Volume 61, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0521-9744
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9668
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Translators in Singapore face the dilemma of serving the needs of a heterogeneous population in this multi-racial and multilingual city-state and have often become the “scapegoat” in the event of a controversy arising from the translation. A case in point is the heated debate triggered by a newspaper article in the Straits Times, translated from a Chinese article in Lianhe Zaobao. Drawing on two sociological notions, that is, erasure and indexing of social identity, this paper sets out to investigate whether the translator who worked in an institutional setting positioned himself in favour of an institutionally-aligned culture and ideology in order to strengthen the institutional voice. It will first review the key concepts, namely, institutional power, ideology and positioning, and their relevance to the Singapore context, and then scrutinize the source text and its two translated versions in an effort to detect any traces of cultural and ideological shifts that lead to the controversy. The paper reveals that the translator working in an institutional setting in Singapore does align himself with the authority and the erasure of translators paradoxically jeopardizes the author’s social identity and ideological positioning.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): ideology; institution; newspaper discourse; positioning; Singapore
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