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The Politics Of Language In The English Translation Of Yajnaseni

3102 words - 12 pages

Language is the medium through which a text communicates to the society. Or in other words language expresses reality. However it also acts as a manipulative tool, and instrument of control and power: “any language use is a site for power relations” (Venuti, 1998:9). Power can undoubtedly be expressed through ideologies and ideologies are clearly linked to language because its use is the commonest form of behaviour. And over the period of times these ideologies are unquestionably canonized in the form of discourse. The relationship between these three issues may help people understand better how language contributes to the domination of some people by other.
Like other acts of writing, translation is also a form of communication, which belongs to a world of roles, values and ideas. This is especially true because translation is in itself an intently relational act, one which establishes connections between text and culture, between author and reader. Moreover translations, unlike the original works are always governed by ideological compulsions: “Creative art might owe its origin to purely aesthetic reason (the aesthetic principles may however be indirectly linked to social praxis), but the need of translation is more ideological than aesthetic.” (Dash, 2005: 149). And as it is the translator/translatress who codes, decodes the ST and (re)creates the TT, his/ her assumptions, world view, belief, values or in broader sense ‘ideology’ consciously or unconsciously is reflected in the translation. Ian Mason in his essay “Discourse, Ideology and Translation” (2009) says that the translation at various levels both semantic and lexical reflects the translator’s ideology whether consciously or unconsciously. His choice of word and arrangement (texture) of their texts may “cumulatively project variant discourses and thus point to different underlying ideologies” (2009:141). Thus the aims and impact of the works of translators take shape in interaction with this world.
This paper will investigate not only the role of English in translation, but also the function/impact of English translation of a doubly marginalised text both from the point of view of language and canon on the source culture. It would try to find out whether the English translation of an Oriya Novel Yajnaseni written by a woman is successful in foregrounding the marginalised i.e. voicing the woman, or, it is subversive to the very culture which produces the English translation. A comparative method involving the ST and the TT at para textual and textual level would be used to conduct the research.
Yajnaseniis an Odia novel written by Pratibha Ray. Though the text on the surface level has epic grandeur with the story of Draupadi of Mahabharata, however, there are other important facets which contribute to make the text a marginalise literature. First of all it is written in a language which is called oriental without any canonical significance....

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