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Language Politics and Identity in Translation: From a Monolingual Text to Multilingual Text in Chinese Translations
This paper focuses on how the government-led language policies and the political changes in Taiwan manipulate the languages choice in translations and what translation strategies are employed by the translator to show his or her language ideology behind the power struggles and decision-making. Therefore, framed by Lefevere’s theoretical concept of translating as rewriting, and carried out a diachronic and chronological study, this paper specifically sets out to investigate the language ideology and translator’s idiolect of Chinese language translations of Anglo-American novels. The examples drawn to explore these issues were taken from different versions of Chinese renditions of Mark Twain’s English-language novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in which there are several different dialogues originally written in the colloquial language and dialect used in the American state of Mississippi and reproduced in Mark Twain’s works. Also, adapted corpus methodology, many examples are extracted as instances from the translated texts and source text, to illuminate how the translators in Taiwan deal with the dialectal features encoded in Twain’s works, and how different versions of Chinese translations are employed by Taiwanese translators to confirm the language polices and to express their language identity textually in different periods of the past five decades, from the 1960s onward. The finding of this study suggests that the use of Taiwanese dialect and language patterns in translations does relate to the movement of the mother-tongue language and language ideology of the translator as well as to the issue of language identity raised in the island of Taiwan. Furthermore, this study confirms that the change of political power in Taiwan does bring significantly impact in language policy-- assimilationism, pluralism or multiculturalism, which also makes Taiwan from a monolingual to multilingual society, where the language ideology and identity can be revealed not only in people’s daily communication but also in written translations.
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