Culture-Specific Items (CSI) and their Translation Strategies in Martin Lindstrom’s Brand Sense

Diana Blažytė, Vilmantė Liubinienė


Cultural references in source texts are recognized as probably the most troublesome elements of atranslation, raising not only the question of the proper selection of a particular lexical unit but alsothe issue of the cultural competence. Many researchers, linguists, and scientists deal with definition,recognition, classification and translation matters of culture-specific items, yet the consensuscannot be reached. Different definitions, interpretations, and even classifications, which strongly relyupon similar criteria, are offered. Therefore, the analysis of translation strategies used to render culture-specific items in popular science literature are very important and relevant to the overall analysisof cultural realia. Aiming to research translation strategies of CSI in the genre of popular science,Martin Lindstrom’s book Brand Sense: build powerful brands through touch, taste, smell, sight, andsound” (2005) and its Lithuanian translation Prekės ženklo jausmas, accomplished by Lina Krutulytė,was chosen. The analysis presented in this article is restricted to the group of common expressionsdenoting CSI, as translation of proper nouns follow the recommendations provided by the LithuanianLanguage State Commission and were found to be less problematic as compared to the group ofcommon expressions. For the analysis of translation strategies used to render culture-specific items,categorization of Davies (2003) was followed. To accomplish the research goals, descriptive, comparativeand quantitative analysis was employed. The obtained results indicate that prevailing translationstrategies used to render common expressions in the popular science book by Martin LindstromBrand Sense were literal translation, localization, preservation, and addition. No examples of omission or creation were observed. The analysis has revealed that the usage of translation strategies wasinconsistent – homogenous and semantically similar CSI were rendered differently, using differenttranslation strategies, thus the target text lacks cohesion and logical approach.



translation strategies; culture-specific items (CSI); common expressions; popular science genre.

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