Museums are important sites for the presentation of culture, in which translation plays a key part. Translation can be understood here as referring to two levels, the interlingual and the cultural (see also Cultural approaches), a distinction summarized by Sturge (2007) as “translation in museums” versus “museums as translations”. On the first of these levels, interlingual translation is vital in catering to visitors from different linguacultural groups; on the second level, museum exhibitions “translate” cultures, constructing cultural representations (see also Cultural translation). This entry begins by examining issues at this broader representational level. It then turns to consider interlingual translation in the intersemiotic exhibition space as a part of such representational practice, before discussing questions of textual modification to suit target language visitors. The entry concludes with pointers for future inquiry.
2006 “Exhibition, Difference, and the Logic of Culture.” In Museum Frictions: Public Cultures/Global Transformations, ed. by Ivan Karp, Corinne A. Kratz, Lynn Szwaja, and Tomás Ybarra-Frausto, 46–69. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
2014 “Remembering Oradour-sur-Glane: Collective Memory in Translation.” Translation and Literature 23: 272–83.
Deganutti, Marianna, Nina Parish, and Eleanor Rowley
2018 “Representing Multilingual Difficult History: Voices of the First World War in the Kobarid Museum (Slovenia) and the Historial de la Grande Guerre (France).” Journal of Specialised Translation 29: 63–80.
2014 “Cross-cultural Pragmatics and Translation: The Case of Museum Texts as Interlingual Representation.” In Translation: A Multidisciplinary Approach, ed. by Juliane House, 73–95. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave MacMillan.
2000Museums and the Interpretation of Visual Culture. London: Routledge.
2012 “Visual Pragmatic Effects of Distance Representation in Bilingual Museum Catalogue Entries of Chinese Landscape Paintings.” Journal of Pragmatics 44 (12): 1639–1660.
2015 “One Photo, Two Stories: Chinese Photos in British Museums.” East Asian Journal of Popular Culture 1 (2): 177–191.
2008 “Translating Tea: On the Semiotics of Interlingual Practice in the Hong Kong Museum of Tea Ware.” Meta: Translators’ Journal 53 (1): 218–240.
2021 “Museums as Translation Zones”. In Routledge Handbook of Translation and Globalization, ed. by Esperança Bielsa and Dionysios Kapsaskis, 306–319. London: Routledge.
2006Museum Texts: Communication Frameworks. London: Routledge.
2007Representing Others: Translation, Ethnography and the Museum. Manchester: St. Jerome.
2012Interpreting Art in Museums and Galleries. London: Routledge.