Political translation

Chantal Gagnon
Concordia University
Table of contents

When studying political translation, two different objects of study are to be considered: translation of political texts and translation as a political statement. In both cases, the meaning of the adjective “political” is central to the analysis. With Chilton and Schäffner (1997: 212), we posit that a text or an action is likely to be political if it involves power or resistance. Hence, texts are political when produced by a politician, but also when they contain some form of power struggle. The translations of a political speech, of a controversial play and of a newspaper editorial are good examples of translated political texts. Translation as a political behaviour also covers a wide range of items, including activist translation, feminist translation and cannibalistic translation. Further, Translation Studies itself can be political, in the sense that the analysis is trying to engage in a debate. For reasons of space, the present piece will mainly deal with the analysis of translated political texts. But Gender in translation, Committed approaches and activism or Post-colonial literatures and translation are also all related to translation as a political statement.

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