Translation at crossroads-translating the untranslatable in English-Lubukusu advertisements


  • Rashid Mutacho Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kenya
  • Benard Mudogo Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kenya
  • Lucy Mandilla Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kenya


This paper applies Skopos Theory in the analysis of “the untranslatable” in the translation of English advertisements into Lubukusu. Translation is a process by which meaning and information of a given text in one human language which is the source language (SL) is produced in another human language, the target language (TL).The central issue in translation is equivalence-sameness of the SL and TL. However, there are some items in the source language which do not always attain that degree of sameness in the TL. Those items are often referred to us “untranslatable or non-equivalents” and they form the basis of this paper. Adopting Analytical design, the paper established that there are two types of non-equivalents in the translation of English advertisements into Lubukusu namely; cultural and linguistic non-equivalents. Further, under linguistic non-equivalence, the study reveals three factors which hamper equivalence; words that share different semantic fields, words which lack hyponyms in the target language and words with different senses in the ST and TT.  The findings of this paper would be of help and use to translators who wish to translate advertisements texts and to students and trainee translators who wish to acquire knowledge and awareness of the challenges encountered in the translation of advertisements.


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How to Cite

Mutacho, R., Mudogo, B., & Mandilla, L. (2021). Translation at crossroads-translating the untranslatable in English-Lubukusu advertisements. Research Journal in Modern Languages and Literatures, 2(3). Retrieved from