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    Translating culture in global times: an introduction

    Kramsch, C. and Zhu, Hua (2019) Translating culture in global times: an introduction. Applied Linguistics , ISSN 0142-6001. (In Press)

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    Abstract

    This special issue is a spin-off from the colloquium of the same title at AILA World Congress in Rio 2017 and took inspiration from the Translating Cultures programme by the Arts and Humanities Research Council of the UK. The papers all grapple with issues of diversity and the translation of experience across social and cultural domains, whether as overt, covert or translanguaging processes and they explore the impact of global information and communication technologies on these processes. The first paper by Juliane House lays the ground for understanding the process of translation itself. The four subsequent papers by Kramsch, Zhu Hua et al, Johnson and Park examine four different sites where cultural translation forms the core of the activity under study: foreign language classrooms in California, a karate club in London, a family with the deaf child of a hearing mother in the U.S., and the workplace of a multinational corporation in Singapore. They each deal with the commodification of language and the attempts to make untranslatable experiences translatable across cultural boundaries. Even though language teachers, karate club owners, hearing technology manufacturers and multinational corporations attempt to break down these boundaries through various means: the use of a common global language (Kramsch; Zhu Hua et al.), cochlear implants (Johnson), or diversity management techniques (Park), there is always an untranslatable residue that reveals unbridgeable cultural differences. The sixth paper, by David Gramling discusses the futuristic vision of the computer industry currently building algorithms of perfect and total translatability across languages. In the Commentaries section which serves as a coda, all the contributors were invited to reflect on the main theme of this special issue and to enter into dialogue with one another.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication following peer review. The version of record is available online at the link above.
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Applied Linguistics and Communication
    Depositing User: Zhu Hua
    Date Deposited: 13 May 2019 14:23
    Last Modified: 29 Jul 2019 10:15
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/27464

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