The Social Sciences

Year: 2012
Volume: 7
Issue: 6
Page No. 832 - 837

Proper Names in Translation: An Explanatory Attempt

Authors : Saleh Delforouz Abdolmaleki

Abstract: Theoretically speaking, proper nouns are beyond the scope of language and they are to be sought in encyclopedias rather than in dictionaries. Mill, for example, believes that proper names have no meaning or connotations are, therefore, both untranslatable and not to be translated. But, the case of translating proper nouns is not so simple and clear-cut in nature. According to Newmark, proper nouns can be divided into five categories: Proper names, historical institutional terms, international institutional terms, national institutional terms and cultural terms. The primary thesis of this study is that contrary to popular views, the translation of proper names is a non-trivial question, closely related to the problem of the meaning of the proper name. It aims to show what happens to proper names in the process of translation, particularly from English into Persian. However, this study regarding the translational needs of an Iranian community which are mostly limited to translating between English to Persian and vice versa, examines the case under three categories: Names of people including factual and fictitious characters and antonomasia; names of places including factual and fictitious places; names of objects. And in order to make the results of this study more practicable, the study has been enriched with some examples of translated texts accompanied by their source texts. After offering solutions for the translational problems in question, the study concludes that it's not true to simply claim that proper nouns are untranslatable, rather they sometimes need to be translated, sometimes directly transformed and sometimes to be coupled with definitions and/or explanations all depending on their specific characteristics and the context where they have been used.

How to cite this article:

Saleh Delforouz Abdolmaleki , 2012. Proper Names in Translation: An Explanatory Attempt. The Social Sciences, 7: 832-837.

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