Translation as inclusion?
An analysis of international NGOs’ translation policy documents
International NGOs (INGOs) are important agents in delivering the UN’s sustainable development agenda, but their linguistic practices have received little attention in the field of language policy and planning. This article aims to add new insights to the field by exploring the link between INGOs’ organisational value of inclusiveness and their institutional approaches to translation. It does so through a case study of Oxfam GB’s and Tearfund’s translation policy documents. The analysis reveals that the policy documents focus on written translation into a handful of lingua francas. In other words, they largely overlook the need for interpreting and translation from and into local languages. In addition, the policy documents do not make any overt links between principles of (linguistic) inclusiveness and the need for translation. The article summarises the advantages and drawbacks of creating a translation policy, and provides guidance on linking translation policy more overtly to values of inclusiveness.
- Analytical framework and data
- Organisational background
- What do NGOs’ translation policy documents aim to regulate?
- What were the organisational circumstances that led to the creation of these policies?
- (How) can these policies contribute to organisational values, particularly aspirations of inclusion?