A Critical Analysis of Adaptation, Domestication and Foreignization as Effective Strategies for Translating Shakespeare’s Plays into Assamese





Adaptation, Domestication, Equivalence, Foreignization, Transcreation, Word-For-Word Translation


One of the major challenges faced by the translators is finding equivalence in the target language. The translators of Shakespeare plays have used Assamese words as appropriate equivalence of English words used by Shakespeare. However, it is not possible for the translators to claim that a particular kind of translation is the most faithful to the source text or the original text. The critics of translation studies are divided on deciding the parameters to assess whether a particular translation is faithful or not. The translators face various challenges in the process of translation such as finding equivalence, truthfully representing the linguistic and cultural nuances etc. In this process, the Assamese translators of Shakespeare’s plays have used adaptation, domestication, foreignization etc. Although the methods are different, they serve a common purpose, i.e., to bring a culturally and linguistically different text close to Assamese readers. The Comedy of Errors was the first Shakespeare play to be translated into Assamese by Ratnadhar Barua, Ramakanta Barkakoti, Gunjanan Barua and Ghanashyam Barua as Bhramaranga in 1888. Since then, a good number of Shakespeare plays have been either adapted or translated into Assamese. As You Like It, Cymbeline, Macbeth, Troilus and Cressida, Taming of the Shrew, King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream etc. were adapted into Assamese. Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Twelfth Night etc. were translated using domestication as an effective strategy. Othello, Macbeth, Measure for Measure were also translated by other translators using foreignization as an effective strategy. The paper examines the multiple methods that have been used for translation of Shakespeare’s plays into Assamese across time with special emphasis on adaptation, domestication and foreignization. As multiple translations of the same Shakespeare plays are available in Assamese, the paper also highlights the features of those translations and critically comments on their effectiveness in terms of strategies used by the translators. It also underlines the challenges faced by the translators while translating Shakespeare’s plays into Assamese. Specific examples from both the source texts and target texts are given to assess the process of translation. A few translators have retained the original names in the translations. A few others have change the names completely giving some indigenous flavor to the target texts. The choices of the translators and the factors responsible for such choices have also been discussed in this paper. The paper also documents most of the Shakespeare plays translated into Assamese since 1888. However, the assessment of the strategies used to translate the plays is not chronological. The paper is divided into three main parts: ‘Adaptation of Shakespeare’s Plays into Assamese’, ‘Domestication in Translation of Shakespeare’s Plays into Assamese’ and ‘Foreignization in Translation of Shakespeare’s Plays into Assamese’.


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DOI: 10.53032/tcl.2022.7.6.08
Published: 2022-12-30

How to Cite

Dr. Sanjib Kuar Baishya. (2022). A Critical Analysis of Adaptation, Domestication and Foreignization as Effective Strategies for Translating Shakespeare’s Plays into Assamese. The Creative Launcher, 7(6), 75–83. https://doi.org/10.53032/tcl.2022.7.6.08



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