Edited by Luis Pérez-González
[Journal of Language and Politics 11:2] 2012
► pp. 250–272
Uncovering ideology in translation
A case study of Arabic and Hebrew translations of the ‘Roadmap Plan’
This paper examines aspects of political ideology as realised through translation in the context of a case study, the translations of the Roadmap Plan. The Roadmap is one of several peace plans or initiatives that have been launched in the last decades to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Originally drafted in English in 2003 by the Quartet, the plan was subsequently translated into Arabic and Hebrew by different institutions and news media. This paper begins by examining the textual profiles of the different Arabic and Hebrew versions, focusing on their functions and principles of audience design. This study then moves on to establish how ideological factors inform translational choices as well as the interpretation of translated texts by readers. The main body of the analysis, informed by concepts and methods of descriptive translation studies and critical discourse analysis, focuses on the translator’s mediation of proper names (including protagonists of the conflict and toponyms); instances of deliberately ambiguous or vague drafting; and politically sensitive terms (e.g. ‘normalisation’ or ‘curfew’). The concluding section accounts for the findings of the analysis in terms of the social, political, and ideological constraints shaping the different language versions of the document under scrutiny.
Cited by 1 other publications
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