Translation in the global cultural economy: asymmetries, difference and identity.
Palavras-chave:Globalization and translation, power differentials, asymmerical relationships.
ResumoWhile globalization per se (and the related topic of global cultural homogeneity) does not in and of itself exhaust the range of relevant questions about translation in the contemporary world, it is here argued that a focus on globalization is a promising route to the reflection on issues of asymmetries, difference and identity in translation. One of such issues would be the role of translation in responding to the march of the overall globalization process toward the making of the entire world into a single space. Within this context, this paper (i) interrogates Appadurai’s (1990) framework for the cultural study of globalization so as to problematize the metaphor of the “fractals” for global cultural interactions by exploring what this metaphor leaves in the dark; (ii) draws on Asad’s (1986) comments on “The Inequality of Languages and on Jacquemond’s (1992) view of the inequality in the global translation flux; and, finally, (iii) makes the connection of these views with translation as the central issue in all communication and sociopolitical interaction between the ‘first’ and the ‘third’ worlds, suggesting that questions dealing with the relative power and prestige of cultures – with matters of dominance, submission and resistance – might profitably move center stage in translating, in translation teaching and in the analysis of translations. The questions informing the reflections are: To what extent does globalization exhibit the effects of domination by the power centers of global culture? To what extent can globalization be said to impact upon translation as regards “the asymmetrical power relationship between the various local vernaculars and the one master-language of our post-colonial world, English”?
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