Policy Context and Policy Creation: Migration and Translation Policy in Australia
Journal: Journal of Translation Studies Volume 1 Issue 1 Year 2021 pp. 27 - 44
The paper engages the theme “Migration, multilingualism and T&I policies”. It provides a reflection on the concept of translation policy viewed through the lens of migration. This reflection emanates from research carried out on the policy context in the creation of the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters in Australia. Current writing on translation policy (Gonzalez Nuñez and Meylaerts 2017, as a recent example) has tended to expand the coverage of this concept to embrace a number of aspects consistent with a socio-political view of the place of translation and translation policy, the latter seen as a precursor or a consequence of the former. The paper explores the dependency of policy on the context in which it is framed and considers the need for a more specific approach to the examination of the nature of translation policy as it not only relates to the rules, agency and practices but more importantly to the values inherent in particular instances or systems of translational communication. The paper utilizes examples derived mainly from the Australian context and will argue that the terminology itself used in the elaboration and implementation of translation policy requires considerable refinement before it can be applied to different temporal and cultural contexts. One example of this phenomenon is the concept of ‘minority’ or ‘minorities’ which is not used in Australia in this context and is, in turn, a reflection of the values ascribed to a consideration of either migrant groups or allophone groups within a society. The paper argues for clearer distinctions between policies about permitting or mandating translation and policies which impinge upon the conduct of translation since the source of authority and therefore policy-making, resides with different actors.