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Translating Dialects and Languages of Minorities

Challenges and Solutions


Edited By Federico Federici

This book offers a range of analyses of the multiplicity of opinions and ideologies attached to rendering, in familiar or unfamiliar voices, languages known as non-standard varieties. The contributions include theoretical reflections, case studies and comparative studies that draw from the full spectrum of translation strategies adopted in rendering non-standard varieties and reflect the endless possibilities of language variation.
The strength of the volume lies in the wide range of languages discussed, from Arabic to Turkish and from Italian to Catalan, as well as in its variety of complementary and contrastive methodologies. The contributions reveal the importance of exploring further issues in translating local voices. Discussing dialects and marginal voices in translation, the contributors encourage and challenge the reader to reflect on what is standard and non-standard, acceptable and unacceptable, thereby overturning accepted principles and challenging familiar practices.


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FEDERICO M. FEDERICI - Introduction: Dialects, idiolects, sociolects: Translation problems or creative stimuli? 1


FEDERICO M. FEDERICI Introduction: Dialects, idiolects, sociolects: Translation problems or creative stimuli?1 Critical definitions Beginning by ref lecting on the terminology used in the volume, this intro- duction discusses the challenges of rendering dialects and non-standard varieties of language. Terminology is necessary in a regulated and scholarly discussion; however, it is also regulatory and constraining when it comes to creativity. The search for solving problems of rendering non-standard varie- ties has to be perceived as a constructive, productive, and creative challenge. The overview of some ‘critical’ definitions of idiolect, sociolect, and dialect here included is intended not as an exhaustive study of the terminology most commonly adopted, but as a means of engaging with the following contributions in the understanding that we may need to review our tools for translation criticism, especially if they become limiting (see the light touch approach of author-translator Hofstadter 2009). The terminology is of course a good point of departure to ensure that we are all discussing the same features and to make reasonable observations. For this purpose, a look at the terminology, particularly taken from sociolinguistics and 1 Part of this introduction was given as a paper at the MultiDialecTranslation 2010, 4th International Conference on the Translation of Dialects in Multimedia at the Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Forlì campus, in May 2010. Several of these observations received feedback and stimulated questions also from the professionals of the British network of Japanese–English translators who kindly invited me to their annual workshop...

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