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Translation as dialogue

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Abstract

This paper deals with the contributions of the work of the Russian philosopherMikhail Bakhtin to the understanding of the nature of translation. It is suggested that recent attempts to “translate” Bakhtinian dialogism into a theory of language and communication offer the possibility of seeing language and culture as interwoven, interacting entities, hence demonstrating how translation is a truly “linguacultural” enterprise. The way in which linguistic items and cultural elements are put into dialogue with one another in source texts, and how this process and its results somehow have to be mirrored in the target text, is demonstrated by way of an example involving a case of failed translation, i.e. a machine translation.

References

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