Translating bilinguality : Theorizing translation in the Post-Babelian era
The Translator : Studies in Intercultural Communication
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
Copyright © 2002 St Jerome Publishing, Manchester.
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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