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
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.