Palma (Mallorca) from 27 to 29 June 2016
I International Conference:
The (politics of) translation (of politics)

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General programme, activity sheet

Wednesday 29 June, 2016 12:20 to 12:40 Oral Communication
All Belgians are equal, but some languages are more equal than others? 19th century parliamentarians and their translation beliefs.
Speaker: Bieke Nouws, KU Leuven

Authors: Bieke Nouws

In translation studies, the importance of translation to multilingual countries today is widely acknowledged and interest has increased in the translation of non-commercial (e.g. administrative and legal) documents : a key feature in multilingual nation-states, which were numerous at the time ideals of equal rights and national integration emerged. Yet, translation scholars still have difficulty penetrating the disciplines that this research could be advanced by and add to the most, such as political history. Much as we might learn from previous attempts at managing multilingual states, these two fields have so far only flirted. Given today’s massive migration and attempts at running a polylingual European Union, maybe they now should get married and have babies, read: sensible translation policies, informed by history. This doesn’t mean that studying a multitude of cases will provide us with a one-size-fits-all panacea . The case I wish to present demonstrates how (trans)national ideals (e.g one language for one nation ) interweave with context-bound realities and beliefs. It concerns the early years of Belgian Independence (1830-1880) and how parliamentarians estimated the need for translations of their (French) deliberations and decisions for the monolingual Dutch majority of citizens populating Northern Belgium . These opinions are studied as examples of translation beliefs, i.e. views on the merits, limits and desirability of certain translations, underlying translation policies, defined after Spolsky as ways of managing translation, based on translation beliefs and practices . Subsequently, the relationship will be explored between those beliefs and others, e.g. to national identity, good governance and multiculturalism, and to political routes taken.

Bieke Nouws is an MA in History, currently working as a member of the resaerch group Translation of Intercultural Transfer at KU Leuven, where, in the care of Prof. Dr. Reine Meylaerts, she is preparing a PhD on translation beliefs in nineteenth-century Belgium (1830-1914): a study that figures in a threefold interdiscplinary project covering the language, legal and historical departments, aimed at (1) mapping out the translation policies used by governments to deal with Belgiums multilingual population and (2) informing today’s policy makers on the merits and limits of translation for managing communication among individuals speaking different languages.
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Session I2
Place: Room 5

Other activities in Session I2
13:00 h. to 13:15 h.Discussion

12:40 h. to 13:00 h.Oral Communication

Politicians as translators. German political writings in Swedish translation 1885-1930.

Speaker: Ulf Norberg, Stockholm University
12:00 h. to 12:20 h.Oral Communication

La comunitarización de la traducción : ¿un proceso social o una política?

Speaker: Rosalia Barcia Malphettes, Université Paris-Sorbonne


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