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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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Discourse of Racism in Translation Perspective

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Abstract: This article focuses on one of the social aspects of translation – its role in constructing identity in the modern globalized word, more specifically, anti-racist identity. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee promotes the idea of the denial of racism in its “old” forms, thus bringing this idea to forefront of translation studies. Translating this novel into Ukrainian and Russian in the second half of the XXth century was not a political, but a cultural enterprise. In their efforts to render certain linguistic expressions as elements of the “language of racism”, translators faced the necessity to find Ukrainian or Russian equivalents verbalizing the concept of racism. Challenges arose from the fact that racist social practices were alien to the target cultures, which accounted for the lack of shared knowledge and the absence of its linguistic representation. In solving the problem, translators employed domestication, finding functional equivalents or demonstrating their creativity in inventing some. Foreignization resulted in some losses, which were insignificant, and on the whole translation was successful due to compensation.

Keywords: identity, racism, translation, cultural differences, domestication, foreignization

1 Introduction

In the recent decades, the concept of identity has become part of translators’ agenda, as the scope of this notion overlaps with translation studies theoretical interest, namely it concerns the issue of the role translation plays in the construction of an identity (Gonzales 2016). According to G. Izenberg, identity can be approached as “substantive self-definition <…> which purportedly determines...

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