Translation Studies and mass media research

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Taking Israel as a case-study, this paper argues that Translation Studies can contribute to research dealing with multilingualism and multiculturalism as reflected in the mass media. Following ideological and demographic changes in Israeli society, the use of languages other than Hebrew is nowadays apparent in the public as well as in the private sphere. The change is clearly recognizable in Israeli mass media, all the more so because in the age of trans-national broadcasts, keeping multilingualism under control is no longer feasible. Socio-linguists and communication researchers have investigated the new situation. Distinguishing between Hebrew and non-Hebrew media, they have sought answers to questions such as: What is the impact of the exposure to foreign languages on the globalization and Americanization of Israel? What are the implications of using minority languages – mainly Arabic and Russian – for social integration, and how does it affect the construction of social identity? However, research has usually ignored translation which blurs the very distinction between media in Hebrew and other languages. The present paper attempts to point out what can be gained by taking translation into consideration in investigating the media in Israel and possibly in other countries. It deals mainly with Israeli television which provides translation into Hebrew, Arabic and Russian on a daily basis.


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