On 10 February 2005, a New York jury convicted Mohamed Yousry, an Arabic interpreter and translator, of two related offenses: (1) violating US federal prison rules, called Special Administrative Measures (SAMs), designed, inter alia, to prevent high-risk inmates from communicating with confederates on the outside; and (2) aiding and abetting an Egyptian terrorist organization(U.S. v. Ahmed Abdel Sattar, Lynne Stewart, and Mohamed Yousry, 2005). By tracing Yousry’s path from judiciary interpreter to prisoner, this article explores the legislative history of the SAMs, discusses their application/misapplication and sheds light on how this landmark case transformed the professional landscape for interpreters in the United States post-9/11. To highlight some of the implications for the profession and the discipline, it draws on current literature on translation and interpreting in situations of conflict. It also positions the verdict in the larger context of US national security and offers policy suggestions geared toward protecting this increasingly vulnerable profession.
Borges and Us: Exploring the Author-Translator Dynamic in Translation Workshops
Author: Ben Van Wyke, Indiana University-Purdue University, USA
The traditional notion of the translator as someone who should remain invisible while reproducing the original and/or intentions of the author is still commonplace today in translation workshops. Although it has been radically called into question by poststructuralist theory, this type of theory often does not ‘translate’ into what students understand as the practice of the craft. The essay draws on a comparative study used with the author’s students that involved eight English versions of Jorge Luis Borges’s 1960 text ‘Borges y yo’ to indirectly introduce them to poststructuralist notions of translation, reading and authorship that can help them confront the limitations of the traditional conception of translation and assist them in developing the critical capacity to work responsibly through the complexities involved in the task of rewriting someone else’s text in another language. This activity – with its combination of close readings of the eight translations together with an analysis of the text’s plot in the context of the contemporary notion of the ‘death of the author’ – helps students discover that they cannot escape complex ethical decisions related to their agency both as readers of an ‘original’ and as authors of their translations, even when, as is the case with one of the translations, the author has collaborated with the translator.
Postcolonial Translation as Transformation: Ahdaf Souief's I Think of You
Author: Ahmad Gamal, Ain Shams University, Egypt
Like translation, postcolonial writing involves an act of mediating across languages and cultures. Texts written in English by bilingual anglophone writers often include strategies of transformation similar to those used by politically engaged translatorsto render the linguistic and cultural specificity of their source cultures. This paper examines this practice in the writing of the Egyptian novelist and cultural critic, Ahdaf Soueif (1950 - ). It discusses how in addressing a global audience of English speakers, Soueif avoids editorial intrusions and relies extensively on lexical borrowing, contextualization, historical and geographical references, colloquial conversational formulas, culture-distinct metaphors and idioms, relexification and grammatical deviation – all of which enable her English text to accommodate the Arabic language and culture. The paper argues that Soueif’s representation of the personal dilemmas of her female characters, including their physical embodiment, transgresses the dividing line between the private and the public and the sexual and the political in the Islamic-Arab world. In this way, Soueif’s delineation of female private experience in her semi-autobiographical fiction functions as a kind of cultural translation.
Revisiting the Classics
Carol Maier and Françoise Massardier-Kenney (eds): Literature in Translation: Teaching Issues and Reading Practices
Daniel Gile, Gyde Hansen and Nike K. Pokorn (eds): Why Translation Studies Matters
Christopher Rundle and Kate Sturge: Translation Under Fascism
Inger M. Mees, Fabio Alves and Susanne Göpferich (eds): Methodology, Technology and Innovation in Translation Process Research - A Tribute to Arnt Lykke Jakobsen