The study is aimed at investigating the extent to which the process of translation of languages is influenced by cultural as well as religious factors.
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Effective translation is an important element of ensuring that the target audience gets the information in the intended way by minimizing distortions and biases. Culture is known to be an integral part of all human beings and is largely responsible for the way people conduct themselves in different situations (Wahlster, 1993, par4).
Religion on the other hand is highly influential to the thought processes of the subjects mainly due to its ability to subjectively define right or wrong and establishing social parameters within which individuals should operate (Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, 2009, par4). These two factors thus significantly shape the mindset of people (Culture, 2010, par5).
Most studies on the effectiveness of translation focus on the competence of the translator and the ability of the communicator and the translator to develop some element of synchronization in order to be effective (Wahlster, 2000, par10).
However it is possible that when translating two distinct languages, the translator’s cultural and religious beliefs may significantly affect their translation. I therefore propose establish whether culture and religion have significant influence on translation.
Does the cultural and religious orientation have significant influence on the ability of a translator to objectively translate?
During the process of translation, translators alter the messages in order to fit in their cultural and religious beliefs hence distorting the original message.
Subject and Data
This research will entail some form of translation in different environment to assess accuracy. Consequently there will be at least two trained translators with different cultural and religious backgrounds preferably Christianity and Islam as well as two communicators to give speeches in a foreign language thus employing the services of translators (Ward, 1991, par4).. Also, a group of audience consisting of at least five people will be gathered. Finally a linguistic expert will be required.
The two communicators will be required to develop short speeches which touch on sensitive issues of religion and culture so as to elicit emotions among the translators. As the two give speeches to the group audience, the translators will be translating the message to different language (Sloboda, Ward, Woszczyna, and Waibel, 1995, p23).
Each speech should not last for more than 10 minutes. At the end of the speeches, the audience will be subjected to a simple feedback process where they will fill some forms containing several questions regarding the speeches given (Suhm, et.al. 2002, par12). After the forms are filled, the linguistic expert will then come in to assess the accuracy or differences in meaning received by the audiences in relation to the speech given.
For each question, the expert will define how well the response represents the true position as given by the translator on a scale of one to ten. A Fischer’s Chi-square test will then be used to determine the significance of the difference.
Limitations of the Research
The most important limitation of the research is the fact that some of the group audience members may give false information due to forgetfulness as opposed to distortion by the translator. However, this can be solved by ensuring that they take notes during the speech and use them during the form filling exercise.
Culture. (2010). Tamu education. Web.
Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. (2009). Religions of the world. Web.
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Slobodan, T., Ward, W. Woszczyna, M. and Waibel, A. (Jan. 1995). JANUS: Towards Multilingual Spoken Language Translation. Proceedings of the ARPA Spoken Language Technology. Workshop, Austin, TX.
Suhm, B., Geutner, P. Kemp, T. Lavie, A. Mayfield, McNair, L. Rogina, I. Schultz,T.Takezawa, T., Sumita, E., (2002). Speech Translation of Travel Conversations in the Real World. Web.
Wahlster, W. (2000). Verbmobil: foundations of speech-to-speech translation. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberge New York. Web.
Wahlster, W. (Nov.1993). First Results of Verbmobil: Translation Assistance for Spontaneous Dialogues. ATR International Workshop on Speech Translation,
Ward, W. (1991). Understanding Spontaneous Speech: The Phoenix System. ICASSPVol. 1.