IJSSH 2012 Vol.2(6): 583-587 ISSN: 2010-3646
DOI: 10.7763/IJSSH.2012.V2.177

Translation of ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’: Analysis and Insights on Cultural Perspective

Puteri Roslina Abdul Wahid and Anis Shahirah Abdul Sukur

Abstract—‘Memoirs of a geisha’ is an astonishing novel by Arthur Golden. The story revolves around a geisha, named Nitta Sayuri or formerly known as Sakamoto Chiyo. This English written novel unlocks the hidden world of Japanese’s complex rituals and the text is translated into 32 languages. This article opts to analyses the translation of Japanese’s cultural words, e.g. ecology, metaphor, taboo word, etc. into Malay language. Newmark (1998)’s definition and categories of culture are used throughout this article to analyse the novel. Findings indicate that changes do occur due to cultural differences between the two languages. And the cultural translation procedures can be classified into three categories; (i) borrowing or transference procedure, (ii) adaptation between two cultural word, and (iii) description of the cultural word.

Index Terms—Culture, cultural word, translation procedure

The authors are with the Malay Language Department, University of Malaya, Malaysia (e-mail: puteri61@um.edu.my,anis_shahirah@siswa.um.edu.my)

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Cite: Puteri Roslina Abdul Wahid and Anis Shahirah Abdul Sukur, "Translation of ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’: Analysis and Insights on Cultural Perspective," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 2, no. 6, pp. 583-587, 2012.

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