Asymmetry in translating heterolingualism: A Singapore case study

Lee, Tong King (2009) Asymmetry in translating heterolingualism: A Singapore case study. Perspectives - Studies in Translatology, 17 1: 63-75. doi:10.1080/09076760902825925

Author Lee, Tong King
Title Asymmetry in translating heterolingualism: A Singapore case study
Journal name Perspectives - Studies in Translatology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0907-676X
Publication date 2009-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/09076760902825925
Volume 17
Issue 1
Start page 63
End page 75
Total pages 13
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Abstract Using two plays and their translations as texts, this article explores how heterolingualism is treated in Chinese–English and English–Chinese literary translation in Singapore. It is observed that the ways in which heterolingualism is negotiated between source and target texts are asymmetric between the two translation directions. Specifically, while traces of code-switching tend to be effaced in Chinese–English translation, such traces tend to be increased in the reverse translation direction. By locating this finding within the reception contexts of the original and translated plays, and on the basis of Bakhtin's conceptualisation of linguistic varieties in discourse as social voices, it is hypothesised that the treatment of heterolingualism in literary translation is contingent on the extent to which one language lends itself to code-switching in another language, which is in turn indexical of the relative power of these languages. Textual choices in translation are thus subject to the influence of language ideological factors.
Keyword Heteroglossia
Social voices
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Languages and Cultures Publications
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Created: Thu, 03 Sep 2009, 07:58:38 EST by Mr Andrew Martlew on behalf of School of Languages and Cultures