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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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How Comprehensive? Nationality Terms in Bilingual Dictionaries

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Abstract: Nationality terms regularly appear in texts that need to be translated into other languages and should logically be included in bilingual dictionaries. However, as this study has revealed, the inclusion policies adopted by individual dictionary compilers may range from what constitutes full treatment (listing a nationality adjective), and the name (including the official name) of the country to which it refers to including the country’s name only. Additionally, it is not always clear whether the exclusion of a particular adjective denoting one’s nationality has been decided on according to some previously established criteria or in a more haphazard manner. The only thing we can be sure about is the consequences of a compiler’s decision to include (or not to include) for a translator – particularly serious at times when Internet searches were still a matter of distant future and when, in consequence, the only source s/he could turn to would be a specialist dictionary of geographical names (on condition such a dictionary for the language pair in question existed) or – when what was needed was encyclopedic information – encyclopedias or linguistic dictionaries with a strong encyclopedic component.

Keywords: nationality terms, bilingual dictionary in translation

1 Introductory Remarks

When one is translating from English, the source texts one is working on may have nationality1 encoded by means of a nationality adjective (e.g. He’s Polish).2 ←147 | 148→Reversely, if it is a Polish text that one needs to render into another language, information on...

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