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Language is the most essential means of communication of human being.
Man, so far, has made a lot of afford to decode and encode one another’s
ideas and messages; however, it is much trouble if we want to express our
thought in any second language. There are many languages which extinc t or
disappear with time. Besides, every language origin is based on each nation’s
culture, which makes language more and more plentiful and various.
As we know, English is now considered an international language and used in
most nations, as well as in Vietnam. However, there are difficulties in
English – Vietnamese translation because of differences in structures and
cultures. Moreover, now together with international communication and
integration, more and more English slogans are used. Of course, betwe en a
foreign language and a native language, there are some problems in
translation in general and in translating English slogans in particular. In daily
life, I often meet a lot of slogans in many fields and I do not know how to
translate it correctly.

an analysis on cultural elements in translation of english slogans into vietnamese
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ACKNOWLEGEMENT
On the completion of this graduation paper, I wish to express my
special thanks to many of my teacher, my family and friends from whom I
have received a great deal of assistance, guidance and encouragement.
First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to my supervisor –
Nguyen Thi Phi Nga, M.A. for her constant support, various materials,
precious advice and valuable comments on draft chapters to complete
this study.
I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all the teachers in
Foreign Language Department for their useful lessons during four years
studying.
Last but far from the least, my thanks are presented to my family
and all of my friends for their encouragement, inspiration in the process
of completing this paper.
Haiphong, June 2009
Nguyen Thi Hoai
HAIPHONG PRIVATE UNIVERSITY
DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES
GRADUATION PAPER
AN ANALYSIS
ON CULTURAL ELEMENTS IN
TRANSLATION
OF ENGLISH SLOGANS INTO
VIETNAMESE
By: NGUYỄN THỊ HOÀI
Class: NA901
Supervisor: NGUYỄN THỊ PHI NGA, M.A.
HAI PHONG – JUNE 2009
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PART I: INTRODUCTION
1. Rationale . 1
2. Research Method . 1
3. Research Restriction and Application . 2
PART II: DEVELOPMENT 3
Chapter 1: Theoretical background. 3
1.1. Language of slogans 3
1.1.1. What is a slogan? .. 3
1.1.2. Functions of slogan … 3
1.1.3. Features of slogan.. 4
1.2. Translation .. 4
1.2.1. What is translation? 4
1.2.2. Types of translation 6
1.2.2.1. Word- for – Word Translation …6
1.2.2.2. Literal Translation 7
1.2.2.3. Faithful Translation .. 7
1.2.2.4. Semantic Translation .7
1.2.2.5. Free Translation.8
1.2.2.6. Idiomatic Translation 8
1.2.2.7. Communicative Translation ..9
1.2.2.8. Adaptation 9
1.3. Culture….11
1.3.1. What is culture? …11
1.3.2. Aspects of culture. 11
1.3.2.1. Historical Aspect.12
1.3.2.2. Geographical and Psychological Aspect 12
1.3.2.3. Material Aspect…13
1.3.2.4. The Customs and Traditions Aspect ..14
1.3.2.5. The religious culture ..16
1.3.3. Western Culture and Eastern Culture16
Chapter II: Translation of English- Vietnamese Slogans.19
2.1. Commercial Slogans..19
2.2. Educational Slogans..25
2.3. Social Slogans.27
Chapter III: Suggested translation of slogans under the views of culture..29
3.1. Some successful translation of slogans 29
3.2. Some suggestions for translation of English slogans in the light of culture
.. 32
PART 3: CONCLUSION 36
Reference …37
Appendix
PART ONE: INTRODUCTION
1. Rationale
Language is the most essential means of communication of human being.
Man, so far, has made a lot of afford to decode and encode one another’s
ideas and messages; however, it is much trouble if we want to express our
thought in any second language. There are many languages which extinct or
disappear with time. Besides, every language origin is based on each nation’s
culture, which makes language more and more plentiful and various.
As we know, English is now considered an international language and used in
most nations, as well as in Vietnam. However, there are difficulties in
English – Vietnamese translation because of differences in structures and
cultures. Moreover, now together with international communication and
integration, more and more English slogans are used. Of course, between a
foreign language and a native language, there are some problems in
translation in general and in translating English slogans in particular. In daily
life, I often meet a lot of slogans in many fields and I do not know how to
translate it correctly. I am an English major student, sometimes I feel difficult
to translate English slogans into Vietnamese. Hence, I see that there are many
interesting things on translating English slogans into Vietnamese, which
makes me curious and I like it so much. That is the main reason I choose this
graduation paper for my researcher.
2. Research Method
To achieve of aims of the study successfully and effectively in my studying
process, I store knowledge from a lot different kinds of resources specialized
as following:
 Library and Internet search.
 Collection of English and Vietnamese slogans.
 Lectures and Experts’ consultation.
3. Research Restriction and Application
Translation is extremely large of study including methods in translation.
However, due to the limitation of time, knowledge, and experience, I am not
ambitious to study all matters about translation. Therefore, I only focus on
translating English slogan into Vietnamese in this research paper.
Particularly, I pay much attention to the cultural in translating English slogan
into Vietnamese.
My study is completed in the ambition of giving further studying about
method of slogan translation.
While carrying this studying, I hope to acquire useful experiences in learning
and translating English.
Moreover, this study help students who are interested in the culture in
translating know more about it.
PART TWO: DEVELOPMENT
CHAPTER 1
THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
1.1. Language of slogans
1.1.1. What is a slogan?
A slogan is a memorable motto or phrase used in a political, commercial,
religious and other context as a repetitive expression of an idea or purpose.
A slogan is the verbal or written portion of an advertising message that
summarizes the main idea in a few memorable words–a tag line.
(
A slogan is a phrase that visually conveys the most important product
attribute or benefit that the advertiser wishes to convey.
A slogan is a catch phrase or small group of words that are combined in a
special way to identify a product or company or organization.
1.1.2. Functions of slogan
The purpose of a slogan is to communicate some information about the
product or a program and fix it in the readers mind in a memorable way. So
that, there are 5 functions of a slogan to show these purpose:
 Drawing customer’s attention and arousing his interest
 Encouraging a reader into further reading of the text
 Conveying an advertising message in the shortest possible form
 Evoking in consumer’s mind a desire of possessing a given product
 Summarising and summing up the whole text as well as making the
receiver remember the advertisement or the program.
1.1.3. Features of slogan
A slogan sums up what one stand for, one’s specialty, the benefit, and one’s
marketing position, and one’s commitment. It is especially useful to reinforce
one’s identity. So that some following features show how slogan can show its
aims:
 The slogan is just like a headline that uses initial capitalization to
attract more attention or to stress every word it says to impress the reader.
 The slogan needs to emphasize every letter it uses or to make the
slogan look trim and tidy.
 The slogan usually uses rhymes and alliteration. Alliteration can help
the slogans achieve the strong beating rhythm needed to make it as repeatable
sentence. By so doing, the sentences are more slogan-styled. They can be
easily remembered by the audience.
 The slogan must be short and simple; it cannot afford to be
complicated and clumsy. Short simple sentences are easy to remember, while
one main aim of a slogan is to be memorable and recited.
 Beside that, the slogan often uses imperative sentences or questions
especially everyday sentences and creates idioms or proverbs.
 In addition, almost all the ad slogans use simple present tense.
1.2. Translation
1.2.1. What is translation?
Translation is an operation performed on language. It is an across the board
skill which helps improve student’s language proficiently in the process of
translation, a text in another. Thus, it is the important means of
communication between people is different language. Since then, it can
attract the attention of many to linguistics researchers and translation
theorists, so what is translation? There are many definitions around this.
According to Nida and Baber: “ Translation consists of reproducing in the
target language the closet natural equivalent of the source language message,
first in terms of meaning and secondly in term of styles.
( Nida and Baker, 1974: p 12).
Translation is a kind of activity, which inevitably involves at least two
languages and two cultural traditions.
(Toury, 1978: p.200).
Translation is a process based on the theory that is possible to abstract the
meaning of a text from its forms and procedure that meaning with the
different forms of a second language.
Translation is the general term referring to the transfer of thoughts and ideas
from one language (source) to another (target), whether the languages are in
written or oral form; whether the languages have established orthographies or
do not have such standardization of whether one or both languages is based
on signs, as with sign languages of the deaf
(Brislin, 1976)
Translation is the action of explanation of the meaning of a text, and
subsequent production of an equivalent text called a translation, that
communicates the same message in another language. The translated text is
called the source text, and the language it is to be translated into is called the
target language; the final product is sometimes called the target text.
(
Duff also cited a definition of translation as follows: “Translation, as the
process of conveying messages across the linguistic and cultural barriers, is
an eminently communicative activity, one whose use could be well
considered in a wider range of teaching situations than may currently be the
case”
(Tudor, citied in Duff , 1989: p.5)
Different author give definition of translation: “Translation is a craft
consisting in the attempt to replace a written message and/ or statement in
one language by the same message and/ or statement in another language.”
(Newmark, 1982: p7)
1.2.2. Types of translation
For learners of English, there are different approaches to translation. For a
number of definitions of translation give above, we can see that
understanding toward translation varies from one to another. As the results of
such diversity, translation can be classified into different viewpoints. The
followings are the commonly used translation types:
1.2.2.1. Word – for – Word translation
This is the type of translation that learners of English are likely to take up in
the process of mastering their translation skills. In word-for-word translation,
the source language word order is preserved and the words translated singly
by their most common meanings, out of context.
In word-for-word translation, the result often makes little sense, especially
when idioms are involved. The translator can use word-for-word translation
both to understand the mechanism of the source language and to construct a
rough translation process for a difficult text.
Example: All worldly things may change with time, but the impression of
the first love will remain a vivid as ever.
(Victor Hugo)
Tất cả mọi vật trên thế gian có thể thay đổi với thời gian, nhưng ấn tượng
về mối tình đầu sẽ tồn tại mãi mãi.
(Vương Trung Hiếu, 1993: p.147)
1.2.2.2. Literal translation
Literal translation is a broader form of translation, each source language word
has a corresponding target language word, but their primary meanings may
differ. Literal translations follow very closely the grammatical and lexical
forms of the source text language.
Literal translation is considered as the basic translation step, both in
communicative and semantic translation.
Example: I tried for a moment to see the situation through her eyes.
(Deignan, 1998: p.6)
Tôi đã thử một lần cố nhìn nhận tình huống theo cách nhìn của cô ta.
1.2.2.3. Faithful translation
A faithful translation requires a faithful precision in meaning and grammar
structure of the original. However, we can also transmit the source language
text into the target language one more flexibly basing on its contextual
meaning.
Example: Fed is trying to lose a few pounds. He goes jogging for an
hour every evening but when he comes home, he eats like a horse.
(Seidl & McMovdie, 1988: p. 239)
Fed đang cố gắng giảm vài pound. Mỗi đêm anh ta chạy bộ khoảng một tiếng
nhưng khi về nhà anh ta ăn như trâu.
1.2.2.4. Semantic translation
Newmark (1982) states that: “ semantic translating where the translator
attempts, within the base syntactic and semantic constraints of the target
language, to reproduce the precise contextual meaning of the author”.
Therefore, the semantic translation is more flexible than faithful translation,
admits the creative exception and allows the translator’s intuitive concession
with the original.
Example: Beauty is the first present Nature gives to women and the
first take away.
Sắc đẹp là tặng phẩm mà Tạo hóa ban cho người đàn bà, cũng là thứ đầu tiên
mà Tạo hóa cướp đi.
1.2.2.5. Free translation
In free translation, the linguistic structure of the source language is ignored,
and equivalence is found based upon the meaning it conveys. Free
translations are sometimes called paraphrases. The advantage of this type of
disadvantage is that translating is too casual to understand the original
because of its freedom.
(Dung Vu, 2004,
Example: người ta thường trích trong di sản một phần tài gọi là
đất hương hỏa hoặc ruộng kỉ giao cho người tộc trưởng hoặc người chi
trưởng để lo thờ tự tổ tiên ở nhà thờ họ hoặc nhà thờ chi.
. People often deduct from the inheritance of a part of estate which call
“cultural estate” or “anniversary land”. The land is entrance upon the head of
the extended family or the head of the branch of the family. The latter keeps
it in order to care for the ancestor cult, performed in the cult home of the
extended family and in that of the family branch.
(Võ Liêm An, 1997: p.237)
1.2.2.6. Idiomatic translation
Idiomatic translations are concerned with communicating the meaning of the
source text using the natural grammatical and lexical items of the target
language.
Idiomatic translations are used for colloquialism and idioms whose literalism
is the translation by which the translator does not transfer the literalism of the
original, uses the translation of colloquialism and idioms.
Example: A sow is no match for a goose.
Đũa mốc mà chòi mâm son.
1.2.2.7. Communicative translation
Communicative translation allows the translator to transmit the source
language into the target language by readily acceptable and comprehensible
ways to the readership. “But even here the translator still has to respect and
work on the form of the source language text as the only material basic for
his work”
(Peter Newmark, 1982: p39).
Example: Thôi thì hết hờn ghen và giận dỗi
Được giận hờn sung sướng biết bao nhiêu.
(Xuân Diệu)
Well, it’s all with jealousies and sulks
What fun to be in the sulk.
(Vương Trung Hiếu, 1993: p.145)
1.2.2.8. Adaptation
Dung Vu (2004) point out: “Adaptation has a property of lending the ideas of
the original to create a new text used by a new language more than to be
faithful to the original. The creation in adaptation is completely objective in
content as well as form”. So, adaptation is the freest form of translation. It
issued mainly for plays and poetry
Example: Someone you pass on the street may already be the love of your
life .Có khi nào trên đường đời tấp lập
Ta vô tình đi vội bước qua nhau.
(Từ Huy)
Source language emphasis Target language emphasis
Adaptation Faithful translation
Semantic translation Communicative translation
Word-for-word translation Idiomatic translation
Literal translation Free translation
1.3. Culture
1.3.1. What is culture?
Culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behavior
acquired and transmitted by symbols, constituting the distinctive
achievements of human groups, including their embodiments in artifacts; the
essential core of culture consists of traditional ideas and especially their
attached values; culture system may, on the other hand, be considered as
products of action, and on the other as conditioning elements of further
action.
(Kroeber, AL, & Kluckhohn, C. 1945 p.78-105)
Culture is the shared knowledge and schemes created by a set of people for
perceiving, interpreting, expressing, and responding to the social realities
around them.
(Lederach, J.P. 1995 p.9)
A culture is a configuration of learned behaviors and results of behavior
whose component elements are shared and transmitted by the member of
particular society.
(Linton, R. 1945 p.32)
A culture is a way of life of a group of people–the behaviors, beliefs, values,
and symbols that they accept, generally without thinking about them, and that
are passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the
next.
(
1.3.2. Aspects of Culture
In accordance with the definitions of culture, it is clear that culture is
composed of many elements. It is very conducive to look at the elements of
culture as a way of studying culture and translation. In fact, culture is divided
into the following five aspects, interacting with each other: historical culture,
geographical and psychological culture, material culture, customs and
traditions as well as religious culture.
1.3.2.1. Historical Aspect
The historical culture refers to the culture settled and formed during the
development of society. Different nations have different historical
development, so their historical cultures are different. This kind of difference
impedes the communication between languages. For instance , the
Vietnamese allusion “con Lạc cháu Rồng ”must be translated in a direct way
with some explanations, for there are lack of such historical background in
western countries. One English version is: “Lac Rong offsprings”
Let’s see another example. During the historical development of English
language, the introduce of the Bible and the mythology of ancient Greek and
Rome brings about many cultural words, such as “Adam’s apple” “Good
Friday” and “Achille’s heel” etc. These words, with their special historical
and cultural meanings in English language, can’t be translated into
Vietnamese just by their literal meanings. For example, the direct translation
of “Adam’s apple” is “quả táo của Adam”. However, this term is originated
from the story of the Bible. It is said that one day, God discovered that Adam
and Eva, the ancestors of our human beings, ate the forbidden fruit, so he
gave punishment on Adam by letting the fruit blocking in his throat.
Therefore “Adam’s apple” refers to the lump on the front of throat in the
western culture.
1.3.2.2. Geographical and Psychological Aspect
Different nations’ geographical and psychological culture is also a main
barrier in translation. Because of the different geographical environment and
different nation’s mentalities, the same word will have totally different
meanings in two different cultures. For instance, words like “fire, sea,
Roland, Oliver, castle, shepherd, nightingale” cause a different mental
responding among Vietnamese readers while words like “giang sơn, núi non,
biển cả, rừng vàng, biển bạc” in Vietnamese have their particular imaginary
meanings, but they could not be experienced and felt by the western readers.
For example, “East wind” in Vietnamese and English is a vivid example.
Vietnamese people favors the east wind, for it is always a symbol of “spring”
and “warmness” while people in Britain dislike the east wind, because the
east wind is from the northern part of the European continent, s

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