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Translating Multilingual Singapore. An Anthological Perspective

Author/Editor: Lee, Tong King

Year of publication: 2010

Place of Publication & Publisher: Babel (Amsterdam: John Benjamins), 56(1), 2010: 64-89

Publisher URL: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/jbp/bab

ISBN/ISSN: 0521-9744

Publication blurb:

This paper explores the ideological function of translation in negotiating power relations among languages in multilingual Singapore. Based on an analysis of the discursive roles of translation in multilingual literary anthologies published between 1985 and 2008, the paper argues that the power relation between English and the mother tongue languages has shifted over the past two decades. Central to this ideological shift is translation, the underlying discursive mechanism in all multilingual publications in Singapore. It has been found that the potential of a language to be translated into, as opposed to its being translated out of, is directly proportional to its symbolic capital in a multilingual society. It has also been predicted that the future trend in multilingual literary translation in Singapore will tend towards a multi-directional approach whereby the four official languages engage one another multilaterally in a complex dynamic of translation relations. 

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