‘Teaching Bi/Multilinguals About Deconstruction is Almost Redundant’: How Migrant Experiences of Bi/Multilingualism Must (Re)Shape Translation Studies.

Yara Rodrigues Fowler


This essay brings together texts and analytical methods from a literary theory, translation studies, gender studies, critical race theory, linguistics and Twitter, aiming, to emphasize a number of related points. Firstly, the necessity of intersectional reflection of the translation practices centralized and marginalised in and by Translation Studies, and national language policies more widely. For example, by the prioritization of written above oral language ability, according to a European monolingual norm, within which a second language is known and acquired through voluntary study rather than everyday use. I suggest that the study of translation is always the study of geopolitics, and should be recognised as such. Secondly, the importance of the Derridean notion of having and not-having language, and of the imperative to translate and of the untranslatable, for which, again, we should use an intersectional analysis. I suggest that the study of translation is always the study of untranslatability. Thus bi/multilingual migratory experience provides not only the subject of the study of translation, but an epistemological framework, in which what is at stake in translation can be understood.

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DOI: 10.14324/111.2057-2212.065


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