TRANSLATING CULTURAL SIGNS IN CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOKS

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Assistant Professor Isfahan University, Isfahan

2 M.A., Translation Isfahan University, Isfahan

Abstract

Every happening in one's life may be regarded by her/him as a leading phenomenon to other happenings. This leading phenomenon which can anticipate the subsequent happenings is called SIGN. Signs are unique for every group of human being and hence culture-specific. This is even true for every individual. Signs permeate in every aspect of universe. Among these fields, children's literature is studied in this article, especially in the field of translating this kind of literature which consists of transferring cultural and visual aspects.
According to the model of 'Semiotic Entity as a Unit of Translation', proposed by Hatim and Mason (1990), this article aims at identifying the process of translating cultural signs in children's picture books. Also this article investigates a) The relationship between the words and pictures as two aspects of semiotics in children's picture books b) The process of transferring this relationship into the target language and c) According to the concept of culture specific "Horizontal elongation" proposed by Kress and Van Leeuwen (2006), the direction of the ‘given’ and ‘new’ information in visual communication (here in pictures) is analyzed in two Western and Persian cultures. To achieve these aims, one of Silverstein's poems from Where the Sidewalk Ends collection and its Persian translations by Hirmandi (2010) and Morad Hosseini (2007) were analyzed.
The results showed that both translators had identified the semiotic entity in "Identification" procedure but had failed to successfully transfer the intentions of the message.  In addition none of the translators had respected the relationship of complementary aspects of words and the picture. In terms of "horizontal elongation", as there were no contributing art directors in both translations to manage the culture specific directions, the message which is emitted by  this visual aspect, is not conveyed in the translated texts.
It is suggested that translators get specialized acquaintance with the art of illustration and visual literacy in children’s literature to make a better interpretation of picture books and publishers use the art directors as the managers of their artworks.

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