Migration and translation

Loredana Polezzi
Table of contents

The connection between translation and migration is a growing area of interest in Translation Studies. This increase in attention is due to a combination of factors. On the one hand, it is a consequence of the marked visibility of migration phenomena in the contemporary world and of the centrality they have acquired in the social, economic and political spheres. On the other, it is also the result of theoretical moves which have shifted the focus of Translation Studies towards cultural phenomena (see The turns of Translation Studies), the political and ethical dimensions of translation, as well as issues of power, agency and visibility. A parallel move, directly linked to language practices connected to migration, is also leading to broader definitions of translation, expanding strictly linear conceptions of the process (understood as a shift from Source to Target Language, Text and Culture), in order to encompass phenomena such as plurilingualism, heterolingualism and self- or auto-translation (Tymoczko 2006; Grutman 2006; Cronin 2006; Polezzi 2012). This move is having an impact both on macro-conceptualizations of translation (for instance, in the area of sociology of translation) and on micro-analytical approaches (such as the analysis of translation strategies). Current work on translation and migration draws on research in areas such as ethnography, post-colonial studies, globalization, or cultural translation, and it has direct links with language politics and policies, as well as with developing fields such as community interpreting (Wadensjö 1998) or with the role of interpreting and translation practices within social movements (Doerr 2012).

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Further essential reading

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Polezzi, Loredana
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