Kinship Terms in Malay-English Translations: Culture and the Perspective of Equivalence Theory

  • Monisha Sri Kanan English Language and Communication Department, Faculty of Social Sciences and Liberal Arts, UCSI University, MALAYSIA
  • Rachel Chuah English Language and Communication Department, Faculty of Social Sciences and Liberal Arts, UCSI University, MALAYSIA
  • Mansour Amini School of Languages, Literacies and Translation, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, MALAYSIA
  • Kam Fong Lee English Language and Communication Department, Faculty of Social Sciences and Liberal Arts, UCSI University, MALAYSIA
Keywords: culture, Equivalence theory, kinship terms, Malay, translation analysis

Abstract

Translation of kinship terms, as culture-specific items, is part of the many aspects of culture and language that is challenging for translators, and it is yet to be explored extensively in a systematic way. This research was conducted using descriptive qualitative research design focusing on the translation analysis of the terms in English and Malay. A Malay animation, Puteri, and The Prince of Egypt, an American animated musical film was selected. The translated corpora were then analyzed from the perspective of Nida’s formal and functional equivalence theory. It was found that the Malay cartoon, had a higher frequency of functional equivalence, while the English cartoon had a nearly equal amount of both types of equivalence. It was concluded that since Malay culture prioritizes politeness and draws clear distinction of relationships in conversations, this element could not be overlooked in the translation to ensure that the target audience comprehend the terms. In The Prince of Egypt, formal equivalence was more as English kinship terminologies that are more “generic”. Therefore, complications of certain kinship terminologies would determine the type of strategy used by the translator.  This study provides a clear picture regarding translation of such words, especially in Malay and that the challenging translation of two different cultures and languages using could be facilitated utilizing equivalence theory to solve some translation problems.

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Published
2022-06-22
How to Cite
Kanan, M. S., Chuah, R., Amini, M., & Lee, K. F. (2022). Kinship Terms in Malay-English Translations: Culture and the Perspective of Equivalence Theory. AJELP: Asian Journal of English Language and Pedagogy, 10(1), 43-55. https://doi.org/10.37134/ajelp.vol10.1.4.2022