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Reframing Realities through Translation


Edited By Ali Almanna and Juan José Martínez Sierra

This volume affords an opportunity to reconsider international connections and conflicts from the specific standpoint of translation as a dynamic, sociocultural activity, carried out and influenced by numerous stakeholders. The various chapters contained in this volume survey a wide range of languages and cultures, and they all pivot around the relationships that can be established between translation and ideology, re-narration, identity, cultural representation and knowledge reproduction. The ultimate aim is to shed light on the actual act of translating in which the self is well-presented and beautified and the other is deformed and made ugly. In this volume, due consideration is given to the main frames (be they characterization, interpretive or identity frames) as well as to the nonverbal factors that play a fundamental role in forming the final shape of the translated product.
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Introduction: Translation as a Set of Frames (Ali Almanna)


Ali Almanna

Introduction: Translation as a Set of Frames

Setting the scene

Just as other people consciously and subconsciously rely on certain cognitive frames to organize complex phenomena into coherent, understandable categories to make sense of them (Kaufman et al. 2003), translators also use these cognitive frames to interpret the world around them by using interpretive frames, and then represent that world to others by using representing frames. As such, translation can be seen as a set of frames, whether interpretive (activated at the stage of understanding) or representing (activated at the stage of re-expression or re-formulation).

Before going deeper in analysing the types of frames, the term frame itself needs to be defined and clarified. Following Goffman (1974/1986), who developed symbolic interactionist ideas on how the self is constructed interpersonally, van Hulst and Yanow (2016: 94) state that frames “guide the ways situational participants perceive their social realities and (re)present these to themselves and to others”, adding that “a frame reflects actors’ organizing principles that structure those perceptions”. From a cognitive standpoint, frames are defined by Lakoff (2004/2014: xi–xii) as “mental structures that shape the way we see the world”. Frames not only “shape the goals we seek, the plans we make, the way we act, and what counts as a good or bad outcome of our actions”, but they also “shape our social policies and the institutions we form to carry out policies” (ibid.). In this regard, Lemmouh...

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