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Non-Equivalence Caused by Culture-Specific Concepts

            Nowadays, translation plays an important role in the process of the globalization that is not only conveying the meaning of languages but also a bridge connecting countries and their culture together. Translations have to improve their professional knowledge and learn about other culture as well. However, translators usually cope with non-equivalence at word level caused by culture-specific concept. There are even many words that are so closely connected with or influenced by a particular culture that they do not have an equivalent in any other language. After dealing with the difficulties implied in the lack of equivalence at word level, Baker (1992, p. 26-42) proposes nine strategies to solve non-equivalence at word level. According to Pham Thanh Binh (2010), when applying to English – Vietnamese circumstance, there are 8 in 9 strategies is suitable.
             The first method is translation by a more specific word in which a more specific word is used to translate an English word into Vietnamese. For example, the English word for "wear" can be translated by many different Vietnamese words which are "mặc (quần áo)", "đeo (kính)", "đi/mang (giầy)". In this case, translators have to choose the suitable word depending on particular situation. Contrast to the first method, the second one is using a more general word. In this method, a general word is used to translate an English word with no specific Vietnamese equivalent. For instance, there is a different among stiletto heels, cone heels, pumps, sling back, wedge heels, kitten heels but Vietnamese refers to all kinds of heels as "giày cao gót". .
             Another method is translation by using a loan word plus explanation. This method can be useful when dealing with concepts or ideas that are new to Vietnam like culture-specific items or proper name of diseases or medicine. For example, HIV is the abbreviation of Human Immunodeficiency Virus.

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