Found in translation: an ongoing dialogue between theory and practice




Kell, Zola

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In this thesis I outline my theory of translation as an interpretive tool. I undertake an analysis of the concepts of heteroglossia, hybridity, and positionality, as conceived of by Mikhail Bakhtin, Homi K. Bhabha, and Linda Alcoff, respectively. These ideas function similarly: heteroglossic forces are constantly being brought to bear upon languages, the hybrid nature of culture is continually being rearticulated, and the positionality of the interpreter is always subject to change. I establish a theory that allows for translation to remain open, a theory that sees all incarnations of a text (the source and all of its translations) as being perpetually discursive, rather than fixing upon one version as the definitive or “correct” rendering. Translations occupy a fluctuating, unstable, and therefore creative location; they provide an ever-shifting temporal and spatial perspective. I translate excerpts from texts written by the Afro-German poet May Ayim and the Turkish German author Emine Sevgi Özdamar from German into English. This brings my theory into application and demonstrates both the fluidity of translation and the depth of interpretation to be found within this process.



german, germanic studies, translation, cultural studies, cultural theory, english, translate, translation theory, translation studies, language