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National Identity in Translation

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Edited By Lucyna Harmon and Dorota Osuchowska

Language as an essential and constitutive part of national identity is what obviously gets lost in translation, being substituted by the language of another nation. For this reason, one could perceive national identity and translation as contradictory and proclaim a total untranslatability of the former. However, such a simplified conclusion would clearly deny the actual translation practice, where countless successful attempts to preserve the element of national identity can be testified. The authors of the book focus on the possibilities of various approaches to national identity as a research subject within Translation Studies. The authors hope that the variety of topics presented in this book will inspire further research.

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Mykola Zerov’s View of Translation as a History of National Identity Shaping

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Abstract: This paper aims at presenting the peculiarities of researching translation on the subject of national identity shaping features by an outstanding Ukrainian scholar Mykola Zerov as back as the first half of the XX century. He was among the first to give credit to the fact that the cultures of colonized countries have to struggle for their uniqueness and hence a national literature tends to acquire a set of characteristics that highlight the national identity in opposition to the assimilating or unifying processes that take place during the period of colonization. Translation is not an exception and is rather a complex system of twofold tools of actualization of a national identity: one giving a target reader the feeling that he or she is an equal part of the world cultural community, and the other enhancing the feeling of his or her national uniqueness. As it was grounded by Mykola Zerov nation shaping and/or ideological features of translations should be thoroughly researched as they take an active role in constructing the conceptual as well as the language picture of the world with a fragile reader of a developing culture.

Keywords: nation shaping, function of translation, culture, text, poetics, ideology, patronage, reader, style, genre

The overall perception of translation as a nation-shaping factor is a fairly recognized aspect of translation functionality in the contemporary translation studies in Ukraine: researches by Mykhailo Moskalenko, Roksolana Zorivchak, Maryna Novykova, Maksym Strikha, Oleksandr Cherednychenko to name a few. However,...

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