ENVIRONMENT IGNORED BY TRANSLATION!
It has been reported that environmental consciousness has been ignored in translation of children's literature. Experts, who reviewed children's literature books translated from English to Turkish, noticed that use of words related to environment, nature, plants were minimized, and that young readers were prevented from getting to know other cultures.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Neslihan Kansu Yetkiner, Lecturer, Department of Translation and Interpretation, Izmir University of Economics (IUE) and Project Coordinator, pointed the importance of translation in terms of intercultural interaction. Yetkiner said, “We wanted to study the intercultural transfer of environmental literacy in children’s books through translated books. We are reviewing 94 retranslations (English to Turkish) of 10 children’s classics on natural adventure, love of animals/nature, exploring nature as part of the project. We are doing a research on transfer of environmental literacy, environmental knowledge, and environmental attitude in translations. Our studies reveal that vocabulary diversity on environment in translated works is much less than original works. Environment based knowledge in original works is minimized when translated into Turkish.”
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yetkiner stated that Prof. Dr. Yasemin Yavuz from Department of Biostatistics, Ankara University, and Asst. Prof. Dr. Derya Duman from IUE Department of Translation and Interpretation took part in the TUBITAK supported project, and Research Assistant Merve Avşaroğlu and students Elifnur Uysal and Osman Tufan participated in the project as scholarship holders. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yetkiner stated that they reviewed the books, “Call of the Wild”, “Coral Island”, “Treasure Island”, “Black Beauty”, “The Red Pony”, “The Jungle Book”, “Captains Courageous”, “Secret Garden”, “Lord of the Flies”, and “The Wind in the Willows”, and she said this project would be filling gaps in children’s literature both in terms of training and literature. Yetkiner stated the following:
“We were able to find retranslations of these books from 1928, from the time of language reform, stretching out to 2010. We are studying how animals and vegetation cover, land forms, natural disasters, weather conditions are translated to Turkish from original texts. We realized that instead of individual animal or plant names, more inclusive terms have been used in some of the translations. For example, in the book, “Captains Courageous”, instead of herring or codfish, the term ‘fish’ has been used. Likewise, instead of using the specific tree names, the term ‘tree’ has been used. Such generalizations prevent children from getting to know other cultures and cause the text to lose its exoticness.”