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Translation in a Globalised World

Newmark, Peter (2023)
Translation in a Globalised World.
In: Zeitschrift für Interkulturellen Fremdsprachenunterricht : ZIF, 2003, 8 (2/3)
doi: 10.26083/tuprints-00012404
Article, Secondary publication, Publisher's Version

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Item Type: Article
Type of entry: Secondary publication
Title: Translation in a Globalised World
Language: English
Date: 2023
Place of Publication: Darmstadt
Year of primary publication: 2003
Publisher: Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Darmstadt
Journal or Publication Title: Zeitschrift für Interkulturellen Fremdsprachenunterricht : ZIF
Volume of the journal: 8
Issue Number: 2/3
DOI: 10.26083/tuprints-00012404
Corresponding Links:
Origin: Secondary publication from TUjournals

Nowadays, in a global context, change is an irritating vogue word, as well as apparently a more conspicuous fact than it has ever been before. Public figures are so obsessed by delivering change, that they regard this as their only purpose, their only criterion, and their only frame of reference. A prominent translation scholar, Mona Baker, has suggested (informal communication) that any book on translation studies is out of date three years after its publication; I would suggest that any book of any kind that is out of date three years after its publication is not worth reading, and should never have been written, let alone published. And I suggest that whilst many things do not change fast enough, the most important things, like artistic truth - in Giotto, in Rembrandt, in Goya, in the face of a doctor in a 6th Century sculpture in Rhodes - do not change at all. The object of this paper is to consider to what extent globalisation changes the essence and the modes of translation. Globalisation, which is a complex term, may be defined as the process enabling financial and investment markets to operate internationally, largely as a result of deregulation and continuously improved and intensified communication. Further, globalisation is often identified with the World Trade Organization (the WTO), an international body concerned with promoting and regulating trade on a world scale between its member states. It was established in 1995 as a successor to GATT, the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs, a treaty, inspired by the great Keynes and signed fifty years earlier to promote trade by reducing or eliminating tariffs and import quotas. WTO conferences were protested in the name of antiglobalisation at Seattle, Kyoto and Genoa. Globalisation, internationally, has either a positive or a negative sense, which in each case is not far removed from the way capitalism used to be described. Historically it has been, positively, a uniquely powerful means of wealth creation; negatively, however, it is a means of hierarchisation, of promoting huge disparities in wealth, leading to various culture-bound linguistic descriptions such as: affluent, wealthy, the well to do, the haves, the well-off, aise, riche, reich, wohlhabend, vermögend, begütert. These descriptions are further defined, in connoting goodness as opposed to badness, by their contextual tone, which in translation has to be assessed by a common criterion. Globalisation tends to be identified either with multinationals and world-wide distribution of wealth, or with huge disparities of incomes. Moreover, when one turns to particulars, it is associated with genetically modified food, in contrast with organic food; with the rapid growth of international trade in finished goods and services; with the extension of free international markets that flow across borders; and with the slow convergence of consumer tastes in all countries. Freedoms are positive qualities, but they are also associated with ‘the weak to the wall’ and ‘the devil takes the hindmost’ (Arthur Hugh Clough). Symbolically, globalisation is associated with the Holocaust and with the 11th September Twin Tower catastrophe, both of which successively promoted two immense dualisms: democracy and racism; the West and the desperate. Critics of globalisation theory, on the other hand, argue that in an increasingly globalised world, characterized by historically exceptional degrees of economic and social interdependence at all levels and ranks from the personal to the international, vast and continuous migrations from Fourth World countries seek either political asylum or a higher economic standard of living in ‘the West’; but they refuse any linguistic, cultural and religious assimilation in their new homes, and reject communication and the assistance that for instance translation can offer; therefore globalisation leads to tensions, riots and terrorism which is the deliberate murder of innocent civilians. (Note that the EU constantly wrestles with the costs of translation; this is peanuts compared to the cost of mass foreign language education, which must come).

Status: Publisher's Version
URN: urn:nbn:de:tuda-tuprints-124040
Classification DDC: 400 Language > 400 Language, linguistics
Divisions: 02 Department of History and Social Science > Institut für Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft > Sprachwissenschaft - Mehrsprachigkeit
Date Deposited: 24 May 2023 17:03
Last Modified: 24 May 2023 17:11
URI: https://tuprints.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/id/eprint/12404
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