Funny Thing about Mr. Clavel
The OTTIAQ Ethics Seminar

The Meanings of "Translation"

Au fait, what is translation? Yea yea, what's word "x" in "y" language...that's the definition with the least subtlety. The quintessential elephant in the china shop.

I have recently been investigating translation in the context of advertisement. Now that's waayyy more delicate. So delicate that we all like to refer to it as "adaptation" and not all out translation. The word is of no consequence, almost. Everything surrounding the word though, makes up the juice, the meat, the stuff you have to analyze in order to render "x" into "y" language. So what is this meaty stuffing made of? Bottom line, the product. Then, you build up from there. All that infamous market research comes into play for your target audience. Add the (very real) notion of globalization and you need to break it down into age groups..because that is the one thing that doesn't really change throughout all the (media hungry, consumerist) cultures of the world.

So I guess translation, once again, becomes the tool for control (selling stuff). Could it be a simple transposition of colonial translation as seen through the eyes of companies trying to sell their products? Replace the colonizer by the company? Are we all becoming "colonized"?

Hmmm. This needs a bit more research here. But what do you think? I would be very interested in finding out.


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