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Disability and/in translation: The right to self-describe

In cooperation with the Goethe-Institutes in North-Western Europe, poco.lit. hosted an online discussion about disability and/in translation. Khairani Barokka and Amy Zayed shared valuable insights. This is an overview of the discussion spanning particular terms in relation to disability, pragmatic suggestions for translators and the connection between disability justice and anti-colonialism.

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Of whale sharks and homemakers – for gender-sensitive translation

Anyone who wants to do a quick translation is probably happy to fall back on technological aids once in a while: Google Translate, Linguee or DeepL are widely known by now. But machine translation can prevent linguistic progress or the successful establishment of non-discriminatory language. Translation programmes draw from already existing texts – and these are far from being free of discrimination. That’s why we’re excited that our macht.sprache. project will be able to develop an integration with existing translation websites to support gender-sensitive translation with the help of the Prototype Fund.

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Where Jhumpa Lahiri finds herself linguistically

Jhumpa Lahiri wrote her latest novel in Italian. Afterwards she translated it into English herself. The deliberate shift in her own language focus invites me to question several things: the linguistic pressure to conform that migrants of Colour often experience. And the common idea that people can only express themselves well in one language – their mother tongue.

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What’s in a foreword? On translator’s notes

Translators make decisions that have an enormous impact on how texts arrive in linguistic contexts beyond the language they were written in. Especially in literary translation, many of these decisions are related to questions of aesthetics and style. But these are also, as our macht.sprache. project is making increasingly clear, decisions with political undertow and ramifications. The translator’s note is often a moment that allows translators to communicate to their readers the considerations that went into their decision-making.

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Nathacha Appanah
Tropic of Violence

Attempts to flee to Europe don’t only happen via the Mediterranean Sea, but also in the Indian Ocean. There lies the island of Mayotte, an overseas territory of France. Nathacha Appanah’s new book explores flight and the fate of boys on Mayotte.

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Discrimination, language, and translation tools

Many people who find their cultural activities increasingly moving into the realm of the virtual might find themselves working more and more with translation tools. Yet these tools, and the translations they offer, tend to suffer from biases embedded into their making.

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