As political conflict is increasingly played out in the international arena, the role of translators and interpreters, as participants in this environment, is a key concern for us all. Translation and Conflict: A Narrative Account draws on narrative theory, and examples from historical as well as contemporary conflicts, to examine how translation functions in the context of conflict and violence.
Mona Baker argues that translators are placed in a complex position inside a multitude of narratives, and are not, and cannot possibly be, the 'honest brokers' we imagine, as illustrated by the increasing number of activist communities of translators. Presenting an original and coherent model of analysis which focuses on both translation and interpretation, Baker shows how the narrative location of the source text is maintained, undermined or adapted, and that far from being an adjunct to social and political developments, translation is a crucial component of the process that makes these developments possible in the first place.
Given an increased interest in the positioning of translators in politically sensitive situations, as in the case of Katharine Gunn at GCHQ, and in settings such as Guantanamo Bay, Iraq and Kosovo, this book is a timely exploration of the importance of the role of translators and interpreters to the political process.
Including research questions and further reading suggestions at the end of each chapter, Translation and Conflict: A Narrative Account will be of interest to students on courses in translation, intercultural studies and sociology as well as the reader interested in the study of social and political movements.
Mona Baker is Professor of Translation Studies and Director of the Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies, University of Manchester. She is author of In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation; Editor of The Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies, Founding Editor of The Translator, and Vice President of the International Association of Translation and Cultural Studies.