ABSTRACT：Whether domestication or foreignization should be the dominant strategy in the proverb translation is the topic of the present thesis. The author gives an analysis of the relationship between language, culture and translation. The cultural differences between Chinese and English proverb stressed the cultural flavors but also gives rise to the special difficulties in proverb translation. So in order to communicate smoothly, we should use different translation strategy in different kinds of proverb. Foreignization should be mainly employed so as to achieve better conveyance of the cultural peculiarities of both English and Chinese proverbs. And domestication should be used as an important complementary translation strategy. When necessary, both the foreignization and domestication can be used at the same time.
Key words: culture; differences; translation; proverb; foreignization; domestication
In Longman Contemporary English-Chinese Dictionary, proverb is defined as "a short well-knowing saying usually in popular language. In Random House Webster's Dictionary of American English，the definition of proverb is "a short popular saying that expresses effectively some common place truth or useful thought.” The British writer Bacon once said, "Genius wit and spirit of a nation are discovered by their proverbs". Proverb as a nation's culture distillation, it reflects the commonness and the difference between nations. They enjoy a close relationship with the culture.
Owing to the different living customs, environments, religious beliefs, the same cultural images may carry quite different connotations. The same or similar connotations may be expressed with different cultural images. Therefore, a simple replacement in the TL cultural images is liable resulting in cultural misinterpretations. It is necessary to employ foreignization as the major strategy to handle the cultural elements in proverb translation. Domestication, as a compensation strategy, is also necessary in dealing with some cultural terms that are rarely known and hardly understand by the TL readers. However, in an era of cultural globalization, reader are know about the alien cultures and their attitudes toward foreign cultures become more open, which will definitely improve their acceptance of alien cultures. Cultural phenomena which used to look odd or unacceptable will gradually become familiarized and accepted.