Edited by Nitsa Ben-Ari, Patricia Godbout, Klaus Kaindl and Shaul Levin
[Translation and Interpreting Studies 11:3] 2016
► pp. 436–456
Language, politics, and the nineteenth-century French–Canadian official translator
This article aims to contribute to the history of Canadian official translators by looking at three activist translators who were also published writers in post-confederation nineteenth-century Canada. All three francophone official translators “exiled” to Ottawa, the newly designated capital of the young confederation, were actively engaged in creating francophone spaces in and from which they could promote French-Canadian cultures and the French language. Refusing to submit passively to Anglo-dominated government authorship and to the increasingly anglicized Canadian landscape, they coordinated their efforts to carve out a distinct and distinctive place for Canadian francophones. Their weapon of choice in confronting Anglo-Canadian hegemony was authorship. From historical narrative, to novels, caustic songs and nationalist poetry, their writings nurtured pride in the shared history of French-Canadians from different backgrounds — despite the traumatic Grand Dérangement and Conquête — and generated hope for the future of their nation(s).