English translation in Gujarat

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Although commonly thought to unify cultures, translation can also be used in order to create separate cultural identities. This functional complexity can be seen in the case of translation into English in the state of Gujarat, India. Although translations into English were previously seen as an index of cultural inequality, different social agents now view them in positive terms. Official policy sees translation into English as a way of projecting Gujarati culture beyond its borders; a wide range of expatriates use those translations as a means of keeping in touch with “home”; educational institutions use translation as a way of opening new subject areas in literary studies; publishers use it as a means of tapping new markets. Translation into English thus means different things to different social agents, enabling a wide consensus to emerge in its favor.


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