The Scamp’s Happy Challenge: Day 2

I had the day off from work today, so I got to start my day doing something that made me happy: sleeping in. I love not having to wake up to an alarm, and it was a rare day where I had absolutely no where to be. That is a new thing for me lately, and I loved it. I answered emails from bed, cuddled with my cat, and took my time getting dressed.

I was also able to get a bit of research done for the case study project, and although it really only amounts to about half a written page, it is a start, and I feel a bit better about it.

The activity for that I designated for the day though was a shopping trip with my mom. I really wasn’t expecting to buy much, but the day seemed to be made for me. I ended up with some nice shirts, new yoga clothes, two dresses, a bathing suit, and three pairs of shoes.

My favorite purchase of the day is the new flamingo print dress. I’m nuts about flamingos, and the white dress has a fun cut and great pink flamingos all over it. I cannot wait to wear it in public. I even have the perfect necklace and a cute pair of shoes to wear with it.

While finding joy in material things is not really something I do often, there is something to be said about some fresh new styles for the coming summer. I think the best part of the trip was the first bathing suit I tried on. It was awful. The cut of the top made me look like I was trying to separate and bind my boobs. I looked horrible. So horrible in fact that the only thing I could do was laugh hysterically at it. My mom hasn’t laughed that hard in awhile, so I am pretty sure it looked even worse than I thought it did.

I have work and focus groups tomorrow, so I am not sure what my happiness activity is going to be yet, but I am looking forward to the night off from class and being home and at a decent hour.

 

A Scamp and Domestication vs Foreignization

I actually did some research today. I sat down with my laptop and my dissertation notebook, and read articles and op ed pieces that relate to the work I am doing for my thesis. It is the first time that I have looked at anything related to my dissertation in almost 2 weeks. I would be patting myself on the back for this, but I lost valuable time, and I am in a mini panic mode about the number of words that I have to have written by August 16th versus the number of words that I actually have written (that number would be 600 out of the needed 15,000). I let my focus be pulled by friends, family and cute boys, but now I am starting to see that I am going to need to be a hermit for the next three years if I am going to get anything done.

Today I spent a lot of time reading articles about two very important concepts in translation studies: domestication and foreignization. I’m going to break my rule about using Wikipedia for a second because it actually does a really good job of defining the two terms. The definitions read as follows:

Domestication is the strategy of making text closely conform to the culture of the language being translated to, which may involve the loss of information from the source text. Foreignization is the strategy of retaining information from the source text, and involves deliberately breaking the conventions of the target language to preserve its meaning.[1] These strategies have been debated for hundreds of years, but the first person to formulate them in their modern sense was Lawrence Venuti, who introduced them to the field of translation studiesin 1995 with his book The Translator’s Invisibility: A History of Translation.[1][2] Venuti’s innovation to the field was his view that the dichotomy between domestication and foreignization was an ideological one; he views foreignization as the ethical choice for translators to make.[1] 

He estimates that the theory and practice of English-language translation has been dominated by submission, by fluent domestication. He strictly criticized the translators who in order to minimize the foreignness of the target text reduce the foreign cultural norms to target-language cultural values. According to Venuti, the domesticating strategy “violently” erases the cultural values and thus creates a text which as if had been written in the target language and which follows the cultural norms of the target reader. He strongly advocates the foreignization strategy, considering it to be “an ethnodeviant pressure on [target-language cultural] values to register the linguistic and cultural difference of the foreign text, sending the reader abroad.” Thus an adequate translation would be the one that would highlight the foreignness of the source text and instead of allowing the dominant target culture to assimilate the differences of the source culture, it should rather signal these differences.[3]

 

These terms are very important to my project in terms of the language choices used in the picture books I am studying, but they also got me thinking about my return home. I am not thinking of the terms in the way they are used in translation, and translation studies, but I was thinking about the roles they play in culture and identity. My transition back to life at home has not been an easy one. I feel like I need to slide back into the role that is accepted by the people here, but I am not sure how to do that. I am a lot different than I was 9 months ago, and that new person is being lost in translation here. It was said a week or so ago that I was maladjusted and socially awkward since my return to California. While that comment made me laugh (I mean, come on, I’ve always been socially awkward, and I have not been home long enough to adjust), it did make me think about how I am being translated now that I am home. The problem with some of the people here is that they are trying to domesticate me and make me fit into the culture of living here. They are trying to stick me into a mold that I don’t fit into. The hardest part of this is that while I struggle to maintain the culture and identity I developed living abroad, they are trying to stifle me back into a little box. I no longer want to be caught up in petty drama, or stuck in rut with my career and life goals. Now that I know this, my first inclination is to just withdraw and not see anyone. I have friends and a cousin in San Diego that just had babies that I have yet to meet, friends in Orange County that I want to see and catch-up with, but I am not sure that I am ready to share how great it was to be in Scotland, and how much I miss it. Everyone expects me to be super happy that I am home, and while I am happy to be with my family, I miss Scotland terribly. I miss my little bubble there.

In order to adjust and try to snap myself out of the funk I let myself fall into I did what any good girl would do: I bought three pair of shoes and a dress that can really only work in a place like California.