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Domestication VS.


Prepared by:

Shireen Hassan Hassan Mohamed

Nourhan Mohamed Galal Hassan
(First Preliminary Year)

Supervised by:

Dr. Sahar Bahgat

Domestication VS. Foreignization


As two major translation strategies, domestication and

foreignization have long been the focus of the debate in
translation circle. The former is "a term used to describe the
translation strategy in which a transparent, fluent style is adopted
in order to minimize the strangeness of the foreign text for target
readers" and the latter "is used to designate the type of translation
in which a target text is produced which deliberately breaks target
conventions by retaining something of the foreignness of the
original". Opinions of different translation theorists diverge in the
choice between the two translation strategies in translation
practice. But reviewing the development of these two strategies,
it is easy to find out that both of them are deeply rooted in specific
social and cultural circumstances. In other words, the choice of
domesticating and foreignizing strategies is not only made by the
translators, but more importantly, made by the specific social

I. Domestication:

Domesticating strategies have been implemented at least since

ancient Rome. In 300 BC, Greece was conquered by Rome and
the Romans began to consider translation as "a form of conquest".
As a result, "Latin translators not only deleted culturally specific
markers but also added allusions to Roman culture and replaced
the name of the Greek poet with their own, passing the translation
off as a text originally written in Latin".

A foreignizing strategy in translation was first formulated in

German culture during the classical and Romantic periods,
perhaps most decisively by the philosopher and theologian
Friedrich Schleiermacher trying to preserve the German
language. It is suggested that a translator should do his/her best
to preserve the strangeness of the source text and expose the target
reader to the linguistic and cultural otherness of the source text.
Then the translator must adopt "an `alienating' method of
translation, orienting himself/herself by the language and content
of the source text. He/she must valorize the foreign and transfer
that into the target language''.
Advantages and Disadvantages:
a. Domestication

Domestication is chosen due to a belief that the target text

should be equal with the culture of the target readers. A translator
tends to be oriented to the target text readers. Therefore, the
methods used are communicative, idiomatic, free, or adapted
Advantages and Disadvantages of Domestication

Advantages Disadvantages
The target text readers can The aspects in the Source
easily understand the target Language are often faded.
The target text sounds natural The target text readers cannot
and communicative. interpret the text because the
interpretation has been done
by the translator.
Cultural assimilation may The target text readers do not
happen. get knowledge of the source

b. Foreignization
Foreignization in translation can be used to keep the culture
of the source language by involving cultural aspects in the Source
Language to the Target Language. It is hoped that intercultural
learning can be done through the translation. Translators who use
this ideology tend to be oriented to the Target Language. They
will use word-for-word, literal, faithful, or semantic translation

Advantages and Disadvantages of Foreignization

Advantages Disadvantages
The target text readers can The target text readers may
understand the culture of the feel unfamiliar with some
Source Language. terms of the Source Language.
The target text gives the taste The target text sometimes
of the Source Language sounds complex and
culture to the target text unnatural.
Intercultural learning may Some negative aspects in the
happen. Source Language may easily
influence the target text
Domestication vs. Foreignization in English-Arabic

Translation does not only involve giving the equivalent

meaning in the Target Language (TL), rather it involves
considering the values of the TL and the Source Language (SL)
whether they are linguistic values or cultural ones. Some
translators prefer changing the SL values and making them
readable for the TL audience. This is termed Domestication.
Others, on the other hand, prefer keeping the values of the SL and
exposing audience to them. This is termed Foreignization. For
example, this piece of news report can be translated into Arabic

.‫*طاعة األم مثلوثة على طاعة ااألب‬

*You have to respect your mother.
.‫*رجع بخفي حنين‬
*to return empty-handed.

*When in Rome do as Romans do

.‫*دارهم في دمت ما دارهم‬

.‫*اطلب العلم من المهد إلى اللحد‬

* learn to old too Never
When translators use Foreignization, they keep the SL values and
make them salient in the TL. Translating verses of the Quran into
English shows foreign elements to the English language
For example:

‫*و الجبال أوتادا‬

* ‘And the mountains as pegs’.
.‫*الجنة تحت أقدام األمهات‬
*Paradise lies beneath the feet of mothers.
‫*ومنهاخلقناكم ومنها نخرجكم وفيها نعيدكم تارة أخرى‬
*We created you from clay, to clay we well turn you, and from
clay we will bring you back once more.
.‫*اطلب العلم ولو بالصين‬
*Seek knowledge even of you have to travel to china.