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Eithne O’Connell (SALIS, Dublin City University) The Diversity of Linguistic Diversity: Summing up the differences and commonalities.

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Presentation on theme: "Eithne O’Connell (SALIS, Dublin City University) The Diversity of Linguistic Diversity: Summing up the differences and commonalities."— Presentation transcript:

1 Eithne O’Connell (SALIS, Dublin City University) The Diversity of Linguistic Diversity: Summing up the differences and commonalities across language communities

2 Translation is a key enabling mechanism of linguistic diversity- otherwise chaos in multilingual situations or isolation Translation is too often underestimated even by linguists/media producers as a purely technical matter: A in L1>B in L2. In fact, A in L1 can become B, C, D... in L2, depending on factors such as language pair, context, text type, purpose etc.

3 Translation supports linguistic diversity by Increasing visibility of different languages, their speakers and/or their cultures, creating openness and interest

4 Translation (especially AVT audiovisual translation) relating to children and MLs

5 Providing employment to linguists Improving accessibility (e.g. subtitles, dubbing) Fostering casual and formal language learning/linguistic/literacy skills development in both children and adults: standard subtitles for beginners; reverse subtitles for intermediate; intralingual subtitles for advanced. Implications for ML audiences?

6 Translation censorship (indiv./state/corporate) Third Code: translated texts differ linguistically from original language texts (even if written by the same author). Features include explication, normalisation, simplification etc. Exposure to large quantities of translations causes adoption of source language features (e.g. Herbst : USA TV in German).Implications for ML children heavily reliant on dubbing/ST?

7 Translation (no matter how good) can never be neutral: question of interpretation, multiple possible readings ( and translations) of the same text Translation (only) hints at the riches of linguistic diversity

8 Fluent translation strategies obliterate the differences between languages and cultures even though semantic fields do not overlap Translation can work against linguistic diversity as colonisation removing the need to LEARN other languages

9 Session 11

10 Thousand/millions of speakers High/low status One territory/ transnational All domains/limited domains Oral/written expression Intergeneration transmission Yes/No Codified standards/competing varieties LP, e.g. terminology committees/laissez faire

11 Old terminology does not capture current realities/complexities Most languages now minoritized in relation to English New low cost communication possibilities offered by digital media making traditional top- down LP harder to implement Bottom-up LP easier

12 Scope for new cooperative (top/bottom) hybrid LP practices based on experience of fan- subtitling/dubbing and crowdsourcing for translation Languages increasingly subordinated to English and used outside territory of origin and/or virtually Most languages happy to scramble for second place

13 Some languages other than English are consolidating their position in institutions EU/UN etc. Some will benefit from increased multilingualism

14 Territory (exclusive): World language/Major language/Small language/local language Minority language/indigenous/autochthonous Regional language/variety/dialect Mediacentric spaces (inclusive): Josu/Edorta Geolinguistic/transnational/public sphere; spericules/global private spaces/transcultural

15 Terminology and discourse needs to be revised/updated Old discourse which links Irish to Catalan, while distinguishing between Catalan and Danish. New discourse of EU (not nations states) as a public sphere and language speakers and language use and multilingualism in context may be more productive and unifying


17 1. Policy and Practice: Top-down/Bottom up (International/national/country/region/local)

18 2. Terminological Diversity and Consequences: Terminology as institutionalised field

19 3. Socio-political approaches/ideological objectives: assimilationist; additive; multicultural; segregated linguistic and cultural independence etc; identities.

20 4. Methodological Issues: e.g. Indigeneity and Research; “Languaging” and approaches to linguistic diversity; Permeable and impermeable language frameworks

21 5. Sociological Practices: Education/Media and Policy Objectives

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