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What's in a word? Problematizing translation between languages


Müller, Martin (2007). What's in a word? Problematizing translation between languages. Area, 39(2):206-213.

Abstract

An increasing number of geographers conduct research in foreign languages. Since the representation of research still largely takes place in English, we are inevitably confronted with the challenge of translation. All too often, however, translation is treated as a fait accompli and conceptual black box without problematizing the very act of translation as both political and highly subjective. In this paper I argue that critical translation must grapple not only with the semantic issues of translation but especially with the institutionalization of a naturalized meaning hegemony. This involves teasing out the political exclusions of translation as well as addressing the agency of the translating geographer. By way of practical examples I suggest paths to achieve such a critical treatment of translation.

An increasing number of geographers conduct research in foreign languages. Since the representation of research still largely takes place in English, we are inevitably confronted with the challenge of translation. All too often, however, translation is treated as a fait accompli and conceptual black box without problematizing the very act of translation as both political and highly subjective. In this paper I argue that critical translation must grapple not only with the semantic issues of translation but especially with the institutionalization of a naturalized meaning hegemony. This involves teasing out the political exclusions of translation as well as addressing the agency of the translating geographer. By way of practical examples I suggest paths to achieve such a critical treatment of translation.

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23 citations in Web of Science®
30 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2007
Deposited On:25 Sep 2013 12:57
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:50
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0004-0894
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4762.2007.00731.x
Related URLs:https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/Publikationen/55851
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-78813

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