Translation Gap

TRANSLATION—Bridging the Gap Between Languages to Foster Cultural Equality

I thought in this post today to take a slightly different angle on the subject of translation.  I thought to tackle the subject from the humanistic perspective and the effect of translation on humans and their native languages in general.

You see the issues about language have always been all over the places because it is that same language that represents individuals. So, folks don’t want to stay down whenever their language is being discussed or described in a bad mood. Denis Wise, the English former football manager, was not disconcerted that foreigners who could barely communicate a bit of English dominated his players. But he had the courage that it was a matter of time that they would understand how to communicate, as he had the intention of walking them through on how they could communicate effectively in the English language. Similarly, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, was of this same opinion. The Times Newspaper in January featured one of his writings where he made mention of the British Muslim women with low proficiency in the English language. He believed that this would in the actual sense slow down their development of social integration, and to stop or correct this from happening, Cameron suggests the women should face their worst nightmare and learn how to communicate fluently in the English language. As a matter of fact that this politician can seriously suggest this incredible assertion shows the level at which linguistic diversity has turned to a big problem in our large, extended, multilingual, multiethnic, multicultural and post-industrial societies.

The present situation that borders on the migration crisis is unparalleled to a time that is remembered by people still alive, and it sadly shows how vast population deracination can turn linguistic differences to a moment of disorderliness and crisis. Apparently, foreign folks that find it difficult to communicate in the first language of a country might end up being isolated or treated like a second class citizen, when this consistently happens in a country, it leads to a division which reduces the development of such a country. Nonetheless, this problem could be sorted out by translating from one language to another, and from one tradition to another.


Translation is not a concept that is commonly discussed in the media or even amongst the general populace where there are classes of people ranging from the highly marginalised to the top class folks. However, research that came up recently discussed the role of translation in the war zone, but it only focused on the opinion and propositions of the political elite instead of having the discussion centred on the known linguistic challenges that are being faced daily by the weak masses. This worrisome since power inequalities in any society are reflected in its language. A good example is Lin Kenan writing that discusses how translation has the potential to influence social transformation in China. 

Globalisation has created all sorts of principles in this present age. It’s no more a new thing that there are some groups of folks that are usually forbidden to participate in the politics of their country as a result of ethnicity, nationality, gender and social class. Hence so from this, t is important to deliberate on the function translation carries out in all of this, and if it can ever enhance or liberate the disenfranchise- or only to mount more pressures on them. Lawrence Venuti, the tendentious translation expert, has impressively described that perpetual translations could indefinitely extend socio-political inequality. Furthermore in his point of view, translation is not a harmful activity that enhances or develops communication – it can establish unevenness by strengthening the highest authority of the dominating cultures.
Recently, research begins to examine these complicated issues. Israel Hephzibah, a translation theorist, considers a group of folks in Dalit India that specialise in English translation of Tamil literature. However, this translation has created severe disorder in the traditional caste hierarchy system of the Indians as the literary credibility is placed on the marginalised group. Therefore, situations like this translate to the fact that translation can be very much related to or influence social injustice. 

The issue now is that the agitated endangered language and culture has mixed up the whole situation. According to UNESCO, the entirety of the world language of 50-90% will have gone into extinction by the year 2100. Over the years, the trend of indigenous text translation-whether oral or written has always depleted the language viability most especially in a situation where there are less surviving native speakers. On the flip side, translating into an endangered language can incredibly facilitate it. Unfortunately, a vast majority of the people appreciate vanishing language more than the endangered types- most especially lovable ones. An instance of this was the case of Klallam language that belonged to the Native American, which eventually died in the year 2014, after confirming the death of its last speaker in the person of Hazel Sampson. Much news organisation didn’t think it wise to give the news a cursory mention it deserved, and even many translation experts were not convinced about that development. For instance, Emily Apter stated expressed that she has “real reservation” about integrated translation studies and Eco-linguistics- a study that focuses on how languages communicate with their environment. 

Subsequently, Apter discussed how romanticization of expressions and every other unique feature of a language by native speakers could lead to the imposition of a static grammar where natural species is expected to be employed. In reality, there are many different situations in which some are faced with a sizable amount of problem while some are confronted with unbearable problems; whatever the case may be people speak language everywhere and so by no reason should any group of individuals should be considered useless or unimportant. 

In conclusion, if everyone can relate to the way translation works regarding how it can facilitate and weaken the neglected languages and cultures, then we might be compelled to have a rethink over some of our inaccurate and unhealthy assumption about language and society. But, if everything fails to work, we can positively transform the world by learning English.

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