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National Identity in Translation


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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Translations of Yiddish Literature into Lithuanian in Apžvalga Weekly (1935–1940)


Abstract: The paper focuses on the role of the Lithuanian-language Jewish weekly Apžvalga (1935–1940) in the emergence of translation tradition of Yiddish literature into Lithuanian. The weekly positioned itself as a Jewish periodical in the Lithuanian language. Translations of Yiddish literature played a two-fold role: it was a vehicle of cultural diplomacy (familiarizing of the local majority with Jewish culture) but also a hallmark of a new Jewish identity (being Jewish via Lithuanian). The translated authors included both well-established names and aspiring new authors from Lithuania. Despite the limited space, many translations are provided with metatexts (footnotes, short prefaces etc.), which gives evidence of Lithuanian translation culture. Most of translations was completed by ethnic Jews well-versed in both languages but there are some collective translations completed by Lithuanian language learners, which is rather unusual.

Keywords: Lithuania, Yiddish language, Lithuanian language

1 Introduction

The article explores translations of Yiddish fiction published in the Jewish Lithuanian-language weekly Apžvalga (Review) that appeared in Kaunas (1935–1940). The main purpose is to describe the emergence of tradition of translations from Yiddish into Lithuanian and the features of the genre of translations serialized in periodicals. Despite a long history of coexistence, everyday encounters and working knowledge of Lithuanian among Jews (and sometimes of Yiddish among Lithuanians), Jews and Lithuanians remained cultural strangers for a variety of reasons that remain outside the scope of this article (for more information see Sužiedėlis 2004). First...

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