The IUP Journal of English Studies
Translation as Discourse

Article Details
Pub. Date : September, 2021
Product Name : The IUP Journal of English Studies
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJES70921
Author Name : Narasimha Rao Kedari
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Arts & Humanities
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 9



The significant developments in discourse studies, sociolinguistics, pragmatics, and semiotics, together with the new insights in the fields of conversation analysis have affected our understanding of the way communication works. Translation evolves as a useful test case for examining the role played by language in social life. Translators create a new act of communication out of the existing source text. In doing so, they act as mediators of different languages, cultures, and social conditions, while trying to negotiate the meaning between the source text (ST) and the target text (TT). This paper focuses on this complex process at work by transgressing the disciplinary boundaries of translation to study the relationship between social context and the language activity in which translation takes place. Taking note of the oldest translation practices and the medieval and the translation genre of the present times, an attempt has been made to answer the question as to what a text represents when it is translated, keeping in view a multilingual and multicultural site like India.


The original is unfaithful to the translation. (Borges 1974, 730)
Borges (1974), the Argentinian writer, argued that the aim of translation is not to be a faithful copy of the original. Every iteration has its own identity, and it is not only different from other iterations but different also from the original source. To Borges, translation altogether is a creative effort. Over the centuries, translation has been regarded both positively and negatively. Positively, because translation can provide access to new ideas and new experiences that stem from a different language community, opening horizons that would otherwise remain unknown behind the barrier of another language. Negatively, it is held that translated texts can never be "the real thing," they remain something secondhand, a kind of inferior substitute for the original. House (2018, 9) says, "Translators are valued because their act of mediating between different languages, cultures, and societies provides an important service for people who only speak their mother tongue."