Foreignization in English-Kurdish Translations Produced by the Voice of America


  • Sabir Hasan Rasul Department of English, College of Languages, University of Human Development, Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan Region, Iraq



English-Kurdish translation, foreignization, domestication, journalistic translation, the VOA Kurdish


This paper explores English-Kurdish translations produced by the Kurdish section of the Voice of America (VOA). It is hypothesized that such translations are marked by unnaturalness and foreignness both in terms of linguistic and cultural aspects. This feature seems to be a peculiar characteristic that sets the VOA Kurdish apart from other media outlets producing Kurdish translations. Applying Venuti’s (1995/2008) theory of foreignization and domestication and taking a translation-oriented textual analysis approach, the paper sets out to qualitatively examine a set of 15 English journalistic texts translated into Kurdish by the VOA Kurdish. The study encompasses both linguistic and cultural matrices to identify unnatural or foreignized translation occurrences, which are expected to be otherwise rendered naturally in other media outlets. The results of the study show that Kurdish translations produced by the VOA are peculiarly outlandish and orientated towards foreignization. For journalistic translations to be comprehensible by the target audience, media players ought to present their outputs, translation or otherwise, as naturally as possible. Therefore, the paper recommends that the VOA Kurdish change its tendency from foreignization to domestication.


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