Translation as an Instrument for Multilingual Democracy
Keywords:translation, interpretation, democracy, language policy, Habermas, communitarianism
Translation Studies, in its foundational terms, must assume multilingualism but has also long presupposed monoglots: whenever our models separate “source language” from “target language,” we present translations as border-markers between monolingual spaces. One way forward is to find translation in all communication, within all linguistic spaces, to an extent that would dissolve any pretense at monolingualism. An alternative solution, more tied to empirical historiography, is to trace the ways in which multilingual ideological formations use translation in order to divide linguistic spaces at the same time as they expand across those same spaces. Using numerous local examples, Pym’s article examines the use of translators and interpreters to bring about multilingual democracies and considers the ways in which current technologies and practices of translation are reshaping answers to the question.
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