Translation as cultural mediation: the translation of Junot Díaz books

Livia Santos de Souza


This article has as its object the translations of the Dominican American writer Junot Díaz to Spanish, with special emphasis on the work of the Cuban-born translator Achy Obejas. Author of a short but remarkable work, Díaz elaborates his narratives in a variety of English that often incorporates elements of Spanish. His writing poetics includes the lexicon of Caribbean Spanish and syntactic structures and proper rhythm of his native language, which results in a strongly hybrid text. The translation of this text into a language that is so intensely present in the original is a challenge. To understand how the construction of this translation is processed, this article tries to analize the strategies used to try to keep up with the translinguistic character of these narratives. In order to reach this objective, some theoretical references are used, concepts such as the foreignizing translation, by Lawrence Venuti; translingualism; and D'Amore's considerations on translations of texts originally written in Spanglish. The analysis makes it clear that the work of Achy Obejas was largely able to give the texts in Spanish the same hybrid character present in the original ones.


Dominican-American Literature; Diasporic Literature; Foreignizing Literature; Translingualism


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