The Cultural Code in Terms of Translation Activity

Author’s name:

Nikolay V. Baryshev, Vadim V. Sdobnikov


The article discusses the cultural code as a component of the general professional competence of translators and interpreters, postulating that the success of any given translation activity depends on the degree to which the translator knows the cultural code, viewed here as knowledge of key quotations, personalities, and dates. It also argues that a country’s national security depends upon the degree to which the population has mastered the country’s cultural code. The authors have conducted a survey among students of a Russian university to deter-mine the degree to which they possess the Russian cultural code. The results of the survey reveal that the respondents’ mastery of the cultural code is weak and inadequate, and thus they are not prepared to perform translation activity with required accuracy. The authors con-clude that potential erosion of the cultural code poses a threat to national security and results in the destruction of the nation’s geopolitical code. Theoretical relevance of the research lies in the authors’ attempt to estimate the present condition of the collective memory and the population’s mastery of the Russian cultural code as reflected in the younger generation as well as in determining the dependence of the country’s national security, firstly, on the degree to which the population has mastered the cultural code and, secondly, on the population’s grasp of its national identity. The practical value of this research project lies in the new addi-tional challenges it sets for those who are involved in training translators and interpreters, calling educators to revise and improve current methods of teaching translation in view of the obvious insufficiency of students’ knowledge of their national culture.

DOI: 10.47388/2072-3490/lunn2020-si-18-31
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Key words cultural code; translation activity; culture; collective memory; national identity; geopolitical code.


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