Title

Translating bilinguality : Theorizing translation in the Post-Babelian era

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

The Translator : Studies in Intercultural Communication

Publication Date

2002

Volume

8

Issue

1

First Page

49

Last Page

72

Abstract

Translation is often defined as interlingual transfer, with correspondences sought between two languages. But what if the original text is written in more than one language? This paper addresses a number of situations where bilinguality impacts the translation process & problematizes conventional concepts of translation. Several categories of examples are discussed. The first of these involves texts (by Tolstoy & Hemingway) into which isolated stretches of a second language are incorporated. Then, there are fictional works where a second language is extensively deployed, but is already translated for the reader. Examples are works by Buck, Clavell, & Maugham, where Chinese characters are made to speak English & the novelists have to play the role of translators. Finally, there are postmodern texts wherein the author inhabits, as it were, two linguistic realms: those of his or her mother tongue & the acquired tongue. The discussion here will revolve around two distinct groups of writers: those who are competent in more than one language & blend the features of two or more languages in their work (like James Joyce), & those who are proficient in one language but have mother-tongue knowledge of another (like Maxine Hong Kingston). A close examination of works by the last category of writers in translation reveals the limits of existing translation theories, which are based on a bilingual one-to-one model & do not take into consideration features of "interlinguality" & "intralinguality" within texts. 42 References. Adapted from the source document

DOI

10.1080/13556509.2002.10799116

Print ISSN

13556509

E-ISSN

17570409

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2002 St Jerome Publishing, Manchester.

Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Chan, L. T. (2002). Translating bilinguality: Theorizing translation in the post-babelian era. The Translator, 8(1), 49-72. doi: 10.1080/13556509.2002.10799116