of the English translations of two francophone Maghrebian novels
The fact that certain systemic differences exist between languages means that each language possesses a set of natural ways of expression specific to it, and ones that may sound odd in other languages. In other words, what is called ‘the genius’ of a language implies the existence of different ways of seeing and describing the world. Findings from comparative linguistics assert that languages ‘behave’ differently in manners revealing distinct mental pictures of the world events they describe. Naturalness is a central principle relating to proper language use and currency of usage from the perspectives of native users. This paper reviews the systemic differences between French and English and looks into the ways translators ensure naturalness by means of a strategy of equivalence in difference. A sign of success is the degree to which the translator manages to ‘free himself from the interference of the foreign language’. The corpus investigated consists of random samples of parallel excerpts from two francophone Maghrebian novels and their translations into English.
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