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Reframing Realities through Translation

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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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4 Translating Saddam: Some Problems of Ideology, Mediation and Manipulation in Arabic into English Translation (John Moreton)

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John Moreton

4 Translating Saddam: Some Problems of Ideology, Mediation and Manipulation in Arabic into English Translation

Introduction

The present century has seen increasing attention being paid by translation and other scholars to questions of culture, power relationships, ideology, intervention, the role of narratives and the involvement of translation in global news dissemination. Not surprisingly, problems of translation from Arabic into English loom large in all these areas; indeed, in the case of Arabic it seems safe to suggest that as this century continues, while only a small minority of people will be exposed to Arabic literature whether in the original or in translation, most of us who use mainly English will be exposed to somebody’s translation or digest of Arabic texts in the political or politico-religious domain. Since the beginning of the century, the 9/11 attacks in New York, the invasion and occupation of Iraq and then the more recent developments in the Arab Spring and its various counter-revolutions have together not only kept the Arab world at the forefront of news coverage but have also stimulated greater interest and attempts at understanding. Political or other speeches and statements in Arabic, often containing a disconcertingly unfamiliar blend of political and religious discourse, invite or require translation (or summary) into English by various agencies with their own particular ideological stances and agenda. However, even with accurate and competent linguistic transfer there are many forms of possible manipulation. Equally, poor-quality translation between two such incongruent...

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