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Translation, travel, migration

Polezzi, Loredana 2006. Translation, travel, migration. The Translator 12 (2) , pp. 169-188.

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Over the past few years, the connection between travel and translation has gained currency among scholars of a number of disciplines, including critical theory, postcolonial studies and anthropology. Yet the increased visibility of both translation and travel has tended to hide, rather than highlight, the complexity of social as well as representational phenomena linked to both spatial and linguistic mobility (which encompass, on the one hand, economic migration, exile and self-exile, diasporas and other forms of displacement, and, on the other, interlingual translation and interpretation, self-translation, and instances of multilingual production). A tendency to use terms in a rather loose and often figurative manner has resulted in a frequent shift of attention away from actual practices and their protagonists: the people who travel and translate, for themselves and for others. The present article argues in favour of an approach to mobility and translation phenomena which highlights their cultural and historical specificities while also foregrounding the socio-political implications of both practices and their interconnections. Such an approach calls into question a number of traditional assumptions, including the ability of travel writers to write selectively for a home audience, and the negative aura surrounding the translator as a potential cultural traitor. Additionally, stressing the impact of complex instances of mobility on the contemporary world also invites us to rethink binary models of identity and of translation, positing multiply translated (and translating) subjects as the protagonists of today's global communication processes.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Publisher: St. Jerome Publishing
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Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 08:27

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