“Foreign Language Creation” and “Textless Back Translation”: A Case Study on Turkish Translations of Jason Goodwin’s Ottoman-Themed Works Written in English

Merve Avşaroğlu, Ayşe Banu Karadağ

Abstract


The aim of this article is to examine the first two books in Jason Goodwin’s detective Yashim series and their Turkish translations in terms of “back translation”. Research subjects are The Janissary Tree (2006) and its Turkish translations by Çiğdem Öztekin dated 2006 and by Fethi Aytuna dated 2016 as well as The Snake Stone (2007) and its Turkish translations by Ali Cevat Akkoyunlu dated 2007 and by Fethi Aytuna dated 2017. The theoretical framework is based on the concepts of “foreign language creation”, a text describing a specific culture in a foreign language, and “textless back translation”, translation of a “foreign language creation” back into the language of that specific culture. Describing the Ottoman culture in English, Goodwin’s books can be considered as “foreign language creation” while their Turkish translations, which bring the culture back into its own land, can be considered as “textless back translation”. Depicting a foreign culture in his own language, thereby acting as a translator, the writer’s decisions are discussed within the choice of translation method in “foreign language creation”. Translating a “foreign language creation” back into Turkish, the translators’ decisions are discussed within the choice of translation method in “textless back translation”. In this respect, Ting Guo’s (2017) article entitled “On Foreign Language Creation and Rootless Back Translation–A Case Study of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” is taken as the reference point and the categories of translation methods are expanded with regard to textual findings. It is concluded that individual translation decisions of the Turkish translators support the idea that translators from the domestic culture might take the initiative to rearrange the source text information in their target text.

Keywords


Foreign Language Creation, Rootless Back Translation/Textless Back Translation, Translation Studies, Translation Methods, Jason Goodwin

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.alls.v.10n.5p.107

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