Translation and Ideology: When Faithfulness Becomes a Luxury in Translation

Document Type: Research Paper


1 MA, Department of Foreign Languages, University of Isfahan, Isfahan

2 Assistant Professor, University of Isfahan, Isfahan


Every discourse, written or oral, is the conveyer of some hidden agenda of the producer, most importantly in such genres of speech as journalism, politics, propaganda, and advertisements. Given the role of translation in discourse, a difference exists between when the translator carries the ideological values of the elite in contrast with one with patriotic preferences. In this study a comparison was made between translation products resulting from the work of 15 postgraduates of translation studies viewed as freelancers and another published product carrying the elite’s ideology whose works appeared in published in the state media. The results of our comparisons, both qualitative and quantitative showed that there existed two types of difference: the ideology of the elite on the one hand, and the preferred culture related valuesof the freelancers on the other. The differences revealed that both groups translated under the influence of some pre-disposed influence dividable into different categories. Employing strategies of manipulation would be considered as an identity marker showing the social identity of the translator. The effect could be either their cultural preferences or, in contrast, the elite’s favorable set of preferences imposed on both the translator and the product of translation. 



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