Publication details [#8602]

Pym, Anthony. 1998. Translating the symbolic Olympics at Barcelona. URL
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language
Edition info
First published in Language and Literature Today. Proceedings of the XIXth Triennial Congress of the International Federation for Modern Languages and Literatures, Ed. Neide de Faria, Brasilia: Universidade de Brasília, 1996, vol. 1, 363-372. Article published on the website of Anthony Pym. No page numbers available.


This article is about (un)translatability. Translation is thought to be universally beneficial because it enables communication, transcultural understanding and perhaps even peace. But is translation a good thing? Dominique Colas states that “The nation-state prefers translation to linguistic pluralism. Translation maintains the nation-state's principle of superposing cultural and political frontiers, whereas linguistic pluralism undoes that principle by affirming multiple cultural loyalties.” Colas is careful to diversify the argument. But the fact remains that nation-states are interested enough to invest money in translation, subsidizing translators and developing national translation policies. The relations between translation and nationalism can be studied on many levels. The author investigates the role played by translation and language policy at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. The Barcelona Olympics had to deal with nationalism on two main levels: the microcosm of Barcelona as a bilingual city and the macrocosm of the games as a truly global event, with participants from almost all nations and television viewers in almost all nations. Pym investigates how the microcosm and the macrocosm were supposed to be stuck together.
Source : K. Foelen