Publication details [#14196]

Veisbergs, Andrejs. 2006. East wind, west wind in translation: what the English tsunami has brought to Latvian. In Veisbergs, Andrejs, ed. Proceedings of the fourth Riga symposium on pragmatic aspects of translation. Riga: VVK, SVTN. pp. 148–168.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language


The paper looks at the language of translations as a vehicle of change of Latvian. 15 years since breaking out of the USSR Latvian faces a completely different linguistic, contact and translation situation in a globalized world. Translations, the scope of which has increased manifold now to a large extent determine the development of the Latvian language, its norms and conventions. The author exemplifies the effect of a major culture and language upon a minor one. In linguistic area this is usually seen and viewed in such processes as interference and borrowing, as well as takeover of certain contact language patterns. Regarding deeper structures it is far from clear whether one views activation of linguistic potentialities of the language under the influence of another language/culture as an interference, as a detrimental phenomenon, as linguistic and cultural imperialism or as a general standardization of languages with a consequent loss of cultural uniqueness. The answer might lie in the question: "Does such activization mean an expansion of the linguostylistic potential of the language or also ousts something traditional?". Depending on the answer the process could be viewed as negative or positive. In Latvian case, it seems that the latter is closer to the truth? Yet in any case, it hardly can be affected.
Source : A. Veisbergs