Abstract


On Translations

Nina Czegledy

Language is often a central question in postcolonial studies. Historically, language has been a functional tool of colonization. It has been argued that colonization destroys and replaces languages, cultures, communities and nations rather than enriching them. Undoubtedly, the use of English bridges communication gaps, however it also eradicates the importance of other languages. This presentation investigates the colonizing role of English in critical literature (focused on media art) including the meaning of translation into other languages. The term "translation" is commonly used for the act of rendering words into another language. In this text however, "translation" is employed to expand the concept into a wider frame of reference to include cultural "interpretation" and "transposition" in an international context. Cultural translations are performed in a constantly shifting global framework and thus involve divergent, often contradictory paradigms -while raising numerous questions. Where is the real translation taking place, how is this perceived in different parts of the world, who are the actual translators, for whom is the translation done, where and how is a cultural bias employed and most importantly what is being translated? This is of course one of the most important and also most difficult questions -seemingly without well-defined answers. How much of the content is being translated might be yet another issue. The concept for this presentation was inspired by the "Critique of Publishing/Publishing of Critique" workshop discussions in August 2007 at the Summer Academy in Bratislava. A summary of these discussions dealing with translation and professional literature and an examination of case studies will be included in the presentation. While many of the questions posed are difficult (if not impossible) to answer, it is hoped that an ensuing discussion will bring fresh viewpoints to the topic.



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