Translation and peace:Arabic, English and Hebrew versions of Israeli-Palestinian peace initiatives

Ayyad, Ahmad (2011). Translation and peace:Arabic, English and Hebrew versions of Israeli-Palestinian peace initiatives. PHD thesis, Aston University.

Abstract

The present thesis examines Palestinian-Israeli peace initiatives as politically negotiated texts and their different Arabic, English and Hebrew language versions. Its aim is to make a contribution to a deeper understanding of the role of translation and recontextualization of politically negotiated texts in situations of ongoing contemporary conflict. In modern Translation Studies, although research exists on the translation of political texts following functional (e.g. Schäffner 2002) or systemic-linguistic (e.g. Calzada-Pérez 2001) approaches or applying narrative theory (Baker 2006), peace initiatives and politically negotiated texts are still a largely under-researched genre of political texts. The thesis – which takes 31 Arabic, English and Hebrew language versions of 5 different Palestinian-Israeli peace initiatives as its corpus – operates within the framework of product-oriented Descriptive Translation Studies (Lambert and Van Gorp 1985) and Critical Discourse Analysis (Fairclough 1992). For all of the peace initiatives analysed, there exist several language versions which were made available in different contexts by different institutions and for different readerships and purposes. The thesis pursues a top-down approach. It begins with presenting the socio-cultural and political contexts of the production of the original versions of the respective peace initiatives (the source texts) and their different language versions (target texts), focusing on their underlying functions and principles of audience design. It then moves to examine how the textual profiles of the language versions of peace initiatives reflect aspects of ideology, political affiliation and power relations at both the macro- and micro-structural levels. The final step is to account for these aspects in terms of socio-political and institutional conditions of the production of the translations. The overall textual analysis demonstrates that when translated, peace initiatives can be interpreted differently by different institutions in their attempt to promote their respective political interests and narratives. Also, it is very frequently that translations produced in one specific institutional context are recontextualised for use in another one. Such recontextualisation goes hand in hand with further textual amendments. To summarize, the thesis demonstrates how these translations – as products – are (re)framed and (re)contextualized in different institutional settings in order to serve different purposes. These texts, thus, play different roles in situations of ongoing contemporary conflict depending on the institutional context in which they are presented and the purposes they set to serve. These main findings make an original contribution to the discipline of Translation Studies in respect of emphasizing the need to study translations in their socio-political, historical and institutional contexts.

Divisions: Languages & Social Sciences > Translation Studies
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Institution: Aston University
Uncontrolled Keywords: Peace initiatives,translation studies,ideology,power relations,translation institutions,Palestinian-Israeli conflict
Completed Date: 2011

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