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The Routledge Handbook of Translation and the City
 9781138348875, 9781032028712, 9780429436468

Table of contents :
Half Title
List of figures
List of tables
List of contributors
Introduction: thinking cities through translation
Part I Key issues
1 The translational city
2 Rewriting walls in the country you call home: space as a site for asymmetries
3 Cartography and translation: mapping and counter­mapping the city
4 Interartefactual translation: metrolingualism and resemiotization
5 Reclaiming urban spaces through translation: a practitioner’s account
Part II The macrostructures of urban translation: policies and institutions
6 Language and translation policies in a bilingual city with a multilingual population: the case of Brussels
7 Translating in occupied towns during the First World War: between hegemonic policies and local practices
8 Urban translation and the 2020 Tokyo Games
9 Remediating lost memories of the city through translation: Istanbul as a space of remembering
10 Translation in global city Singapore: a holistic embrace in a multilingual milieu?
11 Imperial translational spaces and the politics of languages in Austria­Hungary: the case of Lemberg/Lwów/Lviv
12 Cities and desires: translating Seoul
13 Translation and controversial monuments in Tallinn
Part III Counter­writing cities: translation as praxis
14 Translation as translanguaging: acts of distinction in multilingual karate clubs in London
15 Cape Town as a multilingual city: policies, experiences and ideologies
16 Translation and the struggle for urban symbolic capital in Cairo
17 Translation and trans­scripting: languaging practices in the city of Aθens
18 Counter­mapping the city in Dakar: a de­authorized translation
19 Migration, hip hop and translation zones in Delhi
20 Translation and translanguaging in artistic performances in Hong Kong
Part IV Cities in writing, translation as trope
21 Sites of translation in Melbourne
22 La flâneuse montréalaise translates
23 Phantom translation in New Orleans
24 Translation interrupted: memorial dissonance in Trieste
25 Autophagy as translation
26 Depicting a translational and transcultural city: Lagos in Nigerian writing

Citation preview

The Routledge Handbook of Translation and the City

The Routledge Handbook of Translation and the City is the first multifaceted and cross-­ disciplinary overview of how cities can be read through the lens of translation and how translation studies can be enriched by an understanding of the complex dynamics of the city. Divided into four sections, the chapters are authored by leading scholars in translation studies, sociolinguistics, and literary and cultural criticism. They cover contexts from Brussels to Singapore and Melbourne to Cairo, and topics from translation as resistance to translanguaging and urban design. This volume explores the role of translation at critical junctures of a city’s historical transformation as well as in the mundane intercultural moments of urban life, and uncovers the trope of the translational city in writing. This Handbook is critical reading for researchers, scholars and advanced students in translation studies, linguistics and urban studies. Tong King Lee is Associate Professor of Translation at the University of Hong Kong.

Routledge Handbooks in Translation and Interpreting Studies

Routledge Handbooks in Translation and Interpreting Studies provide comprehensive overviews of the key topics in translation and interpreting studies. All entries for the handbooks are specially commissioned and written by leading scholars in the field. Clear, accessible and carefully edited, Routledge Handbooks in Translation and Interpreting Studies are the ideal resource for both advanced undergraduates and postgraduate students. THE ROUTLEDGE HANDBOOK OF TRANSLATION AND COGNITION Edited by Fabio Alves and Arnt Lykke Jakobsen THE ROUTLEDGE HANDBOOK OF TRANSLATION AND ACTIVISM Edited by Rebecca Ruth Gould and Kayvan Tahmasebian THE ROUTLEDGE HANDBOOK OF TRANSLATION, FEMINISM AND GENDER Edited by Luise von Flotow and Hala Kamal THE ROUTLEDGE HANDBOOK OF TRANSLATION AND GLOBALIZATION Edited by Esperança Bielsa and Dionysios Kapsaskis THE ROUTLEDGE HANDBOOK OF TRANSLATION AND ETHICS Edited by Kaisa Koskinen and Nike K. Pokorn THE ROUTLEDGE HANDBOOK OF TRANSLATION AND HEALTH Edited by Şebnem Susam-­Saraeva and Eva Spišiaková THE ROUTLEDGE HANDBOOK OF TRANSLATION AND THE CITY Edited by Tong King Lee For a full list of titles in this series, please visit­Handbooks-­ in-­Translation-­and-­Interpreting-­Studies/book-­series/RHTI

The Routledge Handbook of Translation and the City

Edited by Tong King Lee

First published 2021 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2021 selection and editorial matter, Tong King Lee; individual chapters, the contributors The right of Tong King Lee to be identified as the author of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing-­in-­Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-­in-­Publication Data A catalog record for this book has been requested ISBN: 978-­1-­138-­34887-­5 (hbk) ISBN: 978-­1-­032-­02871-­2 (pbk) ISBN: 978-­0-­429-­43646-­8 (ebk) Typeset in Times New Roman by Apex CoVantage, LLC

Contents List of figures viii List of tables x List of contributors xi Acknowledgementsxvii

Introduction: thinking cities through translation Tong King Lee



Key issues


  1 The translational city Sherry Simon


  2 Rewriting walls in the country you call home: space as a site for asymmetries M a Carmen África Vidal Claramonte


  3 Cartography and translation: mapping and counter-­mapping the city Federico Italiano


  4 Interartefactual translation: metrolingualism and resemiotization Emi Otsuji and Alastair Pennycook


  5 Reclaiming urban spaces through translation: a practitioner’s account Canan Marasligil



The macrostructures of urban translation: policies and institutions


  6 Language and translation policies in a bilingual city with a multilingual population: the case of Brussels Reine Meylaerts

97 v


  7 Translating in occupied towns during the First World War: between hegemonic policies and local practices Lieven D’hulst   8 Urban translation and the 2020 Tokyo Games Patrick Heinrich

112 131

  9 Remediating lost memories of the city through translation: Istanbul as a space of remembering Şule Demirkol Ertürk


10 Translation in global city Singapore: a holistic embrace in a multilingual milieu? Eugene K. B. Tan


11 Imperial translational spaces and the politics of languages in Austria-­Hungary: the case of Lemberg/Lwów/Lviv Irene Sywenky


12 Cities and desires: translating Seoul Hunam Yun


13 Translation and controversial monuments in Tallinn Federico Bellentani



Counter-­writing cities: translation as praxis 14 Translation as translanguaging: acts of distinction in multilingual karate clubs in London Zhu Hua and Li Wei

223 225

15 Cape Town as a multilingual city: policies, experiences and ideologies Ana Deumert, Sandrine Mpazayabo and Miché Thompson


16 Translation and the struggle for urban symbolic capital in Cairo Randa Aboubakr


17 Translation and trans-­scripting: languaging practices in the city of Aθens Tereza Spilioti and Korina Giaxoglou


18 Counter-­mapping the city in Dakar: a de-­authorized translation Myriam Suchet and Sarah Mekdjian




19 Migration, hip h­ op and translation zones in Delhi Jaspal Naveel Singh 20 Translation and translanguaging in artistic performances in Hong Kong Yiqi Liu and Angel M. Y. Lin




Cities in writing, translation as trope


21 Sites of translation in Melbourne Rita Wilson


22 La flâneuse montréalaise translates Andre Furlani


23 Phantom translation in New Orleans Anne Malena


24 Translation interrupted: memorial dissonance in Trieste Katia Pizzi


25 Autophagy as translation Simon Harel


26 Depicting a translational and transcultural city: Lagos in Nigerian writing Elena Rodríguez-­Murphy




Figures 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 8.1 8.2 8.3 10.1 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 14.1 14.1 14.2 14.2 14.3 14.3 viii

A man of African background buying mobile phone batteries Two Sri Lankan students shopping for ingredients for cooking The shopping list scribbled on a used envelope The shopping list held by the woman One of the couple’s baskets full of ‘Pois chiches’ and ‘Lentilles’ The back of the woman’s list The chef taking Kabuli Chana from the shelf ‘Good bless’, Copenhagen, 2015 ‘A conversation on the walls’, Copenhagen, 2015 ‘Homesick’, Copenhagen, 2015 ‘Purgatory’, Wales, 2017 ‘Common language’, Athens, 2017 A screenshot from the video account of the workshop in Wazemmes, France The territorial divisions in Belgium during wartime A bilingual Flemish-­French text poster of Bruges A trilingual German-­Flemish-­French text poster of Bruges A bilingual German-­Flemish text poster of Kortrijk A bilingual German-­Flemish text poster of Ostend A bilingual Flemish-­French text poster of Veurne A bilingual German-­French text poster of Lille The sign above the exit of JR Shinanomachi Station An audible traffic light signal next to the Olympic Stadium The prohibitions in front of the Japan Olympic Museum The ‘Danger—Keep Out’ warning sign The statue of the Bronze Soldier The War of Independence Victory Column The name and the years of the War of Independence and the poem on the wall behind the Victory Column The Maarjamäe Soviet memorial The memorial to the victims of communism 1940–1991 (top) The club from outside (bottom) The main street in the area (top) The logo of the karate club (bottom) The hall with temporary tatami stages (top) The main street in the area (bottom) The Scout Hall from outside

63 64 66 67 68 69 71 83 83 87 88 89 91 115 119 119 120 120 121 122 138 139 140 160 211 213 215 216 217 230 230 231 231 233 233


14.4 (top) Inside the Scout Hall 14.4 (bottom) The portrait of Master Funakoshi Gichin with writings and drawings 14.5 ‘Changes position—transition between exercises’, Turn 1, Excerpt 5 14.6 ‘Students get into “legs apart” sitting positions’, Turn 3, Excerpt 5 14.7 ‘SK keeps on bending forward with his arms stretched ahead’, Turn 4, Excerpt 5 14.8 ‘Students copy SK’s move and bend forward’, Turn 5, Excerpt 5 14.9 ‘Original message in Romani’, Excerpt 7 16.1 The advertising signs inside the branch of an international fashion retailer 16.2 The ‘Tofa7a’ shop facade 16.3 The graffiti on the walls of al-Azhar University 17.1 The campaign poster on an airport wall 17.2 The graffiti on the wall of a local high school 17.3 The slogan on the wall of a local squat 18.1 The building standing like a spaceship or a mirage 18.2 Counter-­mapping the Niayes in Dakar 18.3 Walking 18.4 Counter-­mapping the Niayes in the sand 18.5 Relational shadows 18.6 Kader in his room 18.7 Mabeye Deme’s exhibition, 2019 18.8 Kader setting a trap 20.1 MC Yan nodding his head to the beat of the traffic light sound 20.2 The traffic lights at the beginning of the rap 20.3 MC Yan rapping to the rhythm of the traffic light 20.4 An explicit mention of the red traffic light 20.5 MC Yan walking away with the traffic light sound 20.6 MC Yan using the pen to visualize the rap beat 20.7 MC Yan using the pen to emphasize the message 20.8 MC Yan pointing at the vehicles with the pen 20.9 MC Yan pointing at the centre of the sea in the old days 20.10 The last line of the rap 20.11 The depiction of the tall condos

234 234 240 240 240 241 242 265 270 273 284 287 288 296 297 298 299 302 303 303 305 337 338 338 339 339 340 340 341 341 342 342



  5.1 10.1 15.1 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 2 0.5 20.6 20.7 20.8


Example of a workshop plan for City in Translation The languages and dialects available in law courts of Singapore The home (or first/main) languages in Cape Town Interactive meaning of images Meaning of different visual compositions Lyrics and subtitles on Causeway Bay The feeling-­meaning evoked in the English subtitles of Part 1 on Causeway Bay Lyrics and subtitles on Central The feeling-­meaning evoked in the English subtitles of Part 2 on Central Lyrics and subtitles on Western Kowloon The feeling-­meaning evoked in the English subtitles of Part 3 on Western Kowloon

90 164 250 329 329 331 331 332 333 334 335

Contributors Randa Aboubakr is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Cairo University. She has published a number of studies on English literature, Egyptian colloquial poetry, sub-­ Saharan African literature, comparative literature, cultural theory and translation. She is the author of The Conflict of Voices in the Poetry of Dennis Brutus and Maḥmūd Darwīsh (Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, 2004), and co-­editor of Spaces of Participation: Dynamics of Social and Political Change in the Arab World (The American University in Cairo Press, 2021). Federico Bellentani is a monument expert whose research interests lie at the intersection between semiotics and cultural geography. He holds a PhD from the School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University (2017) and an MA in semiotics from the University of Bologna (2013). In 2021 he will publish his first book, The Meanings of the Built Environment: A Semiotic and Geographical Approach to Monuments in the Post-­Soviet Era (De Gruyter Mouton). He is also vice president of the International Association of Semiotics of Space and digital research manager at a Google Cloud Premier Partner based in Bologna. Şule Demirkol Ertürk is Assistant Professor of Translation Studies at Boğaziçi University, Turkey. Her research interests include topics such as translation and the city, translation and cultural memory, images of Istanbul in translated literature, retranslations, paratexts, and translation of Turkish literature into English and French. She is also an active translator of scholarly texts from English and French into Turkish. Ana Deumert is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Cape Town. Her research program is located within the broad field of sociolinguistics and has a strong transdisciplinary focus. She has published widely on language contact, language history, sociolinguistic theory, mobile communication and the politics of language. Her current work focuses on Africa-­ centred and decolonial approaches in linguistics/sociolinguistics, paying detailed attention to the geopolitics of knowledge. Her most recent publication (with Anne Storch and Nick Shepherd) is Colonial and Decolonial Linguistics: Knowledges and Epistemes (Oxford University Press, 2020). Lieven D’hulst is Professor of French and Francophone Literature and of Translation Studies at KU Leuven (Belgium), where he heads the Research Group ‘Translation and Intercultural Transfer’. His actual research topics include intercultural mediation in Belgium (19th century), transfer techniques (including translation), and the history of translation and translation studies.



Andre Furlani is Professor of English and Fellow of the School of Irish Studies at Concordia University, Montreal. He is the author of Beckett after Wittgenstein and Guy Davenport: Postmodern and After (both Northwestern University Press). Recent essays on modern and contemporary comparative literature have appeared in PMLA, Modernism/modernity, Philosophy and Literature, Bréac and Canadian Literature. He is also a contributor to The Oxford History of the Classical Reception in English Literature (Oxford University Press) and Speaking Memory: How Translation Shapes City Life (McGill-­Queen’s University Press). Forthcoming are articles in Essays in Criticism and The Journal of Modern Literature. Korina Giaxoglou is Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and English Language at the Open University, UK. Her research focuses on narrative, affect, and practices of sharing and participation online. She is the author of A Narrative Approach to Social Media Mourning: Small Stories and Affective Positioning (Routledge, 2020), and co-­editor of Special Issues on Networked Emotions (with S. Pitsillides and K. Döveling, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 2017), Mediatization of Emotion on Social Media (with K. Döveling, Social Media + Society, 2018), and Networked Practices of Emotion and Stancetaking in Reactions to Mediatized Events and Crises (with M. Johannson, Pragmatics, 2020). Simon Harel is Professor of Literature at the University of Montreal, a member of the Royal Society of Canada and a Trudeau Fellow. He broke new ground in the unexplored field of migrant writing, especially among minorities. His book Voleur de parcours, published in 1989, changed Quebec’s literary history concerning alterity’s cultural representations. His subsequent development of an original theoretical apparatus to deal with writings on alterity and the relationship between individuals and the territory they live in prolongs his innovative contribution to cultural studies development. His other notable works include Le récit de soi (1997) and La démesure de la voix (2001). Patrick Heinrich is Associate Professor of Japanese Linguistics at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, where he is also Director of the PhD program on Asian and North African Studies. He has taught at universities in Germany, Japan, Italy, Sweden, Finland, France and Austria. He is co-­editor of the Handbook of the Ryukyuan Languages (de Gruyter, 2015) and of the Routledge Handbook of Japanese Sociolinguistics (Routledge, 2019). He is currently working on a volume on language and happiness and on an endangered language documentation project in the Japanese Ryukyu Islands. Federico Italiano is Senior Researcher at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, where he coordinates the research cluster ‘Translation’, and Lecturer in Comparative Literature at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. He also teaches at the universities of Innsbruck and Vienna. In 2019–2020, he was Visiting Professor of Translation Studies at the University of Graz. His recent publications include Translation and Geography (Routledge, 2016), Grand Tour (with Jan Wagner, Hanser, 2019) and The Dark Side of Translation (Routledge, 2020). An Italian poet and translator, he has published five poetry collections. Tong King Lee is Associate Professor of Translation at the University of Hong Kong and was Luce East Asia Fellow at the U.S. National Humanities Center (2020-2021). He is a NAATICertified Translator (Australia); Chartered Linguist (Chartered Institute of Linguists, UK); and Specialist at the Hong Kong Council for the Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications. Author of Translation and Translanguaging (2019, with M. Baynham), Applied Translation xii


Studies (2018), Experimental Chinese Literature (2015) and Translating the Multilingual City (2013), Lee is an associate editor of the Routledge journal Translation Studies. Li Wei is Chair of Applied Linguistics and Director of the UCL Centre of Applied Linguistics, UCL Institute of Education, University College London, UK. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, UK, and the Founding Editor of International Journal of Bilingualism and Applied Linguistics Review. His 2015 book with Ofelia Garcia, Translanguaging: Language, Bilingualism and Education, won the 2016 British Association of Applied Linguistics Book Prize. Angel M. Y. Lin is Professor in Faculty of Education and Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Plurilingual and Intercultural Education at Simon Fraser University. Her research and teaching have focused on critical discourse analysis, critical literacies, and bilingual and multilingual education. She has published six research books and more than 100 research articles and book chapters, and serves on the editorial boards of leading international research journals. Yiqi Liu is Assistant Professor of English Language Education at the Education University of Hong Kong. Her main research interests include discourse analysis, sociolinguistics and bilingual education. Her publications have appeared in Discourse and Communication, Language and Education, Chinese Journal of Communication, Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education and International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. Anne Malena is Professor of French and Translation Studies in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta (Canada). She has published two book-­length translations (La maraude [The Prowler] and Degré zéro [Zero Hour]), both novels by Kristjana Gunnars, as well as articles in various journals on translation studies and Caribbean Literature. Her book, The Negotiated Self: The Dynamics of Identity in Francophone Caribbean Narrative, was published in 1998 with Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., and she has also published several articles on Louisiana and New Orleans. Canan Marasligil is a freelance writer, multimedia artist, literary translator, editor, podcaster and curator based in Amsterdam. Her interest is in challenging official narratives and advocating freedom of expression through a wide range of creative projects and activities, from literature to film and comics. Sarah Mekdjian is Assistant Professor in Geography at the University Grenoble Alpes and PACTE laboratory. Her research consists of questioning the epistemologies and practices of geography as a discipline. She co-­elaborates research-­creations—derived from social sciences, law, art and activism—as ways to ‘de-authorize’ methodological nationalism and scientific authority. She is the co-­author of Bureau des dépositions (2020), a performance activated by researchers and non-­researchers where the law becomes a creative material, to judicially attack the decisions of expulsion of foreigners in France. Reine Meylaerts is Professor of Comparative Literature and Translation Studies and Vice Rector of Research Policy at KU Leuven (Belgium). Her current research interests concern translation policy, intercultural mediation and transfer in multilingual cultures, past and present. Sandrine Mpazayabo is Project Assistant at the Centre for Law and Society, University of Cape Town. She completed a BSocSci majoring in gender studies and world governance and xiii


an Honours’ Degree in African studies at the University of Cape Town. Her research interests involve social integration of African refugees in South Africa and gendered power dynamics within refugee communities. Emi Otsuji is Senior Lecturer in International Studies and Education at the University of Technology Sydney. She writes both in English and Japanese and is the co-­author (with Alastair Pennycook) of Metrolingualism: Language in the City (Routledge, 2015), co-­editor (with Ikuko Nakane and William Armour) of Languages and Identities in a Transitional Japan: From Internationalization to Globalization (Routledge, 2015), and co-­editor (with Hideo Hosokawa and Marcella Mariotti) of Shiminsei Keisei to Kotoba no kyoiku [Constructing citizenship and language education] (Kuroshio, 2016). She is currently working on a book project with Dr. Shinji Sato and Dr. Kumagai on the ecological approach to welfare linguistics and language education. Alastair Pennycook is Distinguished Professor of Language, Society and Education at the University of Technology Sydney, Research Professor II at the Centre for Multilingualism in Society across the Lifespan at the University of Oslo, and a member of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He is the author of numerous books, four of which have won the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL) Book Prize: The Cultural Politics of English as an International Language (1994, now a Routledge Linguistics Classic), Global Englishes and Transcultural Flows (Routledge, 2006), Language and Mobility: Unexpected Places (Multilingual Matters, 2012) and Posthumanist Applied Linguistics (Routledge, 2017). His most recent book (with Sinfree Makoni) is Innovations and Challenges in Applied Linguistics from the Global South (Routledge, 2019). Katia Pizzi is Senior Lecturer in Italian Studies at the Institute of Modern Languages Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London and Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in London. She has published extensively on the culture, history and memory of Trieste and the northeastern borders of Italy, including Trieste: Una frontiera letteraria (2019), Trieste: italianità, triestinità e male di frontiera (2007) and A City in Search of an Author: The Literary Identity of Trieste (2001). Her most recent monograph is Italian Futurism and the Machine (Manchester University Press, 2019). Elena Rodríguez-­Murphy holds a PhD in translation studies from the University of Salamanca (Spain), where she works in the Department of Translation and Interpreting. Her research interests are African literatures, translation studies and linguistics. She has published several articles and book chapters on these areas of study. She is the author of Traducción y literatura africana: multilingüismo y transculturación en la narrativa nigeriana de expresión inglesa [Translation and African Literature: Multilingualism and Transculturation in Anglophone Nigerian Writing] (Granada: Comares, 2015). Sherry Simon is Distinguished University Research Professor in the French Department at Concordia University, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a member of the Académie des lettres du Québec. She has published widely in the areas of literary, intercultural and translation studies, in particular exploring the cultural history of linguistically divided cities and the multilingual cities of the former Habsburg empire. Among her publications are Translating Montreal: Episodes in the Life of a Divided City (2006) and Cities in Translation: Intersections of Language and Memory (2012), both of which have appeared in French translation, and xiv


the recent Translation Sites: A Field Guide (Routledge, 2019). She has co-­edited Translation Effects: The Shaping of Modern Canadian Culture (with K. Mezei and L. von Flotow, 2014) and edited Speaking Memory: How Translation Shapes City Life (2016). Jaspal Naveel Singh is Assistant Professor of Sociolinguistics at the University of Hong Kong. His research critically investigates languaging and transculturation in global subcultures and contributes to the understanding of how communication shapes the lives of creative and yet marginalized people in the contemporary moment. With his first monograph Transcultural Voices: Narrating Hip Hop Culture in Complex Delhi, to be published in 2021, he delivers a thorough linguistic ethnographic analysis of the moment in which hip ­hop culture was taken up in India’s capital and fastest-­growing urban agglomerate. Tereza Spilioti is Reader in Language and Communication in the Centre for Language and Communication Research, Cardiff University. Her current research focuses on areas of digital language and communication, particularly multilingualism, language and media ideologies, and research ethics. She is the co-­editor of the Routledge Handbook of Language and Digital Communication (with A. Georgakopoulou, 2016) and of the Special Issue on The Ethics of Online Research Methods in Applied Linguistics (with C. Tagg, Applied Linguistics Review, 2017). Myriam Suchet is currently Maître de conférences at Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3 and Director of the Centre for Quebec Studies. Having dedicated her PhD to heterolingual poetics in a postcolonial perspective (related publication: L’Imaginaire hétérolingue, Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2014), her main concern is how to translate power differentials in the use of language. She has initiated participatory forms involving colleagues, students and non-­academics to experiment dialogues between epistemologies, pedagogies and methodologies. Her latest publication is L’Horizon est ici: Pour une prolifération des modes de relations (Rennes: Éditions du Commun, 2019). Irene Sywenky is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and East/Central European Literatures and Cultures at the University of Alberta. She has published on postcolonial and post-­imperial cultural spaces in Central and Eastern Europe, border identities and border cultures, memory, cultural translation, popular culture and contemporary Canadian literature. Her most recent publication is a co-­edited volume (with S. Ingram), Comparative Literature in Canada: Contemporary Scholarship, Pedagogy and Publishing in Review (2019). She is Editor of the Canadian Review of Comparative Literature. Eugene K. B. Tan is Associate Professor of Law and Lee Kong Chian Fellow (2019–2020) at the School of Law, Singapore Management University. His interdisciplinary research interests include constitutional and administrative law, law and public policy, and the government and politics of Singapore. He is completing a book manuscript on the management of ethnic relations in Singapore, which examines identity markers such as race, language and religion. An advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore, Eugene was educated at the National University of Singapore, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Stanford University, where he was a Fulbright Fellow. Miché Thompson is Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Cape Town. She holds a PhD from Stellenbosch University, and her research is rooted in the sociolinguistics of migration. xv


Her current research focuses on the Chinese and African migrant diaspora in South Africa within the domain of informal trading. Her areas of interest include multilingualism and linguistic repertoires, theories of migration and social change, and critical race theory, specifically focusing on Coloured identity in South Africa. Ma Carmen África Vidal Claramonte is Professor of Translation at the University of Salamanca, Spain. Her research interests include translation theory, post-­structuralism, post­ colonialism, contemporary art and gender studies. She has published 14 books, 11 anthologies (co-­editor with Roberto Valdeón of The Routledge Handbook of Spanish Translation Studies, 2019) and more than 100 essays on these issues. She is a practising translator specialized in the fields of philosophy, literature, history and contemporary art. Rita Wilson is Professor in Translation Studies in the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University and Director of the Monash Intercultural Lab. Her current work contributes to the strand of research in translation studies that explores the connections between migrant cultural studies, translation and intercultural studies. She has published extensively on identity and culture in migratory contexts, on practices of self-­translation and on narratives of mobility and place-­making. Recent co-­edited volumes include a Special Issue of Modern Italy, ‘Transcultural Exchanges and Encounters in Italy’ (vol. 25.2) and Translating Worlds: Migration, Memory, and Culture (Routledge, 2021). Hunam Yun is an independent scholar and translator. She holds an MA and a PhD in translation studies from Warwick University, UK. She has taught translation theory and practice at Hongik University (Seoul). She has published numerous articles, including ‘Translation and Fragmented Cities: Focus on Itaewon, Seoul’ (2018) and ‘The Ambilaterality of Fluency in Translating Literature in Peripheral Contexts’ (2014). She is the author of Translation Theory and Practice for Professional Translators (2016). Her research topics include literary translation, globalization and translation, the translation of a city and translation theory. Zhu Hua is Professor of Educational Linguistics and Director of the Mosaic Group for Research on Multilingualism, University of Birmingham, UK. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, UK. Among her recent publications are Exploring Intercultural Communication: Language in Action (2nd edition, Routledge, 2019), Crossing Boundaries and Weaving Intercultural Work, Life, and Scholarship in Globalizing Universities (with Adam Komisarof, Routledge, 2016) and Research Methods in Intercultural Communication (Blackwell, 2016). She is book series co-­editor for Routledge Studies in Language and Intercultural Communication and Cambridge Key Topics in Applied Linguistics (with Claire Kramsch).


Acknowledgements This Handbook is the collaborative outcome of the research efforts of its 33 contributing authors, all of whom have given me ample patience and support in the course of taking the project to fruition. Sherry Simon and Mona Baker have at various points provided me with advice and resources that greatly facilitated my work. I am indebted to several colleagues who obliged me with their time and expertise in reviewing the contributions: Mona Baker, Loredana Polezzi, Ji-­Hae Kang, Sergey Tyulenev, África Vidal Claramonte, Will Straw, Mike Baynham, Anne Lange, Mie Hiramoto, David Karlander, Tan Dan Feng and Jaspal Naveel Singh. Special thanks to Sherry Simon, Reine Meylaerts, Adam Jaworski and África Vidal Claramonte for commenting on an earlier version of the editor’s introduction. Throughout this project, Huang Tao provided me with immense support on the editorial and logistical fronts, for which I am grateful. Lastly, this project acknowledges the support of TRADIC (Traducción, Ideología y Cultura) (, an international research group devoted to the study of translation, ideology and culture within the evolving currents of globalization.


Introduction Thinking cities through translation Tong King Lee

Since at least Walter Benjamin, the city has been an entrancing trope in the modern discursive imagination.1 It has enthralled writers and thinkers with the sheer magnitude of its architectural spectacles, the fine-­grained sophistication of its urban fabric and the voluptuous richness of its material flows. The city overwhelms. In Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino speaks of the ‘thick coating of signs’ of Tamara (one of the 55 imaginary cities related by the character Marco Polo in the novel), which would put us in awe and paralyze our faculties; it compels our gaze, directs our thoughts and pre-­empts our language, taking us along its preconceived trajectory: Your gaze scans the streets as if they were written pages: the city says everything you must think, makes you repeat her discourse, and while you believe you are visiting Tamara you are only recording the names with which she defines herself and all her parts. (Calvino 1997: 12) In this account the city is anthropomorphized into an omniscient entity exuding a rhetoric of excess. Yet in other accounts, the city is a dehumanized construct. In The Practice of Everyday Life, Michel de Certeau posits the Concept-­city, by which he encapsulates the abstraction of urban spaces by means of institutional apparatuses, such as maps. The Concept-­city is the city as fashioned by a technocratic rationality, and as mythified in ‘strategic discourses’ based on calculations and hypotheses (de Certeau 1984: 95). The Concept-­city represents a systemic grid that can be likened to langue, or Language with a capital L. It aligns with ‘discourses, the data that can most easily be grasped, recorded, transported, and examined in secure places’ (de Certeau 1984: 20; original emphasis). It is prior to enunciation and thus, in a manner of speaking, a phantom existence. As it were, the Concept-­city writes itself without being written. And this explains why, in Calvino (cited earlier), the city is said to be anticipatory of all language and thought, ‘say[ing] everything you must think, mak[ing] you repeat her discourse’, as if it were some pure Original. Or better still, as Baudrillard (1994) tells us, the city is a simulacrum, a copy whose original referent is elusive or nonexistent; or, as Deleuze (1990: 257) defines the term, ‘an image without resemblance’ where ‘the different is related to the different through difference itself’ (Deleuze 1994: 299). The city, then, is an anomalous translation that traces its source back to 1

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its own transformation and difference. More than that: the translated city may even eclipse the original (the ‘real thing’, if there is one at all) to become more real than real. This is where we encounter the hyperreal, as exemplified by what Umberto Eco calls ‘toy cities’ or ‘cities of robots’, of which Disneyland and Disney World are prototypes. Here the false is fetishized as a commodity on its own terms, and this is ‘not so much because it wouldn’t be possible to have the real equivalent but because the public is meant to admire the perfection of the fake’ (Eco 1986: 44). In contrast to the Concept-­city, the city as it is practised (and this is de Certeau’s concern) is based upon the corporeality of enunciation, which continually intercepts and appropriates Language. For de Certeau (1984: 97), ‘[t]he act of walking is to the urban system what the speech act is to language or to the statements uttered’; it constitutes ‘a space of enunciation’ (98). Thus, like the pedestrian who roams the city streets in his or her own fashion, the everyday practitioner in all walks of life—the metaphor is irresistible—deploys ‘the vocabularies of established languages (those of television, newspapers, the supermarket or city planning)’ as material. While operating ‘within the framework of prescribed syntaxes (the temporal modes of schedules, paradigmatic organizations of places, etc.)’, practitioners of everyday life ‘remain heterogenous to the systems they infiltrate and in which they sketch out the guileful ruses of different interests and desires’ (34; original emphasis). Is this not what Roland Barthes had in mind when he says ‘the best model for the semantic study of the city will be provided . . . by the phrase of discourse’ (Barthes 1986: 95)? In his brand of urban semiology, Barthes connects with (in fact, predates and is cited by) de Certeau in metaphorizing the user of a city as the user of a language ‘who appropriates fragments in order to actualize them in secret’ (cf. de Certeau 1984: 98): He who moves about the city, e.g., the user of the city (what we all are), is a kind of reader who, following his obligations and his movements, appropriates fragments of the utterance in order to actualize them in secret. When we move about a city, we all are in the situation of the reader of the 100,000 million poems of Queneau, where one can find a different poem by changing a single line . . . we are somewhat like this avant-­garde reader when we are in a city. (Barthes 1986: 95) All these classic ruminations are worked through with the common strategy of reading language into and out of the city. In a similar vein, the chapters collected in this volume can be said to share a broad methodology, one which we might term the translational, by way of reading translation into and out of the city. Addressing translation as policy, practice and heuristic, these chapters problematize the urban semiotic by interrogating the complex intersections across languages and cultures, in space and in time. As such, they deepen the current interest in the humanities and social sciences in reading texts through the city as well as reading the city as text. Such interest is attested in, inter alia, a recent monograph titled The Invisible City, by Kyle Gillette. Inspired by Calvino, the book intersperses vignettes on eight cities with Gillette’s consideration of Teatro Potlach’s itinerant, site-­specific performance Invisible Cities as spectator and collaborator. Shuttling between the registers of travel writing and field guide, the book draws out multiple planes of engagement with the city, culminating in a series of workshop-­ style exercises, following which readers can uncover the invisible city as ‘an always unfolding network of processes, a confluence of streams, marked by layers of history and myth’ (Gillette 2020: 99). 2


Also relevant is a recent special issue themed Writing (in) the City in the journal Social Semiotics. In that issue, cities are seen as ‘diverse sites of intense semiotic production’ (Jaworski and Li 2021: 3), where writing, in all the ‘multimodality, materiality, and multilinguality’ of its mediational means, serves as ‘a repository of the city’s memory or biography’. Bringing together perspectives from sociolinguistics, social semiotics, critical discourse studies and applied linguistics, the issue deals with ‘literal and metaphorical conceptualizations of writing’, aiming to ‘capture some of multimodal complexity of signifying practices in the city, and the resulting inscription of cities in space and in people’s imagination’ (ibid.). On this note several questions arise for us. As a special form of writing, what role does translation play in urban signification, inscription and imagination? How does translation studies extend the lineage of scholarship that theorizes discursive and semiotic meanings in respect of the city? All of the contributions to the present volume articulate around these questions. Following the trail of collections of a similar nature (Cronin and Simon 2014; Simon 2016, 2018) and riding on a series of pioneering work by Sherry Simon (2006, 2012, 2019), this Handbook showcases the latest developments at the intersection of translation and the city. Featured herein are a highly interdisciplinary group of scholars from various backgrounds. The Handbook does not so much attempt a convergence of different theoretical ideas on the figure of the city, as to facilitate the emergence of a loose dialogue among the myriad conceptual strands and disciplinary perspectives with the city as a nexus. It does not espouse a unitary theoretical position on the relation between translation and the city, but rather offers up the city as an open forum in which translation—itself another open forum—can be considered on multiple scales and in diverse terms.

Key issues This Handbook consists of 26 chapters, loosely grouped into four thematic clusters: ‘Key issues’; ‘The macrostructures of urban translation’; ‘Counter-­writing cities’; and ‘Cities in writing, translation as trope’. The first section throws up several key notions in thinking about translation and the city symbiotically, salient among which is that of the translational city. The translational is a more expansive rubric than translation. For Sherry Simon,2 translational cities are marked by the ‘encounter and exchange of languages’, which includes but also exceeds the discursive activity of translating. At stake here are deeper interconnections among languages and cultures spliced into a city’s fabric, including the fissures within. To speak of cities as translational, or ‘dual’, is therefore to take into account ‘the specific history and geography of the city, the circulation of language within urban space, zones of resistance and misconnection’. Insofar as no city is ever a clean monolingual slate, all cities constitute ‘fields of translational forces’ to some degree, comprising specific translation sites. The latter are zones of intense traffic among different sensibilities, subjectivities, identities and, of course, languages (e.g., monuments, hotels, markets, bridges, checkpoints) (Simon 2019), with varying degrees of permeability. On this view, translation is not extrinsic to a city or incidental to its existence; it is an immanent and perennial operation. This understanding underlies the idea of born-­translated cities, a term coined by África Vidal Claramonte based on Rebecca Walkowitz’s concept of born-­ translated literature. In respect of literature, born-­translated refers to a situation where translation, conceived as a ‘medium and origin rather than as afterthought’, conditions the production of writing (Walkowitz 2015: 3–4). Contemporary cities are born-­translated in the sense that hybridity and heteroglossia are fundamental to their nature. Crucially, born-­translated cities are spaces of asymmetry, where the inequitable distribution of resources in the context of 3

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global capitalism and power pathologies3 turns superdiverse cities into stratified zones, to the detriment of disadvantaged communities such as exiles and migrants (see Simon Harel’s chapter). From this ethico-­political perspective, Claramonte foregrounds translation studies as ‘a privileged territory to explore the fear of the Other and address it, to rewrite real and metaphorical walls’. It is a small step to go from Writing (in) the City (Jaworski and Li 2021) to Translating (in) the City. Here, to place the preposition in parentheses is to point to an ambiguous transitivity; hence, just as translating occurs in cities, so cities are themselves being translated. For example, maps are cartographic translations of cities. Sherry Simon conjures up a map of the translational city along the lines of Jill Hubley’s ‘The Ultimate Map of New York’s Non-­English Languages’ (­spoken-­in-­new-­york-­ city-­map/506054/). Such a map would flag sites of translation where languages encounter, indicating in particular the directionalities of translation, but also sites of non-­translation, of ‘forgotten or suppressed languages’, whose memories of language intersection can be rekindled in its translation history. Federico Italiano also deals with maps, and more historical ones at that. Looking at cartographic translations across four cities (Florence, Tenochtitlan, Calcutta and New York) over a span of five centuries, Italiano distils for us the ‘double operationality’ of maps, namely their capacity to territorialize space and to generate a ‘semiotic surplus’ in the form of new spatial narratives that potentially challenge the prevailing territorial order. While Italiano gives us a historical sense of how space is differentially conceived in relation to the city, Emi Otsuji and Alastair Pennycook delve into the dynamics of contemporary urban spaces to advance the idea of interartefactual translation. Otsuji and Pennycook challenge us to reimagine translation as instantiating what sociolinguists call resemiotization, the reconfiguration of meaning across semiotic and artefactual boundaries. Interartefactual translation, then, describes the trajectories of meaning as it meanders between different objects, humans and languages within semiotic assemblages in space—as when a food item on a shopping list connects with the actual entity on the shelf of a market store, before it is transformed in phases into a purchased commodity, an ingredient waiting to be used and finally an integral part of a dish (cf. Ron Scollon’s [2008] notion of ‘discourse itineraries’). In taking language, and by extension translation, out of the human mind and distributing it across space, the mind-­ blowing idea of translating between artefacts forces translation out of textual imaginaries and into the situated spatial repertoire of metrolingual complexes. As a counterpoint to these theoretical contemplations, I  specially invited Canan Marasligil, a language practitioner who curates the wonderfully relevant website City in Translation (, to give us an account of her personal experience with urban translation. A writer, literary translator, editor, curator and self-­professed flâneuse (cf. Andre Furlani’s chapter), Marasligil shares her gendered, hands-­on methodology in exploring Copenhagen, Lille and Bassin Minier. Weaving in and out of exhibitions, workshops and residencies; reflective statements, creative writing and photographs; online and offline projects; and, of course, different languages, she takes us on a fascinating journey of the city that is at once intimate and intellectual. The City in Translation website, together with the events curated around it, serves as an exemplar of how the relation between translation and the city can be conceptualized in theory, but also be embodied in practice.

The macrostructures of urban translation The next two sections are designed around a city-­by-­city itinerary, with an eye to the (re)mediating function of translation in different time-­space contexts. The first batch of case studies 4


generally concern themselves with the policies and institutions involved in the management of translation. Our point of departure is that translation is always entwined within the language policy structures governing the multilingual city; as Reine Meylaerts puts it succinctly: there is no language policy without translation policy (and vice versa). On this understanding, she offers four prototypes of translation in public service settings, using Brussels as a case in point: Monolingualism (in a dominant language) and Non-­translation (into minority languages); Monolingualism and Occasional Translation; Multilingualism and Multidirectional Translation (in and out of several languages); and Monolingualism (at local levels of government) and Multilingualism (at higher, such as federal, levels of government). Different cities draw on one or more of these prototypes on the legal-­institutional level in response to specific multicultural contingencies. Yet there is a common impulse to foster ‘new forms of participative citizenship and cohabitation’ through translation, hence unravelling the dynamic negotiations between the top-­down formulation/implementation of translation policies and bottom-­up practices/beliefs about multilingualism on the ground. What emerges is a translation politics which, as Lieven D’hulst demonstrates, can inflect local language policies at the level of towns and municipalities, where translation issues can challenge ‘the self-­evident dominance of one language over another’ while encouraging ‘the search for recognition by minority languages’ as part of activist discourses. The tension between macro-­policy and micro-­practice is scalable to various sociopolitical and historical contexts. It is captured by Eugene K. B. Tan through his distinction between de jure and de facto institutional multilingualism. In Singapore, this is a situation where, although the city-­state is constitutionally multilingual with Malay, Chinese, Tamil and English enshrined as its four official languages, the prevailing language order is characterized by latent monolingualism in English, ‘the putative neutral and unifying language’. In the space between this divide, translation acquires an ambivalent position: it is neither prescribed as an obligation nor suppressed as a redundancy, thus providing an anomalous case that exceeds Meylaerts’s four prototypes. Language policy takes on a different guise in the context of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, postponed due to COVID-­19. Examining multilingual signage in Tokyo’s linguistic landscape, as well as guidelines issued by language administrators in the lead-­up to the Games, Patrick Heinrich reveals a simplistic local (Japanese)/global (non-­Japanese) binary governing Japan’s urban translation discourse. Paradoxically, what the authorities call tagengo taiō (multilingual support), aiming at kotoba no baria furī (removal of linguistic barriers), entails the erasure of lived multilingualism by conflating all non-­Japanese tongues into an anglophone rubric. This essentially passes the burden of translation to those who speak neither Japanese nor English—chiefly the Chinese and the Korean, the largest minority communities in Japan. The Korean connection here is taken up by Hunam Yun, who explores translation against the historical transitions beneath the multiple names of Seoul city (Hanseong, Keijo, Seoul). Metaphorizing translated cities as ‘palimpsests of desires’, Yun conceptualizes the various names of a city as strata locking in different layers of its history, as ‘stimuli-­signe to summon the memories of how the city was once translated’ according to different vested interests or desires—of colonizers, of nationalists, of modern bureaucracies subscribing to a global capitalist logic. Like city names, monuments mark the political transition of cities from one regime to another; they are both material and semiotic constructions. In this sense, Federico Bellentani speaks of monuments in the post-­Soviet city of Tallinn as ‘a practice of translation aiming to switch their meaning—and that of the whole urban space—into new cultural and political conditions’. On this reading, the establishment, removal/relocation and landscaping 5

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of monuments can be interpreted as translation strategies choreographed around a memory politics in enunciation of prescribed national narratives. Irene Sywenky and Şule Demirkol Ertürk approach cities from the perspective of print artefacts, which tell us a great deal about the intermingling of tongues and scripts. Sywenky looks at the periodical culture of Lemberg/Lwów/Lviv—another palimpsestuous name reflecting the city’s historical trajectory through German/Polish/Ukrainian cartographic-­ administrative topographies—examining its print catalogues and bibliographies, archives and periodicals during the Austro-­Hungarian era. Among these periodical artefacts emerged a ‘plurilinguistic journalistic space’, which is also a translational space where meanings were continually negotiated as they disseminated, and ‘where the geopolitical unities were constructed along and across many of the linguistic, cultural and ideological fault lines’. Demirkol Ertürk’s interest lies with the various orthographies (e.g., Armenian, Cyrillic, Hebrew) used in Turkish publications of non-­Muslim communities in Istanbul from the 19th century to contemporary times. For her, translations ‘act both as media and as objects of remembrance’ by reframing and remediating not merely source texts, but also a city’s lost memories.

Counter-­writing cities From a policy or institutional perspective, translation figures as part of a panoptic management of languages in the city. Outside the establishment, however, it can be appropriated by de Certeau’s practitioners of everyday life to articulate resistant sensibilities in mundane contexts. Here translation is praxis, often assuming material forms embodying the messiness of heteroglossia. Several chapters have converged on one such form, which I had not anticipated when I commissioned them: graffiti. As visual expressions of bottom-­up sentiments, graffiti are a subaltern modality manifesting the raw energies lurking below the linguistic façades of a city. As such they are translation sites—not merely because there may be actual linguistic transactions within graffiti art, but more because they are transient records of intersecting urban desires from below. Randa Aboubakr contemplates on graffiti in Cairo as ‘a continuation of the spirit of the visual representation of protest’. The use of English in graffiti, in particular, signals an attempt to seek rapport with an imagined global community. The use of classical Arabic in wall writings that intertextually resonate with Quranic verses, on the other hand, can be read as a ‘multilayered act of translation’, both translating political views into calligraphic signs and fusing the political with the religious by reworking Quranic verses into activist slogans. Taking cue from Susan Gal’s (2015) understanding of translation as intertextuality and citationality, Ana Deumert, Sandrine Mpazayabo and Miché Thompson define heritage as a form of translation, where ‘the past is translated so that it can be meaningful in the present, and in this process the past is also, to some degree, objectified’. Their case in point is the Jameson Memorial Hall in the University of Cape Town. Named after the colonialist Leander Starr Jameson, the hall’s name became a point of contention in 2015, when student activists renamed it provisionally as Marikana Memorial Hall to evoke a tragic episode of oppression, where 34 South African miners on strike were massacred. Here renaming is a discursive act of subversion, as a kind of re-­monumentalization meant to recall suppressed narratives—and at this juncture we see interesting contrapuntalities with Yun’s and Bellentani’s chapters, where names and monuments are the discursive/material means through which the prevailing political order entrenches itself in the city’s psyche. This is complemented by the students’ painting of graffiti ‘in blood-­red letters’ denouncing the university for its alleged involvement in the massacre. In visually performing a resistance to official histories, such transgressive graffiti, 6


together with the act of renaming, ‘created a form of translation that is not a repetition, but a radical reimagination, a call for socioeconomic justice in an educational space that for many remains a symbol of colonial whiteness’. The everyday creativities associated with graffiti art are explored by Tereza Spilioti and Korina Giaxoglou in the city of Athens. In contrast with the more structured regimes of multilingualism governing road signage and airport spaces, wall doodling in neighbourhood settings exudes a vernacular vibrancy that again speaks to an aesthetics of messiness. Such messiness results from languaging processes involving dynamic uses of linguistic and graphemic resources. One such process, which Spillioti and Giaxoglou call trans-­scripting (the term was first introduced by Jannis Androutsopoulos), combines different ‘orientations of scripting’, such as orthographically oriented romanizations of Greek names invoking the shape of the Greek alphabet and phonetically oriented re-­spellings of English words (e.g., tourist guideturist guide). The textual space ensuing from such ludic subversion of orthographies is a translational one: first, because bilingual graffiti texts do actually mirror each other at times; and second, because the splicing of scriptal resources from different languages turns graffiti spaces into translation sites, à la Sherry Simon, that critique the ideologies of parallel bilingualism. While trans-­scripting focuses on orthographic creativity, Zhu Hua and Li Wei take the notion of languaging toward embodied interaction in the context of a karate club in London. Translation, as conventional wisdom goes, eases communication barriers among users of different languages. But this should not obscure the fact that translation can simultaneously function as an ‘act of distinction’, i.e., to mark language boundaries and evoke language differences. Yet this is not to say that translation is meant to produce obstacles in cross-­cultural communication. Rather, translation participates in more complex processes of translanguaging, which turns mundane sites of interaction into contact zones where languages encounter, synergize or, as the case may be, repel each other. The notion of translanguaging is contextualized by Jaspal Naveel Singh as well as Yiqi Liu and Angel M. Y. Lin in relation to a more stylized aesthetic, namely hip ­hop. Hip ­hop as a transcultural and metrolingual form exemplifies local appropriations of global discourse (Pennycook 2010: 70–87). As a vernacular and translational genre, it constitutes a zone of nexus where music, language and body come together to signify creative, resistant energies. Singh’s ethnographic work takes him to Delhi, where he invited young participants to share their personal narratives on translingual practices, migration and global hip ­hop. His perspective on translation is non-­utopian and reflexive, focusing on the mistranslations, failures and untranslatability that transpired during his interviews. By revealing the slippages between Hindi and English, between himself as an ethnographer and his participants as aspiring hip ­hop artists, Singh provides a close-­up glimpse into the translation zone, where the researcher doubles up as a translator—not the privileged translator working in comfort behind a computer, but one who constantly fumbles through the ambivalences that characterize superdiverse zones at ground zero. Translation in a hip ­hop context, then, proves much more than negotiating the meaning of lyrics between different languages; nor is it about arriving at some definitive and stable point of understanding. It is rather about translanguaging one’s way through moments of ambivalence and even miscommunication to develop a ‘cooperative disposition and an acute metapragmatic awareness of our multilingual repertoires’. Working with hip ­hop too are Liu and Lin, who are interested in the trans-­semiotizing potential of plurilingualism, with an eye to ‘well-­coordinated, multisensory, whole-­body sense-­making with verbal as well as non-­verbal semiotics such as bodily movements, facial expressions, sounds and colours, etc’. They analyze the ‘feeling-­meaning’ of the Hong Kong 7

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hip ­hop artist MC Yan, which involves reading the critical stance in his bilingual lyrics, but also observing his whole-­body language (head movement, hand gestures), composition of screen, angle of camera shot and use of colours. Rapping Hong Kong, then, is not just about putting words to music. It is a holistic choreography that translates vernacular sentiments into language, into embodied performance and into an anti-­establishment identity, all with the aim to ‘subvert and challenge the normative hierarchy of power that exists in the Hong Kong society and construct the multifarious Hong Kong identity as rooted in working-­class sensibilities’. The overall thrust of these chapters on translation as a bottom-­up practice is usefully summed up by Myriam Suchet and Sarah Mekdjian via the figure of the counter-­map. If city maps represent the rationalization of urban spaces—in other words, a translation of space into a discourse—then counter-­mapping subverts the cartographic institution by making visible what is considered invisible (it unveils) and by rendering conventional maps unreadable (it unreads). The translation connection enters at this point, where translation is at once a heuristic, a practice and a framework to stage a de-authorizing of maps, to counter-­write the city.

Cities in writing, translation as trope In our final cluster of chapters, writing the city takes a chiastic reversal as the city in writing, turning the lens on literary-­artistic figurations of and ruminations on the urban. This gives rise to a double meaning that loops into each other like a möbius strip: the city as conjured up within the typographical space of imaginative prose based on the topographical spatiality of the actual city. Rita Wilson, drawing on J. Hillis Miller, gives us a handle on this by highlighting the non-­hierarchical relation between the fictional city and the real city, which reciprocally amplify each other in a back-­and-­forth crossing. Hence, ‘literary discourse interacts with—and consequently modifies—the perception and production of place’. A migration theme informs the works discussed by Wilson in the context of Melbourne, where polyglot narratives bring translation into the fold under a transcultural rubric. The most intriguing of these works is a multimedia installation titled ‘Mother Tongue’ by Filomena Coppola. Translation is entailed in a most corporeal sense; it is spliced into enunciations of Italian and English alphabets and embedded in a plethora of voices that speak to the translational identity of Italian migrants. In this process, ‘well-­worn structuralist binaries’ are disassembled and reassembled into ‘new complementarities’, bringing the concept of translation to fruition in aesthetic form. The migration and transculturation themes are taken more deeply into the politics and poetics of Nigerian English by Elena Rodríguez-­Murphy, who looks into the portrayal of translingual encounters on the streets of Lagos in the works of Nigerian writers. English pidgins are living fossils of these encounters, which exemplify the workings of translation sites as zones of contact, crossings, fusions and separations, giving rise to a brand of cosmopolitanism with a unique inflection—what Achille Mbembe (2007) calls Afropolitanism (see also Ana Deumert et al.). In representing pidginized English in their novels via textual code-­switching, Nigerian writers ‘dramatize translation as an object of mimesis’, as Andre Furlani would have it. Yet Furlani further tells us that translation can shape a narrative more deeply at the level of its structure and be formalized ‘as a condition of narration itself’. The stories of Montreal discussed in his chapter critically engage the dual city by juxtaposing rather than translating languages, illustrating the ‘failures of cultural kinship across languages, and about the remedial limits of translation to unite Montreal’s Balkanized social groups’. This focus on what we may call the discontents of translation is further complicated by a gender angle, exposing a homology between ‘pedestrian mobility, gender enfranchisement and translatability’ and a 8


complicity between gender normativities and ‘the complacencies of apparent equivalence and cooperation’. The frailties of translation are explored further in three other papers in this section, in which translation is less a beaming site of cross-­cultural communication than one of dissonance, non-­ figurability and concealment. Katia Pizzi reads translation as an ‘interrupted’ enterprise, one that reveals rather than sutures the fractures of history and memory along borders. Trieste, an Italian city sitting on the Slovenian border, is exemplary of such borders. Pizzi’s reading of the literary works revolving around Trieste against Antonio Gramsci’s traducibilità (translatability) highlights ‘a poetics of dissonance’ grounded in national differences, and projects a desire for non-­hierarchical and dialogical translations in line with a Gramscian ethics. The aporia of translation is explored by Simon Harel with a psychoanalytic twist. Translation can be a symptom of psychic suffering, a ‘weapon of self-­defence’ pointing to irresolvable tensions between languages, underwriting the neurotic body into ‘a site of warring tongues’ (Simon 2019: 208). Emphasizing the ‘trauma of translation and exile’, Harel reads the ‘painful accents’ in the writing of Gérard Étienne, in particular the non-­figurability, hence un-­utterability of the exilic psyche, which belies violence, torture, refugee anxiety and panic, and repression. This perspective of the exile is not one of writing in the city, but one of writing outside the city, although still psychically entrenched in its haunting memories. Harel’s strongly metaphorical interpretation of translation as sustaining ‘discursive tension between the linearity of the narrative process and the properly semiotic and tabular dimension of the unconscious’ takes us away from a text-­based paradigm of translation, orienting us to a view of the translator as a psychoanalytic subject yearning (and failing) to restore ‘a semiotic capacity of translation of his inner heart’. Translation can thus point to a chasm: an interrupted zone, a symptom of unhealed trauma. It can also be a haunting, something that does not prima facie exist, though traces of which nonetheless linger in the interstices of old buildings—and, as Anne Malena shows us, of old travelogues. Calling to mind Simon’s (2019: 4) idea of ‘ghost signs’, understood as ‘glimpses of languages’ that evoke vague memories of what was, Malena’s chapter teaches us how to read ‘phantom translations’ into being. The site in question is New Orleans, ‘an urban chronotope that makes it a city of performance and ideal for translation but also haunted by its colonial past and racial trauma’. From the perspective of haunting, writers from New Orleans can be seen as writing between the lines, as it were, by unveiling hidden aspects of the segregated society, by translating its ghosts into visible form. * In his autobiographical Istanbul, Orhan Pamuk speaks of his non-­detachment from the city in which he was born and educated: ‘Istanbul’s fate is my fate’ (Pamuk 2005: 6). On this point, Pamuk contrasts himself with such literary luminaries as Conrad, Nabokov and Naipaul, writers who are migratory in territorial, cultural and linguistic senses, and whose creative minds are nourished ‘not through roots but through rootlessness’ (ibid.). This is not to say that Pamuk’s vision is parochially rooted; on the contrary, his fascination lies with the transhistorical and intercultural, specifically with four ‘melancholic’ Turkish writers (Kemal, Hisar, Tanpinar, Koçu) who ‘drew their strength from the tensions between the past and the present, or between what Westerners like to call East and West’ (111). All of these writers, including Pamuk, exemplify a translating/translated persona in trafficking ideas across languages and cultures, times and spaces. But translation, whether as a practice or as a disposition, is not the exclusive preserve of celebrity writers. Together the chapters 9

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contained in this volume demonstrate that translation works itself through the cacophonous utterances on the street, through urban artefacts and the memories inscribed therein, through our bodies and sensuous capacities, through writing across all genres and media. Translation in its substantive and non-­substantive manifestations informs the fundamental character of the city itself. If we accept that there is no monolingual city as such—an axiom with which Sherry Simon begins her chapter—then it is time to come to terms with translation as an existential condition of the city; or, in the words of Reine Meylaerts: ‘The city’s future shall be translation or shall not be’.

Notes 1 I emphasize ‘modern’ here, as the preoccupation with the idea of writing (in) the city can be traced to the ancient and medieval times; see Jaworski and Li (2021: 4–6). 2 To avoid repetition of the phrase ‘this volume’, hereafter the names of authors featured in this Handbook are bolded; quotations without page numbers are extracted from the chapters contained in this volume, as indicated by author names. 3 I borrow this term from the title of Paul Farmer’s book, Pathologies of Power (Farmer 2005).

References Barthes, Roland (1986) ‘Semiology and the urban’, in Mark Gottdiener and Alexandros Ph. Lagopoulos (eds.) The City and the Sign: An Introduction to Urban Semiotics, New York: Columbia University Press, 87–98. Baudrillard, Jean (1994) Simulacra and Simulation, trans. Sheila Glaser, Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press. Calvino, Italo (1997) Invisible Cities, trans. William Weaver, London: Vintage. Cronin, Michael and Sherry Simon (2014) ‘Introduction: The city as translation zone’, Translation Studies 7(2): 119–132. De Certeau, Michel (1984) The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. Steven Rendall, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Deleuze, Gilles (1990) The Logic of Sense, trans. Mark Lester and Charles Stivale and ed. Constantin V. Boundas, New York: Columbia University Press. Deleuze, Gilles (1994) Difference and Repetition, trans. Paul Patton, New York: Columbia University Press. Eco, Umberto (1986) Travels in Hyperreality, trans. William Weaver, Orlando, FL: Harcourt. Farmer, Paul (2005) Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights and the New War on the Poor, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Gal, Susan (2015) ‘Politics of translation’, Annual Review of Anthropology 44: 225–240. Gillette, Kyle (2020) The Invisible City: Travel, Attention, and Performance, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Jaworski, Adam and Li Wei (2021) ‘Introducing writing (in) the city’, Social Semiotics 31(1): 1–13. Mbembe, Achille (2007) ‘Afropolitanism’, in Njami Simon and Lucy Durán (eds.) Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent, Johannesburg: Jacana Media, 26–30. Pamuk, Orhan (2005) Istanbul: Memories and the City, trans. Maureen Freely, New York: Alfred A. Knopf. Pennycook, Alastair (2010) Language as a Local Practice, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Scollon, Ron (2008) ‘Discourse itineraries: Nine processes of resemiotization’, in Vijay Bhatia, John Flowerdew and Rodney H. Jones (eds.) Advances in Discourse Studies, Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 233–244. Simon, Sherry (2006) Translating Montreal: Episodes in the Life of a Divided City, Montreal: McGill-­ Queen’s University Press.



Simon, Sherry (2012) Cities in Translation: Intersections of Language and Memory, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Simon, Sherry (ed.) (2016) Speaking Memory: How Translation Shapes City Life, Montreal: McGill-­ Queen’s University Press. Simon, Sherry (ed.) (2018) Space (special issue), translation, a transdisciplinary journal, vol. 7. Simon, Sherry (2019) Translation Sites: A Field Guide, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Walkowitz, Rebecca L. (2015) Born Translated: The Contemporary Novel in an Age of World Literature, New York: Columbia University Press.


Part I

Key issues

1 The translational city Sherry Simon

What is a translational city? There are no monolingual cities. The diversity of urban life always includes the encounter and exchange of languages. Conversations on sidewalks, buses and in corner stores, the display of scripts on storefronts and billboards—these are key to the sensory experience of every city. The accents and rhythms of speech, the landscape of signs, they shape the urban environment. But urban languages do not simply coexist: they connect, they enter into networks. This means that cities are not only multilingual—they are translational. Translation tells which languages count, how they occupy the territory and how they participate in the discussions of the public sphere. Despite awareness of multilingualism, language interactions are often overlooked as crucial to meaningful spaces of contact and civic participation. Understanding urban space as a translation zone means taking into account the specific history and geography of the city, the circulation of language within urban space, zones of resistance and misconnection. What might a map of the translational city look like? Think of a familiar type of language map—the kind that shows the multitude of languages one might find in a city like New York, for example, Jill Hubley’s ‘The Ultimate Map of New York’s Non-­English Languages’ (www.­spoken-­in-­new-­york-­city-­map/506054/). It would display a mosaic of colours, indicating the homes or shops where a language is spoken. But what if the map focused instead on crossings and shifts, and on zones where languages meet— places that we could call sites of translation? This map would have to indicate the direction of language transactions—the from and to of translation. Immigrant and minority languages will be largely translated into the dominant tongues—the stories and texts of migrants given legitimacy in the tongues of their new homes—while translation in the other direction will consist mainly of instructions and advice. The locations of cultural activities involving translation (theatres, publishing houses), scholarship (universities), tourism, journalism, health care and economic exchange would be indicated. The map would also indicate sites of forgotten or suppressed languages, places whose memories are reactivated through translation. Translation is a pendulum. The back swing 15

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recalls the violence of voices suppressed. The forward swing embraces the struggle to reanimate and reinstate those languages and the worlds they contain. If languages can be eliminated through translation, then languages can be reanimated equally through counter-­translation, brought back to the surface and into circulation. Disappeared languages are reinserted into public space through the collective activist work of memory. In the cities of North America, for instance, indigenous languages are reclaiming their presence in urban space—as place or street names, or in acts of cultural affirmation. All cities, past and present, can be understood as fields of translational forces. Every city has its own map of zones and sites, resulting from the interactions among its home and migrant languages, its entitled and marginalized, precarious populations, and from the spatial organization of the city—the neighbourhoods, divisions and contact zones where languages come together. It is not the simple fact of translation that defines the history of these cities but the ways in which language interaction materializes social and cultural relations. Languages move across city space as a result of the forces that drive them. These forces define the direction and intensity of language traffic; they also determine the mood and affect of language exchange—whether translation is cool or warm, a transaction of pure protocol or an expression of urgency. In translation studies, research on the city responds to two interlinked imperatives. First, it responds to the need to focus on local practices and specific spatial contexts, breaking with the default reliance on national languages as end terms. In the city, translation takes place across a wide variety of idioms, regional variants and languages which are not necessarily ‘foreign’ one to the other. They are physically proximate, share common references and in some cases share a common sense of entitlement to the city. Second, the city puts pressure on translation as a clearly bounded concept. Translation becomes a wide category of language exchange that includes translanguaging, multilingual artistic projects, political activism mediating across global movements, projects of renaming that symbolically territorialize public space, and the shifts in individual identity that are forms of self-­translation. The cities open fresh perspectives on the ways languages intermingle and connect. This article will examine recent research into the city by focusing on six critical concepts: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Nationalist makeovers Dual cities Migration, presencing and translanguaging Mediation and mediators Modernist aesthetic practices Translation sites

Nationalist makeovers Linguistic nationalism had an important impact on European cities during the 19th century, affecting translation practices and translation policies (D’hulst and Koskinen 2020; cf. D’hulst, this volume). During the crucial transitional period in European history when nationalism was an active force and yet continued to coexist with imperial and cosmopolitan practices, local responses were often improvised—whether in the streets, courtrooms and offices of cities, or as Michaela Wolf has shown, in the drawing rooms and kitchens of private houses. The legal egalitarianism of the Habsburg administration, for instance, which guaranteed rights of translation to national languages, competed with the rising power of local languages, while informal relations were guided by class hierarchies and cultural prestige (Wolf 2015). 16

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The impact of nationalism was dramatic, however, when cities experienced language makeovers. The first decades of the 20th century saw many multilingual imperial cities reborn as national cities. This was the case across Europe and the Middle East, as the fall of the Habsburg and Ottoman empires resulted in the restructuring of states and the nationalist rebranding of cities. Such transformations also occurred in the aftermath of the Second World War, especially in Eastern Europe. The city of Salonica/Thessaloniki is an example of such a makeover. Between the years 1912 and 1928, the city was transformed from a cosmopolitan, largely Turkish-­ and Ladino-­ speaking place, into a Greek city. An Ottoman city from 1430 to 1912, Salonica became Thessaloniki as a result of Greek victories during the first Balkan war. The population exchanges between Greece and Turkey that began as early as 1913 and attained massive proportions in 1923 further transformed the city. Thessaloniki’s Christian identity was enhanced by the arrival of some 100,000 Christians from Asia Minor who filled the city as Muslims were forced to cross the Aegean into Turkey. What had once been a cosmopolitan, mixed city, where Turkish, Ladino, Armenian and many other languages were heard, gradually became a Greek-­ speaking place. While barely one ­third of the population spoke Greek in 1912, Thessaloniki was by 1928 almost entirely Greek-­speaking. The remaking of Salonica was especially remarkable because the spatial configuration of the city was also transformed to align with its new linguistic identity. A great fire destroyed the city centre in 1917, and in its aftermath a modern and rational city plan was devised to reflect its new political identity. In one of the first great works of European urban planning in the 20th century, the French urban planner Ernest Hébrard created a grand new design in the neo-­Byzantine style, solidifying the imprint of the new Greek state. Traces of the Ottoman past and even the street layout of the densely packed Jewish quarters were wiped out. In few cities can one see such a radical transformation of the city’s identity and the realignment in parallel of both linguistic and built heritage. Thessaloniki was among a legion of cities that experienced language flips in the wake of imperial collapse. These were traumatic transformations, where one identity was obliterated in favour of a more modern affiliation, destined to make the city more truly itself. In Central Europe, successive border shifts in the wake of war and occupation had immense repercussions on the language lives of cities. Lemberg-­Lwów-­Lviv, Pressburg-­Pozsony-­Presporak-­ Bratislava, Danzig-­Gdansk, Wilno-­Vilna-­Vilnius, Czernowitz-­Cernauti-­Chernivtsi: variants of the city name stand for a new regime of political and linguistic power. Entangled in the transformations brought about by the fall of the Habsburg Empire, two World Wars, and the end of Communism, the cosmopolitan cities of Central Europe fell prey to many forms of forced translation. Lviv is a compelling example. Variously called Leopolis (Italian), Lemberg (German and Yiddish), Lwów (Polish), Lvov (Russian) and today Lviv (Ukrainian), it is a city of stratified histories. The name of the street that the grand Opera sits on, according to the interactive map on the website of the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe (https://lia.lvivcenter. org/#!/map/), changed ten times between 1940 and the present—from Untere Karl Ludwig Strasse in Habsburg times to Opernstrasse, Adolf-­Hitler-­Ring, and Prospekt Lenina, to today’s Prospeckt Svobody. Each easy click on the map calls up a chapter in a turbulent history of murderous conflicts. Because of the successive layers that make up the history of Lviv, language is a powerful vehicle of memory. The very instability of meaning and topography in the city, where names and memories mutated with the changing configurations of power, points to translation as an overburdened metaphor. Different versions of a guidebook to the city in Ukrainian, 17

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English and Polish offer subtle changes in emphasis and impose different forms of exclusion (Sywenky 2014; cf. Sywenky, this volume). Translation is a form of commodification when it packages the essence of the city for select audiences—through tourist guides (see Yun 2018 for a study on the commodification of the district of Itaewon, in Seoul, South Korea, as reduced to capsule ‘translations’ found in tourist guides; cf. Yun, this volume). Tourists and visitors have become the bearers of linguistic memory. Large groups of noisy Polish tourists visit the iconic restaurants, palaces and museums that celebrate the pre-­war version of the city. Somewhat less prominent groups of German-­language tourists visit Habsburg sites. And Jewish tourists have begun to return to the city in search of a tragic past. Yesterday’s language mixings have turned into a trade in cultural meanings and in competing claims to the city (Lyubas 2018). There is a renewed mixing of languages, then, but some count as insider tongues, while others are confined to the role of observers. Who is the guardian of a city’s memory? To read the story of a city like Lviv, historians must be able to combine the narratives written in its many languages. Its identity would have to be a composite, combining the angles of vision from its multiple pasts. Similarly, the languages and memories of the past must be reintegrated into the materiality of the city, as scripts, as monuments, as marks on the legible surfaces of its streets and buildings.

Dual cities There is a special character to cities where more than one language group feels entitled to the same territory. Each community considers itself to be an ‘insider’—an original or historically legitimate presence. This situation results from forms of colonialism and imperialism, where the imposition of one language on another has resulted in a situation of rivalry. In contrast to the previous situation of the ‘makeover’, where one language effectively eliminates its rivals (at least officially), the dual city witnesses ongoing forms of competition. In such cases two principal languages play out their disputes in public view. An essential aspect of duality is that each language is supported by institutions of similar authority— universities, writers’ associations, publishing houses, legal rights, eligibility for government subsidies, etc. One might want to call such cities bilingual, but the term is misleading because by bilingualism one assumes relations of symmetry and mutual tolerance. Brussels, Barcelona, Montreal—these cities are frequently called bilingual. But in all these cases, tensions continue to prevail. Languages that share the same terrain rarely participate in a peaceful and egalitarian conversation: their separate institutions are wary of one another, aggressive in their need for self-­protection, continually laying claim to areas of culture they consider vulnerable. In the dual city, movement across languages is marked by the special intensity that comes from a shared history, a common territory and the situation of contending rights. Successful negotiation across these commonalities and differences becomes the very condition of civic coexistence. Brussels, Barcelona, Montreal—more than bilingual cities, these are rather examples of what we can call the dual city, one where the central narrative is dominated by a struggle between two languages, though other languages are present. Sometimes the narrative of duality has outlasted the sociodemographic realities which saw it emerge, and persists as a myth beyond its real pertinence. Numbers are not always relevant. In Kafka’s Prague, German continued to enjoy the status of a dominant language though only 10% of the population were Germans. Duality, in other words, has a lot to do with ideology and with competition for authority over the city. Dual cities often (but not always) display patterns of language segregation. Colonial cities, with their evident spatial and linguistic separations, are clear-­cut representations of duality. 18

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Both French and British colonial cities grafted separate colonial areas onto existing cities. Both colonial Calcutta and Montreal bore the imprint of British colonialism, which drew lines across their territory, conjoining languages of differing authority. Montreal was for much of the 20th century an emblematic dual city. Its cultural relations were precisely represented by its geography: an English-­speaking sector in the west, a larger French-­speaking sector in the east, and a narrow corridor between them occupied by immigrants, mostly Jews. But such configurations of duality are susceptible to many kinds of disturbances, as the cultural authority of languages ebbs and flows. The successful rise of French-­language nationalism shifted economic and political power to francophones, shuffling spatial relationships as well. French became the undisputed matrix of its social and cultural life, with English relegated to a minor role. This process of translation towards French was also marked by forms of linguistic territorialization. Buildings and monuments were re-­branded. There was a struggle for public space, as the emergent vernacular of the new nationalism took over the symbolic spaces previously occupied by the metropolitan tongue. To move from one language to another was to move across narratives, to cross urban space into new frames of interpretation. Duality is not a permanent feature of cities. Cities are dual at specific moments, during periods when tension across institutions is highlighted. Duality can be best understood as a dynamic, which can act in overlapping and intersectional ways. This means, as Esther Allen argues, that although Spanish is not a major force in all aspects of New York life, the connection between Spanish and English in New York City could indeed be characterized as dual in the areas where there is intense interaction and competition, and where Spanish has acquired a significant legal and institutional presence (Allen 2019). While some cities have a longstanding and broad-­ranging history of duality, others express this tension as a specific chapter in stories of migration and settlement. Duality points to the formative powers of translation in specific language relationships and the inscription of this dialogue onto the physical spaces of the city. Are all cities made up of multiple and overlapping dualities, contributing to their own singular architectonics of connection? Dualities shape sensitivity to the impact of translation and give rise to changing strategies. These include distancing, furthering and ‘perversing’ forms of exchange (Simon 2006). Successful connections are always subject to the institutions that enforce the barriers between languages. Material technologies of print and broadcasting can militate against language crossings in the multilingual city (Straw 2016).

Migration, presencing and translanguaging Urban space is shaped by the languages of immigrants, migrants, refugees and exiles. The translational landscape of cities is marked by traffic between the place of origin and the diasporic home. As observers have noted, the experience of migration is no longer necessarily a one-­way journey involving a decisive break with the language, culture and society of the place that was being left behind. In a world of instant messaging, the near instantaneity of contact with elsewhere makes contact both economically and technically feasible. This, in turn, creates a new kind of translational reality for the migrant in multilingual city space. Translation is a process rather than a state, and urban experience is a continuous engagement with the possibilities and obstacles of translation. Michael Cronin suggests that ‘presencing’ may be a useful notion to account for the varied material and immaterial ways in which migrants and their languages occupy space (Cronin 2016). Virtual presence modifies material presence. One of the effects of migratory patterns 19

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and communicational changes could be changes in the spatial organization of cities, with a possible move away from the marked, physical space (ethnic ghettos) to a looser organization of language identity in urban settings. The migrant, the refugee and the exile put pressure on the idea of translation as free circulation and flow. Refugees are travellers reduced to the role of formulating requests, of petitioning for status. Their words are nourished by a circuit of international generosity and global care, but are not heard unless aligned, translated into the terms required by the host society. As Simon Harel explains, translation for the refugee is not a casual act of communication but a rigorously formulated plea. Language must cross the différend of law in order to attain the desperately desired goal (Harel 2016; see also Harel in this volume). The superdiversity of cosmopolitan cities creates zones of heightened language mixing, giving rise to a wide variety of forms of language exchange. The market is a strong example of such sites, showing the co-­dependence of language and work spaces. The specialized work of market gardening and the use of migrant labour involve forms of exchange which are also linguistic. Such spaces may promote forms of translation which are incomplete and fragmentary, since the ‘ordinary’ practices of language that emerge in such spaces disqualify notions like bilingualism, multilingualism or code-­switching—because they are not to be understood as exceptional or deviating from a monolingual norm. These ‘normal’ practices of multilingualism have been called ‘metrolinguistic’ (Pennycook and Otsuji 2015; see also Otsuji and Pennycook, this volume): they are language activities that emerge in the relationship between urban context and activities of commercial and linguistic exchange. ‘Social spaces are shaped by speech, by what can and cannot be said in particular venues, by how things are said and by the way they are heard’ (Pennycook and Otsuji 2015: 85). ‘Language does not just happen against an urban backdrop, it is part of the city, the barber shop, the market garden, the networks of buying and selling . . . Language activities produce time and space’ (33). Translanguaging, a term adopted by sociolinguists and now by translation theorists (Baynham and Lee 2019), also describes the movement across and among languages, language varieties and registers, to effect a multilingual, multimodal and multisensory process of making sense. Language users are no longer defined by the ‘languages’ they speak (languages defined as Chinese, English, French) but are characterized by the repertoires they draw upon to express themselves. The term metrolingualism refers to this same recognition of fluid linguistic performance but links this performance explicitly to the urban sites which elicit communication. The attention to space makes metrolingualism particularly appropriate in thinking about the city and translation.

Mediation and mediators Mediators are essential figures on the urban landscape, as Michel de Certeau reminds us. As intermediaries, shifters, connecting agents, translators and dispatchers, they are the ‘anonymous heroes’ of communication, making ‘social space more habitable’ (de Certeau 1984: 11). Because the actual production of translated texts usually takes place in the removes of private space, the work of translation or the travels that sustain it are not often represented. That is why it is necessary to draw translators onto city maps, to see them gathering information and making connections, moving across language zones, putting languages and texts into circulation. Mediators are multilingual authors, self-­translators, active in a variety of intercultural and inter-­artistic networks, often with hybrid identities, incorporating language transfer into a broad cultural project (Meylaerts and Gonne 2014). 20

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Recent studies have provided portraits of mediators in cities: Meylaerts and Gonne (2014) propose a study of two important cultural mediators, whose work both reflects and influences the changing linguistic landscape in Antwerp—as Dutch becomes an increasingly important language and acquires legitimacy against French. Georges Eekhoud (1854–1927) and Roger Avermaete (1893–1988) are two key figures whose multiple transfer activities are inextricably bound up with Antwerp’s history as a dual city between 1850 and 1930. Şule Demirkol Ertürk and Saliha Paker (2014; see also Demirkol Ertürk, this volume) similarly focus on the translators and publishers of the Kurdish and Armenian languages in Istanbul, showing how they have transformed ‘the interzone’ of Beyoğlu/Pera from an area of non-­translation and exclusion to an area of new mediations that are enlarging the established cultural repertoire. More than conventional mediators, these publishers and translators challenge cultural norms. Laurent Lamy (2018) has provided an in-­depth portrait of an unusual figure, Flavius Mithridates, born Guglielmo Raimondo Moncada (ca. 1445–1489). He was a singular mediator in Renaissance Florence. From 1485 to 1487, Mithridates laboured by the side of Pico della Mirandola, translating Kabbalistic literature. The collaboration between the two scholars was one of the most fertile translation ventures in the history of ideas in the West, introducing Persian and Chaldean solar theologies and the cosmological speculations of the Jewish Kabbalah, both of which had a role in sparking ideas of modern science. Esther Allen tells the story of the Cuban revolutionary José Martí as a journalist and translator in the early years of the 20th century in New York City. This story provides an illuminating look into the performative functions of media translation, challenging ‘the one-­way paradigm of foreign versus domestic in favor of a paradigm of connectedness, in which translation and the original text are in constant dialogue: mutually aware, mutually impacted, and serving as extensions of each other’ (Allen 2019: 114). The work of mediators highlights the cultural forces at work in the city. During the 1960s in Montreal, the translations of Malcolm Reed, Frank Scott and Jacques Ferron were interventions into a charged political landscape. They tapped into the prevailing moods of the time— from excitement to melancholy. The self-­translators of Barcelona, Carme Riera and Juan Marsé, turned a split lens onto its melancholic history. The reverend James Long and Bankim Chattopadhyay materialized the multidirectional cultural dynamics of colonial Calcutta. The Triestine writer Italo Svevo wrote at the intersection of languages at a time of transition for his city (Simon 2006, 2012; cf. Pizzi, this volume). The impact of these acts of mediation cannot be understood without attention to the physical spaces and tensions that animated these cities.

Modernist aesthetic practices A long line of writers, from the Surrealists to the Situationists, from Régine Robin and Georges Perec to Paul Auster, find in urban density and its languages a resource for producing innovative forms of expression. Walter Benjamin anticipated the entry of the translator into the urban scene when he saw the arc of the 19th-­century shopping arcade as the form of a literal translation—its curve of iron and glass a replica of language’s structure and transparency (Benjamin 1969: 79). The translator emerges as a full participant in the stories of modernity that are enacted across urban space—modernity understood as an awareness of the plurality of codes, a thinking with and through translation, a continual testing of the limits of expression. The translational city is a privileged site of modernist literary practices. Zones of linguistic dispossession or insecurity have a special role to play in the emergence of a modernist sensibility. A strong tradition of thought sees in a weak and uncertain relation to language a source of inspiration for literature. Kafka’s writing, as many commentators have argued, was inspired 21

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by the frictions of languages in Prague—his literary German a reflection of the insularity of the German minority, his desires ignited by the Czech he heard around him. A similar dynamic can be discerned in the works of authors from Trieste, a Habsburg city like Prague until 1918. The awkward prose of Italo Svevo, for example, expresses the special sensibility of his city—an aesthetic tradition shaped by a suspicion of absolute values. The precarious belongings in both cities gave birth to a culture of mediation, a community of translators who innovated through acts of transmission and recreation (Spector 2000). New Orleans, Montevideo, São Paulo and Montreal have been explored for their potential to generate distinctive literary, aesthetic and translational sensibilities. In São Paulo, the Brazilian writer Alcântara Machado was a translator of the São Paulo of the 1920s, through his macaronic literary style, which drew from the rhythm of cinema. Brás, Bexiga e Barra Funda, Machado’s major work, is a visual and aural/oral description—acting as symbolic translation—of the continual interplay between Luso-­Portuguese and Brazilian (Duval 2016). For Machado, the writer translates to create a new kind of hybrid urban speech—expressing the identity of the city as a crucible of immigration. Andre Furlani (2016; see also Furlani, this volume) proposes a guide to pedestrian writing in Montreal whose sensibility is derived from the Situationists as a model for experiencing the city in a translational mode. Using examples ranging from an innovative multilingual video game to sound walks that convey some of the sense of Montreal’s language landscape, Furlani brings to life a genre, a type of practice, which is particularly effective in a city like Montreal—that is, a city where struggles across languages are a prominent part of daily life. The multilingualism of the city of Lagos is reflected in readings of Nigerian authors who portray the different sounds and accents of one of Nigeria’s most diverse and vibrant cities (Rodríguez-­Murphy 2018; see also Rodríguez-­Murphy, this volume). Languages such as Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, as well as Nigerian English and Nigerian Pidgin, flow through the novels of Sefi Atta, just as they flow through the city. Particularly interesting is the diversity of cultural forms and spaces which express this plurality—types of music such as Afrobeat or highlife music, dance, film, as well as the spaces of Lagos’s streets and markets. Translation aids in the creation of new hybrid linguistic forms and new semantic associations.

Translation sites Research on the translational city is attentive to sites—places or zones where translation flows are concentrated and intensified. The city is a network of translation sites—of places inhabited by the to-­and-­fro of conversations across languages. They are sites of transit, liminal zones which enable travellers and pilgrims to move from one sphere to another, borders, checkpoints or reception centres where migrants are processed for entry into national territory, hotels which are way stations, symbolic places of encounter and crossroads of colliding voices. Translation sites are defined by their structure and function but especially by the stories they enable (Simon 2019). They are polyglot places bringing together the past and the present, the near and the far, the rooted and the transient, the stable and the impermanent, the low and the elevated. At the heart of each site is a contradiction, an unresolved exchange. The hotel, for example, is a site of both transience and rootedness. As described by the essayist Cees Nooteboom or the Austrian novelist and essayist Joseph Roth, hotels speak the language of community. Their old-­world accommodations are communities of strangers coming together through prescribed codes of conversation and ritual. This nostalgic version of the hotel is a prominent feature of Wes Anderson’s visually extravagant and witty film The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). Based on the Grandhotel Pupp in Karlovy ­Vary, the Grand Budapest 22

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represents many of the most endearing aspects of the 20th-­century European hotel. By contrast, Sofia Coppola’s 2003 film Lost in Translation introduces through the Tokyo Hyatt what could be considered the polar opposite of European charm and gemütlichkeit—an impersonal and cold space of hypermodernity. These hotels represent opposite poles on the spectrum that Marc Augé (1995) calls ‘place’ and ‘non-­place’, sites which are culturally embedded versus anonymous and identical spaces associated with purely functional consumerism. Wes Anderson’s enthusiastic engagement with historical and linguistic otherness defines his hotel as translational, in contrast with Coppola’s depiction of melancholic indifference. The Tokyo Park Hyatt in Lost in Translation is more like a ‘non-­place’ and aligns with weak forms of translation and melancholic indifference. The bridge, too, comes in different versions. Consider the bridge of Mostar, a magnificent Turkish construction dating from the 17th century, destroyed in 1993 during the Bosnian War and rebuilt in 2005 with the aid of the European Union. Used as the backdrop for a performance of a South African play, Truth in Translation, in 2008, the Mostar Bridge became a focal point for debate over post-­trauma reconciliation. The Mostar Bridge represents a ‘thick’ version of the bridge in contrast to the ‘thin’ and frictionless Øresund Bridge crossing between Denmark and Sweden. Both bridges navigate between languages characterized by ‘small differences’. In one case, those differences are magnified, whereas in the other, downplayed. In the 2011 television series The Bridge, those differences are reduced to the point of inaudibility for the non-­local viewer. If the hotel and the bridge ask questions about engagement with the historical past, the mountaintop introduces dialogue with the sublime. Can translation change you? On the mountaintop translation is played for the highest stakes—with the fate of humanity hanging in the balance. Moses climbed Mount Sinai several times before successfully bringing down the tablets of the Ten Commandments. Louise Banks, the linguist in Denis Villeneuve’s 2016 film Arrival, also attempts ascension in order to translate words of great importance to humanity. In both cases, the messenger is transformed (Simon 2019). The high places of cities, their lookouts, transmission towers, cathedrals and skyscrapers, similarly act as connectors. They flip the switch, turning urban idioms into otherworldly codes. The street is a complex mix of language systems—a visual landscape of scripts, an oral environment of performance. Ato Quayson’s (2014) book-­length tribute to Oxford Street in Accra, Ghana describes the constellations of language forms that populate this street—the slogans and scripts that cover the lorries, cars and pushcarts; the billboards and slogans; the joking and insults that are bandied about; and the popular traditions that sustain this ensemble. This is a vast ‘discourse ecology’ bringing together writing, images and soundscapes; it is a rich urban transcript evolving according to the rhythms of local culture but also according to the dictates of transnational commerce. In Accra, the street is a landscape of continuous translation, the billboards mediating between global and local markets, and the slogans in English derived from popular culture sources in Twi, Ga, Ewe or Hausa. Here translation includes not only the transfer of text from one language into another, but also ‘the mediation of symbols, experiences, narratives and linguistic strings across modalities and cultural spaces’ (Baker 2016: 4). The street is one of the richest sites of such processes, which take on particularly volatile forms when the street becomes a place of protest.

Conclusion The conversation between translation and the city has barely begun, and many points of intersection remain to be explored. Translation studies will be considerably enriched by such 23

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investigations, and its key concepts and methods necessarily challenged, but the city too will be cast in a new light. To see the city as translational is to explore new techniques of imaging. Traditional maps will be replaced by vivid representations of flows and transfer, of languages as they move through space, and of switching stations where languages are rerouted. Also visible will be the obstacles and blockages impeding free circulation, the forces that oppose translation as well as those that allow silenced languages to re-­emerge and claim their place in the urban landscape. The map will show the global forces acting on the local, tracking diasporic connections across and back between living rooms and balconies. It will track the changing weights of language, the movements of redress that reinvigorate minor languages through translation into previously fragile tongues. The city is not simply a context within which to study language interactions. It generates multiple and diverse practices, from streets to carpeted offices, from schools to police stations, from billboards to novels. What makes the city different from a non-­urban environment is the density of interaction and the myths of community which define urban life. Cities are stories: they are the accumulation of narratives, photos, historical documents, symbolic sites and anecdotes that together create a sense of place. But each city will tell different stories according to the languages in which these stories are told. To the extent that a common narrative is possible, it will be told in translation.

Further reading Allen, Esther (2019) ‘Translating the local: New York’s micro-­cosmopolitan media, from José Martí to the Hyperlocal Hub’, in Regina Galasso and Evelyn Scaramella (eds.) Avenues of Translation: The City in Iberian and Latin American Writing, Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 112–132. An innovative look at New York and its citizen-­translators, from Cuba’s José Martí to the recent Hyberlocal Hub Cronin, Michael and Sherry Simon (2014) ‘Introduction: The city as translation zone’, Translation Studies 7(2): 119–132. In-­depth explorations of Antwerp, Lviv, Istanbul, Tampere and New Orleans as translational cities D’hulst, Lieven and Kaisa Koskinen (eds.) (2020) Translating in Town: Local Translation Policies During the European 19th Century, London: Bloomsbury. A study of translation policies and practices at the local level in 19th-­century Europe Simon, Sherry (ed.) (2016) Speaking Memory: How Translation Shapes City Life, Montreal: McGill-­ Queen’s University Press. Wide-­ranging studies of language and communication in cities such as Montreal, Dublin, Vilnius, Prague, Trieste and others Simon, Sherry (ed.) (2018) Space (special issue), translation, a transdisciplinary journal, vol. 7. A special issue of studies on the cities of Lagos, Marseilles, Gibraltar, Lviv, Montreal, Tallinn and Florence

References Allen, Esther (2019) ‘Translating the local: New York’s micro-­cosmopolitan media, from José Martí to the hyperlocal hub’, in Regina Galasso and Evelyn Scaramella (eds.) Avenues of Translation: The City in Iberian and Latin American Writing, Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 112–132. Augé, Marc (1995) Non-­Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Super Modernity, London: Verso. Baker, Mona (ed.) (2016) Translating Dissent: Voices from and with the Egyptian Revolution, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. 24

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Baynham, Mike and Tong King Lee (2019) Translation and Translanguaging, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Benjamin, Walter (1969) Illuminations: Essays and Reflections, trans. Harry Zohn and ed. Hannah Arendt, New York: Schocken Books. Cronin, Michael (2016) ‘Digital Dublin: Translating the cybercity’, in Sherry Simon (ed.) Speaking Memory: How Translation Shapes City Life, Montreal: McGill-­Queen’s University Press, 103–116. De Certeau, Michel (1984) The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. Steven Rendall, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Demirkol Ertürk, Şule and Saliha Paker (2014) ‘Beyoğlu/Pera as a translating site in Istanbul’, Translation Studies 7(2): 170–185. D’hulst, Lieven and Kaisa Koskinen (eds.) (2020) Translating in Town: Local Translation Policies During the European 19th Century, London: Bloomsbury. Duval, Roch (2016) ‘Antônio de Alcântara Machado’s Brás, Bexiga e Barra Funda as a translation of São Paulo during Brazilian modernism’, in Sherry Simon (ed.) Speaking Memory: How Translation Shapes City Life, Montreal: McGill-­Queen’s University Press, 205–219. Furlani, Andre (2016) ‘Montreal’s third spaces on foot’, in Sherry Simon (ed.) Speaking Memory: How Translation Shapes City Life, Montreal: McGill-­Queen’s University Press, 249–272. Harel, Simon (2016) ‘Monolingualism and plural narratives: The translation of suffering in the language of the city’, trans. Carmen Ruschiensky, in Sherry Simon (ed.) Speaking Memory: How Translation Shapes City Life, Montreal: McGill-­Queen’s University Press, 117–141. Lamy, Laurent (2018) ‘Firenze, Quattrocento: The translational channels and intercrossing of the Chaldaïca, Hermetica, and Kabbalistica as the matrix of future scientific revolutions’, in Sherry Simon (ed.) Space (special issue), translation, a transdisciplinary journal, vol. 7, 150–182. Lyubas Anastasiya (2018) ‘Lviv refashioned: The canvas of translation/mistranslation in a contemporary city’, in Sherry Simon (ed.) Space (special issue), translation, a transdisciplinary journal, vol. 7, 90–113. Meylaerts, Reine and Maud Gonne (2014) ‘Transferring the city—transgressing borders: Cultural mediators in Antwerp (1850–1930)’, Translation Studies 7(2): 133–151. Pennycook, Alastair and Emi Otsuji (2015) Metrolingualism: Language in the City, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Quayson, Ato (2014) Oxford Street, Accra: City Life and the Itineraries of Transnationalism, Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Rodríguez-­Murphy, Elena (2018) ‘Of translational spaces and multilingual cities: Reading the sounds of Lagos in Sefi Atta’s Swallow and everything good will come’, in Sherry Simon (ed.) Space (special issue), translation, a transdisciplinary journal, vol. 7, 51–69. Simon, Sherry (2006) Translating Montreal: Episodes in the Life of a Divided City, Montreal: McGill-­ Queen’s University Press. Simon, Sherry (2012) Cities in Translation: Intersections of Language and Memory, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Simon, Sherry (2019) Translation Sites: A Field Guide, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Spector, Scott (2000) Prague Territories: National Conflict and Cultural Innovation in Franz Kafka’s Fin de Siècle, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Straw, Will (2016) ‘Media networks and language-­crossing in Montreal’, in Sherry Simon (ed.) Speaking Memory: How Translation Shapes City Life, Montreal: McGill-­Queen’s University Press, 153–168. Sywenky, Irene (2014) ‘(Re)constructing the urban palimpsest of Lemberg/Lwów/Lviv: A case study in the politics of cultural translation in east central Europe’, Translation Studies 7(2): 152–169. Wolf, Michaela (2015) The Habsburg Monarchy’s Many-­Languaged Soul: Translating and Interpreting, 1848–1918, trans. Kate Sturge, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Yun, Hunam (2018) ‘Translation and fragmented cities: Focus on Itaewon, Seoul’, in Sherry Simon (ed.) Space (special issue), translation, a transdisciplinary journal, vol. 7, 32–50.


2 Rewriting walls in the country you call home Space as a site for asymmetries Ma Carmen África Vidal Claramonte

Introduction: space in our global asymmetrical era The epoch of space Time was the great obsession of the 19th century. In contrast, our current era is the ‘epoch of space’ (Foucault 1986), of simultaneity and juxtaposition of territories (Beck 2004). This change of perspective, and the important social and political consequences it brings with it, are a fairly recent phenomenon, because for a large part of the 20th century time was more important than space and the latter was considered to be static, homogeneous and fixed. However, many scholars currently argue that in our global era space is more important than time, because space is where we find time (Bachelard 1958; Massey 2005). Ours is the era of the ‘spatial turn’, where we move on from ‘always historicise’ to ‘always spatialise’ (Jameson 1981: 9, 1984). Michel Foucault (1986) was one of the first philosophers to reflect on the complexity of the concept of space. In papers such as ‘Le langage de l’espace’ (1964), ‘Des espaces autres’ (1967), ‘Questions on Geography’ (1980), ‘The Eye of Power’ (1980), or ‘Space, Knowledge and Power’ (1984), he presented the relationships between space and power through his notion of heterotopia. Spaces are, in fact, heterotopias (Foucault 1986: 23), a concept which Foucault links to other concepts such as deterritorialization, displacement, community, identity, panopticism, frontier or marginalization (see Crampton and Elden 2010). Contemporary heterotopic space is multiple, fragmented and a carrier of incompatible signifiers. It is an alternative way to translate and order things (Dehaene and de Cauter 2008; Hetherington 1997). And, in this regard, the so-­called new cultural geography (which already in the 1980s had attempted to react against the limitations of the Berkeley School; see in particular Jackson 1980; Kramsch 1999) and sociology of space argue that space is a fundamental concept for the study of everyday questions such as consumerism, power or inequality (Featherstone 1991; Gregory and Urry 1985; Shields 1991; Soja 1989, 1996, 2010; Zukin 1991). Therefore, the concept of space is not understood today as being neutral (de Certeau 1984; Harvey 2006; Lefebvre 1991; Soja 1996), but related to ideology (Burgin 1996; Crang and Thrift 2000; Gregory 1994; Gupta and Ferguson 1992; Harvey 1989, 2001, 2006; Lefebvre 1976, 1991; Minca 2001; Rumford 26

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2008), identity (Bondy and Domosh 1992; Deusche 1992; Keith and Pile 1993; Kirby and Hay 1997; Massey 1994; Pile and Thrift 1995; Rose 1993; Rose and Ogborn 1988; Seager 1988), gender (Hemmings 2002; Johnston 2019; Moss 2002; Nelson and Seager 2005; Oberhauser et al. 2017), health (Crooks et al. 2018; Gleeson 1996; Holloway 1998; Imrie 1996; Moss and Dyck 1996; Parr and Philo 1996) or morality and ethics (Kramsch 1999; Smith 2000). It can be deduced from all this that space is a historical-­political question, for which there is still a great deal of research to be carried out: A whole history remains to be written of spaces—which would at the same time be the history of powers (both these terms in the plural)—from the great strategies of geo-­politics to the little tactics of the habitat. (Foucault 1980: 149; original emphasis) As suggested earlier, in our current globalized era, space is an active part of identity formation: ‘space is a dynamic field in which identities are in a constant state of interaction’ (Papastergiadis 2000: 4). The change of place, or adaptation to a different place, is, in fact, a kind of identity dislocation, even though in the global era it seems to be a very natural situation. Speed, internationalization of financial capital, the ease with which geographical distances can be covered today, and the fact that we do not think twice about wearing European or American clothing labels made in Asia or Latin America or filling our fridges or cupboards with foods from all over the world are everyday activities which appear to be a juxtaposition of spaces but are also at the same time (at least in appearance) the coming together of different ways of life and identities. We should also consider to what extent globalization and time-­space compression is not in fact the representation of a purely Western point of view, which is not only generated by the internationalization of capital but also by the social relationships that create asymmetries in space (Massey 1994: 147).

Spaces of the between Globalization and new technologies have brought about almost instant contact among societies and have significantly improved the capacity of people and information (not knowledge) to move at speeds which, until very recently, would have been unthinkable. This shrinking of space is what David Harvey (1989: 240) approaches in terms of time-­space compression. Today, more than ever, we are living in a space of flows (Appadurai 1996; Lash and Urry 1994), an interconnected reality which leads to interculturality and interaction among people (Castells 2002; Cronin 2003). In many cases we talk about the marvels of globalization as though it were a world where borders have disappeared and distances between people no longer exist, resulting in fluid communication, knowledge and transparency of data, which can be accessed by all. A simplistic, naive view of globalization might have been believed initially, but it has been contested by authors such as Held and McGrew (2000), Robertson and White (2007) or Elliott and Lemert (2014). Beck (1997) claims that the word globalization is one of the most misunderstood and worst defined concepts, but also one of the most politically efficient terms in recent years. The phenomenon of globalization no longer prefigures a universal process of global integration in which there is a growing convergence of spaces, cultures and civilizations. On the contrary, not only does an awareness of interconnectedness create new animosities and conflicts, but it can fuel reactionary politics and deep-­seated xenophobia (Held and McGrew 2000: 4). Our global zones are ‘places of encounter and conflict’ (Simon 2018a: 97). 27

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Globalization can lead to inclusive differentiation (Beck 2004), to a shift from either/or to both/and categories that promotes translational forms of life and the overcoming of separate nationally organized spaces. Within this context, cultural ties, loyalties and identities would expand beyond national borders and systems of control. Inclusive differentiation means that the old differentiations between internal and external, national and international, us and them, lose their validity. In fact, from the point of view of translation studies, today translation does not operate at the boundaries of space, thus underlying the myth of the language/nation-­ state homology. On the contrary, many speakers do not use languages separately, but rather they ‘translanguage’ to make meaning. As we shall show as follows, translanguaging unsettles boundaries and shows that in contemporary hybrid spaces difference does not inhabit traditional boundaries but ‘is threaded through the entire social fabric and incorporated into the repertoire’ (Baynham and Lee 2019: 9, see also 13–56). In these instances, translation is a way to understand how communication is based on difference. However, globalization may also allow the world powers that manage it to blur our perception of diversity and therefore make some spaces more equal than others. In fact, globalization has not led to a reduction of walls but rather to their proliferation (Balibar 1997: 92; Mezzadra and Neilson 2013: 62; Vidal 2021). Far from disappearing thanks to a global, interconnected, universal world, physical and metaphorical walls are being reasserted and rebuilt. In fact, they work as filters, as mechanisms to maintain official distinctions and asymmetries between spaces. This results in the appearance of the losers of globalization (Beck 1997), wasted lives and outcasts (Bauman 2004), who usually inhabit liminal, not central, landscapes, geographies of border zones, or transitional spaces (Andrews and Roberts 2012), liminal cities (Burgin 1996: 28), spaces that avoid either essentialism or stasis (Downey et  al. 2018). Geography shapes politics and how members of different groups think about each other (Enos 2019); it is connected with translation as translation has radically shaped the way the West has mapped the world (Italiano 2016; this volume). Within this context, liminality is ‘a symptom of the cartographic anxiety or spatial confusion characteristic of the present moment’ (Downey et al. 2018: x). Since liminality lies somewhere between space and place, two distinct but inextricably related terms, [f]rom the security and stability of place we are aware of the openness, freedom, and threat of space, and vice-­versa. Furthermore, if we think of space as that which allows movement, then place is pause; each pause in movement makes it possible for location to be transformed into place. (Tuan 1977: 56) The increasing number of immigrants and refugees out of place (Said 1999) in contemporary global society is causing many problems in the so-­called first world, because it is forcing its societies to overcome the artificial borders marked on maps and to accept—certainly not without resistance—the ambivalent process of hybridization of spaces, with all the complexities involved (Bhabha 1994, 2000). In this sense, any binary logic typical of traditional Western thought should be dissolved if we are to open ourselves up to spaces of difference, spaces of the between, where meaning can only be constructed by means of dialogue with the Other. Yet this dialogue is often lacking in understanding because cultural distances are much more difficult to overcome than are geographical ones. We are fascinated by everything different, but we also become frustrated when it does not fit into the classifications of reality transmitted to us by our culture. This explains our refusal to accept the strange, the stranger who indirectly threatens us by asking strange questions which are not asked by ‘normal’ people, subverting 28

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distinctions which for ordinary people are universals, rather than their particular vision of the world (Bauman 1999). Satellites, planes, email messages, financial transactions, television or cinema transport us in a matter of seconds from one space to another. It seems that globalization is everywhere and that we can all move around freely and exchange spaces. But if we stop to think for a minute, we will realize that the Google Maps satellite that captures the smallest detail of New York’s or Tokyo’s busy streets also captures the instant when the person moving is a woman in sub-­Saharan Africa who walks for hours to get water to drink that day. This is the other side of the coin, what Massey (1994: 149) calls ‘the power geometry of time-­space compression’. The relationship with this constant flow of information, with the speed of communication in the global society changes radically according to the space we normally move around in and the place where we are born. Powerful social groups have the possibility to move around spaces and the power to start movement. But for others, such as refugees or those with no passport, movement around spaces is very different: it becomes uncertain and unsteady. These wasted lives (Bauman 2004) generated by globalization do not know what to expect in the new space, but they do know they have to leave another space which has become unbearable. However, it is not only these groups who do not have power and over whom the status quo wields the power of globalization. There are others very close to us, in our space and yet we do not notice them: ‘The pensioner in a bed-­sit in any inner city in this country, eating British working-­class-­style fish and chips from a Chinese take-­away, watching a US film on a Japanese television, and not daring to go out after dark’ (Massey 1994: 149–150). Massey also gives a different example to describe another type of spatial complexity: the case of someone who lives in a favela in Rio de Janeiro, wears a Ronaldo shirt, and knows by heart the names of all the players in the Real Madrid football team, some of whom were born in Rio: ‘At one level they have been tremendous contributors to what we call time-­space compression; and at another level they are imprisoned in it’ (Massey 1994: 150). Mobility and control of mobility around spaces by some groups can weaken others. All of these examples show that, as pointed out at the beginning of this chapter, spaces are not neutral or symmetric places, but in our era global space ‘is fundamental in any exercise of power’ (Foucault 1984: 252). Thus, space serves different narrative roles: it can be a bearer of symbolic meaning, an object of emotional investment (Ryan et al. 2016). The spaces mapped by power are texts which are written asymmetrically depending on a very diverse series of political and economic interests (Harvey 1973) and where the lack of social justice or the right to speak in public places can be detected (Mitchell 2014). Space is where power watches over everything, a place for control and repression. Those who think otherwise must take into account the redistribution of space with regard to issues like the peace negotiations after the First World War, the delineation of postcolonial borders carried out by the West. For power, having control over space is essential: ‘any struggle to reconstitute power relations is a struggle to reorganize their spatial bases’ (Harvey 1989: 238). Whether we like it or not, we are not authorized to occupy just any space, and if we do, we must respect the rules of that space, which are often unwritten. From the space of the indigenous tribes in the Amazon to Times Square—the most outstanding example of consumer society space—every culture creates what Fredric Jameson (1981) calls a cognitive cartography, which is nothing more than a way to understand the representation made of an individual in a particular space. In this regard, cognitive cartography is a metaphor of the processes of the political unconscious. However, it is also the model of how we could begin to bring together the local and the global (MacCabe 1995: 17). As Papastergiadis points out, the context for 29

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thinking about where we belong can no longer be defined according to a purely geographic notion of place: Our sense of ‘who we are’ and ‘where we belong’ has been crosscut by a variety of global forces. The migration of peoples, the circulation of symbols and the destabilization of the work place have radically affected the associations with place . . . today we are more like passengers . . . than we are inhabitants of a given place. (Papastergiadis 1998: 1)

Listening to born-­translated cities The contemporary city Contemporary spaces create hybrid identities and deterritorialized cultures, which are constructed by overlapping and irregular structures (Appadurai 1996). The contemporary homo sacer (Agamben 1995) inhabits topoi where asymmetry between cultures and a globalization of fear (Bauman 2006) and violence (Appadurai 2006; Bielsa and Hughes 2009) are experienced. Contemporary space is not a smooth, homogeneous, neutral territory, but rather an extremely complex one due to all the differences it embraces, in terms of races, beliefs, ways of life and languages. The contemporary city is a clear example of the hybrid, heteroglossic space globalization has created (García Canclini 1999): a space of superdiversity, the interweaving of diversities, in which not only ‘ethnicity’ but also other variables intersect. In these superdiverse urban spaces, people come into contact as a result of (inter alia) migration, invasion, colonization, slavery, religious mission, persecution, trade, conflict, famine, drought, war, urbanization, economic aspiration, family reunion, global commerce and technological advance (Arnaut et  al. 2015; Creese and Blackledge 2018). In an urban space, as in the case of the terrible fire in the Grenfell Tower in London in 2017, inequality and asymmetry among people who occupy spaces very close to each other are brought to light. As in the example given by Massey, ‘Spaces of diversity are now increasingly found at home’ (Simon 2018a: 98). Beyond diversity, superdiversity, diversity within diversity, shows how our contemporary multilingual landscaping can be read as a chronicle documenting the complex histories of a place (Blommaert 2013). The places of superdiversity produced by globalization are characterized by increasing mobility, instability and polycentricity. They are spaces which are often extremely close and yet reflect the distance which exists between ‘us’ and ‘them’. In his influential work Flesh and Stone: The Body and the City in Western Civilization, Richard Sennett pays homage to Foucault, and makes us aware of the relationship between space and power in cities, from Athens to New York: ‘I have sought to show how those who have been exiled from the Garden might find a home in the city’ (Sennett 1994: 27); and at the end of the work he reflects on New York as a multicultural space full of religious, sexual and racial differences, which occupy different spaces in the city, together with loneliness, immigration and the homeless found in the parks (Sennett 1994: 355ff.). In fact, in urban space the experience and identity of the public person, both of Western capitalism (Sennett 1971, 1978, 1991) and of the different and the Other, are shaped, because the contemporary city is a metaphor of miscegenation and impurity: ‘the space of the modern nation-­people is never simply horizontal. Their metaphoric movement requires a kind of “doubleness” in writing; a temporality of representation that moves between cultural formations and social processes without a “centred” causal logic’ (Bhabha 1990: 293). 30

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That is why the concept of home has changed. Nowadays, home is no longer just one place. It is locations. Home is that place which enables and promotes varied and everchanging perspectives, a place where one discovers new ways of seeing reality, frontiers of difference. One confronts and accepts dispersal and fragmentation as part of the constructions of the new world order that reveals more fully where we are, who we can become. (hooks 1990: 148) The contemporary city is the heterotopic space of Foucault (1986) mentioned previously, an intermediate space which embraces alternative orders, orders which are different from the orders in other spaces surrounding it; but, above all, it is a space capable of juxtaposing multiple fragmented identities (Braidotti 2006). Therefore, in the contemporary city the ‘I’ sets off ‘on an undetermined journeying practice, having constantly to negotiate between home and abroad, native culture and adopted culture . . . between a here, a there, and an elsewhere’ (Minh-­ha 2011: 27). In the born-­translated city, home is not only the place which is marked out as your own, but also the specific place in which you will be recognized by others (Papastergiadis 1998: 3). The histories this urban space of globalization (Massey 1994: 268–269) has produced belong to those who attempt to cross over it to embark on a journey which ‘acquires the form of a restless interrogation, undoing its very terms of reference as the point of departure is lost along the way’ (Chambers 1994: 2). The contemporary city is made up of different spaces, each of them being a metaphor of a newly emerging culture-­space where displacement is a daily reality for many people. Our urban spaces are spaces where ‘citizens, foreigners, expatriates, the displaced, travellers, and migrants meet and coexist, experiencing dialogue as well as hostility, contact as well as separation, integration as well as alterity’ (Simon 2018b: 9; this volume). A city is a different place depending on who tells its story (Mehta 2017). In our contemporary spaces, strangers are at our door (Bauman 2016), bound to place and language, sitio y lengua, site and discourse (Pérez 1999: xix).

Listening to cities That is why ‘to understand cities it is important to listen to them’ (Simon 2012: 1). The different accents and rhythms tell much about ‘us’ and ‘them’, since linguistic hybridity has to do with questions of voice and perspective (Klinger 2015: 3). Polyglot neighbourhoods are ‘relational spaces’ (Harvey 1989), or Thirdspace: ‘the space where all places are, capable of being seen from every angle, each standing clear; but also a secret and conjectured object, filled with illusions and allusions, a space that is common to all of us yet never able to be completely seen and understood’ (Soja 1996: 56). Sherry Simon (2016: 5) hits the nail on the head when she says that the languages spoken in global contemporary cities ‘are not only part of the experiential feel of the city, they in turn become modes of representation of the city’. As a result, translation is essential in this space, since the city does not exist outside of language, and access to its many worlds is a voyage across tongues. Translations bring into dialogue languages that are states of memory in the history of the city (layers in successive periods of conquest and reconquest) and languages that are vehicles of memory in the present that convey the contemporaneous, 31

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sometimes-­competing narratives of long-­standing inhabitants and newcomers alike. Translation points to the dissonance of city life, but also to the possibility of a generalized, public discourse, a space vital to urban citizenship—where the convergence of languages can be a source of new conversations. (Simon 2016: 18–19) The city is also a site ‘where production and interpretation are intermingled, where translations occur and where identity is reinterpreted’ (Simon 2018b: 11). It is true that after Landry and Bourhis’s seminal paper in 1997, sociology began a line of research which analyzes so-­called linguistic landscapes—written textual forms as displayed on shop windows, commercial signs, official notes, traffic signs, public signs on government buildings—a definition which has become wider to include multilingual language use in the public sphere, language in the environment, words and images displayed in public places, ‘cities as texts’ (Dagenais et al. 2009), and a ‘multilingual cityscape’ (see Heinrich, this volume). Given the stimulating visual and linguistic environment that the present-­day globalized city has to offer, [linguistic landscapes research] can be considered a reflection of the role played by language in society/societies, and can thus help us to gain insight into aspects of linguistic diversity that typify the multilayered, superdiverse multilingual contexts of late modern society, including aspects such as hybridity and multimodality. (Van Mensel et al. 2016: 423–424) They are the linguistic mirror of the dynamics of our globalized society (Helot et al. 2013; Schmitt 2018). The analysis of linguistic landscapes focuses on how landscape generates meaning through language and visual discourse, spatial practices, the complex sociolinguistic realities we face in the current globalized era, translingual mixing, language policy and contestation, minority languages and tokenistic commodification, and also the changes brought about by global capitalism and ever-­increasing mediatization. Linguistic landscapes show the textual/discursive construction of place; the use of space as a semiotic resource; the extent to which these processes are shaped by wider economic and political re-­orderings of post-­ industrial or advanced capitalism; changing patterns of human mobility and transnational flows of ideas and images (Jaworski 2011). We must remember, however, that these advances, even though they are very important, are related to linguistic signs in the streets of multilingual areas, and language combinations and mixing on signs in public spaces, focusing on settings where language contact has led to political and social conflicts. They are, therefore, studies of the written texts that conform to the landscape of cities. That is why I believe that Sherry Simon (2016: 5) is right when she says that ‘[t]he city has been seen, not heard’. In effect, we must ask what the consequences are of reading a city-­text in one language or another: New York in Spanish or in English, Johannesburg in English, Afrikaans or Xhosa, Barcelona in Catalan or Spanish, or Manila in Spanish or Tagalog (Simon 2016: 5–6). These questions are very important because they reflect how languages, like spaces, bring with them asymmetries and power struggles which come to the surface in these texts that are cities: ‘Each of these questions brings into being a different constellation of linguistic forces, shaped by moments of violence and conquest, patterns of immigration, diasporic networks, political jurisdictions, and emergent or declining cultural loyalties’ (Simon 2016: 6). Megacities, megalopolises, edge-­cities, postmetropolises and limitless cities are created by centrifugal, exogenous forces, and have a polycentric, kaleidoscopic 32

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structure where differences come into contact, discourses and narrations unfold and the relation between visible and invisible takes form (Brambilla et al. 2015: 181–184). This in-­between city is ‘porous, unbounded, and undoes the binaries’ (Simon 2018a: 102; for a discussion on Tymozcko’s and Baker’s arguments against the in-­between, see Simon 2018a: 102). A global city is a postmetropolis (Soja 2000), a ‘Middle World’ (Breytenbach 2009), a space characterized by mobility and migration, inhabited by ‘uncitizens’, because this ‘Middle World’ is ‘by definition and vocation peripheral; it is other, living in the margins, the live edges’ (Breytenbach 2009: 143). A cosmopolitan city should reflect on the relationship between migration, citizenship and urbanism and make a plea for an ‘open architecture’ (Akcan 2018: 10), shaped by transnational solidarity and defined as the translation in architecture of a new ethics of hospitality toward the immigrant. Seen in this light, a contemporary city is more than a physical space, but a text, a narration recounting very different cultural representations, a space of exiled people, in a ‘discontinuous state of being . . . in a secular and contingent world. Exiles cross borders, break barriers of thought and experience’ (Said 1984: 163). Biography is globalized and is now a topopoligamia (Beck 1997) which inhabits ethnoscapes, where people are always in constant movement (Appadurai 1996). The hybrid, migrant subject characteristic of the early 21st century inhabits Homi Bhabha’s third space (1994), Mary Louise Pratt’s contact zone (1992), and Miguel León-­Portilla’s (1962), Pat Mora’s (1993) or Gloria Anzaldúa and AnaLouise Keating’s (2002) ‘nepantla’, el lugar de enmedio, the space in-­between, the middle ground: ‘it’s a hybridity, a mixture, because I live in this liminal state between worlds, between realities, between systems of knowledge, between symbology systems. This liminal borderland, terrain, or passageway, this interface, is what I call nepantla’ (Anzaldúa and Keating 2002: 268). Living in nepantla implies living with a sense of placelessness and uprootedness, in a state of perplexity and indefiniteness, of transition and concurrent positioning. Nepantla is a dual space (Simon 2012) which has to do with movement and becoming in both space and time, with that transitional space that is frequently inhabited by the border subject. It is an in-­between state that is not only geopolitical but also psychological (Vivancos Pérez 2013: 81). Nepantla means a tolerance for contradictions, a massive uprooting for dualistic thinking, being a stranger in one’s own land (León-­Portilla 1962: 7). It is a space ‘of encounter and conflict’ (Simon 2018a: 97) best exemplified by ‘dual cities’ (Simon 2012: 3), not bilingual but multilingual, linguistically divided, translational, a term that accounts ‘for the range of relations which sustain the urban imagination—relations that include indifference and negation as well as engagement and creative interference’. In these spaces, ‘languages become modes of representation of the city’ (Simon 2016: 5). Contemporary spaces are spaces in constant movement (Casey 1993, 1996; Price 2004), born-­translated spaces (Walkowitz 2015), spaces ‘of heightened language awareness’ (Simon 2016: 4–5, see also, 2018a: 97). They are postmetropolis where outlining and remapping the geohistory of cityspace has become urgent (Soja 2000: 4ff.) in order to achieve what Harvey (1973) calls ‘social justice in the city’, which is influenced by Lefebvre’s (1991) spatial critique of everyday life and Castells’ (2002) theorization of urban social movements, or what Soja (2010: 198ff.) calls spatial justice, the right to the city. This state of living in-­betweenness is reflected in the language used by those who inhabit dual cities: the Other, the heterogeneous, the mestizo, what is different, the squint-­eye, the perverse, the queer, the troublesome, the mongrel, the mulatto, the half-­breed, the half-­dead; or in short, those who cross over, pass over, or go through the confines of the normal (Anzaldúa 1987: 3), who do not always speak with the right accent, or in the language of power but in an equally hybrid, half-­breed language that is a reflection of their cultural, social and political situation. Those who live at the juncture of cultures, where univocal identities are challenged, 33

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and languages cross-­pollinated and revitalized, and where borders are set up to define the places that are safe and unsafe, to distinguish us from them, speak ‘oddly’. If they have a home or a nation, it is not a geographical territory but rather the multiple and varied forms of the language they use. Those who inhabit dual spaces and (do not) speak the dominant language have learned to grow up with a kind of cultural schizophrenia. Their language serves to record the political history of language imposition and, in order to overcome that imposition, to generate a new language: ‘[w]e speak a patois, a forked tongue, a variation of two languages . . . So, if you want to really hurt me, talk badly about my language. Ethnic identity is twin skin to linguistic identity—I am my language’ (Anzaldúa 1987: 77). In these dual spaces people try to defend their identity by refusing to speak the language of the colonizer, but instead transforming it and adapting it to their way of seeing the world (Grutman 2006, 2009), which allows them to be elsewhere, within here (Minh-­ha 2011). They live in translation (Bertacco 2014: 6). In dual spaces, language is not a kind of bilingualism, but what Mignolo calls bilanguaging, something ‘that is beyond sound, syntax, and lexicon, and beyond the need for having two languages . . . bilanguaging then would be precisely that way of life between languages: a dialogical, ethic, aesthetic, and political process of social transformation’ (2000: 264–265). They use an illegitimate language. It is a bastard language (Anzaldúa 1987: 58) used by those who feel out of place, a language that is a way of opposing the establishment, binarisms and closed dichotomies and a language which links migration and translation by defining who we are and also how language and the terrain on which translation encounters migration ‘exposes us to difference, awakening deep-­seated fears echoed in words such as invasion and contagion’ (Polezzi 2012: 346). Language is a key element in any definition of place, since place is a site imbued with meaning, defined not only by a ‘where’ but also ‘by the feelings and emotions the place evokes’ (Simon 2018a: 103). Home-­making and place-­making are now ongoing activities in mobility mediated and regulated by language—a hybrid, borderline, mixed and unstable language which reflects the changing, mobile and situated representations of identity and community (Canagarajah 2017: 6–7). In order to translate dual spaces, the translator must take into account that translation rarely takes place among equal partners: the power and prestige of strong languages mean that cultural transfers are not chosen but imposed. What is more, translation is an activity integral to conflict and conquest . . . Translation [can be] carried out in the service of inequality, disturbing ideologies, and violence. The wide-­ranging effects of translation therefore include the negative outcomes of erasure and suppression. (Simon 2016: 7)

Born-­translated cities Translation pervades contemporary spaces. Hotels, markets, museums, checkpoints and streets are spaces shaped by conversations across languages, sites of translation (Simon 2019). Translation studies is thus a privileged territory to explore fear of the Other and address it, to rewrite real and metaphorical walls, since questions of culture and power are reflected in language: linguistic differences are rarely if ever neutral, involving both ideological and practical relations of subordination and dominance (Meylaerts 2006: 3, 2013). True enough, societies have never been pure. Cities and languages are in constant change as new speakers come into contact as a result of globalization and the increased mobility of people and languages (Pennycook and Otsuji 2015; Otsuji and Pennycook, this volume). The idea of a monolingual culture is just a misconception (Derrida 1998). Cultures and languages have always been hybrid. What has 34

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changed is the fact that now we are observing this phenomenon. Our 21st-­century society has moved from a solid hardware to a liquid software (Bauman 2000), to paradigms such as loop and entropy (Beck 2004). Our contemporary world is made up of many worlds which become interrelated and irremissibly linked together. Translation should be able both to highlight the internal tensions within cultures and to serve as the engine for renewal (Meylaerts and Serban 2014: 11). Having overcome the binarism phase and relocated cultures in the context of cosmopolitanism (Bandia 2009: 17), the translator acknowledges the complex and hybrid nature of the receiving space and understands the urgency of rewriting the languages of resistance with their multiple voices and representations (Bandia 2010: 185). As Doris Bachmann-­Medick explained in her GCSC Keynote Lecture in 2015, migration today is often viewed as a global flow of people and as transnational mobility—and therefore an important element of an emerging cosmopolitan society that celebrates the crossing of borders. But she further argues that this view lacks, in many ways, sufficient complexity. Beyond conventional large-­scale frameworks, the category of translation can bring to the fore the ruptures and frictions in the shifting spaces of small-­scale processes of migration. Translation studies is moving now ‘out beyond linguistic and stylistic analysis to explore the broader sociological, political and economic implications of translation’ (Bassnett and Damrosch 2016: 297). In our multilingual spaces, translation speaks to the relations of tension, interaction, rivalry, or convergence among them as well as the particular spaces they occupy in the city. Translation tracks connections among variously entitled communities—those that have historic claims to the city’s territory, as well as those that seek to establish claims as migrants, refugees, or exiles. (Simon 2016: 5) It does not take place between monolingual cultures but rather within and between polyglot, asymmetrical and interconnected citizens and multilingual entities (Meylaerts 2013; Meylaerts and Serban 2014). Multilingualism is an inherent part of our actual life experience, and current research on identity construction has resulted in a general scepticism about stable and monolingual identities and cultures (Meylaerts 2006: 1; Meylaerts and Şerban 2014: 1). Thus, the hybrid character of cities no longer raises eyebrows (Delabastita and Grutman 2005: 11), but some attitudes towards multilingualism reveal the still problematic nature of cultural contact. It says much about the ways in which the other languages are embedded in the main space and made to interact with each other and with the spaces written by the dominant language. Translation is involved in this asymmetry of powers. In fact, translation choices show power relations between languages (Lee 2013), because the transmission of information between strong and weak spaces is channelled through languages, which are supposedly strong against others considered to be weak. Since conflicts due to cultural asymmetries are likely to find expression on the linguistic plane as well, translation may then play a key part in their resolution or, alternatively, may become an obstacle to a solution (Delabastita and Grutman 2005: 24). In cosmopolitan settings, the problems arising from heterolingualism lay bare the power imbalance between literatures in different languages (Grutman 2006: 24, 2009). Translanguaging never occurs in a dominance-­free space, but rather on an unequal terrain of indexical orders (Baynham and Lee 2019: 2). In an age of migration and in a world deeply divided by cultural differences and in the context of ongoing efforts to preserve national and regional traditions and identities, the issues of 35

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language and translation are becoming absolutely vital (Borodo et al. 2017), since they subvert the idea of monolingual authenticity and may offer alternative, peripheral views of the dominant discourse on monolingual nationhood (Sepp and Humblé 2016: 3). Translation always carries with it the capacity to challenge what is socially established, to expand or overturn what is known, and to foster rebellion against the constraints of local ethical, ideological and political standards and hierarchies.

Conclusion: future directions Translating in liminal spaces In view of this discussion, it is clear that taking the concept of space into account in translations carried out nowadays is a priority, because considering space and the language spoken in that space helps us to reflect on the dangers of cultural homogenization and on the ideological consequences of monolingualism (Bennett and Queiroz de Barros 2017: 363). Current research shows that all cities, past and present, can be understood as fields of translation forces. In every city, the idioms of successive waves of migrants, administrative authorities, and traders enter into a conversation which is a continual reinvention of memory. In every city, connections across language communities write and rewrite the history of the city. (Simon 2018a: 107) The challenge now is to answer the question regarding how we can translate in order to promote growing transnationalization, translanguaging, multiple identities, cultural mix and recognition of otherness. If we include this new critical conception of space, we can consider a new type of translation that includes ‘place’ and ‘displacement’ (Ashcroft et al. 1989: 11)—a translation ‘effect’ that implies broadening horizons (Mezei et al. 2014: 9ff.), resistance, displacement, ‘a movement of deterritorialization which, in turn, triggers a reterritorialization of language’ (Bandia 2008: 164). The dominant metropolitan language culture is deterritorialized in terms of its historical and literary references and is subsequently reterritorialized within a postcolonial space (Bandia 2006: 356). Currently, translators carry out their task in this liminal space we referred to earlier, ‘a space more explicitly understood as a site of transgressivity, a point of entry into another zone. . ., the liminal space . . . is one of opening, unfolding, or becoming’ figured ‘in the form of the Deleuzian nomad, living in the intermezzo, ever deterritorialising without reterritorialisation’ (Downey et al. 2018: xi), or Soja’s Thirdspace: the space where all places are, capable of being seen from every angle, each standing clear; but also a secret and conjectured object, filled with illusions and allusions, a space that is common to all of us yet never able to be completely seen and understood. (Soja 1996: 56) Translators should bear in mind that there is impurity in every language (Derrida 1982: 100) and, as a result, translation is no longer simply a linguistic operation that consists of transporting meaning from one language to another . . . it is an operation of thought through which we must translate 36

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ourselves into the thought of the other language, the forgotten thinking of the other language. We must translate ourselves into it and not make it come into our language. It is necessary to go toward the unthought thinking of the other language. (Derrida 1982: 115) The unity of language is fundamentally political (Deleuze and Guattari 1980: 101). Monolingualism is an ideological construct (Baynham and Lee 2019: 3). ‘Major’ and ‘minor’ do not qualify two different languages but rather two usages or functions of languages: Conquer the major language in order to delineate in it as yet unknown minor languages. Use the minor language to send the major language racing . . . minor languages are not simply sublanguages  .  .  . but potential agents of the major language’s entering into a becoming-­minoritarian of all of its dimensions and elements. (Deleuze and Guattari 1975: 106) They argue for the right to the city but also the right to speak ‘oddly’, the right to listen to a space that is not monolingual but heteroglossic, the right to the logic of space being that of the multiplicity itself (Buchanan and Lambert 2005: 7). David Harvey summed all of this up perfectly a decade ago in a keynote address to the World Social Forum held in Belém, Brazil, on February 13, 2009, when he apologized to the audience for speaking in English, ‘the language of international imperialism’ (Soja 2010: 197).

Expanding translation Within this context, new programs of translation are demanded (Bandia 2010: 171) for a space of translation which is never simply horizontal but requires a kind of doubleness in writing (Bhabha 1994: 141). It is a question of moving towards a kind of translation as reparation (Bandia 2008), which takes into account space, hybridization, identity, an ever-­expanding globalization and the migration and relocation of peoples and cultures. Thus, translation is no longer the mere passage from one language to another but includes complex and asymmetrical aspects pertaining to transnational and transcultural encounters (Bandia 2009: 1–2). The definition of translation is expanded: it now includes ‘any act of changing from one place, position, condition medium, or language’ (Akcan 2012: 7). And from this perspective, translation must lead to questions being asked: How is translation possible in the first place? What makes different languages interchangeable, and different places compatible with each other? How do products and ideas pertaining to visual culture, art, and architecture get translated, and what are the ethical and political consequences of these translations? Should a cultural circulation conceal the differences between two places by domesticating the imported artifact in its new location, or should it reveal some differences by letting a deliberate awkwardness and an estranging effect persist in the translated artifact? . . . Is the test of a good translation whether or not it looks like a translation? Is the ethical translation the one that resists the implementation of a new set of standards in the local context and appropriates the imported artifact into local conditions, or the one that refuses to assimilate the foreign into the local and intentionally manifests the foreignness of the translated artifact? Who speaks and who cannot speak during the process of translation? (Akcan 2012: 6) 37

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The final question is key because it forces us to reflect on how communicative differences are negotiated (Canagarajah 2012: 110) and, as a result, on the idea that translation ‘is a site through which we can observe the operations and implications of language power’ (Lee 2013: 18). Spatial translation, borne across the world (Rushdie 1981: 17), is ‘a contested zone that negotiates power relations between two or more languages representing different and sometimes conflicting socio-­ cultural identities’ (Lee 2013: 20). It constitutes a privileged contact zone, ‘a process through which a common civility is negotiated’ (Simon 2012: 7) in order to achieve Derrida’s notion of ‘relevant’ translation, which highlights its relationship to ethics through a discussion of mercy, forgiveness and hospitality (Derrida 2001: 175). Derrida thus shows the multiplicity of languages and the impurity of the limit, how the effect of plurality can be rendered and how to search for ‘[n]ot the origin of language but of languages—before language, languages’ (Derrida 1982: 186). Beyond the idea of non-­places of Marc Augé (1992), places with which the individual does not identify or establish relationships, or sad, aseptic places which only point to the surface of things and cannot be defined as relational or as spaces of identity—airways, highways, airports, space stations, large shopping malls or hotel groups, supermarkets, screens— translations which take space into account will help us to understand better the turbulent linguistic landscapes (Stroud 2017) of our cities. A translanguaging perspective zooms into that turbulent space ‘emerging out of the encounter between languages’ (Baynham and Lee 2019: 4), and may help build the utopian space described by Louis Marin (1984), which is far removed from official zones and identifies more with the threshold—that space where one sees both sides at once—with the attempt to make visible the potential obscured by the status quo. Therefore, translation which takes into account the concept of space can begin to construct cities of refuge, full of hospitality and not hospitality (Derrida 2000), and this is what we should aspire to: ‘I also imagine the experience of cities of refuge as giving rise to a place for reflection—for reflection on the questions of asylum and hospitality—and for a new order of law and a democracy to come to be put to the test’ (Derrida 1997: 23).

Further reading Galasso, Regina and Evelyn Scaramella (eds.) (2019) Avenues of Translation: The City in Iberian and Latin American Writing, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. Discusses translation as a way of telling the backstories of the cities, texts and authors that are united by acts of translation Shohamy, Elana, Eliezer Ben-­Rafael and Monica Barni (eds.) (2010) Linguistic Landscape in the City, Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Explores the public space of global cities that are symbolically constructed with linguistic tokens related to cultural, social, political and economic circumstances ‘The Routledge Urban Reader Series’ (Abingdon and New York: Routledge), including The Urban Geography Reader, The Urban Sociology Reader, The Urban Politics Reader, The City Cultures Reader, The Cybercities Reader, The Global Cities Reader, and The Routledge Handbook on Middle East Cities, among others. Approaches the question ‘what is a city?’ from different perspectives

Acknowledgements This chapter is part of the research carried out within the project ‘Violencia simbólica y traducción: retos en la representación de identidades fragmentadas en la sociedad global’, financed by the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad FFI2015–66516-­P. 38

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Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari (1980) A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Brian Massumi, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Derrida, Jacques (1982) The Ear of the Other: Otobiography, Transference, Translation, trans. Peggy Kamuf, Lincoln, NE and London: University of Nebraska Press. Derrida, Jacques (1997) On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness, trans. Mark Dooley and Michael Hughes, London and New York: Routledge. Derrida, Jacques (1998) Monolingualism of the Other: Or, the Prosthesis of Origin, trans. Patrick Mensah, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Derrida, Jacques (2000) ‘Hospitality’, trans. Barry Stocker and Forbes Morlock, Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities 5(3): 3–18. Derrida, Jacques (2001) ‘What is a “relevant” translation?’ trans. Lawrence Venuti, Critical Inquiry 27(2): 174–200. Deusche, Rosalyn (1992) ‘Boys town’, Environment and Planning, D: Society and Place 9: 5–30. Downey, Dara, Ian Kinane and Elizabeth Parker (eds.) (2018) Landscapes of Liminality: Between Space and Place, London: Rowman & Littlefield International. Elliott, Anthony and Charles Lemert (2014) Introduction to Contemporary Social Theory, New York and Abingdon: Routledge. Enos, Ryan D. (2019) The Space between Us: Social Geography and Politics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Featherstone, Mike (1991) Consumer Culture and Postmodernism, London: Sage. Foucault, Michel (1980) ‘The eye of power: Conversation with J-­P. Barou and M. Perrot’, in Colin Gordon (ed.) Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972–1977 by Michel Foucault, Herts: Harvester Press, 146–165. Foucault, Michel (1984) ‘Space, knowledge, and power’, trans. Christian Hubert, in Paul Rabinow (ed.) The Foucault Reader, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 239–257. Foucault, Michel (1986) ‘Of other spaces’, Diacritics (Spring), 22–27. García Canclini, Néstor (1999) La globalización imaginada, Barcelona: Paidós. Gleeson, Brendan (1996) ‘A geography for disabled people?’ Transactions: Institute of British Geographers 21: 387–396. Gregory, Derek (1994) Geographical Imaginations, Oxford: Blackwell. Gregory, Derek and John Urry (eds.) (1985) Social Relations and Spatial Structures, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Grutman, Rainier (2006) ‘Refraction and recognition: Literary multilingualism in translation’, Target 18(1): 17–47. Grutman, Rainier (2009) ‘Multilingualism and translation’, in Mona Baker (ed.) Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies, Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 157–160. Gupta, Akhil and James Ferguson (1992) ‘Beyond “culture”: Space, identity, and the politics of difference’, Cultural Anthropology 7(1): 6–23. Harvey, David (1973) Social Justice and the City, Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. Harvey, David (1989) The Condition of Postmodernity, Oxford: Blackwell. Harvey, David (2001) Spaces of Capital: Towards a Critical Geography, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Harvey, David (2006) Spaces of Global Capitalism: Towards a Theory of Uneven Geographical Development, London and New York: Verso. Held, David and Anthony McGrew (2000) ‘The great globalization debate: An introduction’, in David Held and Anthony McGrew (eds.) The Global Transformations Reader: An Introduction to the Globalization Debate, Cambridge: Polity Press, 1–50. Helot, Christine, Monica Barni, Rudi Janssens and Carla Bagna (2013) Linguistic Landscapes, Multilingualism and Social Change, Frankfurt: Peter Lang. Hemmings, Clare (2002) Bisexual Spaces: A Geography of Sexuality and Gender, New York and Abingdon: Routledge.


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Hetherington, Kevin (1997) The Badlands of Modernity: Heterotopia & Social Ordering, London and New York: Routledge. Holloway, Sarah L. (1998) ‘Local childcare cultures: Moral geographies of mothering and the social organization of pre-­school education’, Gender, Place and Culture 5(1): 29–54. hooks, bell (1990) Yearning. Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics, Boston: South End Press. Imrie, Rob (1996) ‘Ableist geographers, disabled spaces’, Transactions: Institute of British Geographers 21: 397–403. Italiano, Federico (2016) Translation and Geography, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Jackson, Peter (1980) ‘A plea for cultural geography’, Area 12: 110–113. Jameson, Fredric (1981) The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act, London: Methuen. Jameson, Fredric (1984) ‘Postmodernism, or the cultural logic of late capitalism’, New Left Review 146: 53–92. Jaworski, Adam (ed.) (2011) Semiotic Landscapes: Language, Image, Space, London and New York: Continuum. Johnston, Lynda (2019) Transforming Gender, Sex, and Place: Gender Variant Geographies, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Keith, Michael and Steve Pile (eds.) (1993) Place and the Politics of Identity, London and New York: Routledge. Kirby, Stewart and Iain Hay (1997) ‘(Hetero)sexing space: Gay men and “straight” space in Adelaide, South Australia’, The Professional Geographer 49(3): 295–305. Klinger, Susanne (2015) Translation and Linguistic Hybridity: Constructing World-­View, New York and Abingdon: Routledge. Kramsch, Olivier (1999) ‘El horizonte de la nueva geografía cultural’, Doc Anàl Geogr 34: 53–68. Landry, Rodrigue and Richard Y. Bourhis (1997) ‘Linguistic landscape and ethnolinguistic vitality: An empirical study’, Journal of Language and Social Psychology 16(1): 23–49. Lash, Scott and John Urry (1994) Economies of Signs and Space, London: Sage. Lee, Tong King (2013) Translating the Multilingual City: Cross-­lingual Practices and Language Ideology, Frankfurt: Peter Lang. Lefebvre, Henri (1976) ‘Reflections on the politics of space’, Antipode 8(2): 30–37. Lefebvre, Henri (1991) The Production of Space, trans. Donald Nicholson-­Smith, Oxford: Blackwell. León-­Portilla, Miguel (1962) ‘Nepantla. La palabra clave de la tragedia de un pueblo’, Excélsior 23: 672. MacCabe, Colin (1995) ‘Prólogo’, trans. Noemí Sobregués and David Cifuentes, in Fredric Jameson (ed.) La estética geopolítica, Barcelona: Paidós, 11–19. Marin, Louis (1984) Utopics: Spatial Play, trans. Robert Vollrath, Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press. Massey, Doreen (1994) Space, Place and Gender, Cambridge: Polity Press. Massey, Doreen (2005) For Space, London: Sage. Mehta, Suketu (2017) The Secret Life of Cities, London: Penguin Random House. Meylaerts, Reine (2006) ‘Heterolingualism in/and translation’, Target 18(1): 1–15. Meylaerts, Reine (2013) ‘Multilingualism as a challenge for translation studies’, in Carmen Millan-­ Varela and Francesca Bartrina (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Translation Studies, Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 519–533. Meylaerts, Reine and Adriana Şerban (2014) ‘Introduction. Multilingualism at the cinema and on stage: A translation perspective’, Linguistica Antverpiensia, New Series. Themes in Translation Studies 13: 1–13. Mezei, Kathy, Sherry Simon and Luise von Flotow (eds.) (2014) Translation Effects, Montreal: McGill-­ Queen’s University Press. Mezzadra, Sandra and Brett Neilson (2013) Border as Method, or, the Multiplication of Labor, Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press. Mignolo, Walter (2000) Local Histories/Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges and Border Thinking, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 42

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Minca, Claudio (ed.) (2001) Postmodern Geography: Theory and Praxis, Oxford: Blackwell. Minh-­ha, Trinha T. (2011) Elsewhere, within Here: Immigration, Refugeeism and the Boundary Event, New York and Abingdon: Routledge. Mitchell, Don (2014) The Right to the City: Social Justice and the Fight for Public Space, New York: The Guilford Press. Mora, Pat (1993) Nepantla: Essays from the Land in the Middle, Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press. Moss, Pamela (ed.) (2002) Feminist Geography in Practice, Oxford: Blackwell. Moss, Pamela and Isabel Dyck (1996) ‘Inquiry into environment and body: Women, work and chronic illness’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 14: 737–754. Nelson, Lise and Joni Seager (eds.) (2005) A Companion to Feminist Geography, Oxford: Blackwell. Oberhauser, Ann M., Jennifer L. Fluri, Risa Whitson and Sharlene Mollett (2017) Feminist Spaces: Gender and Geography in a Global Context, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Papastergiadis, Nikos (1998) Dialogues in the Diasporas: Essays and Conversations on Cultural Identity, London and New York: Rivers Oram Press. Papastergiadis, Nikos (2000) The Turbulence of Migration, Cambridge: Polity Press. Parr, Hester and Chris Philo (1996) ‘A forbidden fortress of locks, bars and padded cells: The locational history of mental health care in Nottingham’, Historical Geography Research Series 32: 4–16. Pennycook, Alastair and Emi Otsuji (2015) Metrolingualism, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Pérez, Emma (1999) The Decolonial Imaginary: Writing Chicanas into History, Bloomington, IN and Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press. Pile, Steve and Nigel Thrift (eds.) (1995) Mapping the Subject, London and New York: Routledge. Polezzi, Loredana (2012) ‘Migration and translation’, Translation Studies 5(3): 345–356. Pratt, Mary Louise (1992) Imperial Eyes. Travel Writing and Transculturation, New York and Abingdon: Routledge. Price, Patricia L. (2004) Dry Place: Landscapes of Belonging and Exclusion, Minneapolis, IN and London: University of Minnesota Press. Robertson, Roland and Kathleen White (2007) ‘What is globalization?’ in George Ritzer (ed.) The Blackwell Companion to Globalization, Oxford: Blackwell, 54–66. Rose, Gillian (1993) Feminism and Geography, Cambridge: Polity Press. Rose, Gillian and Miles Ogborn (1988) ‘Feminism and historical geography’, Journal of Historical Geography 14: 405–409. Rumford, Chris (2008) Cosmopolitan Spaces. Europe, Globalization, Theory, New York and Abingdon: Routledge. Rushdie, Salman (1981) Imaginary Homelands, New Delhi: Penguin and Granta. Ryan, Marie-­Laure, Kenneth Foote and Maoz Azaryahu (2016) Narrating Space/Spatializing Narrative: Where Narrative Theory and Geography Meet, Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University Press. Said, Edward (1984) ‘Reflections on Exile’, Granta 13: 159–172. Said, Edward (1999) Out of Place: A Memoir, New York: Alfred A. Knopf. Schmitt, Holger (2018) Language in the Public Space: An Introduction to the Linguistic Landscape (independently published). Seager, Joni (1988) ‘Women deserve spatial consideration (or, geography like no one ever learned it in school)’, in Dale Spender and Cheris Kramerae (eds.) The Knowledge Explosion: Generations of Feminist Scholarship, New York and London: Pergamon. Sennett, Richard (1971) The Uses of Disorder: Personal Identity and City Life, New York: Vintage. Sennett, Richard (1978) The Fall of Public Man: On the Social Psychology of Capitalism, New York: Vintage Books. Sennett, Richard (1991) The Conscience of the Eye, New York: Alfred A. Knopf. Sennett, Richard (1994) Flesh and Stone: The Body and the City in Western Civilization, New York and London: Norton. Sepp, Arvi and Philippe Humblé (eds.) (2016) Bearing Across: Translating Literary Narratives of Migration, Trier: WVT Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier. 43

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3 Cartography and translation Mapping and counter-­mapping the city Federico Italiano

In this chapter, we will explore the relationship between translation and cartography by focusing on urban spaces. In particular, we will discuss and examine some exemplary city maps, in which spatial features are shaped by language or language-­affine orientation practices. Moreover, we will look at the relationship between maps and itineraries from a translational point of view. Finally, we will touch on the possible benefit of a counter-­mapping of translation and the concept of a translational map.

Mappings Can we map an imaginary place? Of course, we can. You just need a surface to scratch on—a sheet or the sand on the beach—an idea of world, even the simplest—like a line—and there you have your imaginary place mapped out in front of your eyes: a lonely street that runs through a desert or, if you prefer, the equator line of a fictional planet. If you are good with computers and have more elaborate world configurations in mind, you can use open-­source programmes to transfer the spatially indexed database that you have created onto your favourite ellipsoid and so build the planet you have in mind. Starting from there, you can generate your own imaginary topography, create your coordinate system and shape finally your very own colourful, vibrating, imaginary planet. In fact, it is so easy to map imaginary places that it is frankly unbelievable, if not frightening, how much we rely on maps, and how much we believe that maps tell us the truth. Why is that so? Why do we habitually take maps for granted? The semiotic structure of a map expands between a ‘here’ within the space of the map itself and another ‘here’ outside of that space. Usually, maps link a space within their own space with another space outside of it, a ‘geographical’ one, a ‘real’ one. However, as a composite system of indexes, maps do not actually take you somewhere real, but they store the knowledge with which this somewhere can be described—or postulated. This apparently simple but highly complex correlation is what shapes our cartographic perception of the world, our spatial thinking. Maps are, in this sense, a ‘form of knowledge’, and this ‘knowledge’ functions in a discursive way. It thus makes sense to consider maps as ‘socially constructed perspectives on the world, rather than the “neutral” or “value free” representations’, as the cartography historian Brian Harley said already 45

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in 1988. ‘This myth of a measurement-­based objectivity in maps,’ he states, ‘has yet to be stripped away’ (Harley 1988: 58). However, this myth is no coincidence. Already early modern cartographers were keen on marking generously the effect of adherence to the real through the Ptolemaic graticule and geometrization methods. The suggested mathematical precision gave each map a certain aura of knowledge (Italiano 2014). As Svetlana Alpers pointed out, despite differences in kind it is important not to miss the aura of knowledge possessed by maps as such, regardless of the nature or degree of their accuracy. This aura lent a prestige and power to maps as a kind of image. (Alpers 1983: 66) Harley and Woodward, introducing their monumental History of Cartography, define maps as ‘graphic representations that facilitate a spatial understanding of things, concepts, conditions, processes, or events in the human world’ (1987: xvi). British geographer Denis Cosgrove thinks of maps as graphic registers of correspondence between two spaces, whose explicit result is a ‘space of representation’ (Cosgrove 1999: 1). In both definitions, maps are no longer seen as objective reproductions of a terrestrial reality, but as representations shaped by different social, rhetorical and metaphorical implications. However, maps are not only representations of the world—or portions of it—framed by a determined ideology; they are rather that which produces ideologies; they ‘transform the world into ideology’ (Wood and Fels 2008: 190; original emphasis). Already in the early 1940s, the Polish-­American semanticist Alfred Korzybski famously stated that the map is not the territory, but the device that creates it (Korzybski 1990: 205). Drawing on Bruno Latour (1988), John Pickles abandons the paradigm of representation and states that maps and mappings precede the territory, since they have ‘coded, decoded and recoded planetary, national and social spaces’ and thus, have ‘respaced the geo-­ body’ (Pickles 2004: 5). As he puts it, in accordance with Korzybski, the territory is nothing but the product of the ‘overlaying of inscriptions we call mappings’ (ibid.). A map shows therefore a double operationality: as a papery, increasingly electronical and digital device, maps organize and economize space—that is, they territorialize space (Italiano 2015: 251). However, maps generate a semiotic surplus that trespasses their instrumental function, becoming a sort of ‘imagination matrix’, capable of generating further media operations, in particular writing processes (Dünne 2011: 44). In this sense, maps not only territorialize spaces, setting boundaries and organizing distances, but they also produce ideas, images and visions, spawning new or alternative narratives, which, in turn, are able to challenge the existing territorial power orders. The geographer Denis Cosgrove summed this up excellently in his introduction to the band Mappings: [Maps] are also troubling. Their apparent stability and their aesthetics of closure and finality dissolve with but a little reflection into recognition of their partiality and provisionality . . . At the same time their spaces of representation can appear liberating, their dimensionality freeing the reader from both the controlling linearity of narrative description and the confining perspective of photographic or painted images. (Cosgrove 1999: 2) This double operationality of the map is what has always fascinated poets, writers and artists, shaping, enhancing and stimulating not only their cartographic imagination, but also their creativity tour court (see Italiano 2018)—from the map-­based descriptions of the world in the Renaissance epic of Ariosto and Camoes to the extraordinary travels of Jules Verne, from the 46

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colonial imaginary of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (2006) to George Perec’s Species of Spaces (1974), from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities (1974) to Dung Kai-­cheung’s archaeology of an imaginary city (2012) and from Guy Debord’s situationist counter-­maps, such as the psycho-­ geographical map of Paris, The Naked City (1957), to Amy Balkin’s map of San Francisco taxi-­cab movements, In Transit (2006).

Florence, 1410—translation and cartography Whereas the connection between geography and translation—and, in particular, the geography of translation—has been productively explored in the last two decades (Apter 2006; Cronin 2003, 2013; Cronin and Simon 2014; Italiano 2016; Simon 2012) and is increasingly enjoying attention by translation and literary scholars, historians and sociologists, the intersection between translation and cartography—that is, roughly said, the discipline of making maps— remains largely a terra incognita. However, in the last couple of years, the interest in the relationship between maps and translation processes is sensibly growing, especially among the new generation of scholars in Early Modern Studies. In her essay ‘Cartographic translation: Reframing Leonardo Bruni’s De interpretatione recta (1424)’, Katharina N. Piechocki shows the geographical and cartographical features that permeate the so-­called Controversia Alphonsiana, a dispute on translation between the humanistic positions of the Florentine erudite and translation theorist Leonardi Bruni, and the medieval approaches of Spanish scholar and diplomat Alfonso of Cartagena. As Piechocki argues, there is a strong relation between Bruni’s insights into geography and his translation theory: ‘[i]n fact, they are two sides of the same coin. What is more, Bruni’s and Cartagena’s theories of translation and mapping language correspond to different ways of visualizing and mapping space that defy clear-­cut medieval and humanistic dividing lines’ (Piechocki 2017: 43). Drawing on Antoine Berman’s reflection on Bruni’s coinage and introduction of the word traductio for translation—which is still the term used in most Romance languages: traduzione, traducción, traduction, tradução—Piechocki explored the fruitful analogy between translator and cartographer. Like the Ptolemaic maps, which ‘transform the natural boundaries of an incommensurate landscape into simple geometric figures that are fitted into—and sometimes correspond with—a square or trapezoid space’ (Piechocki 2017: 47), Bruni ‘understands translation as a transposition and preservation of a metric and well-­defined space’ (49). As mapmaker, the translator lays out ‘a road map in all its stages, up to arriving at the finished product’ (48). For the author of the first early modern treatise on translation theory, ‘the practice of translation and the act of drawing maps constitute a joint endeavor that stems from the same concern: surveying, measuring, and preserving a well-­defined territory—be it geographic or textual’ (49). In Printing a Mediterranean World, art historian Sean Roberts explored the history of Septe giornate della geographia, an adaptation in terza rima of Ptolemy’s Geography published in Florence in 1482 by the poet and humanist Francesco Berlinghieri (Roberts 2013). Following the rhyme scheme Dante invented for his Divina Commedia, Berlinghieri’s poem, divided in seven books and interspersed with copper engraved maps by the German printer Nicolaus Laurentii, translates into Tuscan—the Italian vernacular used by Dante, Petrarca and Boccaccio—the geographical and cartographical knowledge systematized by Ptolemy. For Sean Roberts, Berlinghieri’s book is not only one of the most ambitious book projects of Italian Renaissance geography, but also a milestone in the rise of modern cartography that represents the very moment of transition between manuscript and printing culture. Moreover, as 47

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a diplomatic gift from Florence to the Ottoman Empire, Berlinghieri’s adaptation of Ptolemy’s Geography—whose manuscript came from Constantinople, now in the hand of the Turks— shows the cross-­cultural dimension of the 15th-­century Mediterranean and the subtle ambiguities that moulded and formed the cultural interconnection between the Ottoman Empire and the emergent Italian Renaissance. While focusing on different cases, both works, Piechocki’s essay and Roberts’s book, revolve somehow around the same founding moment in the history of knowledge, the translation into Latin of Ptolemy’s second-­century CE Geography, a translation that determined the emergence of a new discipline, cartography, which has in turn dramatically shaped and redirected humanism. ‘Perhaps at no point was the shared history of linguistic and geographic transfer so palpable and complex,’ writes Piechocki, ‘as during the transitional period between the Middle Ages and early modernity’ (Piechocki 2017: 45). In the winter of 1397, the Byzantine philologist Manuel Chrysoloras arrived in Florence to teach Greek grammar and literature. He taught regularly until 1400, when he moved to Pavia to rejoin the emperor Manuel II Paleologus. He did not remain long in Tuscany, but his teachings influenced many humanists of that time, including one of the first theorists of translation, Leonardo Bruni. As part of his teaching, Chrysoloras took with him important Greek manuscripts from Constantinople. One of them was Ptolemy’s Geography. Chrysoloras began translating Ptolemy’s work into Latin, but the task was finished by one of his best students, Iacopo Angeli da Scarperia. As for the chronology of the translation, we do not have reliable and homogeneous data, but it seems probable, however, that it was completed around 1410, since the work is dedicated to Pope Alexander V, who was elected that year. Iacopo changed the title from Geography into Cosmographia, being convinced that this title could better express the cosmological breadth of the treatment. The Latin translation of Ptolemy’s Geography by Angeli da Scarperia not only introduced— or we should say re-­introduced—in Middle and Western Europe the concept of geographical maps based on scientific principles, the use of a network of meridians and parallels and improved map projections, but also made clear the difference between geography, the study of the spherical Earth in its entirety, and chorography, the representation of singular portions of the planet, such as regions, ports, towns, etc. This distinction not only implies a difference of magnitudes and measures, but above all states that geography, or ‘world cartography’— following the new English translation by J. Lennart Berggren and Alexander Jones (Ptolemy 2000)—is calculated, while chorography, ‘regional cartography’ (ibid.), is painted, drawn and represented. [T]he essence of world cartography is to show the known world as single and continuous entity, its nature and how it is situated, [taking account] only of the things that are associated with it in its broader, general outlines . . . [R]egional cartography . . . sets out the individual localities, each one independently and by itself, registering practically everything down to the least thing therein (for example, harbors, towns, districts, branches of principal rivers, and so on) . . . Regional cartography deals above all with the qualities rather than the quantities of the things that it sets down; it attends everywhere to likeness, and not so much portional placements. World cartography [geography], on the other hand, [deals] with the quantities more than the qualities, since it gives consideration to the proportionality of distances for all things, but to likeness only as far as the coarser outlines [of the features]  .  .  .  [Chorography] has no need of mathematical method, but .  .  .  [in geography] this element takes absolute precedence. (Ptolemy 2000: 57–58) 48

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In his Geography, Ptolemy dismisses chorography, that is regional cartography, because of its pictoriality, its performative, artistic nature—we could say—in contrast to world cartography, which is strictly based on mathematics and geometrical principles. However, as Hilary Ballon and David Friedman argue, ‘[w]hat Ptolemy disparaged . . . Renaissance cartographers championed’ (Ballon and Friedman 2007: 689). In the Renaissance, in fact, the production of images of cities literally exploded. While before 1490 there were not more than 30 city views classifiable as geographical depictions, the number of these increased exponentially a century later, so much that the ‘six volumes of the Civitates orbis terrarum that Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg produced between 1572 and 1617 alone collected 546 images for publication’ (680). Whereas the medieval representations of the city tended to be ‘ideal and conventional’ depictions, Renaissance’s city views ‘responded to a new demand for topographical information . . . Nature and architecture together—the city and the surrounding countryside—were the subjects of these images, the first popular form of the Ptolemaic chorography’ (ibid.). The precision of calculus requested by the Ptolemaic method in the production of world maps enhanced contemporarily the need for accuracy and detail in the chorographic maps. In this sense, the Latin translation of Ptolemy’s Geography did not only initiate the rise of cartography as a new discipline of mapmaking and geographical visualization, boosting the terrestrial globalization it followed—as Sloterdijk argues (2013: 9)—but it also shaped profoundly the way the West perceived—and still perceives—cartographically the city. This is the case, in particular, of the so-­called bird’s-­eye view of the city and its immense fortune between the 16th and the 17th century (cf. Ballon and Friedman 2007). Rightly considered as one of the biggest achievements of Renaissance’s cartographical imagination, the bird’s-­eye views produced apparently true-­to-­scale and faithful representations of even the smallest details of buildings, streets and squares, combining the back-­then new pictorial technique of perspective with the humanistic need for precision and territorial knowledge.

Tenochtitlan, 1521—cartographic translation The first example of this new pictorial way of mapping the city is perhaps the Veduta di Venezia (View of Venice, 1500) by Jacopo de’ Barbari, an impressive woodcut made of six panels and measuring 139 by 282 centimeters, depicting the lagoon metropole with an unseen, unprecedented richness of details. The map, or ‘pianta prospettica’, draws its sources from the work of many topographers, offering its viewers a complete panorama of the city, with its canals and calli, its fontamenta and streets, its churches and recognizable buildings. While medieval city maps idealized the urban shapes, de’ Barbari’s map and all the bird’s-­eye views that followed its example exhibited the elaborate, complex, historically grown system of buildings and streets that made a city, giving to the image a sense of uniqueness, autonomy and identity. By revealing the specific resemblance of every city, bird’s-­eye views became the perfect cartographic depiction to stage the architectonical, urbanistic, economic, and in broad terms, cultural spatiality of an urban community. Among the numerous city depictions of the 16th century, one is eloquent in many ways. It is Cortés’s map of Tenochtitlan published in Nuremberg in 1524, along with the Second Letter of Hernán Cortés to King Carlos V (1522). Translated into Latin by Pietro Savorgnani de Foli for the Nuremberg edition, Cortés’s letter is full of details about the new city, some certain and others somewhat exaggerated, since it was the conqueror’s intention to impress the king with the magnificence of the conquered territories and their riches. The view of Tenochtitlan depicted in the map, which is a complex juxtaposition of bird’s-­eye view, pictorial representation and planimetry, revealed to the readers of the Latin translation of the Letter—and, in this 49

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sense, to all of Europe—a quadrilateral island city floating in the middle of a blue circular lake. However, by the time the map was published in February 1524, the city it displayed was ‘as much a fantasy as Amadis: the devastating war of conquest, coupled with the internecine hatreds that Cortes unleashed, had reduced the city to smoking rubble by August of 1521’ (Mundy 1998: 11). In her essay on Cortés’s map, Barbara Mundy has shown that there are enough reasons to think that this map was based on an indigenous, now lost, Aztecan map of Culhua-­Mexica city. ‘Despite its undoubtedly European authorship and mode of projection,’ writes Mundy, ‘this map offers so many points of contact with indigenous maps as to leave little doubt of an indigenous pedigree’ (Mundy 1998: 14). From a translational point of view, Cortés’s map can thus be considered as a sort of ‘cartographic translation’—that is, an ideological rendering— of an Aztec prototype. Thinking of this map in terms of translation helps us to understand to what extent a particular semiotic system, such as the Aztec pictorial representation of space, has been translated into a different code, that is, into the master code of European cartography. Moreover, it invites us to consider the culture-­related semiotics of the translandum, that is, what has been translated. A couple of years before Mundy’s essay on Cortés’s map, the Argentine semiotician Walter Mignolo addressed the issue of the relationship between European and Amerindian mapping practices in his already classical study The Darker Side of the Renaissance: Literacy, Territoriality and Colonization (1995), in which he analyzes the colonization of languages, memories and space that took place when the ‘fourth world’, the New World, began to emerge in the European consciousness. ‘While the concept of Renaissance refers to a rebirth of classical legacies,’ writes Mignolo, ‘and the constitution of humanistic scholarship for human emancipation and early modern period emphasizes the emergence of a genealogy that announces the modern and the postmodern’, the concept of a ‘darker side of the Renaissance’ highlights ‘the rebirth of the classical tradition as a justification of colonial expansion and the emergence of a genealogy (the early colonial period) that announces the colonial and the postcolonial’ (Mignolo 1995: vii; original emphasis). From a translational perspective, Mignolo considers ‘colonial maps’ as intersemiotic translations that manipulate and control rather than convey or represent meaning (Mignolo 1995: xvi), because they are based on misinterpretations concerning the way Amerindians understood concepts such as ‘map’ and ‘geographer’. The word amoxtli, for example, in Anáhuac, the old Aztec language, ‘referred both to the tree from which the solid surface to write on was made (“paper”) and to the entity in which the written material was kept together (“book”)’ (10). Meaning ‘paper’, ‘map’ and ‘book’, amoxtli designates thus something less precise but at the same time much more complex than ‘map’. In a similar way, the word tlacuilo could imply the Western concept of ‘geographer’ or ‘cartographer’, but not exclusively: usually translated as ‘scribe’, the tlacuilo ‘painted both the pictographic signs in which past memories were preserved and those in which spatial boundaries were traced’ (ibid.).

Calcutta, 1887—thematic maps in translation Crucial to the translational history of city maps is the emergence at the beginning of the 17th century of the so-­called thematic cartography, that is, maps that provide information on one or more particular aspects of the territory they want to represent, using appropriate symbols and colours to allow an immediate overview of the phenomenon in a more or less precise spatial relation to the territory. In addition to the factual reference, the time reference is an essential characteristic of a thematic map, since the map displays a particular spatial situation within a specific time or period. As Schweikart and Domnick argue (2013), the first 50

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thematic map was Jodocus Hondius’s Designatio orbis christiani (1607) on the distribution of Christians on the globe, while for other scholars of data visualization this was August Friedrich Wilhelm Crome’s Producten-­Karte von Europa (1782), the first economic map showing the geographic distribution of 56 different commodities produced in Europe (Tegeler 2018: 315–316). Be that as it may, one of the most important thematic maps ever made was doubtlessly John Snow’s Cholera map of Soho, London (1854). That cholera is a diarrheal disease spread through faeces was by no means obvious in the early 19th century. In 1854, a violent cholera outbreak occurred in London—and in the Soho neighbourhood approximately 700 people died in less than two weeks. The ambulatory of Dr. John Snow was not far away from the centre of the epidemic, so he knew personally several of the victims. Already accustomed to using maps in his research, John Snow marked on a plan of the neighbourhood, centred on the Broad Street pump, the cholera deaths with fine black dot-­and-­dash lines (Koch 2011: 200). With this simple cartographical representation, John Snow conveyed a clear visualization that connected incidence with concentration. The result was clarifying: most of the deaths had occurred in the vicinity of Broad Street. The work was successful at least during this outbreak. A day later, the pump was shut down, and within three days, the outbreak was over. The rest is medical history. As Tom Koch puts it, Snow developed a spatial theory that was tested in the map . . . The map was the embod­ iment of Snow’s proposition that if cholera was waterborne then its source had to be water, in this case, the Broad Street pump at the epicenter of the outbreak. (Koch 2011: 201–202; original emphasis) From a translational point of view, John Snow’s cholera map is important because it puts the base for a paradigmatic cartographic translation in a modern colonial context: the health maps of Calcutta and in particular the Calcutta cholera map. As Swati Chattopadhyay argues, the colonial landscape of Calcutta was a divided space, but ‘too complex to be usefully described in terms of the duality of black and white towns’ (Chattopadhyay 2005: 79). Consisting of ‘overlapping geographies and conceptions of space and territory’, the city space was constantly negotiated, and ‘the line of demarcation between the white and black towns’ changed ‘depending on the context and the perception of the observer’ (ibid.). In this situation, Calcutta ‘could never be visually articulate to British authorities’, if not ‘translated as an absence of morality among natives’ (ibid.: 68). In her analysis of colonial Calcutta, Chattopadhyay focuses on the image of Calcutta as ‘pathological space’ enhanced by the cholera map, which belonged to a series of maps, based on British mapping practices such as Snow’s cholera map, arranged for presentation with the Annual Report of the Health Officer of Calcutta. As she explains, since 1880, ‘the numerical data was translated into the graphic format of health maps, while the accompanying report elucidated the conditions under which disease flourished’ (Chattopadhyay 2005: 70). These maps ‘tabulated mortality rates, causes of death, and the race and religion of the deceased’ (ibid.). However, one had to study the map in conjunction with the Report or be fully acquainted with the history of cholera in the city to comprehend the meaning of the map. The increased concentration of red dots indicated the most frequent occurrence of disease, but if one did not know that the spaces occupied by the red dots were also the more populous localities, there would be little basis to judge mortality rates. If one 51

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did not know the connection Europeans made between native lifestyle and cholera there would be little opportunity to recognize that the concentration of red dots implied the black town. (Chattopadhyay 2005: 70) As Chattopadhyay shows, the understanding of the cholera map relied on the previous knowledge of the ‘black and white towns’ (Chattopadhyay 2005: 70; see also Simon 2012: 22–26). As the product of the imperial convergence between scientific and administrative endeavours, the map possessed an aura of infallibility and irrefutability: By bringing the power of numbers to work in spatial terms, the health maps were operating on similar principles. No other disease captured the horrified imaginations of Europeans more than cholera. The quickness with which it struck, the frightful symptoms, the lack of therapeutics, and the absence of a predictable pattern made it the most feared disease and the most salient among administrative concerns. The disease was considered endemic to Lower Bengal and linked to the disorderly habits of the natives. It became the disease of poverty and racial weakness. The discovery of a connection between cholera and Hindu pilgrimage sites confirmed the European perception of the disease as peculiarly Indian. The mass bathings at the pilgrimage sites and the sipping of water for ritual purification increased the possibility of contracting the water-­borne disease. (Chattopadhyay 2005: 71) This translation of the Indian city into a thematic map was part of the many ‘Orientalist translations’ (Simon 2012: 29) of Calcutta into the English master code. Moreover, moving ‘from qualitative to quantitative descriptions silenced the need for further visual exploration of the city’ (Chattopadhyay 2005: 71). In this sense, the city was already perfectly rendered and labelled in terms of poverty, death and disease. And as it happens with maps, part of the colonial efficiency of these cartographic translations of Calcutta resided in the aura of scientific precision they possessed.

New York, ca. 1980—walking as translational mapping In his The Practice of Everyday Life, Michel de Certeau begins his reflections on spatial practices with a fascinating description of Manhattan as seen from the 110th floor of the World Trade Centre: Beneath the haze stirred up by the winds, the urban island, a sea in the middle of the sea, lifts up the skyscrapers over Wall Street, sinks down at Greenwich, then rises again to the crests of Midtown, quietly passes over Central Park and finally undulates off into the distance beyond Harlem. A wave of verticals . . . transformed into a texturology in which extremes coincide—extremes of ambition and degradation, brutal oppositions of races and styles, contrasts between yesterday’s buildings, already transformed into trash cans, and today’s urban irruptions that block out its space . . . A city composed of paroxysmal places in monumental reliefs. The spectator can read in it a universe that is constantly exploding. In it are inscribed the architectural figures of the coincidatio oppositorum formerly drawn in miniatures and mystical textures. On this stage of concrete, steel and glass, cut out between two oceans (the Atlantic and the American) by a frigid body of 52

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water, the tallest letters in the world compose a gigantic rhetoric of excess in both expenditure and production. (de Certeau 2011: 91) The whole scenery depicted by Michel de Certeau is permeated by an erotic, voluptuous lust that makes the viewer wonder what ‘is the source of this pleasure of “seeing the whole”, of looking down on, totalizing the most immoderate of human texts’ (de Certeau 2011: 92). The elevation ‘transfigures’ the viewer ‘into a voyeur’, creating a distance between her/him and the city below, transforming ‘the bewitching world by which one was “possessed” into a text that lies before one’s eyes’ (92). Thereby, de Certeau differentiates between space and place, famously asserting that ‘space is a practiced place’ (117). The geometry of the streets, their lines and the forms shaped and defined by urban planning, all are transformed into space by walkers (117). A place becomes a space by means of the movements and the activities of the actors, of the passersby. Moreover, de Certeau distinguishes two possible approaches to space and, in particular, to urban space: the map (carte) and the tour (parcours). While the map implies a totalizing, almost panoptic-­like view of space, the tour is a discursive series of operations (119). ‘The walking of passers-­by offers a series of turns (tours) and detours,’ writes de Certeau, ‘that can be compared to “turns of phrase” or “stylistic figures” ’ (100). In this sense, Michel de Certeau identifies and develops an analogy between walking in the city and speaking, between movement and language: ‘there is a rhetoric of walking’ (de Certeau 2011: 100). Walking is of course a kind of mapping in itself, but its narrations and visualizations are closer to the model of the medieval itinerary map than to that of modern geographical maps. ‘The question,’ he writes, concerns ultimately the basis of the everyday narrations, the relation between the itinerary . . . and the map . . . that is, between two symbolic and anthropological languages of space. Two poles of experience. It seems that in passing from ‘ordinary’ culture to scientific discourse, one passes from one pole to the other. (de Certeau 2011: 119) While the map colonizes, territorializes and fixes places, the itinerary renders the fluidity, the intersections and the mobile elements of space. Both are practices of spatial orientation, but whereas the map measures, the itinerary spatializes, communicating the possible variations of a place. Walking in the city is a form of enunciation, a negotiation of meanings, a series of multiple intralingual, infralingual, intersemiotic translation processes. While walking, one’s body is not only crisscrossed by the streets ‘that turn and return it according to an anonymous law’ (de Certeau 2011: 92), but it also produces a space, a movement in space: street names, toponyms, signs, sounds, spatial memories, etc., all of which are translated by the walker into a progression, into a coherent movement. Drawing on de Certeau’s seminal text, a translation theorist, Myriam Suchet, together with a social and cultural geographer, Sarah Mekdjian, explored how current artivist practices, in particular those based on the walking and wandering through the city, not only echo the mapping practices of the Situationists (e.g., Debord’s Naked City), but they are also forms of urban translation capable of deconstructing the neoliberal urban economies and the modern apparatus of surveillance while empowering the citizens (Suchet and Mekdjian 2016). As Michael Cronin rightly argues already in one of his first books, Translating Ireland, ‘[t]ranslation implies in both a geometrical and linguistic sense, movement, a resistance to fixity. Its momentum is dialogical’ (Cronin 1996: 5–6). 53

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Counter-­mapping translation and translational counter-­mapping In Eco-­Translation, Michael Cronin argues that there is a profound analogy between mapping the city and translation. As he explains, when we think about translation, we often risk a ‘fatal confusion between translation as infrastructure and translation as flow’ (Cronin 2017: 110). Drawing on Ethan Zuckerman (2013), he argues that there ‘are two potential ways to map a city’: one which ‘gives you the layout of the streets, the location of key transport hubs, sites of cultural and historical interests and major public utilities’, and another one which is ‘based not on what routes people might take through a city but what routes they actually do’ (Cronin 2017: 110). Whereas the first kind of mapping, the infrastructure map, is a ‘dream of mobile possibility’ that suggests which kind of trajectory you can take, the second one, the flow map, depicts the contingent complexities of reality. We can say then when we consider the number of languages spoken in the world, the numbers of speakers of different languages, the number of languages, the number of languages taught in different translation training institutions, the processing capacities of new technology, the potential of translation itself to handle a very wide range of tasks from sign language interpreting to game localization, the infrastructural possibilities of translation are immense. The difficulty is the reality of the flows . . . Situating translation in a demand-­side ecology means placing emphasis on altering the nature of flows. (Cronin 2017: 110–111) Hence, arguing from a cartographical perspective, Cronin proposes a sort of ‘counter-­mapping’ (see Denis Wood 2010b) of translation, of the flows of translation, since ‘[i]t is the flows after all that dictate whether translation is to be the nemesis or the guardian of epistemic uniformity’ (Cronin 2017: 110–111). In this sense, to emphasize ‘cartographically’ the flows of translation and not its infrastructure works eventually as a sort of redress of translation, a redress of ‘the potential drift towards monolingual, epistemic monocultures’ (ibid.). A wonderful example of city-­focused, counter-­mapping of translation is the work of Sherry Simon (2012, 2019). In particular, her last book, Translation Sites (2019), can be considered as the first monography that works as an atlas or, better said, as a counter-­atlas of urban spaces in translation. The book is divided into five coherent parts, mapping respectively architectures of memory, transit zones, crossroads, thresholds and borders, touching on various ‘translation sites’ of the planet, from Santa María la Blanca in Toledo—the former Ibn Shoshanna synagogue—to polylingual Lviv in Ukraine, from Prague’s Neues deutsches Theater to Canada, from Hong Kong to Turkey, from Japan to Ireland and from Cairo to Ellis Island. However, many of the translation sites where Simon takes us to cannot be found on a geographical map, since they belong to the realm of imagination, such as The Grand Budapest Hotel (Simon 2019: 56–67) or the ‘tower-­like spaceships’ of the Heptapods in Denis Villeneuve’s cinematic adaptation of Ted Chiang’s short story (70–78). Simon calls her book a ‘field guide’, a ‘guidebook’—and it is indeed a guide, a fluid, deconstructive itinerary that evokes ‘a strong physical sense of place’ (Simon 2019: 2). To follow her ‘routes’ is to visit gardens, bridges and streets where languages compose ever-­changing palimpsests and where spaces are charged with the tension between here and elsewhere. It is to visit places whose cultural meanings are shaped by language traffic and by the clash of memories. (ibid.) 54

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To follow her translational itineraries is to trespass border zones ‘where the wounds of history are still legible’, hear glimpses of vanished languages, read ‘ghost signs’ on walls and survey ‘layered geographies of sound’ (ibid.: 3–4). In a sense, Simon’s book operates as a kind of ‘on-­ site’ reconnaissance, not so much, however, in the conventional sense of exploring a territory to gain strategic information, but rather in its almost forgotten etymological meaning, that is, ‘to know again’ (from Latin recognoscere), to recognize, to bring something back. This is what a counter-­mapping of translation should do: bring languages back into circulation and foster exchange while licensing transformation (ibid.: 254). Another inspiring example of counter-­mapping—which is per se, as I see it, a sort of translational cartography—are the maps designed by geographer Denis Wood in his Everything Sings: Maps for a Narrative Atlas (2010a). As Ira Glass writes in her introduction to Wood’s narrative atlas, [t]hese maps are completely unnecessary . . . They aid no navigation or civic-­minded purpose . . . What they chart isn’t Boylan Heights exactly but Wood’s feelings about Boylan Heights, his curiosity about it, and his sense of wonder at all the things about the place that are overlooked and unnamed. (Glass 2010: 6) In his maps of Boylan Heights, a historical neighbourhood in North Carolina, Wood charts, for example, the routes of squirrels moving on phone and television cables to avoid the dangers on the ground, the density of wind chimes, the distribution of jack-­o’-­lanterns during Halloween or the position of street lights. This is a processual mapping that charts the neighbourhood as a space of translation. ‘The idea,’ Wood writes, ‘is this: the neighborhood is a process, a process-­place or a process-­thing’, that translates ‘anywhere into here, and here into everywhere’, that transforms ‘the city into the space of our lives, the citizen into the individual, and vice versa’ (Wood 2010a: 22). In the last chapter of a book of mine (Italiano 2016), while investigating the relationship between (self-­)translation and cartography, focusing on the poetry of the Argentine poet Juan Gelman—and in particular on the ‘Jewish’ period of his work—I introduced the concept of ‘translational map’ to describe how his book Com/posiciones (1986) constructs an imagined geography of exile by translating and recomposing various Hebrew poems, ranging from biblical texts through to Andalusian Hebrew poetry to Sephardic Renaissance poetry. By writing under the poems the time and the cities in which the translated poets lived (the ancient centres of Jewish life in medieval Spain, such as Tudela, Toledo, Málaga, Córdoba, Saragossa and Barcelona) and linking them with other Mediterranean centres of the Jewish Diaspora (such as Palermo, Roma, Constantinople, Palestine, Safed and Jerusalem), Gelman creates translational maps that depict the lost world of Sepharad, the ‘minor’ geography of the Sephardic Mediterranean (Italiano 2016: 142–146). The concept of translational mapping that I have only sketched out in my book deserves being developed and deepened, for it has a strong potentiality not only in grasping the complexities of the connection between spatiality and language, but also in making, on the one hand, the map a more fluid, flow-­oriented device and, on the other, in spatializing the process of translation, in making more visible the space of translation.

Conclusion The semiotic structure of a map, as we have seen, expands between a ‘here’, within the space of the map itself, and another ‘here’, outside of that space. In this sense, maps are translational devices that transport meanings across media, spaces and time. The works of Piechocki and 55

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Roberts among others, and cases such as Cortés’s map of Tenochtitlan or the cholera maps of Calcutta, made clear that mapping is a kind of translation, too, and that there is a vast research area out there, dealing with what has been named ‘cartographic translation’, that awaits to be explored in all its complexities. Moreover, following the cartographic critique of urban spaces by Michel de Certeau, Michael Cronin and Sherry Simon have shown the immense possibility for translation studies in approaching translation from a counter-­mapping perspective, an approach capable of readjusting monolingual tendencies towards a sustainable coexistence of diversities. As Sherry Simon (2012) demonstrated, monolingual cities do not exist, since all cities are per definitionem translational. If we really understand this premise, the ‘cartographical’ questions that might arise are legion: how and to what extent do alternative city plans (urban counter-­maps) shape and improve the perception of a city’s translational dimension? How and to what extent can we map the sound of a city? What happens when a city map is reproduced in another language by translating, as it normally happens, only certain toponyms, leaving out those that do not have a conventional correspondent in the target language? What can we learn from cartographic practices if we consider map projections as a translation activity? One of the most habitudinal operations we undertake in our daily life is to look up in our smartphone the way to our next destination—be it a bar, a market, a library or the house of a new friend. In no other epoch of human civilization were maps so capillarily present and accessible as in the last 10 years. Which kind of consequence does this map omnipresence have on our orientation skills and on our perception of the city as a complex structure of various translation zones? And furthermore, which kind of relationship exists between digital mapping devices such as Google Maps and machine translations? Those are only a few possible and very general working questions that arise if we think about maps, cities and translation together. There is still a lot of work to do.

Further reading Cronin, Michael (2017) Eco-­Translation: Translation and Ecology in the Age of the Anthropocene, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. A most compelling book that does not just lay the foundation for a new understanding of translation beyond globalization, but brings translation back to Earth, to the vulnerable ecology of our planet Italiano, Federico (2016) Translation and Geography, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. A book in which I explore the multiple, transmedial interconnections between translation and maps from the medieval narration of a sea voyage to Jules Verne’s extraordinary journeys to contemporary Latin American poetry Mignolo, Walter (1995) The Darker Side of the Renaissance: Literacy, Territoriality and Colonization, Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. One of the first attempts to understand the relationship between maps, language and colonization Piechocki, Katharina N. (2017) ‘Cartographic translation: Reframing Leonardo Bruni’s De interpretatione recta (1424)’, I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance 20(1): 41–66. An excellent reading on Leonardo Bruni’s insights on the relationship between cartography and translation Roberts, Sean (2013) Printing A Mediterranean World: Florence, Constantinople, and the Renaissance of Geography, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. A compelling case study on the translational origin of modern cartography Simon, Sherry (2019) Translation Sites: A Field Guide, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. A ground-­breaking contribution in the spatial and architectonical understanding of translation: a fascinating, wonderfully written counter-­atlas of urban spaces in translation 56

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References Alpers, Svetlana (1983) ‘The mapping impulse in Dutch art’, in David Woodward (ed.) Art and Cartography: Six Historical Essays, Chicago: Chicago University Press, 51–96. Apter, Emily (2006) The Translation Zone: A  New Comparative Literature, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Balkin, Amy (2006) In transit, (accessed 7 July 2020). Ballon, Hilary and David Friedman (2007) ‘Portraying the city in early modern Europe: Measurement, representation, and planning’, in David Woodward (ed.) History of Cartography 3: Cartography in the European Renaissance, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 680–704. Calvino, Italo (1974) Invisible Cities, trans. William Weaver, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Chattopadhyay, Swati (2005) Representing Calcutta: Modernity, Nationalism and the Colonial Uncanny, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Conrad, Josef (2006) Heart of Darkness, ed. Paul Armstrong, New York and London: W. W. Norton & Company. Cosgrove, Denis (1999) ‘Introduction: Mapping meanings’, in Denis Cosgrove (ed.) Mappings, London: Reaktion Books, 1–23. Cronin, Michael (1996) Translating Ireland: Translation, Languages, Cultures, Cork: Cork University Press. Cronin, Michael (2003) Translation and Globalization, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Cronin, Michael (2013) Translation in the Digital Age, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Cronin, Michael (2017) Eco-­Translation: Translation and Ecology in the Age of the Anthropocene, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Cronin, Michael and Sherry Simon (2014) ‘Introduction: The city as translation zone’, Translation Studies 7(2): 119–132. Debord, Guy (1957) The Naked City: Illustration de hypothèse des plagues tournantes en psychogéographique, Copenhagen: Permild & Rosengren,­ debord (accessed 7 July 2020). De Certeau, Michel (2011) The Practice of Everyday Life (3rd edition), trans. Steven Rendall, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Dung, Kai-­cheung (2012) Atlas: The Archaeology of an Imaginary City, trans. Dung Kai-­cheung, Anders Hansson and Bonnie S. McDougall, New York: Columbia University Press. Dünne, Jörg (2011) Die kartographische Imagination. Erinnern, Erzählen und Fingieren in der Frühen Neuzeit, München: Fink. Gelman, Juan (1986) Com/posiciones, Barcelona: Ediciones del Mall. Glass, Ira (2010) ‘Introduction’, in Denis Wood (ed.) Everything Sings: Maps for a Narrative Atlas, Los Angeles: Siglio, 6–7. Harley, John Brian (1988) ‘Silences and secrecy: The hidden agenda of cartography in early modern Europe’, Imago Mundi 40: 57–76. Harley, John Brian and David Woodward (1987) ‘Preface’, in John Brian Harley and David Woodward (eds.) The History of Cartography. I. Cartography in Medieval Europe and the Mediterranean. Part 1, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, xv–xxi. Italiano, Federico (2014) ‘Auratisierung des Nordens. Die Pygmäen und die Carta Marina (1539) des Olaus Magnus’, in Ulrich Johannes Beil, Cornelia Herberichs and Marcus Sandl (eds.) Aura und Auratisierung: Mediologische Perspektiven im Anschluss an Walter Benjamin, Zürich: Chronos Verlag, 183–200. Italiano, Federico (2015) ‘Kartographisches Schreiben und kartographische Imagination’, in Jörg Dünne and Andreas Mahler (eds.) Handbuch Literatur & Raum, Berlin: De Gruyter, 249–258. Italiano, Federico (2016) Translation and Geography, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Italiano, Federico (2018) ‘ “It contained harbours that pleased me like sonnets”: Kleine Poetik der diegetischen Karte’, in Brigitta Schmidt-­Lauber and Ingo Zechner (eds.) Mapping (special issue), Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften 12(1): 33–44.


Federico Italiano

Koch, Tom (2011) Disease Maps: Epidemics on the Ground, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Korzybski, Alfred (1990) Collected Writings, 1920–1950, Fort Worth, TX: Institute of General Semantics. Latour, Bruno (1988) The Pasteurization of France, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Mignolo, Walter (1995) The Darker Side of the Renaissance: Literacy, Territoriality and Colonization, Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. Mundy, Barbara E. (1998) ‘Mapping the Aztec capital: The 1524 Nuremberg map of Tenochtitlan, its sources and meanings’, Imago Mundi 50: 11–33. Perec, Georges (1974) Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, trans. John Sturrock, London: Penguin Classics. Pickles, John (2004) A History of Spaces: Cartographic Reason, Mapping and the Geo-­Coded World, London and New York: Routledge. Piechocki, Katharina N. (2017) ‘Cartographic translation: Reframing Leonardo Bruni’s De interpretatione recta (1424)’, I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance 20(1): 41–66. Ptolemy, Claudius (2000) Ptolemy’s Geography: An Annotated Translation of the Theoretical Chapters, trans. and ed. J. Lennart Berggren and Alexander Jones, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Roberts, Sean (2013) Printing A Mediterranean World: Florence, Constantinople, and the Renaissance of Geography, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Schweikart, Jürgen and Immelyn Domnick (2013) ‘Thematic mapping between individual issue and mass media product’, Kartographische Nachrichten (June), 40–147. Simon, Sherry (2012) Cities in Translation: Intersections of Language and Memory, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Simon, Sherry (2019) Translation Sites: A Field Guide, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Sloterdijk, Peter (2013) In the World Interior of Capital: Towards a Philosophical Theory of Globalization, trans. Wieland Hoban, Cambridge: Polity Press. Suchet, Myriam and Sarah Mekdjian (2016) ‘Artivism as a form of urban translation. An indisciplinary hypothesis’, in Sherry Simon (ed.) Speaking Memory: How Translation Shapes City Life, Montreal: McGill-­Queen’s University Press, 220–248. Tegeler, Tillmann (2018) ‘Discovering hidden maps: Cartographic representations as arguments for historical narratives’, in Mirela Altić, Imre Josef Demhardt and Soetkin Vervust (eds.) Dissemination of Cartographic Knowledge: 6th International Symposium of the ICA Commission on the History of Cartography, 2016, Cham: Springer, 315–329. Wood, Denis (2010a) Everything Sings: Maps for a Narrative Atlas, Los Angeles: Siglio. Wood, Denis (2010b) Rethinking the Power of Maps, New York: Guilford Press. Wood, Denis and John Fels (2008) ‘The nature of maps: Cartographic constructions of the natural world’, Cartographica 43(3): 189–202. Zuckerman, Ethan (2013) Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection, New York: W. W. Norton.


4 Interartefactual translation Metrolingualism and resemiotization Emi Otsuji and Alastair Pennycook

Broadening the scope of translation Metrolingualism has always been concerned with translation and the city (Pennycook and Otsuji 2015), with the city’s translation zones and the way ‘coexistence and competition among meaning systems heightens awareness and appreciation of difference’ (Simon 2012: 160). Studies of metrolingual practices are centrally concerned with the multiple ways that meaning occurs across different urban sites. Like many of the chapters in this Handbook, we hold both a broad view of translation—translation commonly involves much more than the archetypal idea of operating between two identified languages—and a belief that translation sits at the heart of many contemporary parts of social life. As Spivak remarked, drawing on a discussion with Michele Barrett, ‘the politics of translation takes on a massive life of its own if you see language as the process of meaning-­construction’ (1993: 179). From this perspective, it is possible to view all language use as a process of translation, thus questioning the assumption that translation is a mapping of items from one code to another. According to Steiner, ‘inside or between languages, human communication equals translation. A study of translation is a study of language’ (1975: 47). Communication between named languages presents not so much the central process of translation but rather a special case: all communication involves translation. This renders translation not the peripheral area it has been for much of applied linguistics, but rather the key to understanding communication. It also suggests that this boundary we set up between languages, rendering translation an issue when we speak ‘different languages’ but not when we speak the ‘same language’, is a distinction that is difficult to maintain. The conventional vision of translation—between two identified languages—is a very particular instance of translation and one, as Kothari (2005; Kothari and Shah 2019) makes clear, that derives from the colonial politics of linguistics and language studies: the idea of translation rests upon the institutions of languages that were produced through colonial technologies of translation. Indeed, the term translation as a concept of ‘text-­to-­text transference of meaning carried out with an accountability to the written word is a nineteenth century phenomenon dating back to the colonial period’ (Kothari and Shah 2019: 126).


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This observation pushes us in two directions of significance for the arguments we make in this chapter. On the one hand, rather than assuming that meanings reside in extant linguistic systems whose status we do not need to question, a critical investigation of the broader politics of translation opens up languages themselves for critical examination. On the other hand, this urges us to ask what has been excluded in the construction of these language artefacts, what has been missed as part of a broader semiotics. It is not only the case therefore that translations ‘from other languages make us rethink the assemblage of connectedness that we have assumed as “natural” and “appropriate” in the field, connections that have become heavily sedimented’ (Ramanathan 2006: 229), but also that an opening up of translation asks what these ‘assemblages of connectedness’ are and how translation operates within and across such assemblages. In this chapter, therefore, we explore processes of resemiotization, as meaning is reconfigured across not only linguistic boundaries but also wider semiotic and artefactual spaces. After a discussion of translation from a metrolingual perspective, we will examine data from a small store in Tokyo, showing how meaning is reworked across assemblages of people, objects, space and language.

Metrolingualism and translation From a metrolingual point of view, with its focus on language, space and the city, translation happens at many social interfaces or translation zones. Metrolingualism is a term used to describe the relations between language and the city (Otsuji and Pennycook 2010; Pennycook and Otsuji 2015). It focuses particularly on everyday multilingual language use in urban workplaces. It is often aligned with other recent neologisms such as translanguaging and polylanguaging, particularly in their shared focus away from named and enumerable languages and their interest in diverse language practices (Pennycook 2016). While translanguaging and polylanguaging have typically been developed in and applied to educational contexts (multilingual classrooms and young adolescents in school settings), metrolingualism has developed with a particular focus on space, and most often in contexts beyond schools, such as cafés, kitchens, construction sites and markets. Creese et al.’s (2018) work on markets shares a number of similarities to our metrolingual approach, and they note the close relations between translanguaging and translation (cf. Zhu Hua and Li Wei, this volume). Rather than looking at language-­to-­language relations such as code-­switching or bilingualism (how different languages are used together), plurilingualism (how different languages reside in the individual) or demographic accounts of multilingualism (demolinguistic mapping of ethnolinguistic communities), metrolingualism focuses on everyday language practices in terms of how diverse language uses are an intrinsic part of the city (Pennycook and Otsuji 2019). Metrolingualism emphasizes the ways in which different people, different interactions and different semiotic and linguistic resources come together at different times and in different places in the city. This chapter explores metrolingual practices from a translingual point of view, arguing that the reinterpretation of meaning happens at multiple levels, from intercultural translation, where one cultural framing of events is translated into another perspective (possibly, though not necessarily, involving different languages), to interartefactual translation, where meaning changes between two different objects within semiotic assemblages. In order to develop this understanding of multilevel translation, we draw on several different theoretical traditions. We interpret the translingual turn in sociolinguistics not only in terms of an understanding of fluid language practices, but also in terms of much broader challenges to knowledge and disciplinarity. As Ramanathan notes, ‘the Applied Linguistics field has not yet grappled with tensions around the politics of translations across spaces, times, ideologies 60

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and cultures, and the implications of these not just for writing/texts in the discipline, but for our collective knowledge construction at large’ (2006: 224). To talk of bilingualism or multilingualism in such contexts is to overlook both the vast disparities between languages and the overemphasis on language at the expense of other meaning-­making processes. This brings us to a focus both on intercultural translation from a southern perspective (cf. Deumert et al., this volume) and to an expansion of the notion of resemiotization. For Santos, intercultural translation is linked to the ecology of knowledges and the need for understanding across different ways of knowing: ‘How to articulate and entertain a conversation among different knowledges that, in some instances, are anchored in different cultures?’ (Santos 2018: 16). Diffuse intercultural translation is the most common as informal, collective work done to arrive at forms of understanding; it is generally ‘characterized by its fluidity, anonymity, and orality’ (33). Resemiotization (Iedema 2001) as a form of translation occurs between various semiotic modalities, such as speech and written versions, or between designs and their instantiation (an Ikea shelf-­building plan transformed into a set of shelves, for example). Looking at language use as it moves through organizations (particularly medical), Iedema (2001) shows how (unstable) agreements reached in and through embodied talk are conventionally ‘resemiotisized’ into alternative and less negotiable semioses such as written summaries, courses of action, or more durable materialities. Importantly, it is often thanks to their resemiotization that particular understandings and agreements attain organizational status, explicitness, and relevance. (Iedema 2001: 25–26) This notion of resemiotization has been productive in mediated discourse analysis (Leppänen and Elo 2016; Scollon 2005) for showing how ‘discourse is “resemiotised” or transformed into objects and social practices’ (Norris and Jones 2005: 203). Moving in the opposite direction, van Leeuwen views discourse as ‘recontextualized social practice’ (2008: 3); that is, when we put something into language (discourse), we are recontextualizing social practices in another medium. Thus, rather than looking at how discourses are translated into other modes, actions or artefacts, van Leeuwen focuses on the ways in which social practices—our socially regulated daily actions—are translated into forms of discourse. Central to these processes of resemiotization are the ways different texts may be translated across modes, so an oral suggestion becomes an action, a diagrammatic wiring plan becomes an electrical circuit, cooking practices become a recipe, a sketch of a dive plan becomes an embodied dive (Pennycook 2018). Resemiotization is about how ‘meaning making shifts from context to context, from practice to practice, or from one stage of a practice to the next’ (Iedema 2003: 41). Combining the ideas of resemiotization and translanguaging ‘provides a conceptual lens for understanding how semiotic transformations emerge with and beyond linguistic practices’ (Bradley and Moore 2019: 92). Zhu Hua et al. (2019) bring together intercultural communication and resemiotization processes in their study of a legal advice service, showing how intercultural differences in an institutional setting are managed through processes of resemiotization, by translating clients’ personal spoken narratives into institutionally relevant texts, pieces of information into institutionally mandated categories. We are interested in this chapter in the next (onto)logical step in this process: not only between texts and actions, processes or physical ends, but also between artefacts themselves. As Hawkins (2018: 60) notes, ‘much work on multimodality, historically and currently, privileges language, and considers modes as they relate to language. Yet modes 61

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carry distinctive meanings in and of themselves, or entwined together even in the absence of spoken or written “language” ’. While multimodality helpfully takes us beyond translation either as a narrowly defined activity between languages, or more broadly across language (without defining language difference), it stops short of asking the next question: once we acknowledge that an artefact (a bookshelf, for example) may be a resemiotized set of instructions, what acts of semiosis may occur between this semiotic artefact and other objects (books, or perhaps decorative objects placed on the shelves)? Put another way, if van Leeuwen (2008) views discourse as recontextualized social practice (we move from activity to text), and Iedema (2001) views resemiotization as moving from practice to practice, how do we understand these interactional or interartefactual processes of translation? It is of course tempting to follow the anthropocentric assumption that meaning only occurs in relation to human interpretation, but the idea of assemblages (Pennycook 2017) compels us to think differently. Hawkins (2018: 61) argues that ‘a sole focus on design/orchestration’—the role of humans in making things happen —‘falls short of capturing meaning-­making in communicative interactions’. The challenge from the perspective of materiality, however, questions ‘the role of human intent and agency, and individual consciousness, in multimodal design and assemblage’ (ibid.). As part of an assemblage of people, things, place and language, objects may be interacting without necessary human intervention. This is to think in terms of distributed meaning, where meaning does not simply lie in human semiotic processes but may also be part of a broader assemblage. We shall return to an extended discussion of assemblages after recontextualizing these ideas in a corner shop in Tokyo.

Battery life, ‘God know everything’ and intercultural translation In this and the next section we will show how metrolingual practices are involved in processes of translation at many levels: between languages, between forms of knowledge, between texts and action, and between artefacts, by looking at examples from a Bangladeshi-­owned corner shop in Japan. The Bangladeshi-­owned corner shop in Isuramu Yokochō (Islamic Alley) in Shinjuku, Tokyo, where we have been conducting ethnographic observations since December  2014, as part of our 10-­year (2010–2020) metrolingual project (Pennycook and Otsuji 2015), is a junction of ebbs and flows of diversity: different people, different linguistic resources, clothing, artefacts, merchandise, smells, sounds and activities dissolve and come together again in this place. With Korean Town, a Chinese and pan-­Asian precinct, as well as Isuramu Yokochō, all within the vicinity, Shinjuku boasts a varied ethnic concentration.1 According to the statistics of Shinjuku City Office (2019), the top five largest migrant groups come from China, Korea, Vietnam, Nepal and Taiwan. Visitors to Isuramu Yokochō, and more precisely to the Bangladeshi-­owned shop that we have focused on, draw from these and other backgrounds. Common clientele of the shop includes Pakistani (ranked 39th in terms of numerical presence on the statistics), Sri Lankan (12th), Nigerian (61st), Ghanaian (59th), Indian (13th) and of course Bangladeshi (12th). The hub of the shop, a long counter, is located at the right-­hand side of the door as one enters. The counter stretches from the glass window where mobile phones and other electronic devices are displayed to the other end where the cash register is located. Near the register are a Scotch tape dispenser, a red donation can with the words ‘MASJID [Mosque] in Bangladesh— Donation Box’, a few mobile phones owned by the shopkeepers, and a basket with sachets of saffron. Beneath a vinyl sheet that is positioned under the cash register is a collection of banknotes of different currencies in various colours. Because of its length, the counter allows miscellaneous objects to be lodged and multiple transactions and activities to take place 62

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(metrolingual multitasking and spatial repertoires; Pennycook and Otsuji 2014). Across the counter, the shop owner, manager or assistant—whoever is at the counter—greets customers, takes phone calls (their mobile phones are constantly ringing, receiving mails and messages), responds to inquiries about produce and attends to customers. The counter is also a social site where exchanges between shopworkers, between shopworkers and (regular) customers and friends, and between customers take place. This counter and its artefacts afford a variety of engagements. Three young Uzbek workers wonder (among themselves in Uzbek) who is running this shop: ‘Bu qorachalar kim? Hintlar ekanu’ (‘Who are these darker people? Seem like Indians’), before identifying themselves to one of the shop assistants by pointing to an Uzbek banknote on the counter and explaining (in Japanese): ‘Kore wa watashi tachi no’ (‘this is ours’) (Pennycook and Otsuji, in press). Shops such as this attract a range of visitors, from regular customers—who, because they live in a different part of the city, may only come once a month, carrying large bags to stock up on various hard-­to-­find items—to people dropping by in search of spices, chicken, fish or mobile phones. One day in late December 2018, the shop is busy with people, objects and language. Within an hour of recorded data, a man of African background buys mobile phone batteries (Figure 4.1); two Sri Lankan students (who live together) shop for chili powder, chicken, rice and other ingredients for cooking (Figure 4.2); a regular customer of Pakistani background (from Lahore) and his Thai wife come in for their monthly shopping, packing their purchased produce in their hefty suitcase in front of the counter, while talking with the shop owner in Urdu, English and Japanese; an Indian couple ask for chicken keema (minced chicken) and gur (unrefined, solid brown sugar) at the counter in Hindi; a Japanese woman with two children gets ingredients (ghee, curry leaves) for making curry; and a range of customers of South Asian background ask for chewing tobacco, which is stored behind the counter. Multiple languages, various people with different purposes, objects and interactions overlap and crisscross the counter.

Figure 4.1  A man of African background buying mobile phone batteries 63

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Figure 4.2  Two Sri Lankan students shopping for ingredients for cooking

Amongst these, the following interaction occurs between the customer of African background, standing opposite the shop owner across the counter. From the radio behind the counter, the short evening prayer (maghrib) is playing. The two young Sri Lankans at the other end of the counter are putting a shopping basket on the counter and chatting amongst themselves. Excerpt 1 (SO: Shop owner, C: Customer), English: plain, Japanese: underline, (): Translation provided in brackets, []: non-­verbal features, (. . .): inaudible   1 C: well . . . thank you. . . (. . .) . . . okay it’s one hundred percent charged right? [looking at the mobile phone on the counter]   2 SO: hmmm . . . our battery is only one week guarantee okay, brother? [putting a battery in the customer’s mobile phone]   3 C: why? okay . . . okay . . . it’s okay.   4 SO: It’s okay, brother?   5 C: [handing over money] hope that is cool . . . hope it’s okay?   6 SO: hmm? Yeah . . . maybe it’s okay . . . no problem.   7 C: [slightly agitated] maybe okay? or Okay.   8 SO: Okay maybe . . . of course maybe . . . you know . . . confirm is nothing in the world [looks up at C and uses horizontal wiping gesture with right hand] . . . maybe . . . all maybe . . . I am working . . . it’s all maybe . . . after what I am doing, I don’t know . . . Allah . . . Allah know everything . . . God know everything . . . so we are people . . . maybe. . .   9 C: [laughs quietly] 10 SO: okay am I right? [clears his throat] [SO’s mobile phone receives a message] 11 SO: Dakara (that is why) . . . maybe [SO picks up his mobile phone, starts talking with a customer, passes C’s mobile phone over the counter] 64

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Apart from the varied produces (particularly halal food) that attract customers of various backgrounds from South Asian and North and East African countries, the Bangladeshi-­owned corner shop is often visited by people seeking SIMs, SIM-­free mobile phones, as well as other mobile phone accessories such as batteries. One part of the counter is often occupied with such customers. In this interaction, the long counter becomes not merely a multilingual, multimodal and multisensory site (Zhu Hua et al. 2017) but also an assembling point of material, cultural, linguistic, religious and other repertoires of the shop. C is apprehensive about the short warranty period (Lines 3 and 5) and SO’s non-­committal response ‘hmm? Yeah . . . maybe it’s okay . . . no problem’ (Line 6). C asks SO for reassurance ‘maybe okay? or Okay’ (Line 7), to which C responds, translating his ‘maybe’ into a more philosophical statement ‘confirm is nothing in the world’ followed by ‘Allah know everything’ and an adjustment to ‘God know everything’ (Line 8). SO looks directly at C and uses a horizontal wiping gesture with his right hand to emphasize his utterance ‘nothing in the world’. Here, using English (a common but by no means default language of the shop: Japanese, Bangla, Hindi and Nepalese are more common), the shop owner translates the short (one week) battery guarantee into a more general Islamic position on the undecidability of the future, adjusting his invocation of Allah to God to accommodate his non-­Muslim customer, who laughs a little uncomfortably, as the explanation unfolds. On one level, then, this interaction is an example of intercultural translation where people of different cultural and religious backgrounds are trying to come to terms with different perspectives. SO’s explanation that the one-­week guarantee is not only a necessary precaution in relation to assured battery life, but also an expression of Islamic notions about the future (‘confirm is nothing in the world . . . Allah know everything’) is met by a quiet laugh of acceptance. The idea of resemiotization, however, pushes us to think not only in terms of translation occurring between cultural perspectives within one shared language (English operates here as part of these two interactants’ far more complex linguistic repertoires) but also within the spatial repertoires of the shop, those moment-­by-­moment human and non-­human assemblages in particular places at particular times: how batteries, religions, cultures, humans, objects and time (present and future) come together. These assemblages bring new meaning to the various items that are pulled together, the battery here charged not only with the task of keeping the mobile phone working, but also with understandings of guarantees and the knowability of the future. As the phone is passed back across the counter (itself an important part of multiple assemblages), it carries a range of meanings (Figure 4.1). Now we turn to the ways in which meanings are translated from object to object.

When a shopping list, ‘pois chiches’ and a shopping basket meet We are interested not only in who comes to the shop, from what background, speaking what languages, but also in which objects (merchandise) and spatial arrangements come together and bring about particular interactions as part of larger everyday practices involving both humans and non-­humans (Pennycook and Otsuji 2019). As in the previous interaction, where people, languages, objects and space combine in a semiotic assemblage, our interest is in how these combine together at any one moment. Because people travel from different suburbs (unlike a quick errand to buy a carton of milk from the nearest supermarket), it is not uncommon, from our observations, for customers to bring a long list to work through. One afternoon in June  2019, the shop is relatively busy, with people coming in waves. At the back corner of the shop, two female customers of Japanese background are looking over a shopping list scribbled on a used envelope and constantly checking items on the shelves and chatting in Japanese (Figure 4.3). Next to them, a male and female couple of Maghrebi 65

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Figure 4.3  The shopping list scribbled on a used envelope

background are both holding shopping lists while they chat in Arabic (interspersed with a few French words ‘parce que’ [because], ‘merci’ [thank you]). This couple, more assured about what they have come to buy here, are working through one of the lists (Figure 4.4). Beneath the general French term ‘Achat’ (to buy/purchase) are items such as ‘Viande’ (meat), ‘Poulet’ (chicken), ‘Lentilles’ (lentils) and ‘Pois chiches’  (chickpeas). Following this general list of items is ‘Barkouk’ (a Moroccan dish cooked in a tajine with lamb and dried plums). The woman holding this list (Figure 4.4), pointing to items with her thumb, is taking items from the shelves and crossing them out as she puts them in her basket. ‘Pois chiches’ (chickpeas) and ‘Lentilles’ (lentils) on the shopping list are already ticked off, and the baskets are already quite full (Figure 4.5) (they are stocking up). On the back of the list (Figure 4.6), there is another mixture of wider menus and specific items, such as 66

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Figure 4.4  The shopping list held by the woman

‘Viande + Barkouk’, ‘Boulette’ (small meatballs) replacing the crossed-­out ‘Viande + Kafta’. This is followed by ‘Kafta Tomate’ (meatballs with tomatoes) and further down are ‘Couscous’, ‘Zaalouk’ (Moroccan cooked eggplant, chickpeas, and tomato salad) and ‘Taktouka’ (Moroccan cooked bell peppers and tomato salad). Using a thumb to point to an item such as ‘Lentilles’ on the shopping list that in turn points to an actual product on the shelf is a process of resemiotization. We therefore have to pay attention to the more elaborate relations between the pointer (a thumb) and the things pointed to (an item on the list, a menu and a product on the shelf) since this is the site where meaning changes between different artefacts within semiotic assemblages. Pointing itself is a much-­discussed aspect of human (and possibly non-­human) behaviour (Pennycook 2018) that becomes more significant when considered in relation to assembling and resemiotizing 67

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Figure 4.5  One of the couple’s baskets full of ‘Pois chiches’ and ‘Lentilles’

perspectives. Our starting point, therefore, is with this moment involving not only the use of an indexical sign (the word ‘Lentilles’ or ‘Pois chiches’ indicating actual products on the shelves and subsequently a Moroccan dish such as ‘Zaalouk’) but rather an assemblage of everyday artefacts and meanings. What interests us in this mundane practice of working one’s way through a shopping list are the multiple levels of translation taking place across texts (language), actions and artefacts. The ‘Lentilles’ (lentils) and ‘Pois chiches’ (chickpeas) on the list—themselves already resemiotized from recipes, discussions, cooking practices, or whatever processes contributed to the making of the lists—have been translated into the actual items on the shelves, which then generate the conversations between the couple in Moroccan Arabic, and the action of taking the items and putting them in the basket. In the course of the 68

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Figure 4.6  The back of the woman’s list

process, bags of lentils and chickpeas shifted not only their location from the shelf to the basket (Figure  4.4) but also their status from commodity to an in-­between transitional status of an item in the basket that has now been crossed off on the list. They will then go through further transformations (only a few of which we can observe in the shop) to purchased items in a bag, food items in a cupboard and eventually become part of a ‘Zaalouk’ or other dishes. What we are able to observe here, then, is one part of a longer chain of resemiotization processes of Moroccan food via a Bangladeshi corner shop in Shinjuku, Tokyo (with its larger patterns and politics of migration and religion), involving a shopping list, lentils, chickpeas, a Maghrebi couple, a basket, and spoken and written language. All of this comes together, becoming part of a temporary assemblage, through processes of resemiotization. 69

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Confirming the shop manager’s claim that customers of Japanese background have become more prominent in the shop in recent times, immediately after this couple leaves, a family of four—a couple and their two adult daughters—occupy the same corner. They are discussing (in Japanese) items on their shopping list (in their father’s hand), unable to identify one of the words (ingredients) on the list (which they have apparently copied from another source). One of the daughters takes the list from her father and shows it to the shop manager, before returning to the corner and reporting: ‘ココナッツミルクパウダーだって’ (he said it’s coconut milk powder), ‘持って来てくれるって。350円’ (he said he will bring it to us. It’s 350 yen). While waiting for the coconut milk powder, the father spots some canned chickpeas on the shelf in front of him and suggests to the family, ‘ひよこ豆のサラダにしようよ’ (Let’s make chickpea salad), to which the other daughter responds ‘スープにしても美味しいね’ (it makes a nice soup, too, doesn’t it). The father then takes a can of chickpeas and holds it in his hand, before the family eventually buys both the chickpeas and coconut milk powder. There are some examples here of course of translation as commonly understood—between or within languages—with the word written on the shopping list being deciphered into a more familiar term for the Japanese family, ‘ココナッツミルクパウダー’ (coconut milk powder). Whether ‘coconut milk powder’ (we have written this in katakana, the script used for loan words in Japanese: it is simply a transliteration of the English) should also be seen as a translated term (are such loan words in effect now translations in and out of the relevant languages?) remains an open question. There are, however, many other linguistic, cultural and social translations taking place. It could be argued that the shopping list as well as the coconut milk powder and chickpeas (this time canned) have become the object as well as the ‘actor’ of translations: on the one hand, they are the material objects that have resemiotized from an item on a shopping list to the physical ingredients, to the chickpea salad, but on the other hand, they are one of the actors within the semiotic assemblages, entangled with other human and non-­human actants at the various stages of resemiotizing activities. We accordingly might be able to say the protagonists of the translation are not exclusively people or languages but the extended repertoires of the events: a shopping list, an item on the list, the commodities on the shelf, people, linguistic resources, a family excursion to the Bangladeshi corner shop, chickpea salad and a dish with coconut milk powder, which come together simultaneously while being separated across time and space. As Scollon (2005: 29) remarks: ‘discourse at any moment works to frame both prior and subsequent actions in cycles that lie outside of the ongoing moment of interaction’. The linguistic and semiotic resources that come together at the particular point of time would translate or would be translated by preceding and following events as part of the wider cycle of resemiotization and translation processes. These episodes around chickpeas echo earlier data from our project when trailing the chef/owner of Carthago (Carthage), a Mediterranean restaurant in the neighbouring suburb of Nakano. He had opened Carthago 30 years before in an effort to make good couscous available, the version he remembered when he had moved from Japan as an art student to a precinct of Paris with a large Tunisian population. He visits this same shop twice a week mainly to purchase flour and spices such as caraway seeds, cayenne peppers, coriander, cumin and black peppers (the price of such spices can be 20% of those sold at Japanese local shops) and other halal products. Being accustomed to using an Islamic greeting to his customers at Carthago, he enters the shop saying ‘As-­salamu alaykum’ (Peace be upon you) to the shop assistant and the shop manager at the counter. He buys unsalted butter (for making desserts), two pieces of halal frozen chicken, a bag of basmati rice (from Pakistan rather than India, choosing the product based on the religious background) and halal leg of Australian lamb (using a mobile phone app for a shopping list). His philosophy of providing food that is 70

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safe for his Muslim customers (halal), and his love for couscous, basmati rice (about which he claims ‘一回バスマティ食べたら他のお米食べられない’ [once you eat basmati, you cannot eat any other rice]) and a particular type of chickpeas (Kabuli Chana)—Figure 4.7, the chef taking Kabuli Chana chickpeas from the shelf—made him a regular customer to the shop long before Islamic Alley became better known. This time, Kabuli Chana (‘chana’ from Kabul), an Afghan variety of chickpeas, has itself gone through various translations. It is the same variety that is bought by the Maghrebi couple and the item which is written as ‘Pois chiches’ (chickpea in French). While chickpeas are known under a variety of names, including the Bangla ‘gram’, the English word ‘chickpeas’ originates from the French version ‘pois chiches’, derived from the Latin ‘cicer’. The Japanese version, ‘ひよこ豆’ (hiyoko mame), used by the father in the earlier example, is a

Figure 4.7  The chef taking Kabuli Chana from the shelf 71

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literal translation of chickpeas: ‘ひよこ’ (hiyoko, meaning ‘chick’) and ‘豆’ (mame, meaning ‘peas’). There is therefore plenty to focus on at the linguistic end of the translation spectrum, as even the names of such items have entangled translingual histories. There are also many moments of translation in this sense in this shop, with a constant range of languages at play. As we have seen in the earlier examples, intercultural translation is also very much part of the picture, as are issues of distributed identity when, for example, the young Uzbek men identify themselves by pointing to the banknote on the counter (Pennycook and Otsuji, in press). It is not therefore just the translation terms for chickpeas that interest us. The Afghan variety of chickpeas known as Kabuli Chana in a Bangladeshi corner shop in Tokyo becomes part of a chain of resemiotization processes, linking Afghanistan, France, northern Africa, Bangladesh, Japan and elsewhere. They attract people of various backgrounds (Maghrebi, Japanese, South Asian and Middle Eastern) and food such as ‘Zaalouk’ (Moroccan cooked eggplant, chickpeas and tomato salad), ‘Ghana masala’ (Indian chickpea curry, known as Bengali Ghugni in Bangladesh), ‘Gyuvec’ (Turkish clay pot eggplant stew, which is on the menu of Carthago) and ‘ひよこ豆のサラダ’ (chickpea salad). Above all, however, we are interested in the moments of translation, where items on a list, for example, are resemiotized as part of an interconnected succession of re-­meanings, from recipe items to shopping lists, from shopping lists to items on a shelf, from purchases to ingredients and so on. Language, as we have seen—from ‘Viande + Barkouk’, ‘Boulette’, ‘Kafta Tomate’ to ‘ココナッツミルク パウダー’ (coconut milk powder)—is very much part of this, intertwining scripts and genres. The ingredients are also part of the picture here, also acting within processes of interartefactual translation.

Scallops and chickpeas as assembling artefacts As we suggested earlier, certain objects and spatial arrangements play important roles in many of the interactions in this shop. The counter is where on a different occasion, one of the shop assistants was engrossed in watching a cricket game on his mobile phone while serving a customer, and a protracted negotiation (partly in French over the phone) with a customer about finding the right kind of dried fish occurred (Pennycook and Otsuji 2019). This is also where the shopping basket filled with unsalted butter, two pieces of halal frozen chicken, a bag of basmati rice and a halal leg of Australian lamb was placed by the Carthago chef, and the basket full of chickpeas and lentils was placed by the Maghrebi couple. The counter attracts material objects, language, various people, and social and business transactions and is a material and sociocultural site of assemblage. We are interested in the agential role as assembling artefacts that such objects may play in the process of interartefactual translation. Actor-­network theory (ANT) has long emphasized the importance of material non-­human participants (such as chickpeas, batteries and a shopping list) as part of a network of actants. Engaging with three different actors—fishermen from St. Brieuc Bay in Brittany, scientists and a particular type of scallop (Pecten maximus) at risk of extinction in France—Callon (1984: 14) argues that ‘the notion of translation emphasizes the continuity of the displacements and transformations’ involved in this network. In an attempt to adapt the Japanese reproduction methods of scallops involving these three actors (fishermen, scientists and scallops), he shows the ways in which scallops have been displaced: Scallops are transformed into larvae, the larvae into numbers, the numbers into tables and curves which represent easily transportable, reproducible, and diffusable sheets of paper (Latour 1985). Instead of exhibiting the larvae and the tow lines to their colleagues at 72

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Brest, the three researchers show graphic representations and present mathematical analyses. The scallops have been displaced. They are transported into the conference room through a series of transformations. (Callon 1984: 14) This understanding of translation as entailing displacement and transformation may be interpreted as another way of understanding resemiotization. Our examples show how translation is carried out through the resemiotized activities involving displacement of shopping lists into concrete physical ingredients, which are then transformed into a dish, with each stage attracting particular assemblages of semiotic resources and activities. Correspondingly, a mobile battery has been displaced from a commercial artefact to something more ontologically transcendent and subject to Allah’s will. As Star and Griesemer (1989: 390) observed, however, this way of framing these moments of translation runs the danger of reducing the multiple viewpoints of different actors by ‘reframing or mediating the concerns of several actors into a narrower passage point’. Proposing the notion of the ‘boundary object’ instead, Star and Griesemer argue for an ecological approach to social translation. Boundary objects are defined as ‘both plastic enough to adapt to local needs and the constraints of the several parties employing them, yet robust enough to maintain a common identity across sites’ (393). Boundary objects, therefore, ‘ensure integrity of information’ (388) and translation in light of the diversity of meanings carried by objects at the intersection of multiple social worlds (their study looked at the different meanings given to various objects by administrators, researchers/ scientists and amateur collectors at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology). While the notion of boundary objects is intended to point to their intersectional adaptability, we have nonetheless sought to go beyond this framing of the role of objects through the notion of assembling artefacts drawing attention to the active role of artefacts in assembling other objects and resources (Pennycook and Otsuji 2017). The ANT framework developed by Callon (1984) affords human actors (scientists) some privileges over non-­human actors (scallops) as the people that do the translating of the objects into other forms. While we are wary of the dangers of ontologies that become too flat—where everything is equal, from scientist to scallop, from shop assistant to chickpeas—we also see the need for avoiding the perspectives that see all meaning as funneled through the viewpoints of human actors to account for processes of translation. By looking at assembling artefacts as part of wider semiotic assemblages (Pennycook 2017), we can accept greater agential possibilities for these artefacts. Viewing such objects—shopping lists, chickpeas (‘pois chiches’, ‘ひよこ豆’ or ‘Afghan Chana’), batteries, halal leg of lamb—as assembling artefacts that play a particular role in the interactive assemblages of the shop, enables a vision of translation beyond the necessity of a human interactant. Because Bangladeshi and some African and Middle Eastern cuisines share similar ingredients, such products as well as other halal food, spices, and dried freshwater fish attract people of diverse backgrounds (and therefore various languages, religions and ethnicities). Assembling artefacts are the point in semiotic assemblages where translations between languages, between forms of knowledge, between texts and action, and between artefacts take place. That is, when mobile batteries as assembling artefacts encounter the variable affordances of different space and context, they enter into new and momentary sets of relationships (between the shop, culinary culture, people, various semiotic resources, language, ethnicity, religion, geopolitics and economy). The notion of assemblages allows for an understanding of how different trajectories of people, semiotic resources and objects meet at particular moments and places as a process of resemiotization. From this point of view, interartefactual translation refers to the processes by which different artefacts change their meanings in relation to other 73

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objects within semiotic assemblages where humans and language may play a mediating role. This is when a shopping list, ‘pois chiches’ and a shopping basket meet. The importance of things, and the significance of place as the geographical context for the entanglement of physical, social and economic processes, are bound up with processes of interartefactual translation. While we are wary of extending Bogost’s (2012) line of thinking and asking what meaning or translation looks like for the chickpeas or batteries themselves (Bogost asks ‘What it’s like to be a thing?’), we are also cautious about suggesting that meaning lies solely with the human interpretants. We have been trying to grasp instead the ways in which translation occurs across languages and objects, and to suggest that it may be important to try to achieve some balance here within the dynamic interactions of a semiotic assemblage.

Interartefactual translation: translation as resemiotizing process Working similarly with notions of resemiotization and boundary objects, Zhu Hua et al. (2019) focus on how the central person in the legal context of their study resemiotized others’ verbal and non-­verbal responses into written answers on a form. These processes of resemiotization are achieved by transferral (inserting information onto forms), translation (offering translation equivalents) and calibration of information (judging its relevance). The focus here is on how the multilingual legal advisor is able to ‘humanize the system’ through processes of resemiotization, to ‘translate clients’ intimate narratives into institutionally relevant facts, to turn spoken words into boundary objects, and to fit people into numbers, categories and boxes in forms’ (Zhu Hua et al. 2019: 501). We are interested in a related set of issues concerning not so much the active role of a person in resemiotizing for others, but how resemiotization works across assemblages. The notion of resemiotization, as Iedema (2003: 29) explains, makes multimodality central to the analysis. We are likewise seeking to shift away from monomodal approaches to meaning-­making and translation, with particular orientations away from language-­centred and human-­centred monomodality. Both logocentric and anthropocentric approaches to language and translation overlook semiotic emergences when a shopping list meets chickpeas and a shopping basket, or how artefacts translate humans. We need to think about ‘the simultaneous co-­presence and co-­ reliance of language and other semiotic resources in meaning-­making, affording each equal weight’ (Hawkins 2018: 64) and how they come together at a particular time and space as part of larger resemiotization process of translation. This shift away from a view of language being dependent on a mind engaged in symbol processing involves an understanding that language is on the one hand embodied, embedded and enacted (it is far more than representational activity in the mind) and on the other hand extended, distributed and situated (it involves the world outside the head) (Steffensen 2012). Thinking from this point of view becomes spatial and object-­oriented, and to think of translation in these interartefactual terms opens up a space for study beyond languages and people in interactions towards a world of entangled people, languages, things and places. This has always been central to our understanding of metrolingualism: it is not so much about people using different languages in urban spaces but rather a question of city assemblages that involve a multiplicity of actors, both human and non-­human.

Further reading Kothari, Rita (2005) Translating India, New Delhi: Foundation Books. Focuses on the growth of bilingualism between Indian languages and English in everyday language use (from signboards to conversations) 74

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Pennycook, Alastair and Emi Otsuji (2015) Metrolingualism: Language in the City, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Introduces the idea of metrolingualism to describe relations between language and the city with a range of data from shops, markets, construction sites and corner stores Simon, Sherry (2012) Cities in Translation: Intersections of Language and Memory, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Discusses the significance of everyday difference in the city landscape, with a focus on cities with particular language communities that produce translation zones of cultural and linguistic exchange

Note 1 An intensification of this diversity and concentration is further anticipated resulting from the implementation of the amendment of the immigration control law in December 2018, which has created a new visa category to admit more foreign workers to Japan.

References Bogost, Ian (2012) Alien Phenomenology, or What It’s Like to Be a Thing, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Bradley, Jessica and Emilee Moore (2019) ‘Resemiotization and creative production: Extending the translanguaging lens’, in Ari Sherris and Elisabetta Adami (eds.) Making Signs, Translanguaging Ethnographies: Exploring Urban, Rural and Educational Spaces, Bristol: Multilingual Matters, 91–111. Callon, Michel (1984) ‘Some elements of a sociology of translation: Domestication of the scallops and the fishermen of St Brieuc Bay’, The Sociological Review 32(1): 196–233. Creese, Angela, Adrian Blackledge and Rachel Hu (2018) ‘Translanguaging and translation: The construction of social difference across city spaces’, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 21(7): 841–852. Hawkins, Maggie (2018) ‘Transmodalities and transnational encounters: Fostering critical cosmopolitan relations’, Applied Linguistics 39(1): 55–77. Iedema, Rick (2001) ‘Resemiotization’, Semiotica 37: 23–40. Iedema, Rick (2003) ‘Multimodality, resemiotization: Extending the analysis of discourse as multi-­ semiotic practice’, Visual Communication 2(1): 29–57. Kothari, Rita (2005) Translating India, New Delhi: Foundation Books. Kothari, Rita and Krupa Shah (2019) ‘More or less “translation”: Landscapes of language and communication in India’, in Yves Gambier and Ubaldo Stecconi (eds.) A World Atlas of Translation, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 126–148. Latour, Bruno (1985) ‘Visualisation and cognition’, in Henrika Kuklick (ed.) Knowledge and Society Studies in the Sociology of Culture Past and Present, Greenwich, CT: Jai Press, 6: 1–40. Leppänen, Sirpa and Ari Elo (2016) ‘Buffalaxing the other: Superdiversity in action on YouTube’, in Karel Arnuat, Jan Blommaert, Ben Rampton and Massimiliano Spotti (eds.) Language and Superdiversity, New York and Abingdon: Routledge, 110–137. Norris, Sigrid and Rodney Jones (2005) ‘Methodological principles and new directions in MDA’, in Sigrid Norris and Rodney Jones (eds.) Discourse in Action: Introducing Mediated Discourse Analysis, Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 201–206. Otsuji, Emi and Alastair Pennycook (2010) ‘Metrolingualism: Fixity, fluidity and language in flux’, International Journal of Multilingualism 7(3): 240–254. Pennycook, Alastair (2016) ‘Mobile times, mobile terms: The trans-­super-­poly-­metro movement’, in Nikolas Coupland (ed.) Sociolinguistics: Theoretical Debates, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 201–206. Pennycook, Alastair (2017) ‘Translanguaging and semiotic assemblages’, International Journal of Multilingualism 14(3): 269–282. 75

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Pennycook, Alastair (2018) Posthumanist Applied Linguistics, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Pennycook, Alastair and Emi Otsuji (2014) ‘Metrolingual multitasking and spatial repertoires: “Pizza mo two minutes coming” ’, Journal of Sociolinguistics 18(2): 161–184. Pennycook, Alastair and Emi Otsuji (2015) Metrolingualism: Language in the City, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Pennycook, Alastair and Emi Otsuji (2017) ‘Fish, phone cards and semiotic assemblages in two Bangladeshi shops in Sydney and Tokyo’, Social Semiotics 27(4): 434–450. Pennycook, Alastair and Emi Otsuji (2019) ‘Mundane metrolingualism’, International Journal of Multilingualism 16(2): 175–186. Pennycook, Alastair and Emi Otsuji (in press) ‘Metrolingual practices and distributed identities: People, places, things and languages’, in Wendy Ayres-­Bennett and Linda Fisher (eds.) Multilingualism and Identity: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ramanathan, Vaidehi (2006) ‘Of texts AND translations AND rhizomes: Postcolonial anxieties AND deracinations AND knowledge constructions’, Critical Inquiry in Language Studies 3(4): 223–244. Santos, Boaventura de Sousa (2018) The End of the Cognitive Empire: The Coming of Age of Epistemologies of the South, Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Scollon, Ron (2005) ‘The rhythmic integration of action and discourse: Work, the body and the earth’, in Sigrid Norris and Rodney Jones (eds.) Discourse in Action: Introducing Mediated Discourse Analysis, Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 20–31. Shinjuku City Office (2019) ‘Jūmin kihon daichō jinkō Gaikokujin jūmin kokusekibetseu danjo betsu jinkō’, (accessed 15 November 2019). Simon, Sherry (2012) Cities in Translation: Intersections of Language and Memory, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Spivak, Gayatri (1993) Outside in the Teaching Machine, New York and Abingdon: Routledge. Star, Susan Leigh and James R. Griesemer (1989) ‘Institutional ecology, “translations” and boundary objects: Amateurs and professionals on Berkeley’s museum of vertebrate zoology’, Social Studies of Science 19(3): 387–420. Steffensen, Sune Vork (2012) ‘Beyond mind: An extended ecology of languaging’, in Stephen Cowley (ed.) Distributed Language, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 185–210. Steiner, George (1975) After Babel, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Van Leeuwen, Theo (2008) Discourse as Practice: New Tools for Critical Discourse Analysis, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Zhu, Hua, Emi Otsuji and Alastair Pennycook (2017) ‘Multilingual, multisensory and multimodal repertoires in corner shops, streets and markets: Introduction’, Social Semiotics 27(4): 383–393. Zhu, Hua, Li Wei and Daria Jankowicz-­Pytel (2019) ‘Intercultural moments in translating and humanising the socio-­legal system’, Language and Intercultural Communication 19(6): 488–504.


5 Reclaiming urban spaces through translation A practitioner’s account Canan Marasligil

Introduction In L’imaginaire des langues, a series of interviews between Lise Gauvin and writer Édouard Glissant, Glissant tells how today a writer who does not know any other language does take into account when writing, even unconsciously, the existence of other languages around him/ her. One can no longer write a language in a monolingual manner. He says, ‘we have to take into account the imaginary worlds of languages’1 (Glissant 2010; my translation). City in Translation was started as a personal activity before turning into an artistic practice, bringing collaborations with institutions such as universities and publishing houses. It has been motivated by my ongoing conviction—just like Glissant’s—that multilingualism is so much part of our contexts that it feeds us in many ways, sometimes even without us noticing its impact. My personal urge to look at cities through the lens of translation has been a key in the development of City in Translation as a project, including my own biography as a translator (or why I translate), which has brought me to the various activities based on the traces people leave in urban spaces. In order to document the process of my own artistic practice, as well as the outcomes from some of the activities organized in the frame of City in Translation, I have first created the website, which acts as a space of information and a curated archive. Next to the website, I continue regularly documenting the various cities where such translation occurs via the @cityintranslation Instagram account. I will offer concrete examples of the various City in Translation activities throughout the chapter, following a short biographical contextualization of my work. I will also move to describe the methodology used in City in Translation, how it has evolved in the past five years since its inception and why it can be understood as a way of reclaiming public space through the act of translation.

Translation off the page City in Translation is an example of translation happening ‘off the page’. As a literary translator usually working within the page (translating published texts), with City in Translation I take languages and the city’s public space as a starting point to explore how the process of 77

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translation takes place and how people interact with the languages in their city. And from that way of approaching the many worlds I inhabit or pass by, I come to the conclusion that the vibrant and interactive multilingualism throughout urban landscapes is a central feature of how we imagine the future of our cities and part of how we want to build communities. Throughout the chapter, I will use the terms ‘city’, ‘urban space’ and ‘public space’ to identify all the spaces where the activities of City in Translation take place. In this context, the city is understood as any space where there is human presence: through the architecture, the streets and the people. There are no specific parameters in terms of demographics or geographical size. Small towns and villages can also be included in City in Translation next to explorations of capital cities and metropolises.

Process over outcome City in Translation became a concrete activity in April 2015 thanks to a writer’s residency offered by the University of Copenhagen as part of their participation in the pan-­European consortium [email protected] It was the first time that I took the time—one full month—and received funding to explore one city in translation. The city of Copenhagen became my first laboratory where the methodology was developed. City in Translation has not been collecting data at any stage, focusing rather on process. To this day, I do not know how many people have been reached online or face to face. I also have not counted the number of pictures that have been taken and published online. While these data could be valuable, it has not been the purpose of the project to collect such information. Process has always been the focus since the inception of City in Translation: how it helps people to think about languages and multilingualism, and how translation can occur in urban spaces. The parameters of collecting data—such as taking pictures for the Instagram account—do change from context to context, and this flexible approach to my own methodology has allowed this constant evolution, strengthened by the focus on process rather than outcome, in the way I work.

Migration and translation In European Others: Queering Ethnicity in Postnational Europe, Fatima El-­Tayeb writes: The national often is the means by which exclusion takes place; minorities are positioned beyond the horizon of national politics, culture and history, frozen in the state of migration through the permanent designation of another, foreign nationality that allows their definition as not Danish, Spanish, Hungarian, etc. (El-­Tayeb 2011: xx) This state of being constantly ‘frozen in migration’ through discriminatory practices on different levels—personal, institutional, economic or political—has also impacted how multilingualism is experienced in cities. Born in a family of Turkish immigrants and growing up in the heart of Europe in bilingual Brussels, I have developed a certain sensitivity as to why some languages have been less valued than others within those various institutions—be it school or workplace. My immigrant background has been highly influential in shaping the translator I am today and also in my urge to take translation off the page and into the streets. My reality is rooted in motion: between places, languages, emotions. It is constant and unpredictable. Throughout the years and through practising various methodologies around City in Translation, I have been able to affirm the following: ‘I find myself in movement’. 78

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In French, the word ‘ou’ changes its definition with only one accent: ‘ou’ without an accent means ‘or’, whereas ‘où’ with an accent means ‘where’. I see this as a movement, too: getting rid of the accent to transform place—‘where’, into a choice—‘or’. And it is one I have been embracing throughout this artistic practice because movement is also creativity. Translation as well, is movement: physical and intellectual, between spaces and languages, across geographies, cultural and political contexts. It is also a movement between emotions: people moving each other. I have the privilege to have acquired a European Union member citizenship next to my Turkish one in my early twenties. Since then, my freedom for movement has been expanded greatly. Not everyone has that same freedom, and one of my urges to translate the city comes from that acknowledgement and the need to use my own privilege to create spaces where creativity through translation can occur. I was not always aware of my yearning for movement until I was constantly reminded that I was never really ‘home’ in Brussels and that my language was alien in this city where I grew up since my earliest memory. What they insisted on calling my ‘mother tongue’ came to me through body and gestures. I have been looking for my language in so many ways because I was enjoined to reject her. That language I was born into has been made invisible for decades in these new lands where my family and I were just ‘guests’. Now, through my artistic practice, I am trying to reclaim her, alongside many other languages I do not know. I had no choice but to learn and speak my hosts’ languages. With time, I made them mine as well. In a sense, Turkish has become the mother of all my tongues, and transformed me into the translator I am today. I have turned my roots upwards; I have created the possibility of being from nowhere so that I could belong everywhere. Navigating urban spaces looking for languages is one major way for me to achieve that. It has empowered me as a writer and an artist, and as an individual, I have therefore developed ways to share this practice widely with others, so that it can be a tool for empowerment, representation and space reclamation for more people.

Methodology The translator as flâneuse Translation is at the centre of everything I do as a practitioner—namely as a writer, a literary translator and an artist working across media. Outside of the page (on the page is usually where most work happens for a literary translator), the city becomes my playground. I define myself as a flâneuse, the female equivalent of flâneur. Flânerie can be described as idle wandering, and it was mostly practised by urban men in mid-­19th-­century metropolises. Renowned flâneurs include Charles Baudelaire, Walter Benjamin, Franz Hessel and Edgar Allan Poe, who all have provided descriptions of flânerie throughout their work. Benjamin’s collection of notes in The Arcades Project (1982) catalogues everyday life in 19th-­century Paris and provides a rich material on the figure of the flâneur. Strolling also becomes engagement with public space. Following these flâneurs’ practice, when I walk, I observe, get lost and find myself in the many human traces left across urban spaces. This urge to leave its mark on the spaces we inhabit is not new in the history of humanity. The flâneuse will find many results of multilingual self-­expression on shop windows, street names, billboards, advertisements, slogans, graffiti, clothes, artworks, trash, traffic signage, ghost signs, etc. The moment you start to look for languages around you, you will never experience the spaces you occupy in the same way. 79

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In ‘Walking in the City’, Michel de Certeau describes the act of walking as follows: The act of walking is to the urban system what the speech act is to language or to the statements uttered. At the most elementary level, it has a triple “enunciative” function: it is a process of appropriation of the topographical system on the part of the pedestrian (just as the speaker appropriates and takes on the language); it is a spatial acting-­out of the place (just as the speech act is an acoustic acting-­out of language); and it implies relations among differentiated positions, that is, among pragmatic “contracts” in the form of movements (just as verbal enunciation is an “allocution,” “posits another opposite” the speaker and puts contracts between interlocutors into action). It thus seems possible to give a preliminary definition of walking as a space of enunciation. (de Certeau 1984: 97–98) What interests me here is the link between language and the physical act of walking, and how, in this essay, de Certeau tells in a way that by walking in the city, pedestrians are telling a story. This physical movement is central in City in Translation, and the stories that unfold from my explorations through walking can be seen as an example to reclaim the stories that have been made invisible by institutions. ‘Flâneusing’ in urban spaces in search of these stories is in itself an act of resistance against established structures, and also power. There are many reasons to walk in a city: to get somewhere, for the pleasure of walking itself, to observe our environment, to protest, to see, to be seen and to exist. The pace of walking is also determined by these reasons. One does not walk at the same pace if they need to catch a bus, do some grocery shopping right before dinner or look around and admire the architecture of their city. My pace usually goes against the established flow of the city. It is a sort of disruption, just like the graffiti that have been painted against the rules. They defy a certain order in the city and tell an untold story. It is what I am trying to capture through my ‘flâneusing’. When I started the first City in Translation residency in Copenhagen, I organized my work by following discrete and complementary phases, which I have also described on the project website: •


Exploratory: I am starting every act of walking with curiosity, bringing my personal point of view as a visitor with different backgrounds, languages and perspectives, just like the flâneuse. Throughout the residency, I have explored Copenhagen on foot, camera in hand, looking at languages other than Danish. This first phase has led to the creation of various materials, including written notes and photographs. This process has been shared through social media, and the project now has its own accounts on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter: @cityintranslation and @citytranslate. Collaborative: with the support of the University of Copenhagen, I met with local practitioners and attended several events, interacting closely with the University community. A key moment was participating in the workshop on circulating critical practices organized by Culture@Work in Barcelona.3 Reflective: after the residency period ended, a time for reflection and evaluation was necessary. I have therefore gathered all the materials collected and have done further research where needed in order to build the stories and the website, where the creative practices expressed through the Fictions section of the website have been linked to the academic inquiry shared on the resources page.

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This methodology has evolved significantly in the past five years. Each activity has been enriched by the experiences I gained from various residencies I have been invited to in different cities. The residencies can be seen both as methodology and as outcomes. In this chapter, I  will first highlight their role as part of the methodology, and then present some of these outcomes under Activities, namely, the exhibition ‘Yearning for Turkish’ and the workshops.

Residencies Following working with the University of Copenhagen in 2015, I was invited in 2017 by the Lille-­based independent publisher La Contre Allée to spend several days up to a week spread over a one-­year period, to implement City in Translation with local institutions, including the University of Tourcoing and local libraries. This work was followed by me being invited in 2018, 2019 and 2020 by Mine de Culture(s), an association based in the Bassin Minier, the former mining area in the North of France near Lille, to work with local communities, including libraries and local cultural venues, and make a TV reportage in partnership with a local channel. I will expand more on these projects at the end of this chapter. Universities in the UK, such as the University of East Anglia in Norwich and Lancaster University, have also welcomed me as a translator-­in-­residence to share the different ways I use translation off the page to engage with various communities and audiences. Each residency has led to a series of concrete outcomes and activities, which I will describe as follows, all feeding one another: following Copenhagen, I developed the online platforms which allow me to build an archive of materials that I  have used to create workshops and activities within my other residencies.

Tools: online platforms The creation of a website was the first step towards hosting ‘Fictions’ and ‘Resources’ sections and sharing their content widely. It is also the space from which further work has been developed, such as workshops, city walks, publications or other events involving audiences outside the digital space to create further opportunities for interaction. The website also acts as a portfolio, which has been instrumental for me to be invited to the various residencies and as a speaker at events. The website allows me to curate and organize the content, providing complementary perspectives: in the Fictions section, I feature my own creative writing and other expressions, while in Resources I  provide a collection of materials from within and outside academia aiming to contextualize the work of this project and aid future research. The social media platforms, and especially Instagram, act as online documenting and archival spaces. Next to the accounts, I also use the hashtag #cityintranslation, which allows a collaborative way of documenting and archiving online. The immediacy of social media encourages a less rigid approach to this artistic practice, which is now a daily and natural activity of mine. Everywhere I go, I can capture a #cityintranslation moment. It is an ongoing process that has sometimes led to specific projects of its own, like the ‘Yearning for Turkish’ exhibition, which I will write about in more detail to come. I should note that the dominant language of expression throughout the online platforms is usually English, but it is not because I exclude the usage of other languages. English remains the language with which I can reach a wide audience. For a project on multilingualism, this may sound contradictory, but it also has to do with my own wish to express myself in English, a language allowing me many spaces of free expression.


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Activities Creative writing I flew to Copenhagen from Amsterdam on Friday 17 April 2015, to start a writer’s residency at the University. I took all my languages, experiences and sensitivities to Copenhagen and there, I observed, learned, researched and gained even more experiences.   And emotions. I experienced lots of emotions.

This is how my very first post published under the Fictions section of the City in Translation website starts. As explained earlier, one of the main activities using the website has been the publication of my own personal creative writing in the form of short fictions linked with photographs taken during my City in Translation flâneusing. This first post continues as follows: On my first day, I  wandered through the city. Slowly. As I  usually do in new places, I  started collecting booklets, flyers, free newspapers and all sorts of promotion and advertising for artistic, cultural events. The Copenhagen Film Festival was on and the next day of my arrival, there was a screening of The Cut by Turkish-­German filmmaker Fatih Akin. He’s been a favorite filmmaker of mine for a longtime, ever since Gegen die Wand. I had been longing to see The Cut since its premiere at the Venice Film Festival. It was never released in Amsterdam. I felt so lucky to be able to catch it in Copenhagen, my new host city. This cinematic encounter is very important because it links to all the points I  made in my introduction, regarding representation and my own personal history as the daughter of Turkish immigrants in Brussels. I continue this post writing about the shock (which I prefer to spell in French, choc, throughout the piece) I have experienced in hearing the different languages— from the screening room of the Danish Film Institute to the streets outside as I  was walking back home on my second night after starting the residency. Turkish, Armenian, French, Danish—all mixed in my imagination. I  wanted to highlight the importance of languages linked to emotions as I started this journey exploring the languages of Copenhagen in urban space. That initial choc reminded how central the role of emotion was as part of my exploration. I was going to search for stories behind the different languages expressed throughout the city, mostly through text posted on surfaces—walls, windows, floors, cars, bridges, boats . . . , but also told—in conversations, in music, in sign language . . . Sometimes making the invisible visible through sound and gesture. Figure  5.1 and Figure  5.2 show two examples in the Fictions series I  wrote and published during my residency in Copenhagen: Good Bless and A Conversation on the Walls. The first one is an attempt to explain empathy through the act of translation, highlighting the malaise encountered when as a flâneuse I recognized myself as a ‘voyeur’ peeking into the misfortune of a stranger, which made it impossible for me to take a closer photograph of the sign I wanted to capture as part of my City in Translation exploration. The second story offers an example of how a conversation can develop between strangers through the use of graffiti, leading to many possible explanations and observations. 82

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Figure 5.1  ‘Good bless’, Copenhagen, 2015, author’s photo

Figure 5.2  ‘A conversation on the walls’, Copenhagen, 2015, author’s photo 83

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Good bless Walking down Købmagergade, with tourists, shoppers, students, UNICEF volunteers, bicycles . . . They don’t see that man and his dog. I don’t see him either. Nor his stuffed puppy. I see the sign. Because I am obsessed with words in the streets, remember? I see the few words handwritten in Danish. Just when I am ready to turn my head and walk away, I notice a few more words at the end of his note. Words in translation: PLEASE HELP ME. GOOD BLESS. I want to capture a photograph of the sign. Now, I see the man. I don’t want to be intrusive with my camera. His gaze is turned towards the floor—or his fluffed puppy. I snap from afar. I get closer, he is still looking at the gray concrete squares. Good. I can snap again. The UNICEF lady seems to be pointing at him. Or walking towards him. She is probably as bored as he is from being ignored systematically by the walkers. Charity and pain remain invisible. I look more closely at the sign. I stumble upon the last two words: “good” and “bless”. good bless The man has lost faith in God. Not in good. The man has a fluffed puppy. That man who is silently shouting to the world his vanished faith in god. He is trying to remind us about good, silently, as we all walk by. In silence.

A conversation on the walls I came across this particular graffiti near my Copenhagen apartment. It isn’t really in a public space since it’s a wall in the entrance of a building separated from the street by a usually closed fence door. One day, I was lucky to find the fence open, so I went in and captured the words with my camera. I immediately looked at the English words, not paying much attention to what was surrounding them at first (thinking it was in Danish so it fell out of my exploration area). I could hear the strong F sounds of the carefully painted—almost calligraphed, Future and Female. The gesture of painting, seems to me, is different than the one of tagging, and I feel it smooths the intensity of the statement in a positive way. I don’t feel attacked but rather invited into the idea that indeed, our future is female. Such statements may mean different things depending on who views them, I  personally don’t want to keep it entrapped in one so-­called original meaning—even if it does exist. For instance, a NY Times article4 mentions the radical feminist history and the’70s lesbian separatist moment behind the slogan “The Future is Female”, which originated in a New York bookstore in 1975, and has been reprinted on a T-­shirt, which raised much attention and criticism. Whether we want to talk about LGBTQ rights, 84

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women rights or the fight against misogyny, I am happy to see these four words: “The Future is Female” on a Copenhagen wall and I  feel we do all have the freedom to embrace it as we wish. Now that I  am reflecting back on these words and observing the image I  captured on my camera more closely, the words surrounding the initial statement that caught my attention start appearing to me. There is a conversation going on this wall. I try to decipher the responses: First there’s “Læs Martinus Kosmologi”, written in green, which means “Read Martinus’s Cosmology”. Further online research brings me to Mr. Martinus’s website, where I found out that At the age of 30 the Danish writer and mystic Martinus (1890–1981) had a series of profound, illuminative spiritual experiences, after which he experienced—through his intuition—that the universe was pervaded by infinite love and wisdom. He created 100 symbols and wrote more than 6000 pages that describe a coherent world picture, the eternal, spiritual laws and a path to theoretical cosmic insight. I couldn’t find a clear link to the initial message in this spiritual response, which shows that again, we all may interpret words very differently. However, it intrigued me to learn about this Mr Martinus and his spiritual quest. On the right side of the picture, one can see a drawing of scissors with the words “Klipp Kuken!”, which according to my online research are in Swedish. And further googling shows this particular slogan has been used on some feminist websites, with one clearly saying, “Time to cut your dick!” They may be speaking back to Mr. Martinus, or simply confirming that indeed the “future is female” . . . but for that we need to cut a few cocks. The possibilities are endless. Three strangers speak to each other on a wall, all interpreting their own versions of being a woman, of feminism, of spirituality, of love . . . of their perspective of the world. An extraordinary conversation happening in three languages.

An exhibition: Yearning for Turkish Throughout this journey of acquiring different languages and feeding myself with a wide range of stories from a variety of places, I have realized how big of an emotional impact Turkish has had on me. Every other language that followed, that I learned to master and love, was always in some way reaching back to Turkish. For the first time—and two years exactly after its inception—City in Translation presented an exhibition entitled ‘Yearning for Turkish’. The exhibition was commissioned as part of the TransARTation programme curated by Manuela Perteghella, Eugenia Loffredo and Anna Milsom. The aims of this project were to foster community involvement in investigating how translation stimulated and provoked the production of text-­objects and works of visual art, and to make visible the kinds of conversations that could occur between cultures, languages and modes of expression. The exhibition took place in Spring 2017 at the Byre Theatre at the University of St. Andrews and at the Shoe Factory Social Club in Norwich. The moment I was asked about creating an exhibition around City in Translation, I knew I  had to find a red thread, not just throwing a few images and texts that fitted into the 85

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overall theme. I wanted to tell a story, and my focus was the Turkish language. I had been collecting images showing the Turkish language across cities I visited since the very beginning and would share them on the @cityintranslation Instagram account. As the number of moments I  captured started growing, a specific theme was beginning to take shape, but moreover, it was a focused search that had been embedded in my artistic practice. As I looked at all these images, I understood this was some sort of ‘yearning’: for a language and everything it brings and means, and ‘Yearning for Turkish’ was thus born. This was also true when I started to tag all images related to this quest for Turkish with the hashtag #YearningforTurkish. Yet, to make an exhibition, I needed to move out of the online space and work on paper. I  selected photographs from the #YearningforTurkish catalogue I  had created, and printed them, first using my own printer, in low quality, just to have an idea of how they would look if spread out on a table. After this first step on paper, I decided to start a sketchbook5 because, in a sketchbook, I was free to explore and experiment through writing, drawing and collaging new and found materials. It is a safe space where you can experiment without any judgment— especially the one from yourself. These few days of playing on paper allowed me to decide on the story I wanted to tell throughout the exhibition: the emotional connection I had with the Turkish language and why I cared about its representation in public spaces. The exhibition6 started with the following words of mine: There is a language I was born into a language my mother, my father spoke to me in, they still do a language I use every day uniting with my many others moving, I see it everywhere I go a language I translate from. When I walk in cities, I see I feel I imagine this language. It is the language of my heart that I yearn for, constantly. The accompanying image for this short introduction was one I took when I was on a train from Brussels to London. While we were in movement leaving the station, I captured it as I saw a Turkish flag hanging down on a window of a building. A flag may not be considered a word or a sentence to translate, but in my mind, it worked on many levels because the image offered the possibility for multiple interpretations: first, I was in movement, travelling from my hometown to another city where I had been developing many projects linked to my artistic and translation practices. Second, as explained before, I found myself in movement, and it was and has been an inherent part of how I translate, write and create. Third, a flag may not be equivalent to words, but in this case, it was a Turkish flag which meant that— most probably—people identifying themselves as Turkish were living in that apartment. For me, it was, as part of my ongoing exploration of how Turkish and the people linked with the language and country have become visible, an important addition to the whole visual exploration. Even if this picture could also be included in an exhibition on ‘banal nationalism’, this was not my focus. 86

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I see ‘Yearning for Turkish’ as one example that shows how one can reclaim urban spaces and certain cultures and languages through their own imagination. In this sense, City in Translation can be an empowering tool for people, especially to those coming from communities whose languages have been overlooked by mainstream culture and policies. The exhibition was divided into several sections: political, immigration, empire, resistance, empathy, imagination and common language. Each one included at least one and up to seven images and texts. I would like to share three examples to illustrate how the reclaiming process can take place. The first photograph (Figure 5.3) was taken in Copenhagen and first appeared in another version in the Fictions section of the website which I highlighted before. It includes an actual Turkish word: pınar, and the accompanying text is titled ‘Homesick’. When I was a kid growing up in Brussels, we would go rent movies with my parents in the Turkish neighbourhood. Twenty-­five years later, I wander the streets of gentrified Vesterbrø and I find myself surrounded with VHS and Betamax again. Only, the videos are now flowers, and the golden Pınar Video sign a trophy of gentrification. Pınar means spring or source in Turkish, it is also a female name. I imagine a tiny Danish version of myself inside the shop, picking a movie with her parents. Instead of mixing Turkish with French while speaking, she mixes her parent’s tongue with her perfect Danish. Every week, they laugh, cry and fall in love at the pace of Turkish melodrama and comedy, easing the gentle pain of homesickness one VHS at a time.

Figure 5.3  ‘Homesick’, Copenhagen, 2015, author’s photo 87

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The second photograph (Figure 5.4) was taken in Wales, and neither of the words appearing on it, ‘Slow’ and ‘Araf’, is a Turkish word, at least not in this context. The accompanying text is titled ‘Purgatory’: I am in a bus that left London five hours ago. It is late, and I am sleepy and nauseous. As we ride across a forest, I see the words ARAF and SLOW appearing and disappearing under the vehicle’s nervous headlights. I start wondering if I am dreaming or if my nausea is playing tricks on me. I blink, once, twice, thrice . . . You see, araf in Turkish means purgatory.

Figure 5.4  ‘Purgatory’, Wales, 2017, author’s photo 88

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Figure 5.5  ‘Common language’, Athens, 2017, author’s photo

And the third example (Figure 5.5) was taken in Athens and has no Turkish word at all in the picture. It has only the words ‘Not all who wander are lost’ and included a little girl in the corner of the frame. The text bears the same title as the graffiti. It was the first time I had been to Athens. As I was wandering the streets, I came across a shop called Flâneur. Almost a personal invitation to enter. The owner Giannis welcomed me, warmly. All around were locally hand-­made works. Each of them with a story. As we talked about travelling and our cities, I told Giannis I was born in Turkey. “My grandfather is from Kayseri,” he said. His uncle found the family home back in Turkey ten years ago. He added that he would like to go someday. His grandmother was from Antalya. They met in Greece, at that time, refugees would stick together—they had no other choice, he added. We talked about the relationship between Greece and Turkey, about our common history. Then Giannis said he was very sad about what is happening in Turkey, “I hope things will get better.” Me too. “And I hope better days will come to Greece as well.” “We are so close to one another, aren’t we?” said Giannis. “Yes,” I nodded, “we are very close.” Closer than we ever think. These are examples of how, through the City in Translation artistic practice, one can reclaim its own city spaces using translation and their own imagination. Throughout these explorations, I inhabit spaces, document and imagine conversations, and more importantly, the spaces become mine. Here Turkish becomes visible in places where it would have never existed if I did not walk by. 89

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Workshops As part of my artistic practice and work as a literary translator and a writer, I also run workshops, classes and seminars for children, young people and adults on a variety of topics around languages, multilingualism, literature, comics and translation. This direct engagement with people is key in my endeavour, as not only do I offer creative tools to work with languages, writing and photography, but also learn from the participants as they share their own ‘city in translation’ and stories with me. In this frame, I have developed specific City in Translation workshops. The methodology I use in these workshops is based on the one I apply to myself. Because I  work in different cultural, geographical, socioeconomic and national contexts, I always adapt the workshop to local needs. As preparation, I always explore the area on my own where the workshop will take place. This is the solitary part of the methodology where I discover and start documenting the languages and think of a potential route to guide participants to take. Then, I will publish a few of these images on the Instagram account, so that I have materials ready to show for inspiration, if needed. Usually, this is not necessary since people are very receptive, curious and creative enough to make their own stories. I usually work with a group of 6–12 people, depending on the city, the setting and also the communication done by the host institution to their audience and communities. As given in the example in Table  5.1, in a short introduction, I  tell them about how City in Translation came about, presenting myself in the process. The first part of the workshop is about becoming flâneurs/flâneuses to visually capture the languages they come across: I invite the participants to go to explore, on their own, within a set amount of time (usually around half an hour), the neighbourhood where we are. The only tool they are asked to carry is a camera (most of the time, a smartphone with a camera). But if they do not have a camera, I also offer the option to draw or simply describe the text and language they want to later work on during the workshop. After the walk, we meet at the venue where the workshop takes place. Because I give clear instructions about what we will do with the images earlier, we immediately begin a creative writing session before moving on to any discussion. I usually give about half an hour for the participants to write down a few lines about their image. This can be fiction or non-­fiction: a description, an imaginary or real interview with a shop owner, an invented story, information they may have found online about the place where the photo is taken, or a link to their own story, experience or biography. What matters most in these workshops is the discovery of a place through the lens of multilingualism: looking at urban spaces in a way most people have not looked at them before.

Table 5.1  Example of a workshop plan for City in Translation Workshop plan (totalling 2 hours 30 minutes): — Introduction (10 minutes): City in Translation and methodology — Flâneusing (30 minutes): Participants are invited to walk in the neighbourhood where the workshop takes place and capture the different languages they encounter — Creative Writing (45 minutes including break): Participants gather back in the classroom at the host venue and work on their story — Plenary (1 hour): Sharing stories and discussing insights and personal observations — Closing (5 minutes)


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After the more solitary activities of the workshop (walking and writing), we move to a discussion where everyone is free to share their work. I always highlight the importance of this process and that we do not need to have any finished text. It liberates many people so that they can truly share how they feel about the activity. In most discussions, participants confirm that this way of exploring the city opens their eyes to spaces, languages and stories they have not imagined before, and that they will look at their neighbourhoods and city with a new eye from now on. I would like to mention that so far, the workshops have always welcomed participants from different age groups with the ability to walk. In one instance, a woman with mobility impairment was able to join without doing the outside walk, as I suggested that she stay inside the library and look for multilingual books, taking the library as her exploration space. But I think City in Translation can become more inclusive when it comes to participants with disabilities. I am planning to work further, looking into possible partnerships with institutions, to come up with a way to communicate and adapt the workshop format to include people with disabilities such as visual impairment and mobility disability.

Example: workshop in Lille As part of my residency in Lille in 2017, I organized a workshop with nine master students in Les Métiers du Livre (a programme preparing students to work in the book and publishing industry) from the IUT Tourcoing, an institute of Lille University. As for location, I  chose a diverse neighbourhood of Lille called Wazemmes. This is a typical quartier populaire (a working-­class neighbourhood) where old-­school proletarians and immigrants live alongside students and trendy bobos (bourgeois bohemians), as Lonely Planet7 describes quite accurately. Gentrification, a rich history of immigration, working-­class populations and being next to a lively scene with many cafés, shops and a covered weekly street market make this place a perfect exploration space for City in Translation. Like any other City in Translation workshop (Figure  5.6), we started with a walk: students in groups of two or three walked around Wazemmes with cameras in hand to capture

Figure 5.6 A screenshot from the video account of the workshop in Wazemmes, France (The video can be found online at: 91

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the languages they thought could bring them stories. The assignment is also similar in each workshop: I ask participants to first observe their surroundings, see languages that are not the majority language of the city we are in (in this case all languages other than French) and take a picture of the language. The angle and framing of the photographs also matter for the storytelling, so I give a few indications about photographing as well. Following the half-­hour walk, we all gathered at the venue where the workshop took place. Students continued to work in groups of two or three and developed a story for each picture they took. One story focused on a food crater they saw at the Wazemmes market and another on a serial killer based on a graffiti. One image told the story between a mother and a daughter through a piece of clothing purchased at Primark. Some of the students wrote texts while one group focused on drawing the characters they imagined based on the image they had captured. Translation happens on many levels here: when they first see an unknown language, the participants try to decipher which language it is before trying to understand its meaning, and it is where the methodology of workshop helps in turning an impossibility to translate into creative work. Not all the languages we encounter in public spaces are known to us. Sometimes we do understand, but often we do not. The City in Translation workshop gives participants tools to imagine the stories behind each language we encounter through the gestures of capturing, translating and recreating. All students in the workshop expressed how City in Translation enabled them to look at the neighbourhood and discover its history through translation and storytelling. They also voiced that they would from now on most probably continue to observe their urban environments through this lens, which would allow them to see the diversity of the places where they lived, visited or just passed through.

Experiencing the Bassin Minier through multilingualism I would like to end this workshop section by focusing on my residency in the Bassin Minier, where I was invited several times between 2018 and 2020 to work on different levels around multilingualism and creative writing. While I do not only use the City in Translation methodology for each workshop, every single activity has been inspired by my initial urge to reclaim stories and spaces through celebrating multilingualism. This understanding is shared with the association Mine de Culture(s) and its president Suzie Balcerek, in the very complex cultural, socioeconomic and political context that is the Bassin Minier. It is important to highlight that the town where Mine de Culture(s) is based, Hénin-­Beaumont, has been led by extreme-­right mayor Steeve Briois (Front National) since 2014. This residency experience has been the most meaningful in the frame of City in Translation, as I could concretely see every gesture that I believed was important in my own personal and artistic journey, which could matter to more people on the personal and professional levels. For the very last activity I did during this residency, we worked with a local TV channel to organize interviews with locals in their neighbourhoods to talk about their relationship with space and languages. One of the interviews was particularly moving, when a mother and her daughter told about their use of French and Spanish to communicate and connect emotionally. The mother came from Argentina more than two decades ago, after she met a French miner in her hometown and decided to follow him to the Bassin Minier. She had to learn French after she moved. Her daughter grew up with French and only started learning and using Spanish later in her life. She felt this urge after a visit to Argentina, where she was unable to communicate with family members, but her mother always focused on French for her children so that they could ‘integrate’ into French society. This narrative is omnipresent in the French discourse, where a unique culture is celebrated 92

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over diversity. The mother and daughter started crying as they shared their love for both their countries and their languages. Once again, celebrating diversity through our multilingual stories creates a space where everyone has the freedom to express themselves and reclaim all of their identities. This is how I see City in Translation evolving from the visual aspect of seeing multilingualism in cities, to the act of storytelling and capturing the hidden stories of diversity and multilingualism through another methodology. I think more and more, City in Translation can become a tool to help create our collective stories, through cities, countries or across borders, where our common space is a constant movement between languages.

Conclusion Through my explorations, I inhabit cities, sometimes just for a short period of time. I capture moments, document and archive them, and make many words I see mine. Often, when I return to the same place, an ephemeral sentence I captured on camera may have disappeared because it was graffiti or a sticker stuck to a lamppost. But thanks to my gesture, it remains in my personal archives, or published online, on the site or the Instagram page of City in Translation. It is reinterpreted in my own way through the lens of my biography. Languages move and texts become alive when they are read, shared, written and rewritten. Solidarity becomes tangible when people from all backgrounds and with different biographies in a neighbourhood are brought together around a table and asked to observe the languages in our environment and translate them, even if they are completely new to them. These languages exist and can be visible to those who are willing to see. Through these urban walks and workshops, I am trying to liberate the imaginary worlds of languages, and therefore aim to create the possibility to step out of the idea that our world is monolingual, no matter how many languages we ourselves know.

Further reading Derrida, Jacques (1996) Monolingualism of the Other, or The Prosthesis of Origin, trans. Patrick Mensah, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Explores the question of linguistic and cultural identity, especially in relation to how individuals feel about their language and its limits, particularly in a postcolonial context—namely, the need to reclaim a ‘lost’ language of origin and the wish to master an imposed language Elkin, Lauren (2016) Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London, London: Vintage Publishing. Offers a female look at the art of the flâneur, through the personal experiences of the author in different cities, and looking at the work of writers, artists and journalists such as George Sand, Martha Gellhorn, Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, Sophie Calle and Agnès Varda Flusser, Vilèm (1991) Gestures, trans. Nancy Ann Roth, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Focuses on the idea of gesture, the key in the whole City in Translation methodology, with essays on writing, photographing and filming highly relevant to the chapter

Acknowledgements I would like to thank everyone who has enabled the development of City in Translation since its inception, namely: Frederik Tygstrup and Kristin Veel at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies (IKK) of the University of Copenhagen; Anna Rizzello and Benoît Verhille at La 93

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Contre Allée (Lille); Suzie Balcerek and Justine Brunin at the Association Mine de Culture(s) (Bassin Minier); Erika Fulop at Lancaster University; Cecilia Rossi and Anna Goode at the British Centre for Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia (Norwich); Manuela Perteghella, Eugenia Loffredo and Anna Milsom from the TransARTlation project.

Notes 1 The original French text is “On est obligé de tenir compte des imaginaires des langues.” (Glissant 2010: 12) 2 The Culture@Work Project, initiated by the Lisbon Consortium and co-­funded by the Culture Programme of the European Union, aims to develop an international platform for the circulation of artistic work and for the collaborative training of professionals in the cultural sector. Culture@Work brings together three stakeholders in the field of academia, arts and culture: the Catholic University of Portugal, the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA), and the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. 3­seminar 4 Meltzer, Marisa (2015) ‘A Feminist T-­Shirt Resurfaces From the “70s” ’, New York Times, 18 November 2015,­feminist-­t-­shirt-­resurfaces-­from-­the-­70s.html 5 Photographs of the sketchbook can be found on the City in Translation website: www.cityintranslation. com/resources/yearning-­for-­turkish-­the-­making-­of 6 The ‘Yearning for Turkish’ exhibition can be seen online at:­for-­turkish 7 Lonely Planet about Wazemmes:­sig/ 1232701/359278

References Benjamin, Walter (1982) The Arcades Project, trans. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin, Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. De Certeau, Michel (1984) The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. Steven Rendell, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. El-­Tayeb, Fatima (2011) European Others: Queering Ethnicity in Postnational Europe, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Glissant, Édouard (2010) L’imaginaire des langues (Entretiens avec Lise Gauvin 1991–2009), Paris: Éditions Gallimard.


Part II

The macrostructures of urban translation Policies and institutions

6 Language and translation policies in a bilingual city with a multilingual population The case of Brussels Reine Meylaerts

Introduction ‘Do Dutch-­speaking people living in Brussels have to appeal to French-­speaking firemen?’1 was the title of a Dutch-­language newspaper article in 2018. ‘This is a mockery on the bilingualism of Brussels. This is particularly mind-­boggling, especially since the Brussels region has the power to apply correctly the language law’, a Flemish-­nationalist politician argued in the same article (Decker 2018). Another Dutch-­language newspaper article referred to a controversy in the French-­speaking press about the fact that the Flemish public transport company uses only Dutch but no French in officially bilingual Brussels (Degadt 2019). These are just two recent examples of polemics about monolingual public services in officially bilingual Brussels, but they are all but exceptional in the city’s history. Moreover, such types of linguistic struggles do not only surface in Brussels: worldwide, language use and language barriers in public services are hot topics on which emotions easily flare up in cities with multilingual populations. This is because public services should operate under the principle of non-­discrimination and equal access. In order to guarantee communication between authorities and citizens, they should be equally accessible to all citizens, irrespective of their linguistic background. As a consequence, translation, interpreting and other types of linguistic mediation practices (e.g., a simplified language, a contact language, pictograms and gestures) come to the fore to guarantee accessibility of public services in multilingual contexts. However, decisions about the use or non-­use of translation and other forms of linguistic mediation2 are never neutral. They are closely connected to issues of social and economic integration and non-­discrimination and therefore likely to have far-­ranging societal consequences. This chapter will take Brussels as an example of an officially bilingual city with a multilingual population, where translation plays a crucial role in granting citizens access to public services. It will first discuss four prototypical language and translation policies for communication between authorities and citizens in public services, and then analyze current language and translation policies in Brussels and their link with issues of integration and non-­ discrimination of its citizens. 97

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Cities in/and translation As a result of past and present migration waves, today’s metropolises are sites of unprecedented social, cultural and linguistic diversity. ‘While there is no precise count, some experts believe New York is home to as many as 800 languages  .  .  . It is the capital of language density in the world’ (Roberts 2010), and there is a growing need ‘to provide translations for more than 100 languages in New York City courts’ (Macmillan 2017). This linguistic diversity creates enormous challenges in terms of accessibility of public services. Public services (e.g., health care, emergency services, fire services, public transport, and public administration) are provided by the public sector (local, regional or national government) for its citizens. They should be equally accessible to all citizens, without linguistic discrimination. As a consequence, translation becomes of major importance for multilingual cities today: they need a language and translation policy. However, the legal power to implement such a policy is often not in the hands of the city but rather in those of national authorities. Until recently, language policy studies have largely overlooked translation policy. The latter has been brought to attention through translation studies, where it has been claimed that there is no language policy without translation policy and that the two should be studied together: determining which language(s) can be used for communication between authorities and citizens in public services also presupposes determining what can/should be translated into what language, for whom and when (Meylaerts 2011). A useful definition of language policy, easily transferable to translation policy, is Bernard Spolsky’s. For Spolsky (2012: 5), a language policy consists of three interrelated components: language management (‘efforts by some members of a speech community who have or believe they have authority over other members to modify their language practice’), language beliefs or ideology (‘the values assigned by members of a speech community to each variety and variant and their beliefs about the importance of these values’) and language practices (‘the actual language practices of the members of a speech community’). Although each component can be studied separately, from a policy-­making perspective, language management must be consistent with language practices and beliefs in order to have real effects (222). Moreover, worldwide, authorities need a language policy because they need to make choices in which language(s) to communicate with their citizens in public services (see also Kymlicka 1995: 111). Since there is no language policy without translation policy, authorities worldwide also need to decide on what to translate for whom and when and how to translate it if language becomes a barrier to equal access in linguistically diverse societies. Translation policies can be defined, after Spolsky, as consisting of translation management (legal efforts by the authorities to initiate, impose or refrain translation practices), translation practices (the actual interlingual activities ensuring communication between authorities and people) and translation beliefs or ideology (the values assigned by members of a language group to translation and their beliefs about the importance of these values). For translation policy also, translation management must be consistent with translation practices and beliefs in order to have real effects. Broadly speaking, language and translation policies can be subdivided into four prototypes: monolingualism and non-­translation, monolingualism and occasional translation, multilingualism and overall translation, and monolingualism and multilingualism combined. The following paragraphs give a concise overview of these prototypes as a background for our discussion of the Brussels case (for a more elaborate presentation of the four prototypes with real-­world examples, see Meylaerts 2011). In a monolingual language and non-­translation policy, one language is used for communication between authorities and citizens in public services. This language can be legally 98

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recognized as the official language to be used in the judiciary, legislature and administration within a given territory, or it can be de facto used by the authorities without being de jure recognized. This prototypical policy implies non-­translation into minority or immigrant languages. Non-­translation can be explicitly enshrined in the law as a legal prohibition against translation, or it can be the de facto result of monolingualism. Institutional monolingualism and non-­translation rely on language learning by non-­native speakers or, in other words, on personal multilingualism. However, the idea that language learning is a sufficient policy strategy for dealing with multilingual populations has been questioned. Recent research has shown that ‘second-­language training and T&I training are best taken as complementary components of language and translation policy, rather than either/or approaches’ (Howard et al. 2018: 34). In other words, language learning and translation should not be seen as mutually exclusive policies. Despite the large number of studies showing that immigrants understand the importance of learning the language of the host country to better integrate . . . politicians are often unaware that these people may also have the need to communicate with public services before they are able to master the new language. (Gentile 2017: 64) While less proficient speakers have the duty to learn the official language, they also have the right to translation, especially in sensitive, stressful or urgent situations in which linguistic competence in a foreign language or language learning capacity may be affected (see also Tipton 2017). Importantly, this holds true not only for newcomers but for all the other non-­native speakers, irrespective of the time they live in their new country. Non-­native speakers in elderly homes, for example, may lose (part of) their previously acquired competence in their second language due to old age and its concomitant mental deterioration (see Bevilacqua 2011). They may then need translation services in their mother tongue, whereas before they could do without it. Moreover, non-­translation can result in medical misdiagnoses, miscarriages of justice (Gentile 2017: 64), a lack of parental involvement in education (Sperling 2009: 407) or a general deterioration of health (Nielsen and Krasnik 2010). As a result, complete monolingualism with non-­translation is rather an ideal type: while in theory it is possible, in practice it is not compatible with democratic principles of accessibility and inclusiveness. In the second prototypical language and translation policy, monolingualism is combined with occasional translation in public services, such as in hospitals, in courts, at the town hall, etc. Occasional translation can be explicitly enshrined in linguistic legislation. It can be the indirect result of laws that deal with human rights, such as the principle of a fair trial or non-­ discrimination, or it can be a practice that takes place outside any legal framework. Still, even when it is provided for by law, translation remains (and is perceived) as an occasional, exceptional, sometimes temporary service granted by authorities rather than an enforceable right for non-­native speakers. The most commonly used arguments against monolingualism and occasional translation are excessive financial costs (see, for example, Alimezelli et al. 2015: 49; Sperling 2009: 419) and that translation impedes the integration of non-­native speakers (see, for example, Van Parijs 2007). The latter is built upon the idea that linguistic diversity is not compatible with an inclusive and democratic society, and minorities should be linguistically assimilated into the mainstream. According to others, however, linguistic diversity and democracy are compatible, especially at the local level (for a more elaborate discussion, see Mowbray 2017). Moreover, as already indicated, non-­translation also has a cost in terms of adverse consequences of poor health care, deficient legal services, poor education, etc. for both 99

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citizens and society (see also Williams and Bekker 2008). Notwithstanding these objections, this second prototype is widely used in many different contexts (see, for example, González Núñez and Meylaerts 2017; Meylaerts 2018; Meylaerts and González Núñez 2018). The third prototypical language and translation policy is multilingualism with multidirectional translation in all languages for all. In this policy, multiple (official) languages are used for communication between authorities and citizens in public services. In an ideal-­typical form, this policy aims to give all people, irrespective of where and since when they have been living within a territory, access to public services in their mother tongue. Such a policy requires multidirectional translation in all languages for all. Multilingualism enables citizens to stay monolingual while services use translation to ensure a multilingual service provision. In its ideal-­typical form, there is no limit to the number of languages of which translation is offered. However, in order to keep translation practices manageable and affordable, in practice, the number of languages used in public services will always be fewer than that of languages spoken on the ground. Two criteria, both inspired by the principle of proportionality, co-­determine the choice for a specific language to be translated or not: the relative number of speakers of that language and/or their historical presence on the territory (see also González Núñez 2016). In other words, the larger the linguistic group is and the longer its presence is on a certain territory, the greater, in principle, are the chances that people belonging to that group will have access to public services in their mother tongue through translation. From a language rights perspective, however, the principle of proportionality has no ground: everyone has the right to use their mother tongue in public services (for a more elaborate discussion, see also González Núñez 2016). The fourth and last prototype, monolingualism and multilingualism combined, is in fact a combination of Prototypes One and Three. In such a policy, monolingualism is applied at the lower, local level and multilingualism at the superior (e.g., federal) level or vice versa. A good example here is Belgium where, according to the constitution, the federal state is officially trilingual (Dutch-­French-­German) and the Brussels Capital Region is bilingual (French-­Dutch), whereas the Dutch, French and German language areas are monolingual: Dutch in the North (Flanders), French in the South (Wallonia) and German in the East (East Cantons).

The linguistic make-­up of Brussels In order to understand Brussels’s actual language and translation policies, it is useful to briefly introduce the linguistic make-­up of the city from a historical perspective. Founded in the 10th century, the city of Brussels was part of the Duchy of Brabant (Flanders), and its inhabitants spoke a Dutch dialect. From the 15th century onwards, French became the language of the court of the Dukes and the elites, and Brussels grew into one of Europe’s most important capital cities (Van Parijs 2013: 269). When Belgium was created in 1830, Brussels became the capital of the officially Francophone state and Francization of Brussels’s population continued. Indeed, ‘the percentage of speakers who used exclusively or mostly Dutch dropped from 60.2% in 1846, to 44.7% in 1910, and to 24.2% in 1947’, while ‘the percentage of exclusive, or predominant, French speakers first rose from 38.4% to 50.5% and then to 71.9%’ (Van Velthoven 1987: 23). In 1993 Belgium became a federal state with three regions: Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels-­Capital Region. Today, Brussels is the name used for the Brussels-­Capital Region, which consists of 19 municipalities, including the city of Brussels, the capital of Belgium. In this chapter ‘Brussels’ refers to the Capital Region. The form and function of language and translation policies in today’s multilingual Brussels is furthermore closely linked to the 100

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position of Brussels within the federal constellation. The federal state of Belgium is officially trilingual (Dutch, French and German) and competent for the army, foreign affairs, judicial system, social security, public finances and important parts of public health and home affairs. As a federal state Belgium is composed of three regions and three communities, each of them having their own government and Parliament. The three regions are based on the concept of ‘territory’: the Flemish Region in the North, the Brussels-­Capital Region in the centre and the Walloon Region in the South. The regions have competences in the domain of economy, employment, agriculture, energy, environment, etc. The Brussels-­Capital Region is officially bilingual (Dutch-­French), whereas Flanders and Wallonia are officially monolingual (Dutch in Flanders and French in Wallonia). The concept of ‘community’ refers to the persons who make up a community and their language and culture. The three communities have thus competences for culture, education, the use of languages and ‘matters relating to the individual which concern on the one hand health policy (curative and preventive medicine) and on the other hand assistance for individuals (protection of youth, social welfare, aid to families, immigrant assistance services, etc.)’ (Belgian Federal Government 2016). The three communities are: the Flemish Community, the French Community and the German-­speaking Community. The Flemish Community exercises its competences in the Flemish Region and Brussels, the French Community in the Walloon Region and Brussels, and the German-­speaking Community in the German-­speaking communes (the east). In other words, not only Brussels but also both the Flemish and French communities are responsible for language and translation policies in Brussels. Brussels is also an international centre, hosting the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the most important European Union (EU) institutions, and many other international organizations. In 2018 Brussels has a population of about 1.2 million people, of which 34.7% are non-­ Belgian nationality and 11.7% (or one-­third of the non-­Belgians) are non-­EU nationality (Brussels Institute for Statistics and Analysis[BISA] 2019: 8–9). However, nationality only gives a partial picture of a population’s diversity. In terms of origin (someone’s nationality at birth or the nationality of someone’s parents), 29% of Brussels’s inhabitants are of Belgian origin, 28% of EU origin and 43% from outside of the EU (Agentschap Binnenlands Bestuur 2019: 7). No less than 180 different nationalities live together in the Capital Region (BISA 2019: 8–9). In other words, Brussels’s population is highly diverse and thoroughly multilingual. In order to understand the impact of language and translation policies on this highly diverse population, it is important to know who speaks what language(s) among Brussels’s inhabitants. According to a recent study on self-­reported language knowledge of Brussels’s inhabitants (Janssens 2018),3 the top ten languages that people report they speak well or very well are, in descending order: French, English, Dutch, Arabic, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, Lingala and Rumanian. Since 2000 French, English, Arabic and Dutch have been the top four best-­known languages. With 87% of respondents answering that they speak French well or very well in 2016, French remains the most widespread spoken language in Brussels, although its percentage has decreased from 95.5% in 2000. For Dutch, the percentage of self-­reported fluent speakers decreases from 33.3% (2000) to 16.3% (2016), which moves Dutch from the second to the third place. English switches from the third (33.3% in 2000) to the second place (34.4% in 2016), and Arabic stays in the fourth place with some 10% (Janssens 2018: 22). For each of these languages, language knowledge can be the result of primary or secondary language acquisition. In the first case, the language in question is spoken at home, acquired at a young age and strongly related to a speaker’s identity. In the second case, the language is learnt outside the family, often at a later age, for example at school, and is much less formative of a speaker’s identity. Between 2000 and 2016, within Dutch speakers who self-­report that 101

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they speak Dutch well or very well, the percentage of those who learn the language at home grows from 49% to 73%, whereas the share of speakers who learn Dutch at school decreases considerably (from 48% to 25%). So, within Dutch speakers, a growing part strongly identifies with Dutch as formative of their identity. Dutch as a home language is also increasingly combined with French in bilingual households (from 22% to 40%). A similar evolution can be observed for French: French as a home language grows from 74% to 83% and from 54% to 60% as the only home language between 2000 and 2016. English is typically a language learned at school (75%) instead of a home language (8%). Arabic is 95% learnt and spoken at home and the only home language for 51% of respondents (Janssens 2018: 24–30). Just like French and Dutch, Arabic is formative of its speakers’ identity. In terms of individual monolingualism or multilingualism, 49% of Brussels’s inhabitants report being monolingual French, whereas only 1% are monolingual Dutch; 7% see themselves as bilingual Dutch-­French, a considerable drop in comparison to 2000 (16%). French-­English bilingualism increases from 16% in 2000 to 24% in 2016. Importantly, some 8% of people living in Brussels in 2016 do not speak Dutch, French or English, which is more than twice as high as the number in 2000 (3%) (Janssens 2018: 34). In sum, these data illustrate that Brussels is a multilingual city, where French remains by far the best-­known and most widespread home language. Dutch and Arabic come far behind as home languages and languages of competence, whereas English mainly serves as a language of secondary acquisition, with some 35% of respondents being competent speakers, but almost nobody uses it at home.

Language and translation policies in Brussels Official French-­Dutch bilingualism As already mentioned, the Brussels-­Capital Region is officially bilingual (French-­Dutch), which is in sharp contrast with the actual language use and language knowledge of its inhabitants. If we refer to the aforementioned principle of proportionality, Brussels’s language and translation policies are inspired, not by the relative number of speakers, but by the historical presence of Dutch and French speakers on its territory. Brussels’s language and translation policies make to a large extent an abstraction of the city’s multilingual population. Its policy of official bilingualism implies that by law all public services, public announcements, official documents, street names and road signs must be provided in both Dutch and French and that each citizen has the right to choose if he/she wants to be served in French or Dutch. As a consequence, translation between French and Dutch is a fundamental part of the city’s governance. But as in many cities, the actual implementation of this translation management, for example, the actual translation practices, do not necessarily coincide with the legislation. The practical applicability of language and translation management is a widespread issue since language and translation practices ‘are obviously far more fluid and complex than the necessarily rigid policy frameworks that can be implemented “from above” . . . people are not to be considered as mere passive “implementers” . . . rather they have a considerable amount of agentive power to resist’ (Van Mensel 2016: 549) language and translation management at a local level. Not surprisingly, as far as Brussels is concerned, there are cases of both less and more translation than is legally determined. As the examples of the aforementioned controversies illustrate, translation between French and Dutch or the provision of bilingual services is sometimes lacking. Non-­compliance with legally required translation (e.g., non-­translation) can be reported to several dedicated organs, such as the Permanent Language Watchdog Commission (Vaste Commissie voor Taaltoezicht/Commission Permanente de Contrôle Linguistique). For 102

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example, in 2018 a complaint was filed about monolingual Tweets on the Twitter accounts of some municipalities within the territory of the Brussels-­Capital Region. Since these Twitter accounts were used to post official announcements to the public, they should be bilingual French-­Dutch: every Tweet should be translated in the other official language, the Commission advised (Vaster Commissie voor Taaltoezicht 2019: 81). The Flemish Service for Linguistic Legislation (Taalwetwijzer), which informs Flemish speakers about the linguistic legislation and their linguistic rights, has a dedicated office for complaints concerning language use in Brussels’s hospitals (www.zorg-­en-­­meldpunt-­taalklachten-­in-­de-­ brusselse-­ziekenhuizen), where services turn out to be quite often monolingual French. Non-­ translation into Dutch infringes on Dutch speakers’ linguistic rights and can result in medical misdiagnoses, poor health care, deterioration of health and miscarriages of justice. However, sometimes there is more translation than is legally permitted. For example, the official website of the Brussels-­Capital Region is trilingual on its main pages: it displays not only information in Dutch and French but also in English. However, this English translation is only provided on the main pages for the presentation of the services, like ‘Administrative Documents’ and ‘Health and Safety’. For any contact with the services themselves, it is made clear that this can only take place in Dutch or French. For example, ‘Centre Antipoisons (anti-­poison centre) (FR/NL)’ (­in-­brussels/health-­and-­safety/emergencies) or ‘Learn in 3 hours how to react in case of emergency! Register online at http://reagir-­urgence. brussels/ (FR/NL)’ (­dbdmh/about-­siamu-­dbdmh). Yet, when Evere, a municipality in Brussels’s territory, asked the Permanent Language Watchdog Commission if staff members of its immigration service were allowed to use English in contacts with some citizens, the Commission answered that this was not allowed and that only French or Dutch could be used in contacts with citizens. If the picture is rather complicated for public services which fall under the competent authority of Brussels, it is even more complicated for services which belong to the competences of the communities. For important public services such as education, both the Flemish and the French communities are competent on the Brussels’s territory. As a result, education in Brussels is set up as two parallel but separate institutions, one funded and controlled by the (officially Dutch-­speaking) Flemish Community . . . the other funded and controlled by the French Community. Organization of education in Brussels is thus based on a monocultural model . . . which contrasts strongly with the linguistic and cultural heterogeneity that characterizes the city’s population. (Van Mensel 2016: 550) Despite Brussels’s status as an officially bilingual region, a bilingual Brussels education system does not exist. Brussels’s inhabitants have to choose between either Dutch or French education.4 For language and translation management and practices in the domain of education, instead of bilingualism and bidirectional translation (or even multilingualism and multidirectional translation), monolingualism and non-­translation prevail. However, since Brussels’s population is multilingual and multicultural, ‘all Brussels schools consist of a highly diverse student population, resulting in mixed language classes’ (Lochtman 2018: 159). This is a clear example of language and translation management being at odds with language and translation practices and beliefs. It is moreover a missed opportunity: Despite its multilingual and multicultural learning environment, official education in Brussels . . . does not seem to have made full use of this available and potential richness 103

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and consequently maintains the separation between the so-­called “monolingual” Dutch-­ speaking and French-­speaking schools . . . As a result, plurilingual immigrant children often have lower achievements at school and have concomitantly no or low levels of literacy in their home language. (Lochtman 2018: 157) Whereas research has shown that ‘multilingual code switching (or translanguaging) in the classroom will promote not only language acquisition but also the development of other cognitive skills and knowledge in general’ (160), and that home language maintenance is ‘vitally important not only for the educational success of pupils from migrant backgrounds but also for successful social inclusion in the school and in society’ (162). [I]n Brussels language background is one of the most striking predictors of academic achievement. Immigrant students were found to lag badly behind their non-­immigrant peers from monolingual family backgrounds with one of the two national languages as their L1 (French or Dutch). (165) It therefore seems crucial for Brussels to explore new types of heteroglossic bilingual education initiatives [which] are better equipped to deal with the multiple guises in which multilingualism presents itself in the 21st century . . . for they provide ways of learning languages that build upon the linguistic resources already available in the classroom, rather than force children and parents into a monolingual mould . . . This way, available schooling . . . provides a multilingual space in which both prestigious and minority languages are acknowledged. (Van Mensel 2016: 558) Yet, the implementation of ‘heteroglossic bilingual education’ would need Brussels to become competent for education on its territory and thus imply a shift in competences away from the French and Flemish communities. That will be still to come in the future.

With occasional translation in immigrant languages Obviously, Brussels’s official bilingualism does not provide the necessary tools to deal with the city’s large and diverse immigrant population. How Brussels’s language and translation policies contribute (or not) to making Brussels’s public services accessible to these groups will be the subject of this section. Brussels is Belgium’s main point of arrival for international migration. As already mentioned, 71% of Brussels’s inhabitants are of non-­Belgian origin, a percentage which does not take into account asylum seekers or illegal residents. Also, as already indicated, in 2016, some 8% of people living in Brussels do not speak Dutch, French or English, a percentage which has steadily increased from 3% in 2000 (Janssens 2018: 34). Moreover, as already indicated, linguistic competence is a dynamic phenomenon which can seriously deteriorate in stressful situations such as illness and urgent situations, or through ageing. As a result, migrants who are fluent in the official language(s) in a normal daily life situation are likely to lose (much of) their linguistic competence in hospitals, emergencies and an elderly home. In such situations they still need translation services. Needless to say, the challenges in terms of accessibility of public 104

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services for Brussels’s highly diverse and multilingual population are enormous. Moreover, just like the case of education, in the domain of integration of newcomers, not only Brussels but the Flemish and French communities are competent. At the Francophone side, the so-­called Newcomers Reception Offices (Bureaux d’accueil des primo-­arrivants or BAPA) offer French language courses (240–750 hours according to the language level of the course taker), courses on newcomers’ rights and duties (10 hours) and citizenship courses (50 hours). The citizenship courses are taught in French, Arabic and English, while the rights and duties courses are taught in a large variety of languages, including French, English, Arabic, Turkish, Rumanian, Spanish, Afar, Dari, Urdu, Wolof, Albanian and Kurdish (­daccueil/). Bon (Brussels Onthaalbureau) is the Flemish reception office for Brussels. Bon also offers citizenship courses (the so-­called social orientation course, 60 hours), which are given in a contact language of the participant. ‘Each participant following the social orientation course is automatically offered a place in a Dutch language course afterwards. This is an intensive second language acquisition course, which takes 120h, 180h or 240h, depending on the needs of the student’ (Inburgering Brussel 2020). While the greater part of their program is directed towards language learning, for their multilingual citizenship or orientation courses, both BAPA and Bon use translation and act as multilingual service providers. Yet, translation is strictly limited to the framework of the citizenship or orientation courses, so that both the Flemish and the French offices function within the legal framework of monolingualism, with occasional translation as determined by the Flemish and French communities. Neither of them provides dedicated translation services in order to guarantee non-­native speakers’ access to public services. This role is taken up by Brussel Onthaal/Bruxelles Accueil (BO/BA), the city’s bilingual community interpreting and translation service, which does not follow the institutional subdivision into two separate monolingual systems.5 BO/BA covers the whole Brussels territory and is a pioneer in community translation and interpreting. It started in 1985 as a non-­profit organization with volunteers translating and interpreting for the then influx of asylum seekers mainly from Iran. When in 2015 Flanders integrated all Flemish community translating and interpreting services into the newly created Agency Integration and Citizenship (Agentschap Integratie en Inburgering), BO/BA did not fit in that organization because of its bilingualism and voluntary work. But BO/BA did not want to split into two separate monolingual organizations, so they decided to continue independently, making it an anomaly within the Belgian context. BO/BA’s mission is to facilitate communication between non-­native speakers and public services by means of community interpreting and translating. In its 2017 annual report, BO/BA defines community interpreting and translating as the full conversion of verbal or written messages from source to target language in a neutral and faithful manner in a social context, in particular the welfare and health sector, education, employment and social housing, reception and guidance of asylum seekers and public services of the authorities in the context of their social missions to the inhabitants. (Brussel Onthaal—Bruxelles Accueil[BO/BA] 2018: 13; my translation from Dutch) BO/BA’s vision is based on three basic principles. The first is voluntary work: translating and interpreting via volunteers is the core activity of the organization. A beneficial side effect hereof is that newcomers take part as a volunteer translator/interpreter, which then serves as a stepping stone to their participation in the Brussels community and professional life. (BO/BA 2019: 54) 105

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However, BO/BA also invests in initiatives toward professionalization of community interpreting and translating, as a result of which it nowadays works with a mixed network of volunteers and professional and certified interpreters (BO/BA 2019: 55). The second principle is demand-­drivenness: customer friendliness is very important and therefore there is an ambition to organize a maximum and flexible offer of community interpreting and translation that meets the needs of the field. Professional translation and interpreting may be the ultimate objective, as long as the official community interpreting and translation services or the commercial circuit cannot answer all the questions, BO/BA likes to fill in the gaps through its volunteer network. (BO/BA 2018: 17; my translation from Dutch) The third is multilingualism: BO/BA wants to contribute to facilitating communication in the Brussels language chaos. The target language must be a solution, not an additional problem. As a Brussels organization BO/BA avoids the compelling choice for one language regime as imposed by the Belgian institutionalization. (BO/BA 2018: 17; my translation from Dutch) During its 20  years of existence, BO/BA has accomplished 133,661 community translating and interpreting tasks. It provides services in 12 different sectors: social services, health care, mental welfare, family and social welfare, employment, social housing, education, integration and citizenship, reception of asylum seekers, legal sector, prevention and security, and sociocultural sector (BO/BA 2018: 13). In 2018 BO/BA received 23,465 requests for (telephone) interpreting and translation, two-­thirds of which were asked by a Dutch-­language public service and one-­third by a Francophone one. This means an increase of 12% in comparison to 2017 (BO/BA 2019: 19). About 83% of these requests were actually responded to by 673 different community interpreters/translators (BO/BA 2019: 20). The non-­responded community (phone) interpretating or translation requests have nothing to do with the unavailability of the language or the community interpreter/translator. Often the applications are cancelled or modified by the user. Double claims, late requests, an interpreter who does not show up and a social worker who is suddenly ill are among the reasons for interpreting or translation jobs eventually not being executed (BO/BA 2019: 20). In total more than 20,000 hours of interpreting and more than 1,100 pages of translation were carried out in 2018. Top languages were Arabic, Pashto, Dari, Tigrinya, Somali, Albanian, Turkish and, more recently, Spanish. For demands from Dutch-­language services, on-­site interpreting takes place mainly in the health care sector, followed by asylum and mental health care. For telephone interpreting, the asylum sector occupies the first place, followed by social services. Most demands for written translations come from the domains of citizenship and integration, followed by social services (BO/ BA 2019: 23). For demands from Francophone services, asylum occupies the first place, both for on-­site interpreting and telephone interpreting, followed by citizenship and integration. For written translation, most demands come from asylum (BO/BA 2019: 24). In sum, this overview illustrates that Brussels’s language and translation policies are one of legally prescribed bilingualism with mandatory translation for public services (except for education) into Brussels’s two historical languages (French and Dutch), combined with occasional translation into Brussels’s immigrant languages. 106

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In terms of translation beliefs, how is this translation policy perceived by Brussels’s population? This is not an easy question to answer since data are scarce. Kerremans et al. (2018) analyzed how translation for allophone clients in Brussels’s public services (mainly asylum and mental health care) is implemented and perceived by administrative workers, managers and social workers. Interviewees found that communication with clients or patients in French or Dutch, as required by law, seldom passes off smoothly. The two most frequently cited causes for deficient communication were insufficient knowledge of Dutch, French or another contact language (e.g., English) and a sensitive conversation subject. Interestingly, the respondents turned to a large variety of translation services to optimize communication with their service takers: simplified Dutch or French, the native language of the client, a contact language, a colleague who speaks the language of the client, readymade written translations in the language of the client, multilingual terminology or word lists in the language of the client, a community interpreter, someone from the client’s social network, an intercultural mediator who provides extra information about the social and cultural environment of the client, visual materials (e.g., pictograms), videos, gestures and technology (e.g., Google Translate, translating apps). As mentioned before, strictly speaking, these practices are legally not allowed. The most commonly used solutions according to the interviewees are simplified Dutch or French, the language of the client, a contact language, community interpreting and gestures (Kerremans et al. 2018: 765). Yet, the use of simplified Dutch or French seldom leads to satisfactory communication. Using the language of the client or a contact language is said to be possible because many social workers are multilingual and can help a colleague. Just like in education, in other public services it is advisable to build upon the linguistic resources already available within the population rather than force them into a monolingual framework. This way, public services function as a multilingual space in which both official and minority languages are recognized and illustrate how linguistic diversity and democracy are compatible, especially at the local level. When none of simplified Dutch or French, the language of the client or a contact language is possible, then the preferred option is community interpreting. According to the interviewees, community interpreters are especially helpful in communicating important, sensitive or complex information because they are impartial and have to act according to a strict deontology (Kerremans et al. 2018: 765). Non-­professional interpreters from the social network of the non-­native speaker is an averagely used practice. In the (mental) health care field, social workers try to avoid it because they feel it is not appropriate when a client receives sensitive information from a relative or an acquaintance. But this is different in the asylum sector, where informal interpreters are mainly used for simple or non-­sensitive information. Technologies, such as Remote Interpreting Technologies or the Universal Doctor Speaker app, are mainly used in medical contexts (768). In any case, Kerremans et al. (2018: 768–769) conclude: in the context of public service provision in Brussels—which is officially bilingual (Dutch-­French)—the various solutions service providers can deploy in bridging functions need to be examined, given the political tensions between the language communities, on the one hand, and Brussels’s plurilingual reality, on the other hand. One solution, at least, is to make sure that current bridging functions are used and shared more efficiently among public service providers in general. This calls for better collaboration between public service providers and organizations providing interpreting services, as was also suggested by the participants in our study. Further research will thus need to examine how such collaboration can best be achieved. 107

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For an inclusive Brussels? In light of the situation just sketched and bearing in mind the scarcity of data, to what extent can translation contribute to the inclusion or integration of linguistic minorities in Brussels? One way of answering this question is to have a look at the data offered by the 2018 Brussels’s Local Citizenship and Integration Monitor, which compares Belgians and foreigners living in Brussels with regard to a number of indicators. According to the Monitor, the unemployment rate of non-­EU foreigners is significantly higher than that of Belgians: 22.8% (and even 25.4% for people from the Maghreb and Turkey) and 9.3%, respectively (Agentschap Binnenlands Bestuur 2019: 16). The share of people living in a family with low work intensity in 2016 was 17% for Belgians versus 40.8% for non-­EU citizens (Agentschap Binnenlands Bestuur 2019: 18). In 2016, 2% of primary school pupils in Brussels whose home language was not Dutch had at least two years of school delay, compared to 0.9% among those who speak Dutch at home. In secondary school the former increases to 13.8% (versus 8.7% of the latter). The percentage of pupils who drop out prematurely was 14.8% for those who have Dutch as their home language, versus 23.2% with a home language other than Dutch. In terms of poverty and social assistance, the percentage of people who live on social security in 2016 was 1.2% for Belgians and 6.5% for non-­EU foreigners. Finally, in terms of participation in elections, whereas Belgians have compulsory voting, only 19.3% of non-­EU foreigners registered in 2018 to cast their vote in the municipal elections. Based on these data, the least one can say is that Brussels has huge challenges in terms of creating an inclusive city. One of the main causes for the lack of integration of foreigners both in the eyes of the media and public opinion is their lack of linguistic competence in French or Dutch. Not speaking French or Dutch is perceived as the direct cause of unemployment, school failure, ghettoization, etc. Learning the official language(s) is seen as the key preliminary and sufficient condition for integration and as an individual responsibility of foreigners. However, as Hambye and Romainville (2013) show, the link between linguistic competence and (economic or social) integration is not so straightforward. Although it is a positive factor and actively strived for by newcomers, knowledge of the official language(s) is neither a miracle solution nor the key condition for integration. What is more, according to Hambye and Romainville (2013), linguistic competence is often the result of social and economic integration but not vice versa. Therefore, an assimilationist policy which is primarily focused on language learning as a personal responsibility is bound to fail. Since preserving one’s language of origin does not prevent language learning, or integrating oneself into today’s multilingual Brussels, it is time for authorities to actively support and promote translation in public services as a complement to language learning.

Conclusion Brussels, like other metropolises today, is a site of unprecedented linguistic diversity. While its institutional position limits its options in terms of language and translation management, its actual language and translation practices and beliefs push the city’s policy towards new forms of participative citizenship and cohabitation, based on multilingual and plural collective identities. The city’s future shall be translation or shall not be. In this, Brussels does not differ from other cities. From a more theoretical-­methodological viewpoint, several observations can be made here. First, from a translation studies perspective, non-­professional translation often plays a role that is as important as, or sometimes even more important than, professional translation and should 108

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therefore be a subject of study as much as professional translation. Only in this way are we able to understand the role of translation in fostering accessibility, inclusion and democratic citizenship. Second, given the wide variety of translation practices used in public services, scholars in translation studies should use a broad and open definition of translation, in order not to exclude practices with important societal effects and functions from their domain of study. Third, since there is no language policy without translation policy (and vice versa), language policy studies and translation policy studies should continue to open up to each other. Fourth, in terms of the study of translation policies, it is important to analyze not only the domain of legal rules (top-­ down management) but also their practical implementation and the practices and beliefs on the ground, as well as the complex interaction among management, practices and beliefs.

Further reading Meylaerts, Reine (2011) ‘Translational justice in a multilingual world: An overview of translational regimes’, Meta 56(4): 743–757. Discusses four prototypical translation policy regimes which may be used by authorities to communicate with their citizens González Núñez, Gabriel (2016) Translating in Linguistically Diverse Societies, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Explores translation policies from European, international and UK perspectives and develops a new theoretical perspective on translation policy González Núñez, Gabriel and Reine Meylaerts (2017) Translation and Public Policy: Interdisciplinary Perspectives and Case Studies, New York and Abingdon: Routledge. The first interdisciplinary study on translation policy that brings together experts from political philosophy, economy, law, language policy and translation studies and provides both theoretical perspectives and case studies on translation policy

Notes 1 All translations from Dutch are mine. 2 Henceforth, the term ‘translation’ will refer to all possible types of transfer practices. 3 Due to their political sensitivity, there are no language censuses anymore in Belgium since 1960. 4 Except for some private international schools which provide education in English. 5 This paragraph is based on Jaarverslag 2017 Rapport annuel (BO/BA 2018).

References Agentschap Binnenlands Bestuur (2019) ‘Lokale Inburgerings-­ en Integratiemonitor Editie 2018: Brussel’,­Brussel.pdf (accessed 30 January 2020). Alimezelli, Hubert Tote, Anne Leis, Wilfrid Denis and Chandima Karunanayake (2015) ‘Lost in policy translation: Canadian minority francophones and health disparities’, Canadian Public Policy— Analyse de Politiques 41(2S): S44–S52. Belgian Federal Government (2016) ‘About Belgium: The communities’, belgium/government/communities (accessed 31 January 2020). Bevilacqua, Giovanni (2011) Die Sprachmittlung in Altenbetreuungseinrichtungen: eine Empirische Forschungsarbeit über die Italiener in Limburg (Unpublished doctoral dissertation), Faculteit Letteren, Leuven: KU Leuven. Brussels Institute for Statistics and Analysis[BISA] (2019) Mini-­Bru: Brussels-­Capital Region in figures, Brussels: Brussels Institute for Statistics and Analysis. 109

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Brussel Onthaal—Bruxelles Accueil[BO/BA] (2018) Jaarverslag 2017 Rapport Annuel, Brussels: Brussel Onthaal—Bruxelles Accueil. Brussel Onthaal—Bruxelles Accueil[BO/BA] (2019) Jaarverslag 2018 Rapport Annuel, Brussels: Brussel Onthaal—Bruxelles Accueil. Decker, Hugo (2018) ‘Moeten Vlamingen beroep doen op Franstalige brandweerlui?’ Sceptr, https://­vlamingen-­een-­beroep-­doen-­op-­franstalige-­brandweerlui/ (accessed 30 January 2020). Degadt, Jan (2019) ‘Taalwet en merkwaardige cijfers in Brussel’, Doorbraak, taalwet-­brussel-­taalstrijd/ (accessed 30 January 2020). Gentile, Paola (2017) ‘Political ideology and the de-­professionalization of public service interpreting: The Netherlands and the United Kingdom as case studies’, in Carmen Valero-­Garcés and Rebecca Tipton (eds.) Ideology, Ethics and Policy Development in Public Service Interpreting and Translation, Bristol: Multilingual Matters, 63–83. González Núñez, Gabriel (2016) Translating in Linguistically Diverse Societies, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. González Núñez, Gabriel and Reine Meylaerts (eds.) (2017) Translation and Public Policy: Interdisciplinary Perspectives and Case Studies, New York and Abingdon: Routledge. Hambye, Philippe and Anne-­Sophie Romainville (2013) Apprentissage du français et intégration: Des évidences à interroger, Brussels: EME Éditions. Howard, Rosaleen, Raquel De Pedro Ricoy and Luis Andrade Ciudad (2018) ‘Translation policy and indigenous languages in Hispanic Latin America’, International Journal of the Sociology of Language 251: 19–36. Inburgering Brussel (2020) ‘Integration programme in view’,­bon/integration-­ programme-­in-­view (accessed 31 January 2020). Janssens, Rudi (2018) Meertaligheid als Opdracht: Een analyse van de Brusselse Taalsituatie op basis van Taalbarometer 4, Brussels: Uitgeverij Vubpress. Kerremans, Koen, Laurent-­Philippe De Ryck, Vanessa De Tobel, Rudi Janssens, Pascal Rillof and Marianne Scheppers (2018) ‘Bridging the communication gap in multilingual service encounters: A Brussels case study’, The European Legacy 23(7–8): 757–772. Kymlicka, Will (1995) Multicultural Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights, Oxford: Clarendon. Lochtman, Katja (2018) ‘Plurilingualism in schooling policies: The Brussels melting pot’, Language Education and Multilingualism 1: 157–167. Macmillan, Thomas (2017) ‘New York courts struggle to keep up with need to interpret more languages’, Wall Street Journal, 18 April 2017,­york-­courts-­struggle-­to-­keep-­ up-­with-­need-­to-­interpret-­more-­languages-­1492524000 (accessed 14 February 2021). Meylaerts, Reine (2011) ‘Translational justice in a multilingual world: An overview of translational regimes’, Meta 56(4): 743–757. Meylaerts, Reine (2018) ‘Language and translation policies in context of urban super-­diversity’, in Michele Gazzola, Torsten Templin and Bengt-­Arne Wickström (eds.) Language Policy and Linguistic Justice: Economic, Philosophical and Sociolinguistic Approaches, Berlin: Springer, 455–475. Meylaerts, Reine and Gabriel González Núñez (2018) ‘No language policy without translation policy: A comparison of Flanders and Wales’, Language Problems and Language Planning 42(2): 196–219. Mowbray, Jacqueline (2017) ‘Translation as marginalisation? International law, translation and the status of linguistic minorities’, in Gabriel González Núñez and Reine Meylaerts (eds.) Translation and Public Policy: Interdisciplinary Perspectives and Case Studies, New York and Abingdon: Routledge, 32–57. Nielsen, Signe and Allan Krasnik (2010) ‘Poorer self-­perceived health among migrants and ethnic minorities versus the majority population in Europe: A systematic review’, International Journal of Public Health 55(5): 357–371. Roberts, Sam (2010) ‘Listening to (and saving) the world’s languages’, The New York Times, www. (accessed 30 January 2020). 110

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Sperling, Jessica (2009) ‘Improving immigrants’ access to public services in the United States: Language access policy and policy implementation 1’, Current Issues in Language Planning 10(4): 405–421. Spolsky, Bernard (2012) The Cambridge Handbook of Language Policy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Tipton, Rebecca (2017) ‘Interpreting-­as-­conflict: PSIT in third sector organisations and the impact of third way politics’, in Valero-­Garcés Carmen and Rebecca Tipton (eds.) Ideology, Ethics and Policy Development in Public Service Interpreting and Translation, Bristol: Multilingual Matters, 38–62. Van Mensel, Luk (2016) ‘Children and choices: The effect of macro language policy on the individual agency of transnational parents in Brussels’, Language Policy 15(4): 547–560. Van Parijs, Philippe (2007) ‘Linguistic diversity as curse and as by-­product’, in Xabier Arzoz (ed.) Respecting Linguistic Diversity in the European Union, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 17–46. Van Parijs, Philippe (2013) ‘Multilingual Brussels: Past, present and future’, in Eric Corijn and Jessica van de Ven (eds.) The Brussels Reader: A Small World City to Become the Capital of Europe, Brussels: VUB Press, 269–289. Van Velthoven, Harry (1987) ‘Historical aspects’, in Els Witte and Hugo Baetens Beardsmore (eds.) The Interdisciplinary Study of Urban Bilingualism in Brussels, Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 15–45. Vaste Commissie voor Taaltoezicht (2019) Vaste Commissie voor Taaltoezicht—Jaarverslag 2018, Brussels: Vaste Commissie voor Taaltoezicht. Williams, Michellene and Simon Bekker (2008) ‘Language policy and speech practice in Cape Town: An exploratory public health sector study’, Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 26(1): 171–183.


7 Translating in occupied towns during the First World War Between hegemonic policies and local practices Lieven D’hulst

Introduction: Local language and translation policies Language and translation in wartime have recently attracted the interest of researchers in historical sociolinguistics and historical translation studies (Declercq and Walker 2016; Salama-­ Carr 2007; Wolf 2016). Both cover a large range of topics such as the diversity of languages used by authorities, soldiers and civilians; the array of linguistic functions (propaganda, resistance, information) attached to translating; the linguistic representations of the war and postwar in diaries, letters and poetry; and interpreting issues regarding soldiers, officers and diplomats. Also, their scope is vast and stretches from specific places such as prisons, camps and courts, to larger entities such as nations or occupied territories. In between, capitals and metropolises, already largely benefiting from a cultural history viewpoint (e.g., Charle 2008; Winter and Robert 1996), have recently been approached through a translational lens, as loci in which translation operates as an ‘active, directional and interactional model of language relations’ (Cronin and Simon 2014: 119; see also Simon 2012). As to towns and smaller municipalities as well as their everyday practices such as institutional translation and interpreting, they have somehow remained out of focus, in spite of the rich material that is available in local archives and press. That being said, one may wonder whether local translation policies and practices, including institutional translation in relation to the so-­called grey literature (i.e., the vast body of archived unpublished reports, minutes of meetings, or working documents that city administrations produce and often also archive), have something to offer to historians of language and translation in wartime. As a matter of fact, everyday translating and multilingual practices are rarely acknowledged as such, while their qualification is hardly specified beyond general labels like ‘default translation policy’ (Meylaerts 2018: 222) or ‘habitualized’ translation (Wolf 2015: 51). They rather seem to be part of a long-­term routine of handling complex communication settings. Obviously, the intermingled use of multilingualism and translation has been a regular feature of communication within multilingual communities and states. The question remains whether habitualized translation has undergone the impact of the First World War, and this issue is inextricably linked with the effects of rising nationalism 112

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in 19th-­century multilingual states in Europe. Indeed, nationalism has deeply transformed the conditions under which communication took place: in many places, the debates on language equality followed by new public policies guaranteeing freedom and language rights for minority speakers seem to supplant the centre-­periphery relations between major vernaculars (such as French or German) and minor ones. However, language habits do not always express changes in cultural and culturally inspired language policies, even less so in local areas, where so-­called hot nationalism is less prominent than low-­profile nationalism or national indifference (Billig 1995: 43ff.). All in all, studying these complex interactions is part of an endeavour to reconstruct the history of local translation practices and ideologies beyond the literary and cultural realm that has appealed to the most attention from translation scholars (D’hulst and Koskinen 2020). This chapter will focus on such interactions as they took shape in Belgium and France during a crucial and to some extent also shared period of their modern history. Most attention will be given to Belgium, a small kingdom born in 1830 after a short revolution that led to its independence from the kingdom of the Netherlands. The reason why Belgium is a more complex case than France is that its two main languages, i.e., French and Flemish, had entered a decisive evolution away from the centre-­periphery relation that had lasted for a long period. But even if Flemish had acquired the equal status of official language in 1898, it took several decades more to accept it as a legal and administrative language, while French remained a language of prestige and kept official rights in Flanders as a language of administration until 1921 (Witte and Van Velthoven 1998). As to France, legal and administrative monolingualism was unequivocally imposed since the French Revolution (decrees of 1794 and 1803, cf. D’hulst 2020), in spite of a very substantial flow of monolingual Flemish immigrants who established in the northern department during the second half of the 19th century. In 1914, the language situations of Belgium and France were thus quite different, even if one may venture to say that both witnessed the search for delicate balances between language use, translation and legal rights for minority language users (for France, see Declercq and D’hulst 2010). Among the most interesting places that gave a strong visibility to the search for such a balance were cities and towns, in addition to national institutions such as the parliament and the ministries: all were meeting places of divergent and conflicting views on language use, translation, minority rights and the like. Insofar as they left written records of public debate, Belgian council meetings counted among the most visible places where language issues of representative democracy shaped form. Yet, what happened when Germany invaded and occupied large parts of Belgium and France during the First World War? The fragile and still moving balance between Flemish and French, as achieved during the long 19th century, as well as the uncontested unique position of French in France must have been challenged by the massive presence of German in public communication. On the one hand, the slow and gradual emergence of Flemish as a language with equal rights, the development of a translation policy at the local (as well as national) level has no doubt interfered with a different and broader national viewpoint that was more strongly indebted to the Herder model and considered Germanic Volksgeist as the binding factor of a number of European states, including Belgium. This viewpoint yielded a Flamenpolitik conceived and elaborated in a number of domains, such as the management of education, of linguistic frontiers, and of administration at all levels, including the local. On the other hand, the exclusive position of French in France was competed with by German, hence by multilingual practices and translation. Obviously, the German language was not imposed in a homogeneous way on both sides of the border. Depending on the position of the towns with regard to the frontline, their economic 113

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and political weight, measures were taken in the public and cultural domain, such as the censorship of Francophone journals and newspapers, the interdiction of monolingual French movies, compulsory changes of Francophone street names, names of cafés and restaurants, and bilingual posters informing or instructing citizens (Vanacker 2006: 88). In order to account for the varying forms and functions of multilingual and translational practices at the local level, a comparison will be made between a number of towns located in the province of West-­Flanders and in the North of France, all of which were close to the front zone.

Historical sketch Governmental bodies and territorial divisions during wartime On 23 August 1914, the Germans established a new governing system in Belgium (Generalgouvernement), with a governor-­general at its head (Moritz Ferdinand Freiherr von Bissing1). This government had a military administration (Militärverwaltung) that was responsible for the occupation troops, the control of border and movements, the military police and the administration of justice (Roolf 2015). It also had a civil administration (Zivilverwaltung) located in Brussels and directing two areas or ‘Verwaltungsgebiete’, Flanders and Wallonia, as well as a number of ministries. The provinces of East-­and West-­Flanders, on the western front, were not under the control of the general government, but of the German fourth army and the German marine. They were divided into three zones (Figure  7.1): (1) the Etappengebiet (staging area behind the lines) supplied medical care, food and entertainment for the German troops, ensured communication and transport and controlled the municipal administration; (2) the Operationsgebiet (operational area) was the actual frontline area; and (3) the Marinegebiet (marine area) covered the occupied part of the Belgian coast. In addition to occupied territory, there was a free zone, where the local Belgian administration remained in place. The administration of larger towns in occupied zones was threefold, consisting of a Belgian civil administration, a German civil and a German military administration. It was in fact the latter that held full command, concentrating power in the so-­called Kommandantur (military commanding post), a governing body reflecting the Zivilverwaltung, with a number of further divisions (such as Arbeitsamt, Quartierabteilung, Passabteilung, Zivilmeldeamt, Technische Abteilung, Polizeiabteilung, and a Kriegsgericht).3 Obviously, the zone to which they belonged determined to a large extent the daily life of Belgian cities and their citizens, as did the individuals who had command over the military posts. As to France, only a small percentage of its territory was occupied by the Germans, but the latter comprised an important industrial area of the Nord Department. More in particular, two German administrations were concentrated in the city of Lille. The local Kommandantur consisted of both officials and police officers. Overall in the war zone, the occupant hindered travelling outside the local town, while professional, social and cultural life, including local press and public meetings of all kinds, were strictly regulated. Even private life was under control: displacements were checked as were letters (De Schaepdrijver 2013: 126 sq.). Even if their competences had been eroded, local administrators such as the mayor, the prefect, the bishop (in the case of Lille) or the governor of the province of West-­Flanders (in the case of the West-­Flemish municipalities) exerted crucial mediating roles between their citizens and the German authorities. They tried to defend local interests and so frequently conflicted with German views and interests. Mediating became a 114

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Figure 7.1 The territorial divisions in Belgium during wartime, based on Egied Van Hoonacker. Kortrijk 14–18. Een stad tijdens de Eerste Wereldoorlog. Kortrijk: E. Van Hoonacker, 1994, p. 592

tactic of resilience, not so much with a direct political aim, but rather with an economic and social one: to supply and distribute food and regulate the fluctuation of food prices, to obtain grants, help to find jobs, etc. Protesting mayors, aldermen or council members were either replaced by German ones or severely punished. In France, in particular, many municipalities remained incomplete during wartime, with mayor or council members being mobilized or replaced by German officials (Nivet 2013). In addition to the substitution of competences, the means of communication between old and new governing bodies as well as between the latter and the citizens profoundly changed during wartime. The Germans promulgated their laws and decrees in three languages (German, French and Flemish) in an official bulletin: Gesetz-­und Verordnungsblatt für die okkupierte Gebiete Belgiens,4 made use of text posters to inform and instruct the population, and interacted with local governors. Obviously, promulgations, posters and direct interaction needed language mediation as well, since the local administrations or their citizens and the German occupant hardly mastered all other’s languages. 115

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Language mediation In 1914, Belgium had evolved into an officially bilingual country, with two languages, French and Flemish,5 endowed with the same rights in a number of domains, and with still unequal rights in a number of other domains. At the same time, Belgium had acquired a long-­standing expertise of interlingual mediation between both languages. Notably, during the so-­called French and Dutch periods (1795–1814 and 1815–1830), interlingual translation penetrated systematically all spheres of public communication. Ensuingly, after the foundation of Belgium in 1830 and during the entire 19th century, translation remained a most used tool of exchange at the state, provincial and local levels. Translation was an instrument to allow citizens to access legal information written in a language they did not master. It benefited from its flexibility: as before and after the 19th century, it did not have fixed standards or rules, it did not have a language of its own, a content of its own or a value of its own, and it went frequently unnoticed. This flexibility rendered it innocuous but also resourceful, by serving the purpose of other practices more heavily burdened with responsibility and more openly visible in the public space: education and learning, religion, justice, cinema, etc. No doubt, translators and other mediators must have been aware to some extent of the instrumental function attached to these services; nevertheless, they did not systematically comment upon them, nor did they always properly distinguish between translation and other interlingual transfer modalities. Clearly, the impact of translations should not be overestimated historically: to the best of our knowledge, there have been no recourses in cassation (Recours en cassation) for misinterpretations and no social revolutions caused by translation issues in Belgium or France at that time. However, the history of translation in multilingual Belgium offers room for further reflection. Translation is indeed inseparable from the long-­standing Flemish aspiration for equal language rights. In spite of the freedom of language use inscribed in the Belgian Constitution of 1831,6 French was then adopted as the official language, while local authorities were free to use that right in exchanging with the citizen, even if, conversely, that citizen benefited from the same right. But since central policies continued the use of translating to provide Flemish citizens with access to the official French texts, local practices proceeded in a similar way and translated public text posters, minutes of council meetings, regulations and other institutional texts, in addition to oral interpreting, paraphrase and other transfer techniques during official meetings. Secretaries or volunteers who lacked translating skills and legal expertise, and thus yielded criticism, among others, in the local press and during the council meetings, made these translations. Later on, pleas against translation favoured claims for the use of a single language, i.e., Flemish. One of the first results of these claims was the 1878 law (22 May) introducing a territorial language principle and compulsory bilingualism for officials in Flanders (Clement 2003: 198). Yet, the 1878 law did not suppress the principle of language freedom invoked by Francophone local civil servants in many places in Flanders. Nor did it suppress the recourse to translation during meetings, or the production of bilingual text posters. In fact, the legal framework resulted in a variety of multilingual language practices in Flemish cities: some turned to monolingual Flemish, whereas others handled oral and written bilingualism and translation, although in a hidden way. This is the language situation faced by the Germans when they invaded Belgium and Flanders in particular: that of a complex bilingual setting, with Flemish, a Germanic language, still claiming more rights, and with standing translation and multilingual practices. Logically, in their dream of expansion, the Germans aimed at harnessing Belgium’s Flemish part by 116

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sustaining the Flemish aspiration towards a further recognition and officialization of their language in fields such as administration, education, justice and the army. These efforts somehow converged into a so-­called Flamenpolitik (Flemish policy) intended to entrench deeply the German presence in Belgium, and in the longer run integrate Flanders in a pan-­Germanic state (Grossdeutschland). As a consequence, the Germans imposed, in 1916, a number of decrees on Flemishification of the primary schooling and of the University of Ghent. Also, an attempt was made the same year to improve the use of Flemish in administrative matters, by publishing a memorandum in the Gesetz-­und Verordnungsblatt für die okkupierte Gebiete Belgiens (n° 253, 13 September 1916). Nonetheless, the so-­called Flemish activists who supported the trend towards Flemishification hoped for stronger signals by the German authorities. The most radical among them even made a plea to create a new legislative body called the Council of Flanders (Raad van Vlaanderen), the forerunner of an autonomous Flemish State (although the Germans never nurtured the idea of a Council with full legislative power7). At any rate, the Council, founded in February 1917, became a much more powerful instrument to achieve the activists’ ambitions. For our purpose, it is imperative to note that the Council of Flanders prepared new decrees concerning the language use (and its control and sanction) in local administration. One of these had a great impact: the decree of 9 August 1917 on the official language to be used in Flanders. In its first article, the decree gives this role to Flemish only: De Vlaamsche taal is in het Vlaamsch bestuursgebied de eenige ambtelijke taal van al de overheden, ambtenaren en beambten van den Staat, de provincies en de gemeenten, evenals van dezer inrichtingen en instellingen,—de scholen en onderwijsgestichten, alsook het onderwijzend personeel.8 (Gesetz-­und Verordnungsblatt für die okkupierte Gebiete Belgiens, 2 September 1917, n°387) The second article specifies that the use of Flemish is compulsory for all oral and written communications, both within and between administrations, and with the public, including all acts of public communication (text posters, announcements, etc.). The effects of this decree were immediately visible in the Etappengebiet, where all communication channels were controlled by Germans, who nevertheless relied on existing local administrations for the transmission of information among the public, through posters and oral communication.

Translation practices Since legislative and executive power was transferred to the German occupant in the Etappengebiet, the new instrument to inform citizens of the decisions taken became the Gesetz-­ und Verordnungsblattes für die okkupierten Gebiete Belgiens. But the task division between the military and civil powers as well as the complex geopolitical situations of the occupied zones urged the Germans to design appropriate modes of public information at local levels. One of these consisted of monolingual, bilingual or multilingual text posters for the purpose of distributing separate ordinances (Verordnungen) addressing issues that concerned the population. These came on top of the habitual tools handled by the local administration in Belgium and in France. Ordinances were either printed and posted, or orally proclaimed. In addition, Germans turned the local administrators and the locally elected representatives into mediators conveying German decisions, threats and actions. The two modes of governing through language for which ample 117

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material sources are available are the minutes of local council meetings and the outward communication (through text posters and the like). All imply translation in the broad sense. In the following, we will have a closer look at five municipalities, two in the Marinegebiet (Bruges and Ostend), one in the Etappengebiet (Kortrijk), one in the free zone (Poperinge) and one in adjacent France (Lille). Bruges is the capital of the province and has the highest number of inhabitants (51,000 in 1900, of which 61% are literate9). Ostend is a seaside town, at a distance of some 23 kilometres from Bruges. It is comparable to Kortrijk (see below) in terms of demography (39,000 inhabitants in 1900, of which 66% are literate10). Kortrijk is a city of approximate 33,000 inhabitants (1900 census) of which 61% are literate, and 99% are Belgians.11 It is located at some 10 kilometres from the French border. Poperinge is a smaller city of approximate 11,000 inhabitants (of which 66% are literate),12 located at some 40 kilometres north from Kortrijk and at some 10 kilometres from the French border. Lille is the prefecture of the Nord Department and counted, in 1911, 217,807 inhabitants,13 part of which consisted of Flemish immigrants. It is at some 25 kilometres from the Belgian border.

Text posters Bilingual text posters with messages printed side by side continued a long-­standing tradition copied from the Austrian or French regimes. They formed the means of communication par excellence at the time of the First World War. After all, when the German enemy entered the country, the press was immediately severely restrained. Communication with the population from that moment on to the liberation of the city more than four years later mainly went through these posters, used to inform the population about the weal and woe of war and the consequences of the struggle for humans and animals. They clearly outlined the goings-­on within the city and gave a strong picture of the behaviour that the occupier of the population expected. Posters were a crucial means for Germans to make their language visible to a great number of people, and thus included translation in Flemish and French. A  number of discursive and material means provided not only visibility but also hierarchy between the languages exposed. The common procedure for local text posters was the following: the local commander ordered the mayor to translate a German message, to return it for control to his office and then to post it.14 The following contains an overview of German policies elaborated in the municipalities of the three zones, Lille included.

Kortrijk and Bruges The typical author or responsible editor of the poster in pre-­occupied cities was the local mayor. Yet, the same attribution remained in place after 1914, the mayor being constrained to this sort of loyalty towards the occupant: 40% in Kortrijk and up to 65% of the posters printed and placarded in Bruges were signed by the mayor or another official, rather than by a German officer (in which case the responsibility was mostly entrusted to the local commander). The language distribution until the occupation was either Flemish only or French-­Flemish, as with the following example (Figure 7.2). Upon arrival of the Germans, trilingual posters became the norm, as with the next example (Figure 7.3). Yet, the situation changed rapidly. Already in 1915, bilingual German-­Flemish posters started to be distributed and became largely predominant during the longest part of the war (Figures 7.4 and 7.5). By contrast, in the free zone bilingual French-­Flemish posters remained in use (Figure 7.6). 118

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Figure 7.2 A bilingual Flemish-­French text poster of Bruges (PROBAT BE PAWV A/A./469)

Figure 7.3  A  trilingual German-­ Flemish-­ French text poster of Bruges (PROBAT BE PAWV A/A./483) 119

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Figure 7.4  A  bilingual German-­ Flemish text poster of Kortrijk (Verordnung Kortrijk 1916,

Figure 7.5 A  bilingual German-­Flemish text poster of Ostend (Bekanntmachung Oostende 1916, Beeldbank De Haan) 120

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Figure 7.6 A bilingual Flemish-­French text poster of Veurne (PROBAT BE PAWV A/A./2217)

After October 1918, bilingual French-­Flemish posters made their reappearance in all cities concerned. Also, they were signed by the mayor only. In a sense, since the use of French-­Flemish language distribution was largely familiar to the local population, the dominant position of German must have been experienced as a way of discarding the past, especially because German took the left place, which is that of the original, written in the place of the formerly dominant French language. It is difficult to evaluate the reading experiences of contemporaries, but the generic format of the text seems to have been primarily informative (93% are named ‘Berichten’ [announcements] in Bruges, 83% in Kortrijk,15 based on the available material).

Lille Lille was both considered and handled as a rear area and an operational one. The policies just described applied with regard to the modelling of languages in posters. Bilingual German-­ French text posters or even monolingual German posters addressing German soldiers added to the traditional monolingual posters that continued to be printed and placarded. Translations clearly reproduced the hierarchy between German and French authorities: the target text reflected the source text, and to some extent was also placed under the same authority, as happened currently with monolingual French posters. It was unclear whether translations were systematically made by the municipality or by the Kommandantur. Here is a sample from April 1918 (Figure 7.7). 121

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Figure 7.7 A bilingual German-­French text poster of Lille (Archives municipales de Lille: affiche 4H/17/350)

Unmistakably, bilingual posters assigned language and translation the same performative value, both being equal expressions of the same military authority. In other terms, they were a way of inciting the French population to adapt to the new regime. Their impact must have been substantial given that the national language policy of the French had long since been monolingual, at the exclusion of Flemish, the language of large migrant communities. Furthermore, a closer comparative analysis of source and target would no doubt reveal a high degree of variation as well. First, even if literal rendering was a typical feature of bilingual posters, some did not ensure full correspondence, for example, when some items of the message addressed German readers only. Second, format and style were far from homogeneous: ‘Belgian’ French and ‘French’ French were quite dissimilar, especially when it came to the macrostructural features of decisions and decrees and the phrasing and terminology of legal and administrative language. In addition, local decision making always yielded some variations in structure and style of information in comparison with, for example, the trilingual posters issued by the General Government in Brussels. Finally, phrasing was also dependent on the skills of the translators, or the demands and control on the side of the authorities.

Minutes of city council meetings Local administrations and especially city councils with elected members were institutions of representative democracy and managed all matters of local interest (police, schools, local taxation, streets and infrastructure, hospice, etc.). However, their role was strongly curtailed by the occupant, and in some cases reduced to that of a mediator, i.e., to translate, print and placard orders and information produced by the Germans. In Belgium, during the decades preceding the war, city councils were breeding places for a growing number of elected Flemings soliciting the recognition and public use of their language 122

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as equivalent to official French. After a long period of monolingualism, an array of multilingual and translation practices made their entrance, all influenced by varying parameters, such as the social composition and economic wealth of the municipality (elites were generally Francophone), its location (municipalities close to the French border had a higher percentage of Francophones) and its size (bigger municipalities had a higher degree of migrants). What happened during war: Did these debates on language continue, change or stop? Did free and occupied zones impact language choice and combination?

Poperinge Poperinge, a city located in the free zone, remained largely Francophone for the longest part of the 19th century, with monolingual minutes until 1895. From 1896 on, a rather late moment in comparison with other municipalities of the same province (D’hulst 2020), deliberations in the council came to be noted in Flemish only, while French remained in use, either in quoted passages of documents or letters, or as a language of exchange with external institutions. In fact, to embed a French decision in a Flemish regulation was a subtle way to keep French alive in a language setting dominated by Flemish. Not unsurprisingly, French returned in early June 1918 (as it did in other municipalities of the province). All in all, it thus seems that in the free zone, the language and translation practices did not change during occupation, while the return to French might be understood as a national reaction against Flemish activism. However, Flemish became the main language of communication from March 1919 onwards.

Bruges As elsewhere, French had been the language of local administration since 1830, yet debates on the use or translation of Flemish frequently popped up from the 1870s onwards (D’hulst 2020: 98ff.). The minutes of the council meetings, printed as yearbooks from 1840 onwards, testify to the different themes that launched or heated such debates: stenographic versions were made of French interventions only; monolingual documents were distributed in French only; literal Flemish translations of French street names lost any reference to their old Flemish and more familiar predecessors. Solutions offered were equally numerous. These debates went on until the first decade of the 20th century, while in 1912, monolingual Flemish became the norm for the writing of the minutes. Nevertheless, free bilingualism, as practised by several council members, aldermen and the mayor, was tolerated and even rendered as such in the minutes. In June 1914, a long debate was raised again on the languages of the street names, with strong pleas against monolingual Flemish names by defenders of the local commerce and tourism. Bilingual names were retained by vote, yet in 1915, the German occupant replaced the latter by monolingual German ones (session of 18 October 2015). Also, the minutes contained translated German letters and orders, while in 1917, a Flemish councillor asked the substitute mayor to use Flemish in all posters issued by the local authorities. After the war, the language policy of the local administration with regard to French and Flemish did not change, i.e., the latter language was persistently regarded as the first language: a token of ‘justice’ and ‘integrity’, according to the mayor (session of 13 November 1820).

Ostend The city of Ostend is at a distance of some 23 kilometres from Bruges. Both are located in the Marinegebiet and seemingly underwent strict control by the Germans. However, the latter 123

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seemed to be more preoccupied by the language use in public communication than the language practices within the municipal council. In 1914, French was the main language of the minutes, as well as of the exchanges between council members. Flemish texts of regulations to be voted in the meetings were most frequently translations. During the first months of the war, public posters had both French and Flemish, side by side. Once the government left Belgium for Le Havre in France in October 1914, the Germans took over a few days later, introducing immediately their language as the first communicating language, followed by Flemish and French (in last position) as translating languages. It is notable that the mayor still signed a number of documents, as a mediator of the German occupant, in which case the usual order French-­Flemish was preserved, while monolingual French prevailed in the exchanges within the council, as rendered in the minutes. In early 1915, the Bulletin communal reported an embarrassing incident16: the German city commander of Ostend, Bittinger, accused the mayor and the head of administration of having deliberately mistranslated in Flemish and French the German text of a placard, by rendering ‘Flämisch (Niederdeutsch)’ as ‘Vlaamsch (Nederlandsch)’ and as ‘Flamand (Néer­ landais)’. ‘Niederdeutsch’ or Low German suggested common roots for German and Flemish, and expressed a dismissal of the Netherlands remaining neutral during the war. The head of administration was sentenced to eight days of prison, yet argued that his translation had been altered afterwards by the college of mayor and aldermen. Bittinger then sentenced the secretary of that college, even though the latter was deprived of voting rights, to three days of prison. In 1916, more German documents were left untranslated in the minutes, in which case they were introduced by a few introductory sentences in either French or Flemish. However, decisions taken by the Germans that opposed the views of the council were given in both French and Flemish translations, made ‘as exactly as possible’ (Ostend. Bulletin communal, 28 March 1916, p. 143). While quoting German was a tactic of discarding, translating German rather seemed to be a tactic of self-­legitimation of the council’s actions in front of the reading public, a concern further sustained by pleas such as: I urge you paternally and in the interest of the City of Ostend to do the impossible to satisfy the requirements of the German military authority, in order to spare the City even more serious difficulties than those we already have met. (ibid., p. 145) Occasionally, German commander Fischer and his interpreter Meyer took part in the council meetings, in which case Fischer’s replies were rendered in German only: ‘Das geht nicht hier von der Politik zu sprechen; das geht nicht. Von “La Belgique” und von “la guerre” sollen Sie hier nicht sprechen’17 (ibid., p. 149). French remained the major language of deliberation until the session of 14 February 1917, which allotted a more prominent place to Flemish, including in the name of the bulletin, a transition made without any announcement. Yet, while the decisions consigned in the minutes were in Flemish, the exchanges between council members continued to be rendered in the language of the speakers (a majority of Francophones), following Article 23 of the Constitution, and in spite of the Taalverordening of 1917. The Germans seemingly tolerated this situation. Yet, the session of 21 December 1918 saw the return of monolingual French in the title of the bulletin and many documents, while Flemish-­speaking council members persisted in using Flemish. 124

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Kortrijk Before the war, the landscape of language practices underwent a number of changes, mostly restrictions imposed on the free choice of language in institutional exchanges, resulting in a set of modes of co-­presence of French and Flemish and of translation envisaged as a mediating tool (D’hulst 2017). During the first years of the war, the minutes were written in both languages. As elsewhere, a change was made in 1917: the public session of 19 September of that year was reported in Flemish only. What happened after the war? Minutes turned to monolingual French in 1919, with rare exceptions in Flemish. What is striking is that in contrast with the pre-­war period witnessing frequent debates on language use, the return to French passed smoothly without comment, as if the language remained too strongly associated with the political activism and the German Flamenpolitik. Noteworthy are the changes imposed by a law of 31 July 1921 that regulated in more detail the language practices in the municipalities of Flanders, by imposing Flemish as the sole language for internal communication, still allowing the municipal council to ‘add’ French for all matters that fell under the latter’s competence, e.g., the meetings of the municipal council. During a meeting of early 1922, the council decided on the following: public messages will be given in the two languages, ordinances will be translated into French, while the minutes of the meetings will be in Flemish only. Flemish members asked the Francophone to be indulgent and speak Flemish.

Lille As elsewhere, the role of the municipal council had been eroded, as were the debates on what was euphemistically circumscribed as ‘the events’ (les événements) or ‘the circumstances’ (les circonstances). The tone resembled that of a free governing body, typified by its style, monolingualism and apparent neutrality, even when it came to take into account the dramatic effects for the local population of German requisitions of food, houses, tobacco and so on. Even more, the minutes did not depart from their seeming neutrality when mentioning punishment, as with the following passage: ‘M. le Colonel Coppel qui a occupé la Ville du 3 au 5 septembre a exigé une contribution de guerre de 252.312 fr. 50 pour un article paru dans le journal “La Croix” jugé injurieux pour les troupes allemandes’18 (Lille: Conseil municipal. Procès-­verbaux des séances, 30 January 1917, p. 10). During the same session, it was mentioned that an act of violence directed against German police officers was penalized by the German commander. The mayor reacted by letter against the penalty. The minutes rendered the full correspondence with the German authorities, however in French only: ‘Nous sommes condamnés sans avoir pu nous défendre. Je n’ai aucun moyen d’en appeler de ce jugement et suis forcé de le subir, mais ce ne sera pas sans avoir élevé une énergique protestation’19 (Lille: Conseil municipal. Procès-­verbaux des séances, 30 January 1917, p. 18). Translating German allowed the readers to access the message but also to incite hatred for the occupant as well as back the mayor’s position. In addition, since the beginnings of the war (29 October 1914), the mayor, the prefect and the bishop were obliged to meet on a daily basis with the German commander, who transmitted also ordinances in German that had to be translated, printed and distributed (Salson 2014: 327–328). In a few cases, interpreters on both sides mediated between the two parties. Interpretation was similarly asymmetric but had a larger coverage and a double directionality, which seems to suggest that neither the German nor the French had an elaborated policy at 125

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hand. There was no room for debate nor for public participation. On the contrary, it is striking to see how the asymmetry between both parties marked the techniques used. On the side of the French, one could interpret the use of interpreting as a tactic of resilience; translation was the small ridge that allowed the French to preserve their own discursive space. Conversely, the Germans using French or interpreting into French seemed to hold out a hand, but such cases did not set the standard. On the contrary, the translator (in this case, Brackers d’Hugo, the adjunct mayor) registered and rendered simply the turns by the formula: X says, declares, notes, adds, etc., reducing communication to its phatic function, as with the following example related to prohibition to hold pigeons: M. le Général von Graevenitz indique que malgré tous les avertissements antérieurement donnés, M. le Conseiller de guerre signale que des personnes possèdent encore des pigeons et que 5 infractions ont été constatées. M. le Capitaine Staelin dit que l’Autorité allemande, ayant la liste de tous les amateurs affiliés à la Fédération, des perquisitions ont lieu chez eux. M. le Maire ajoute qu’il y a encore des pigeons qui volètent sur la Grand-­Place, mais M. le Capitaine Staelin dit que ces pigeons n’ont pas pu être capturés. (Comptes rendus des conférences tenues à la Kommandantur, 29 décembre 1914, Even communication about communication (or in the following case: non-­communication) was presented in a similar fashion, as on 22 May 1915: M. l’Interprète de la Commandature fait savoir, dans l’antichambre, à Mgr. Charost et à M.M. Anjubault et Ch. Delesalle, que M. le Général Von Graevenitz n’a rien à dire aujourd’hui et leur demande si, de leur côté, ils ont quelque observation à présenter. Sur leur réponse négative la conférence n’a pas lieu. La prochaine conférence aura lieu le mardi 25 mai 1915. (Comptes rendus des conférences tenues à la Kommandantur, http://archives. The French resuming these debates in their report testified to the exceptional position that was theirs: since the French Revolution, monolingualism ruled council meetings in spite of the multilingual composition of the population of the Nord Department.22 A perfect mastery of French was concomitant with Republican citizenship: to face Germans and their language has been a traumatic experience.

Conclusion Traditionally, local language policies have fitted both the central regulations imposed by the State and the local views and practices transmitted by custom. From the 19th century and upcoming nationalism on, these policies faced quite complex tensions between monolingual claims, plurilingual and translational conventions. All the same, they bore witness to a rising awareness of and concern for language and translation issues that in the longer run challenged the self-­evident dominance of one language over another as well as encouraged the search for recognition by minority languages. The tensions experienced at the local level were less prominent or at least did not give way to debates as extensive as those of Parliament and national press that cropped up in national 126

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politics, in ministries and Parliament (Nouws 2019). But they nevertheless affected and transformed long-­term multilingual and interlingual communication routines into questioned and renegotiated practices that offer room for thoughts about symbolic matters such as national and ethnic identity. Even more, they point at the upcoming embedding of language and translation issues in the larger legal, institutional and political emancipation of the Flemish part of Belgium. Conversely, these tensions also sustain the view on everyday translation as a basic, deeply engrained, set of habitualized reactions to multilingual communication settings. These tensions are made conspicuous in urban and more in particular local institutional modes of exchange between citizens and authorities. Even extremely disturbing situations such as wartime and occupation allow the survival of existing patterns, default policies as a bottom line of communication, which brings us to the heart of the translation phenomenon: What may explain its chameleonic nature? The fact that it easily adapts to many different situations and practices because it does not have by itself a solid status or identity? All the same, the preceding may help to explain the postwar return to previous multilingual and translation regimes. It does not seem that the passage of the Germans has thoroughly changed the existing practices of multilingual exchanges in Flemish towns and those of monolingual administration in the French city of Lille, at least not in the short term and not when multilingual communication and translation are viewed in isolation. Replaced in its broader national context, which reconnected more closely language and translation policy and Flamenpolitik, ethnic Flemish activism came under heavy attack after the war, before gaining ground again during the Second World War (Vanacker 2006). Nonetheless, more is needed to understand the fate of language and translation in a multilingual society such as Belgium: a comprehensive view on public policy integrating social and legal issues such as civil rights, representative democracy and citizens’ participation (cf. Hlavac et al. 2018). Such a comprehensive view should be historical by vocation and take more firmly into account short-­term translation practices together with long-­term views and customs.

Further reading Pennycook, Alastair (2010) Language as a Local Practice, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Foregrounds the idea that language is a social and spatial activity, expressing relationships of power, while being embedded in changing cultural and political frameworks Spolsky, Bernard (ed.) (2012) The Cambridge Handbook of Language Policy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Offers a survey of the three interconnected aspects of language policy, i.e., principles of language management, beliefs about language use and varieties, and language practices

Notes 1 Later replaced by Ludwig Freiherr von Falkenhausen. 2 I am grateful to Tim Piceu for his help with the adaptation of this map. 3 For more details, see Von Kohler 1927. 4 Several other bulletins have been added later (cf. Pirenne and Vauthier 1925: XIV). In France, there was no equivalent legal bulletin specifically designed for the occupied zones. 5 I will use the term ‘Flemish’ to qualify Southern Dutch: it is the term used by most actors in the 19th and early 20th centuries. 6 Art. 23: L’emploi des langues usitées en Belgique est facultatif; il ne peut être réglé que par la loi et seulement pour les actes de l’autorité publique et pour les affaires judiciaires (Translation: The use of the languages employed in Belgium is free; it can only be regulated by law and only with regard to acts of public authority and legal matters). 127

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7 The defeat of the German army in November 1918 marked the end of the Council. 8 Translation: The Flemish language is, in the Flemish part of Belgium, the only administrative language of all authorities, officials or employees of the State, the provinces and municipalities as well as the schools depending from the latter and the teaching staff. 9 Source: (accessed 4 September 2018). 10 Source: (accessed 4 September 2018). 11 Source: (accessed 4 September 2018). 12 Source: (accessed 4 September 2018). 13 Source: (accessed 14 February 2020). 14 Cf. a letter by the commander of Ostend Bittinger to the mayor: ‘Anliegende Bekanntmachung ist zweisprachig in Druck zu geben, zur Durchsicht hier einzureichen und dann öffentlich anzuheften. 6 Exemplare sind hierher vorzulegen’ (Ostend, Bulletin communal, 1 February 1916, p. 10). Translation: The attached notice must be printed in bilingual form, submitted here for review and then placarded for the public. 6 copies must be presented here. 15 These figures are based on the available, necessarily incomplete material. 16 See also D’hulst 2020: 101. 17 Translation: It will not do to talk about politics here, it will not. Here, you are not allowed to speak about ‘Belgium’ and ‘war’. 18 Translation: Colonel Coppel, who had occupied the city between 3 and 5 September has requested a war contribution of 252,312.50 fr. for an article in the journal La Croix that is considered insulting for the German troops. 19 Translation: We are condemned without being able to defend ourselves. I have no way of appealing this judgment and am forced to endure it, but it will not be without raising an energetic protest. 20 Translation: General von Graevenitz says that despite all the warnings previously given, the War Councillor reported that people still had pigeons and that 5 offences had been found. Captain Staelin says that the German Authority, having a list of all amateurs affiliated with the Federation, had searches taken place at their homes. The Mayor adds that there are still pigeons flying on the Grand Place, but Captain Staelin says that these pigeons could not be captured. 21 Translation: In the antechamber, Mr. Interpreter of the Kommandantur indicates to Bishop Charost and Mr. M. Anjubault and Ch. Delesalle that Mr. General Von Graevenitz has nothing to say today and asks them whether they have any observations to make. On their negative response, the conference does not take place. The next conference will take place on Tuesday, May 25, 1915. 22 Due to both Flemish migrants and ethnic Flemings (D’hulst 2020).

References Primary sources Websites https://encyclopedia.1914-­1918-­ https://www2.landesarchiv-­ https://probat.west-­

Archives Bruges: Stadsbibliotheek, Bulletin Communal/Gemeenteblad, 1914–1918 (Local government bulletin of Bruges, 1914–1918). 128

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Kortrijk: Modern stadsarchief, Verslagen van de Gemeenteraad, 1914–1918 (Minutes of the city council of Kortrijk, 1914–1918). Lille: Conseil municipal. Procès-­verbaux des séances. Lille: Imprimerie Delemar & Dubar, 2017. Ostend: Archief van de stad Oostende, Bulletin communal, 1914–1918 (Local government bulletin of Ostend, 1914–1918). Poperinge: Archieven van de stad Poperinge, Notulen Gemeenteraad, 1914–1919 (Minutes of the town council of Poperinge, 1914–1919).

Secondary sources Billig, Michael (1995) Banal Nationalism, London: Sage. Charle, Christophe (2008) Théâtres en capitales, naissance de la société du spectacle à Paris, Berlin, Londres et Vienne, 1860–1914, Paris: Éditions Albin Michel. Clement, Jan (2003) Taalvrijheid, bestuurstaal en minderheidsrechten. Het Belgisch model: een constitutionele zoektocht naar de oorsprong van het territorialiteitsbeginsel en de minderheidsrechten in de bestuurstaalwetgeving, Antwerpen: Intersententia. Cronin, Michael and Sherry Simon (2014) ‘Introduction: The city as translation zone’, Translation Studies 7(2): 119–132. Declercq, Christophe and Julian Walker (eds.) (2016) Languages and the First World War: Representation and Memory, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Declercq, Elien and Lieven D’hulst (2010) ‘The fate of a migrant language in Northern France (1880– 1914): Flemish in song repertoire’, International Journal of Multilingualism 7(3): 255–268. De Schaepdrijver, Sophie (2013) De Groote Oorlog. Het Koninkrijk België tijdens de Eerste Wereldoorlog, Antwerpen: Houtekiet. D’hulst, Lieven (2017) ‘In Vlaanderen Vlaams? Bestuurlijke meertaligheid en vertaling in Kortrijk (1830–1914)’, De Leiegouw 59(1): 101–123. D’hulst, Lieven (2020) ‘Mediating Flemish: Local language and translation policies on the French-­ Belgian border’, in Lieven D’hulst and Kaisa Koskinen (eds.) Translating in Town: Local Translation Policies during the European 19th Century, London: Bloomsbury, 91–114. D’hulst, Lieven and Kaisa Koskinen (eds.) (2020) Translating in Town: Local Translation Policies During the European 19th Century, London: Bloomsbury. Hlavac, Jim, Adolfo Gentile, Marc Orlando, Emiliano Zucchi and Ari Pappas (2018) ‘Translation as a sub-­set of public and social policy and a consequence of multiculturalism: The provision of translation and interpreting services in Australia’, International Journal of the Sociology of Language 251: 55–88. Meylaerts, Reine (2018) ‘The politics of translation in multilingual states’, in Fruela Fernández and Jonathan Evans (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Politics, Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 221–237. Nivet, Philippe (2013) ‘Les municipalités en temps de guerre (1814–1944)’, Parlement[s], Revue d’histoire politique 20(2): 67–88. Nouws, Bieke (2019) ‘Van de woede der Noormannen en vertalers verlos ons heer!’ Opvattingen over vertaling en juridisch vertaalbeleid in België, 1830–1914 (Unpublished doctoral dissertation), Leuven: KU Leuven. Pirenne, Jacques and Maurice Vauthier (1925) La législation et l’administration allemandes en Belgique, Paris: Presses universitaires de France. Roolf, Christoph (2015) ‘Generalgouvernement Belgien’, in Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer and Bill Nasson (eds.) 1914–1918-­online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin, DOI: 10.15463/ie1418.10621 (accessed 10 February 2020). Salama-­Carr, Myriam (2007) Translating and Interpreting Conflict, Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi. Salson, Philippe (2014) ‘1914–1918. Les années grises: L’expérience des civils dans l’Aisne occupée’, https://tel.archives-­­01084748 (accessed 5 February 2020). 129

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Simon, Sherry (2012) Cities in Translation: Intersections of Language and Memory, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Vanacker, Daniël (2006) Het activistisch avontuur, Ghent: Academia Press. Von Kohler, Ludwig (1927) Die Staatsverwaltung der besetzten Gebiete, Erster Band, Belgien, Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlag Anstallt. Winter, Jay and Jean-­Louis Robert (eds.) (1996) Capital Cities at war, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Witte, Els and Harry Van Velthoven (1998) Strijden om taal. De Belgische taalkwestie in historisch perspectief, Brussels: VUBpress. Wolf, Michaela (2015) The Habsburg Monarchy’s Many-­Languaged Soul: Translating and Interpreting, 1848–1918, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Wolf, Michaela (ed.) (2016) Interpreting in Nazi Concentration Camps. With an Essay by Primo Levi, New York: Bloomsbury.


8 Urban translation and the 2020 Tokyo Games Patrick Heinrich

Introduction When Tokyo hosted the Summer Olympics in 1964, the event was seen as a welcome opportunity to present a new and peaceful Japan. The 1964 Olympics paved the way for Japan’s postwar economic development and its renewed global integration. The expectations for the ‘return’ of the Olympics and Paralympics in 2020 (henceforth, the ‘Tokyo Games’, ‘Tokyo 2020’ or ‘2020 Games’) have been equally high. For the 2020 Games—planned to be held in 2021 due to the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic of 2020—the intention is to show the world that ‘Japan is back’ after decades of economic stagnation and the triple disaster of Fukushima in 2011. The Games are also seen as an occasion to present Tokyo as a cosmopolitan city and Japan as a multicultural society (Robson 2016: 55). In short, Tokyo 2020 presents an opportunity to project a new image of the city (and Japan) to a global public. The Tokyo Games are also seen as an opportunity to transform Tokyo, and to use the case of Japan’s capital as a blueprint for changes across Japan (Ichikawa 2015). This desire already manifests in the slogan that accompanied Tokyo’s Olympic bid, which stated that ‘it is now that Japan needs the power of this dream’ (ima, nippon ni wa kono yume no chikara ga hitsuyō da) (TOCOPG 2012). Two questions come immediately to mind when reflecting on the 2020 Games. What does Japan want to achieve by hosting the Games? In addition, will the 2020 Games be a similar success in their transformational potential as the 1964 Games were? The response to the first question is partly formulated in the campaigns that rationalized Tokyo’s bid to host the Games. These answers are also prominently reproduced in the preparation for the megaevent. Three core concepts characterize its official vision: ‘Achieving personal best’, ‘unity in diversity’ and ‘connecting to tomorrow’ (TOCOPG 2019). In the language of the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo Organizing Committee, the 2020 Games are also meant to produce a legacy. This legacy is to be at the same time of a sportive, spiritual, cultural, social, environmental and economic nature. At least at the level of official rhetoric, expectations for the Tokyo Games are sky-­high. The aim to create a social legacy merits particular attention for the topic of urban translation. The Bureau of Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 Preparation intends to ‘create an intercultural society where foreign residents can participate and be successful to 131

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realizing a Tokyo where everybody can live a lively and rich life’, and it seeks to ‘create a supportive, inclusive society for all people based on mutual respect’ (BOPGTP 2016: 28). This chapter examines linguistic aspects of this objective, in particular issues of language policy and planning and its manifestation in the linguistic landscape of Tokyo. Language crucially contributes to the specific feel of a city. Every urban conglomerate feels city-­like and simultaneously has something specific that sets it apart from other cities. For our case here, there is a sense of Tokyoness, or Tokyorashisa in Japanese, that can be experienced and that is permanently recreated (Heinrich 2019). This linguistically constituted Tokyoness is not to be confused with the vision of Tokyo that underlies the language planning for the 2020 Games. This discrepancy between what I  call here the language ecology of Tokyo and the envisioned and implemented linguistic order in the linguistic landscape is bridged by a process of urban translation. Translation in this chapter draws loosely on translation sociology, where the emphasis is placed on the envisioned outcomes of translation processes (Collon 1986). In more concrete terms, urban translation is caused by a felt necessity to ‘conduct the conduct’ of a dense, diverse and mobile urban population. Although the idea of urban translation is solely created for the sake of discussing the case of the 2020 Games in this chapter, I would like to offer the following working definition and research agenda: • •

Urban translation refers to activities of orchestrating conduct in public space that is necessitated by the diversity and mobility of urban dwellers with the aim to mediate potential conflicts that may arise as an effect of this diversity and mobility. Research into urban translation addresses the specific choices and outcomes of orchestrating conduct in public space, the assumptions that guide them, as well as the tensions and contradictions that exist between the objectives, outcomes and the underlying assumptions of urban translation.

Discussing the envisioned effects of urban translation in Tokyo requires some basic knowledge about Tokyo such as its demographic and linguistic composition. I will therefore first present a brief portrayal of the city, before turning to language planning for the 2020 Games. In the last part, I will discuss the contradictions that emerge between ecology and planning and its implications for Tokyo’s diverse public as a process of urban translation.

Tokyo’s language ecology Although defined as a global city along the likes of New York and London by scholars of urban studies already three decades ago (Sassen 1991), Tokyo remains to be seen as an atypical global city to this very day. The main reasons are its comparatively small share of migrants and the fact that the city shows relatively little traces of cosmopolitan culture (White 2011). As we noted earlier, the Olympics represent a welcome occasion to correct this image. It is a stated objective to project a picture of Tokyo as cosmopolitan and multicultural to the outside world. This objective is entirely new for Japan, as it had preferred to present itself as a monocultural society ever since the loss of its colonies in 1945 (Oguma 2002). However, the self-­invented myth of Japan as a monolingual and monocultural nation has been silently crumbling for decades, and its correction is long overdue. For one, the diversification of Japanese society has been continuously advancing (Nakane et al. 2015), and also Japanese ethnolinguistic minorities have become more vocal and therefore more visible and difficult to explain away (Heinrich 2012; Heinrich and Galan 2011).


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Tokyo has seen dramatic changes since it last hosted the Summer Games in 1964. The population of Greater Tokyo stood at 20 million in 1964, and it is 37 million today. Half of its population was 25 years or younger in 1964, but this median age is now 47 years. Japan’s capital city hosts a much older society and, as a matter of fact, its population is since 2020 in decline as an effect of these demographic changes. There were fewer than 10,000 foreign residents in Tokyo in 1964, versus half a million today. Tokyo received 12 million tourist visits in 2019, and an additional one million are predicted to come specifically for the Games. Tokyo was not a popular tourist destination in 1964, and there is no data available on the number of tourists in the city then. Today, 40 million people arrive with international flights at Haneda and Narita Airport every year. Tokyo is also home to an ever-­growing number of Japanese who have worked, studied or lived abroad, and to international couples and their bilingual children. The stereotype of a linguistically and culturally homogenous Japanese society is hard to uphold for contemporary Tokyo (Heinrich and Yamashita 2018). Tokyo’s ongoing internationalization also manifests in the fact that 51 Fortune 500 companies have offices in the city today, and that more than 75% of the foreign-­affiliated companies in Japan are located there. Also, Japanese global companies such as Sony, Hitachi, Canon, NTT DoCoMo, Rakuten or Casio have their headquarters in Tokyo, making Greater Tokyo the largest urban economy of the world (Tokyo Bureau of Industrial and Labor Affairs 2017). Tokyo’s growth into the world’s largest urban conglomerate and its many multinational ties also leaves linguistic traces. Heide Imai (2018: 1) starts her book on Tokyo with the following words: ‘If the streets of Tokyo could talk, we would hear of crowds and emptiness; tradition and modernity; old and new; mess and order; and unexpected and familiar encounters that change with every street corner one turns onto’. One would also hear many different languages—the languages of tens of thousands of Ryukyuans and more than 5,000 Ainus who migrated from the extreme south and north of the Japanese Archipelago to Tokyo (Aniya 1989; Watson 2014) and also the languages of Koreans and Chinese nationals who arrived in Tokyo already at the end of the 19th century (Maher and Yashiro 1995). The number of foreign residents that have arrived since the 1990s when immigration laws were changed in Japan has been steadily growing (Otomo 2019). In 1990, 220,000 foreign nationals were registered in Tokyo, but this number grew in the past five years alone from 394,000 in 2014 to 567,789 (Ministry of Justice 2019). The foreign population that moved to Tokyo since the 1990s are called newcomers in Japan. These migrants differ from the so-­called oldcomers in that they are more diversified and no longer silently assimilate. Tokyo’s linguistic diversity is visible and audible today (Otsuji 2019). While Korean residents once amounted to a whopping two-­thirds of the entire foreign population in Tokyo, this rate stands today at less than 20%. Chinese nationals are today the largest foreign community in Tokyo, followed by Koreans, Vietnamese, Filipinos, Nepalese, Taiwanese, Indians, and Myanmar and Thailand nationals (Tokyo Metropolitan Government 2018). The presence of Asian migrants and residents and their languages crucially contribute to the feel of Tokyoness in the city. It is also noted in this context that the aforementioned countries are in themselves linguistically diverse. If we add up the number of languages spoken in these nine countries, one arrives at more than 1,000 languages (Eberhard et al. 2019). If adding the 12 million tourists who visit Tokyo every year (at the moment of writing this chapter) to these foreign residents, one can safely estimate that several hundred different languages may be present at any time in contemporary Tokyo, the vast majority of them being Asian languages. Tokyo’s and Japan’s ongoing and increasingly manifest linguistic diversity notwithstanding, Japan’s language and language-­in-­education policy continues to be rooted in the debunked


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monolingual myth of Japanese society. It continues to reproduce a Japanese-­foreigner binary and does little to pave the way towards intercultural exchange, engagement and negotiation (Liddicoat 2013). English language skills remain a problem despite much effort to improve them (Seargeant 2009), and language attitudes remain often essentialist and purist (Cultural Agency 2018). Added to this are the unhinged anti-­Korean ‘hate speech’ demonstrations on the streets of Tokyo’s Koreatown in Shin-­Ōkubo in the early and mid-­2010s (Itagaki 2015) and the extremely negative perception of Chinese and Korean nationals by Japanese society today—only 26% express to ‘feel sympathy’ (shitashimi o kanjiru) for Korean nationals and 22% for Chinese nationals (Shakai Jijō Dēta Zuroku 2019)—and one cannot but arrive at the conclusion that Japan’s transformation into a multilingual and multicultural society is not advancing as smoothly as Olympic rhetoric envisions. It is fraught with contradictions and conflicts (Yasuda 2011), and present-­day Tokyo finds itself in the middle of this transformation. Tokyo is linguistically diversifying but at the same time also a site of purist, essentialist and at times even discriminatory attitudes and policies. This is why we find seemingly contradictory accounts about Tokyo. Heinrich and Yamashita (2018: 139), for instance, write that ‘Japanese minorities, overseas migrants, bilingual families, a growing number of Japanese speaking foreign languages, cosmopolitan and transnational residents are characteristic features of the city’, while Mansfield (2016: 191) portrays Tokyo as a ‘city that has denied its diversity’. Both views are not necessarily incommensurable, but an expression of ongoing change. Whatever position one takes, we run into a methodological problem of how to grasp or describe Tokyo’s transformation, because the city, or its sense of Tokyoness, is being reproduced and thereby altered every day anew. It is helpful in this context to recall how everyday life in the city evolves from a theoretical perspective. Michel de Certeau writes the following on how daily life in the city is shaped and experienced: The ordinary practitioners of the city live “down below”, below the thresholds at which visibility begins. They walk—an elementary form of this experience of the city; they are walkers. Wandersmänner, whose bodies follow the thicks and thins of an urban “text” they write without being able to read it. These practitioners make use of spaces that cannot be seen . . . The networks of these moving, intersecting writings compose a manifold story that has neither author nor spectator, shaped out of the fragments of trajectories and alterations of spaces: in relation to representations, it remains daily and indefinitely other. (de Certeau 1984: 93) To recapitulate this quote in my own words, the numerous movements and interactions of individuals shape the city, e.g., create a sense of Tokyoness in our case. Individuals simultaneously create and experience the city. This means that the city does not exist ‘by itself’ or ‘as such’, but it exists only in this mode of permanent (re)production. This mode of reproduction is in turn responsible for the fact that any city is at any time both new and familiar. Any sense of novelty also involves a constant process of becoming familiar with it. This process prompts Christine Deprez (2018: 161) to write (about Paris) that ‘in a cosmopolitan city you feel like a stranger even if you are native to the city’. The metropolis is lived and experienced every day anew, and its inhabitants need to be prepared, already out of necessity, to encounter new and unexpected experiences at any moment of time. If we apply these insights to the case of Tokyo, we come to understand that the novelty of Tokyo is not simply constituted by the presence of visitors or tourists, or by hosting the mega­ event of the 2020 Games. Tokyo is, after all, a city that grew from one million inhabitants in 134

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the 1870s to 37 million today. This means that it has always been incorporating ‘strangers’, and that this crucially contributes to the sense of Tokyoness one experiences (and creates) there. Cities are places where strangers meet. Put differently, visitors and tourists simply add further diversity and unexpectedness to that which is already in place. It is now abundantly clear that language planning and the new creation of public signs for the 2020 Games can only be a gross simplification of the creation and experience of everyday life. Tokyo’s language life is not simply hybrid and fluid, as that of any late-­modern society. It also involves a high number of different languages through which the city is lived and experienced. These languages involve Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Nepalese and other immigrant languages, Japanese Sign Language, all dialects and indigenous languages of Japan, but there are also the experiences of and encounters by blind or illiterate residents (for an ethnographic account, see e.g., Nakashima 2016). The city is thus linguistically (re)created, experienced and altered day by day in multiple ways, and therefore the city can never be fully described or have its linguistic diversity mapped somehow. Cities are forever unfinished projects, and it goes without saying that this holds also true for Tokyo, the largest city on earth.

Planning for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Language planning for the 2020 Games is ambitious. It aims to create a public sphere that is accessible to all, regardless of their linguistic background or possible linguistic and sensory disabilities. It aims to be kotoba no baria furī (linguistically free of barriers). The Games are also envisaged to provide a blueprint of how ‘to create an inclusive society where every member of society lives with respect for the rights of others, regardless of age, disability, nationality, or cultural difference, and works together’ (Tokyo Metropolitan Government 2016). The absence of linguistic barriers was also identified as one aspect where the Tokyo Olympics are expected to leave a legacy, e.g., have societal effects that remain beyond the Games themselves (TOPJK 2016). Discussions of how to create a public space free of linguistic barriers gravitated around the key terms tagengo taiō (multilingual support) and tagengo taiōryoku (abilities for multilingual support) (Ozawa 2019). Both terms do not translate easily into English—they literally mean ‘multilingual + response’ and ‘multilingual + response + strength’, respectively. The consideration of how to linguistically construct and translate the urban space for the 2020 Games was fuelled by a lingering concern that the world might perceive Japan as not sufficiently international, cosmopolitan and global (see, Atkinson 2015). This is the larger background into which all planning activities for the Tokyo Games were embedded. While Japan has by now a complex and ever-­expanding policy that regulates immigration, a rough outline of a migrant society in Japan was only published in 2018, and Japan’s once-­celebrated self-­image of a homogenous nation needed to be replaced by a new multicultural Japan theme in the process (Otomo 2019). In its ‘Comprehensive measures for acceptance and integration of foreign human resources’, the Japanese government proposes a range of objectives, identifies a number of institutions concerned (school, employment, life services, etc.) and ponders on the means of how to ‘realize a society of harmonious coexistence’ with foreign nationals (Ministry of Justice 2018: 2). It does so by acknowledging that the number of foreign visitors and residents is at a record high, and that this number needs to further grow to address Japan’s demographic problems (social aging and population decline) and to develop its burgeoning tourist industry. Urban planning in Tokyo for the 2020 Games is meant to be fully in line with these national objectives. In order to prepare for barrier-­free communication during the Olympics, the Council for Multilingual Support (Tagengo taiō kyōgikai) was set up in March 2014. It was composed of 135

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civilians and bureaucrats but involved no language experts or foreign residents. It was tasked to develop guidelines for traffic infrastructure and to assist in improving multilingual information at tourist spots and for tourist services. The Council published its ‘Basic concepts for multilingual support’ (Tagengo taiō no kihonteki na kangaekata) in 2014, and on the basis of this document a number of websites were subsequently created to assist the compilation of multilingual information, e.g., for restaurant menus (see, Tokyo Metropolitan Government n.d.). These basic concepts proposed by the Council were also to inform the language planning efforts for the 2020 Games. In concrete terms, the aim was that of ‘improving the urban environment in a way that foreign tourists could move around smoothly and have a safe and comfortable sojourn’ (TOPJK 2016: 19). We note in this context that the ‘Basic concepts for multilingual support’ addresses only the communicative needs of foreign tourists and entirely ignores the presence of foreign residents in Japan. Tourists in Japan do experience linguistic difficulties, but a survey among foreign visitors revealed that they were more troubled by the absence of free public Wi-­Fi and that communication problems ranked only second, followed by difficulties in obtaining information on public transport. The lack of foreign language information in the linguistic landscape was also identified as a problem (for a discussion of such surveys, see Kitajima 2015). In a surprising move, the Council for Multilingual Support set the default model for public information on public signs (official or in vitro linguistic landscape) for the 2020 Games to have ‘its basis in Japanese, English and pictograms’ while ‘Chinese, Korean or other languages could be included only in case that demand, regional characteristics, visibility, etc. required it’ (TOPJK 2016: 19). This marks a radical departure from the regulations that had been put in place on the occasion of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. In order to prepare for the 2002 megaevent, the official linguistic landscape had involved Japanese, English, Korean and Mandarin-­Chinese (Backhaus 2007: 81–82). This new policy of using mainly Japanese and English only has been harshly criticized, and it has been interpreted as a sign of regression in Japan’s efforts to adapt to its diversifying society. There is an uncomfortable impression that this new policy is somehow related to the worsening relations between Japan, Korea and the People’s Republic of China in the past decade, and that it reflects the negative views the majority of Japanese nationals hold about the two countries and their people. It can also be interpreted in the way that the Olympics are used as an occasion to affirm Japan’s place in the world by downplaying the presence and prominence of anything Korean or Chinese in the city. In any case, it has also explicitly been pointed out that the newly imposed linguistic landscape appears to contradict the official omotenashi (Japanese hospitality) philosophy in no uncertain ways (see, e.g., Inoue 2015: 5). Ozawa (2019: 36–37) criticizes that this new default model seems to assume that multilingual means simply ‘adding English’. He further adds that rather than informing the public in the best possible way, the new linguistic guidelines for the Olympics seem to be mainly combating the international stereotype that Japanese do not speak English. The new policy of using primarily Japanese and English was defended by the Council for Multilingual Support by a survey that showed most Olympic Games host cities since 2000 had implemented a similar policy of using the national language and English only. It was therefore decided that Tokyo 2020 should also follow this basic ‘national language + English’ template for disseminating information in the public space (Kitajima 2015: 159). In more detail, the guidelines of the Council for Multilingual Support stipulated that written public information in public space should give more salience to Japanese than to English. Information in Japanese should ideally occupy two-­thirds of the space and English the remaining one-­third. These basic concepts of regulating language choices (Japanese, English, pictograms) and the salience of languages in the linguistic landscape are fully in line with the 136

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‘Guidelines for improving and strengthening multilingual support for the realization of a tourism nation’ that was published by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (2014) in the same year. This guideline was also accompanied by a translation wordlist and a list of pictograms with explanations of how to use them. The wordlist translates Japanese expressions into English, Chinese (simplified characters) and Korean, and it addresses three broader types of multilingual communication: (1) information related to prohibition and calling for attention, (2) information related to guidance and location, and (3) information that promotes the understanding of specific exhibits. A number of further hands-­on information on how to improve international communication, and the regulations underlying the creation of multilingual services, can conveniently be accessed on a site of the Bureau of Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 Preparation dedicated to multilingual support (BOPGTP 2014–2020). The outline of the basic concepts on how to assure barrier-­free communication ends by stating the following objective (TOPJK 2016: 26): If it becomes possible to exchange information with people with disabilities, understand each other in public spaces where communication takes places (sightseeing, transportation, resident contact, hospitals, shopping, etc.) . . ., to promote mutual understanding, to realize a diverse society and to deeply understand Japanese culture and foreign cultures, their histories and way of thought, then we can enter a new phase where we can understand the world and the world can understand Japan. (TOPJK 2016: 26) This long-­winded statement includes basically all prominent soundbites that accompany Japan’s discussion of a transformation into a multicultural society, e.g., sōgō rikai no sokushin (promoting mutual understanding) or tayōsei shakai no jitsugen (realizing a diverse society). However, despite the use of these well-­intended catchphrases, this statement also makes clear that the underlying notion is the familiar binary according to which Japan is homogenous (not diverse), that there is no knowledge of Japan outside Japan and little understanding between Japan and the rest of the world. Essentialist and binary assumptions about Japanese and the rest of the world remain in place. The ‘Japan versus the unified global rest of the world’ assumption that informs the language planning for the 2020 Games rests on the belief that Japan is not diverse and, what is more, takes no interest in seeing that the rest of the world is not a monolithic unity either. There is no acknowledgement of diversity within Japan or outside of Japan. Furthermore, contact between Japan and the rest of the world is never imaged or to ever involve any change or activity beyond ‘deeply understanding’ (fukaku rikai suru) set and seemingly unalterable differences. We find no signs of mutual engagement beyond that of respecting, understanding and maintaining differences, which serve to constitute Japan as monolithic. We will turn to the implications this has for the diverse individuals that make up Tokyo’s public space in the discussion of urban translation in the last part of this chapter. Let us consider some examples of how these guidelines manifest in the concrete linguistic landscape in the vicinity of the newly built Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. The following examples were collected in February 2020 by the author. The main Japan Railway station near the Olympic Stadium is that of Shinanomachi on the Chūō-­Sōbu Line. Above its central exit, we find the following sign which gives indications in Japanese and English (Figure 8.1). As could be expected, this sign follows the new stipulations for public signs. The relation in size between Japanese and English stands at 3:1. Since the sign refers to specific buildings and facilities, no pictograms are used here. Contrary to the prior linguistic landscape of Tokyo, neither Korean nor Chinese is used, and we can also note that Meiji Jingū has not been translated 137

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Figure 8.1 The sign above the exit of JR Shinanomachi Station

as ‘Meiji Shrine’ but simply transcribed in Latin alphabets, making the meaning opaque for whoever does not speak Japanese. Highly multilingual signs can be found on pedestrian traffic lights around the stadium, where the indication to press the button is given in four languages (Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean). The relation is again 3:1 in favour of Japanese. In addition, a QR code at the traffic light gives access to information in 11 further languages (Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Arabic), either by writing on the phone display or by voice emission (Figure 8.2). The intention of this sign is probably to provide barrier-­free infrastructure in various languages for people with impaired vision. The audible signal is meant to help them better understand when it is safe to cross the street. Its utility for people with impaired vision remains doubtful, however. Those who have to rely on the languages that can only be accessed by QR code will in all likelihood find the fonts too small to read. It is also not clear why the font size of the four main languages has to differ, since the degree of impairment is not contingent on the language somebody speaks. It seems as if this traffic light and its multilingual appliance is symbolic rather than practical. It is simply a display of good will or a manifestation of the technological feasibilities that exist in Japan today. A third example shows the salience of pictograms in Tokyo’s freshly revamped linguistic landscape. Located opposite to the Olympic Stadium, at the entrance of the Japan Olympic Museum, the following signs remind visitors of various restrictions in this public space (Figure 8.3). In signalling prohibitions, the well-­established conventions of round signs, red colour and a crossing bar serve as an easy-­to-­comprehend framing of the message. These signs are also a prototypical example of how the new linguistic landscape in Tokyo ought to look henceforth. It is English/Japanese with more salience given to Japanese, and it is prominently accompanied by a pictogram that follows international conventions (e.g., round, red, crossed-­out signalling prohibition). That said, it is unlikely that ‘not playing music loudly’ is successfully conveyed in one of the pictograms, and the same applies to the ‘no sales and 138

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Figure 8.2 An audible traffic light signal next to the Olympic Stadium

assemblies’ pictogram. These two examples demonstrate that pictograms do not completely work on arbitrary conventions (such as red signalling prohibition or danger), but use similarity (iconicity) to convey a message. No loud music, for example, happens to be difficult to convey in this way. Planning for the Tokyo Olympics sets the ambitious aim to get rid of all sorts of barriers, but it simply: (1) delivers websites that facilitate the creation of high-­quality multilingual information materials, and (2) reduces the official linguistic landscape from four to two languages as the default model. Foreign residents have never been considered, and neither have those who fall between the invented binary of ‘monolithic Japanese versus the monolithic rest of world’ such as various types of bilinguals, transnational migrants, individuals with one Japanese and one non-­Japanese parent (hāfu), or indigenous minorities. Let us consider next what this implies for urban translation. 139

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Figure 8.3 The prohibitions in front of the Japan Olympic Museum

Perceived problems, alignment and conviviality in urban translation More often than not, languages in contact are languages in competition, a competition into which language policy and planning interferes (Tollefson 1991). Public space is invested with power, inequalities, challenges and struggles. This explains to some extent the contrast we find between the complex sociolinguistic situation in Tokyo and the simple binary Japanese-­ English language regime in the public sphere. The implemented order is not functional in facilitating efficient communication with Tokyo’s public. As a matter of fact, research into this issue was never consulted. Language planning and the resultant linguistic landscape is power-­ infested. This is also why diversity among Tokyo residents was never considered. Tokyo’s foreign residents are not powerful enough. 140

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Just like all other human activities, translation does not take place in a social vacuum. It is invested with power. This is important to recall because ‘[t]ranslation has come to us through the humanist tradition as a “friendly” word, a process implying god will and harmonious outcomes’ (Simon 2016: 7). The presence or absence of a language in public space symbolically communicates the (un)importance of a given language (Heinrich 2011). The issue of power is thus evident in the fact that putting the dominant language of Japan (Japanese) aside, the second language to be prominently used in the official linguistic landscape is the most powerful language in the history of humankind, English. The newly imposed omission of Chinese and Korean is yet another act of the exercise of power. The linguistic landscape has not been adapted to the demographic composition of Tokyo. Rather, its two largest and oldest foreign communities have been purposefully excluded. Tokyo can be heard and read. It can also be translated in the sense that efforts can be made to mitigate conflicts arising from its population density, diversity and mobility. Translating the city cannot easily be planned, because meaning in the public space is never fixed or stable but subject to constant negotiation. Meaning does not arise simply from ‘language’ as such, as it does from the actions, contexts and the concrete physical places where it is used to accomplish everyday tasks (Pennycook and Otsuji 2015; Otsuji and Pennycook, this volume). Urban spaces are filled with social actions, and urban translation seeks to direct such actions. In the course of doing so, the languages and presence of some are acknowledged, whereas others are being ignored. Urban translation renders some people and their languages unmarked, visible and in place, whereas others are marked, invisible and out of place. Let us consider this next on the example of the language planning and the linguistic landscape implemented for the 2020 Tokyo Games. In the following, our discussion puts into relation (a) what is conceived of as a problem in public space, (b) how the public is conceived to be aligned with the implemented solution of the perceived problem, and (c) what this implies for the conviviality of the diverse people populating Tokyo’s public space. I regard the interrelation among these three phenomena to be a process of urban translation. In its overtly stated objective, urban translation for the Tokyo Olympics seeks to remove barriers to realizing a multilingual society in order to promote mutual understanding and foster mutual respect. Somewhat less overtly, the differences between Tokyo and other former Olympic host cities are also seen as an issue that needs to be addressed, and there is also a lingering doubt of whether Tokyo is sufficiently international, cosmopolitan and global in the perception of others. This double objective of ‘becoming barrier-­free’ and of ‘projecting a cosmopolitan and global (English) image’ are seen as the key issues to be solved. Tokyo’s existing and growing diversity is actually not addressed in this process, nor is the fact that a multilingual society does not need to be ‘realized’, but that its existence needs to be ‘acknowledged’ (which is not the case here). One cannot but arrive at the conclusion that despite all the rhetoric about multilingualism and multiculturalism, Japan continues to see itself as a linguistically and culturally homogenous society, and that this monolithic self-­perception prepares the ground for regarding the rest of the world as monolithic and English-­speaking. The Self and the Other are essentialized and then confronted with one another, and this invented confrontation is then perceived to be best dealt with by ‘understanding’ and ‘respecting’ these imposed differences. Japan presents itself as monolingual and monolithic, both to the inside and to the outside. The selection of perceived problems, and the problems ignored thereby, have consequences regarding how individuals in Tokyo’s diverse public are aligned to the imagined linguistic order. There is a gap between the linguistic repertoires and the linguistic landscape, and this is inevitable in any act of urban translation. However, in the case of planning for the 2020 141

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Games, this gap has become wider through the reduction of languages used in the official linguistic landscape. In other words, new barriers have been erected in a space where multilingual support (tagengo taiō) turns out to be Japanese plus English. English serves thereby the twin roles as the international lingua franca and as a means to stage differences between (all) Japanese and (all) non-­Japanese. If we think of these decisions as a translation process, then information has not been ‘domesticating’. The linguistic landscape is ‘foreignizing’ Tokyo’s many Chinese and Korean foreign residents and tourists. Rather than rendering the unknown familiar by maintaining these languages, the unknown remains foreign for many. Translation is relegated to those in public space who do not speak Japanese or English in a linguistic landscape that now refuses to accommodate its two largest linguistic minorities. In practical terms, this means that those who do not know Japanese have to rely solely on English. They are integrated into the public sphere as unspecific ‘international’, ‘global’ or ‘cosmopolitan’ visitors. This is one interpretation. The second is that the presence of Chinese and Korean residents and visitors takes a back seat to the numerically smaller groups of visitors from other countries. The linguistic landscape and the administered public space are not simply filled with language—they are filled with norms, expectations and attitudes towards the various people making up the public. Chinese and Korean are not as valued as they once were. These languages and their speakers are rendered out of place in Tokyo in the new linguistic landscape. The desire to project Tokyo as a cosmopolitan and global city via English takes precedence over the overtly declared ambition to remove linguistic barriers. The translation cares more about the impression on its reader than about the effects of being read and understood. A large part of the walkers of Tokyo’s public are creating its urban text, but their contribution is hidden, downplayed or wiped out. They are not reading their presence in the urban text in the very literal sense of the word. What then about the conditions under which non-­Japanese speakers are part of Tokyo’s newly regimented public sphere? Not providing foreign language information is one thing, withdrawing it quite another, and withdrawing it when claiming to reduce linguistic barriers yet again another thing. Tokyo’s urban translation does not adapt to its readers, but the readers have to adapt to the text. Tokyo’s revamped public space is more about representation than about communication. This insight goes hand in hand with the many efforts to improve the quality and to standardize the English on display in the public space (via information sites on the web). Multilingualism remains poorly understood. When we encounter it, as in the example of the ‘multilingual traffic light’, then this multilingualism is cosmetic or ludic in nature. It is not driven by necessity but by pleasure and aesthetic motives (it looks good). In creating a new linguistic landscape for the 2020 Games, a chance has been missed to accommodate Chinese and Korean residents and visitors, to acknowledge their presence in the city and make them feel in place, and to add them to the official text that creates the sense of Tokyoness. ‘Unity in diversity’ might have been taken too literally, in that one unitary language is presented for a diverse population in Japan and another for a diverse population outside of Japan. Unity in diversity does never actually acknowledge diversity. Departing from the refusal to take existing diversity into account, language planning and the implemented linguistic landscape engage in finding solutions of how to align the monolithic other into a monolithic Japanese society. Tokyo’s legacy of the 2020 Games might very well be an exaggerated concern to present itself as multicultural and cosmopolitan while being unable to be so. Ambition bites the nails of success. The translation is failing its stated objective, and it is relegated to those who differ from stereotypical views about Japan and the rest of the world. Multilingualism and global communication have arrived in Tokyo, but they remain poorly understood by those who were put in charge of urban translation for the 2020 Games. 142

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Further reading Backhaus, Peter (2007) Linguistic Landscape. A Comparative Study of Urban Multilingualism in Tokyo, Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. A classic of Japanese sociolinguistics and an empirical study of the linguistic landscape of Tokyo’s central Yamanote Loop Line, the very heart of the megalopolis Heinrich, Patrick, Hidenori Masiko and Katsuo Nawa (eds.) (2019) Tōkyō. Kotoba to toshi no tōgōteki rikai e [Tokyo. Towards an Integrated Study of Language and the City], Tokyo: Sangensha. Explores what we mean when we talk about Tokyo and Tokyo language and offers a critical approach to look back at past achievements and seek to develop innovative methodologies of how to study language in Tokyo Smakman, Dick and Patrick Heinrich (eds.) (2018) Urban Sociolinguistics: The City as a Process and an Experience, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Explores urban sociolinguistics on the basis of cases from around the world, in which it critiques the north-­south divide in the production of knowledge and invites theorizations on urban sociolinguistics from around the world

Acknowledgements I am indebted to Federico Picerni for a critical reading and constructive feedback of the first draft of this chapter. All remaining errors and shortcomings are entirely mine.

References Aniya, Masa’aki (1989) ‘Kengai dekasegi to kennai ijū’ [Work-­migration outside the prefecture and migration within the prefecture], in Okinawa Kyōiku I’inkai (ed.) Okinawa kenshi [History of Okinawa Prefecture], vol. 87, Tokyo: Kokuso Kankō, 423–474. Atkinson, David (2015) Shin-­kankō rikkoku-­ron [New Tourist State-­Building], Tokyo: Tōkyō Keizai Shinpō. Backhaus, Peter (2007) Linguistic Landscapes. A Comparative Study of Urban Multilingualism in Tokyo, Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. BOPGTP [Bureau of Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 Preparation] (2014–2020) ‘Tagengotaiō kyōgi-­kai pōtarusaito’ [Portal site of the council for multilingual support], www. (accessed 27 March 2020). BOPGTP [Bureau of Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 Preparation] (2016) ‘Towards 2020. Building the legacy’, file:///C:/Users/patri/Desktop/Towards%202020-­Building%20the%20 Legacy-­.pdf (accessed 12 September 2019). Collon, Michael (1986) ‘Some elements of a sociology of translation: Domestication of the scallops and the fishermen of St Brieuc Bay’, in John Law (ed.) Power, Action and Belief: A New Sociology of Knowledge? London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 196–223. Cultural Agency (2018) ‘Hensei 27-­nendo “kokugo ni kansuru seron chōsa” no kekka to gaiyō’ [Results and summary of the 2015 public opinion survey on national language], tokei_hakusho_shuppan/tokeichosa/kokugo_yoronchosa/pdf/h27_chosa_kekka.pdf (accessed 1 November 2019). De Certeau, Michel (1984) The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. Steven Rendall, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Deprez, Christine (2018) ‘The city as a result of experience. Paris and its nearby suburbs’, in Dick Smakman and Patrick Heinrich (eds.) Urban Sociolinguistics: The City as a Process and an Experience, Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 148–161. Eberhard, David M., Gary F. Simmons and Charles D. Fennig (eds.) (2019) Ethnologue: Languages of the World (22nd edition), Dallas, TX: SIL International. Heinrich, Patrick (2011) ‘Language choices at Naha Airport’, Japanese Studies 30: 342–358. 143

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Heinrich, Patrick (2012) The Making of Monolingual Japan: Language Ideology and Japanese Modernity, Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Heinrich, Patrick (2019) ‘Tōkyō. Shakai gengogakuteki katei to shite no, shakai gengogakuteki keiken to shite’ [Tokyo as a sociolinguistic experience and process], in Patrick Heinrich, Hidenori Masiko and Katsu Nawa (eds.) Tōkyō. Kotoba to toshi no tōgōteki rikai e [Tokyo. Towards an Integrated Study of Language and the City], Tokyo: Sangensha, 7–24. Heinrich, Patrick and Christian Galan (eds.) (2011) Language Life in Japan: Transformations and Prospects, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Heinrich, Patrick and Rika Yamashita (2018) ‘Tokyo. Standardization, ludic language use and nascent superdiversity’, in Dick Smakman and Patrick Heinrich (eds.) Urban Sociolinguistics: The City as a Process and an Experience, Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 166–182. Ichikawa, Hirō (ed.) (2015) Tōkyō 2025. Besto gorin no toshi senryaku [Tokyo 2025. Best Olympic City Strategy], Tokyo: Tōyō Keizai Shinbun-­sha. Imai, Heide (2018) Tokyo Roji: The Diversity and Versatility of Alleys in a City in Transition, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Inoue, Fumio (2015) ‘Keizaigaku no kangaegata. Tōkyō orinpikku no gengo keikan’ [The philosophy of the economy of language. The Tokyo Olympics and linguistic landscape], Nihongogaku [Japanese Language Studies] 34(6): 2–13. Itagaki, Ryuta (2015) ‘The anatomy of Korea-­phobia in Japan’, Japanese Studies 35(1): 1–18. Kitajima, Hideyuki (2015) ‘Orinpikku pararinpikku taikaigo mo misue, tagengo taiō suishin de toshi-­ ryoku kyōka o’ [In anticipation of the Tokyo Olympic and paralympic games, strengthening urban power by promoting multilingual support], Jihyō [Time Review], 146–152. Liddicoat, Anthony J. (2013) Language-­in-­Education Policies. The Discursive Construction of Intercultural Relations, Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Maher, John C. and Kyōko Yashiro (eds.) (1995) Multilingual Japan, Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Mansfield, Stephen (2016) Tokyo. A Biography, Tokyo: Tuttle. Ministry of Justice (2018) ‘Comprehensive measures for acceptance and coexistence of foreign nationals (Provisional Translation)’, (accessed 27 March 2020). Ministry of Justice (2019) ‘Zairyū gaikokujin tōkei’ [Statistics on foreign residents], housei/toukei/toukei_ichiran_touroku.html (accessed 1 November 2019). Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (2014) ‘Kankō rikkoku jitsugen ni muketa tagengotaiō no kaizen kyōka no tame no gaidorain’ [Guidelines for improving and strengthening multilingual support for the realization of a tourism nation], (accessed 28 March 2020). Nakane, Ikuo, Emi Otsuji and Willliam S. Armour (eds.) (2015) Languages and Identities in a Transitional Japan, New York and Abingdon: Routledge. Nakashima, Takeshi (2016) ‘Rōji no nihongo riterashī jissen. Yomikaki no esunogurafi’ [Japanese literacy practice of Deaf children. Ethnography of literacy], Shakai gengogaku [Sociolinguistics] 16: 1–35. Oguma, Eiji (2002) A Genealogy of ‘Japanese’ Self-­Images, Melbourne: Trans Pacific Press. Otomo, Ruriko (2019) ‘Language and migration in Japan’, in Patrick Heinrich and Yumiko Ohara (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Japanese Sociolinguistics, Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 91–109. Otsuji, Emi (2019) ‘Metrolingualism in transitional Japan’, in Patrick Heinrich and Yumiko Ohara (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Japanese Sociolinguistics, Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 143–157. Ozawa, Takato (2019) ‘Orinpikku to tagengo taiō’ saikō. Nanno tame no tagengo taiō-­ka?’ [Rethinking the ‘multilingual support’ of the Olympics. What is the aim of multilingual support?], Kotoba to shakai [Language and Society] 21: 28–51. Pennycook, Alastair and Emi Otsuji (2015) Metrolingualism: Language in the City, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Robson, Graham (2016) ‘Multiculturalism and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics’, Kankōgaku kenkyū [Tourism Studies] 15: 51–58. Sassen, Saskia (1991) The Global City. New York, London, Tokyo, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 144

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Seargeant, Philip (2009) The Idea of English in Japan. Ideology and Evolution of a Global Language, Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Shakai Jijō Dēta Zuroku (2019) ‘Beichūkan no shokoku ni taishite shitashimi o kanjiru hito no wariai no sui’i’ [Trends in the percentage of people who feel sympathy for the US, China and Korea], https:// (accessed 28 March 2020). Simon, Sherry (2016) ‘Introduction’, in Sherry Simon (ed.) Speaking Memory: How Translation Shapes City Life, Montreal: McGill-­Queen’s University Press, 3–20. TOCOPG [The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympics and Paralympic Games] (2012) ‘Tōkyō 2020 orinpikku pararinpikku shōchi i’inkai ga surōgan oyobi posutā o happyō!’ [Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic bid committee announces slogans and posters!], bid/20120529-­01.html (accessed 12 September 2019). TOCOPG [The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympics and Paralympic Games] (2019) ‘Games vison’, (accessed 31 October 2019). Tokyo Bureau of Industrial and Labor Affairs (2017) ‘Economic trends in Tokyo’, www.sangyo-­rodo.­overview-­2017en.pdf (accessed 31 October 2019). Tokyo Metropolitan Government (n.d.) ‘Tagengo menyū sakusei shien uebusaito’ [Website for support in creating multilingual restaurant menus],­ (accessed 28 March 2020). Tokyo Metropolitan Government (2016) Towards 2020: Building the Legacy, Tokyo: Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Tokyo Metropolitan Government (2018) ‘Population of Tokyo’, ABOUT/HISTORY/history03.htm (accessed 31 October 2019). Tollefson, James (1991) Planning Language, Planning Inequality, New York: Longman. TOPJK [Tōkyō-­to orinpikku pararinpikku junbi-­kyoku] (2016) ‘2020-­nen orinpikku pararinpikku taikai ni muketa tagengo taiō’ [Multilingual measures in preparation for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games], Nihongo kyōiku [Journal of Japanese Language Teaching] 165: 18–29. Watson, Mark K. (2014) Japan’s Ainu Minority in Tokyo, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. White, James (2011) Mirrors of Memory. Culture, Politics, and Time in Paris and Tokyo, Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press. Yasuda, Toshiaki (2011) ‘Tagengo shakai’ to iu gensō [A Fantasy Called ‘Multicultural Society’], Tokyo: Sangensha.


9 Remediating lost memories of the city through translation Istanbul as a space of remembering Şule Demirkol Ertürk

Istanbul is known as ‘the only city in the world that stands astride two continents’ (Freely 1998), with one leg on the European continent and one leg in Asia. As a result of its geographical position, Istanbul stands not only as a meeting point of continents but also of cultures and traditions. For this reason, the metaphor of ‘bridge’ has been widely used in both literary and political descriptions of the city, resonating with the descriptions of Turkey on a larger scale (Eker Roditakis 2015). As such, Istanbul is imagined as the city where Eastern and Western cultures meet. Yet, being at the threshold has both positive and negative implications. As Michael Cronin has already put correctly, ‘Bridges separate as much as they connect’ (Cronin 2006: 123). In the case of Istanbul, being located at the connection/separation point of two continents and two traditions also comes with an identity trouble, which is welcomed and embraced by authors and intellectuals such as Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar (1901–1962), Orhan Pamuk (born 1952) or Elif Şafak (born 1971), who preferred living with these tensions instead of choosing one side or the other. According to Pamuk, the ‘soul of the city’ and the strength of its ‘melancholic’ writers reside in ‘the tensions between the past and the present, or between what Westerners like to call East and West’ (Pamuk 2006: 111). Once the cosmopolitan capital of mighty empires such as the Eastern Roman Empire and the Ottoman Empire, the city is now home to the lost memories of migrating peoples who inhabited it, of those who found refuge in it as well as of those who were forced to leave it. After capturing the city in 1453 and making it the new capital, the Ottoman sultan Mehmet II (Mehmet the Conqueror) encouraged Greeks who fled Constantinople to return and settle here (Freely 1998). An imperial decree called for a resettlement, and the new settlers including Muslims, Christians and Jews were brought to the city from all over the empire (Freely 1998). The Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain in 1492 migrated to Ottoman lands at the invitation of Sultan Beyazıt II, expanding the Jewish presence not only in Constantinople but also in Smyrna, Salonika and other cities. In line with the growing commercial and cultural connections during the 19th century, ‘an influx of foreigners increased the urban population, designating a new quarter of the city (Pera) as their own’ (Keyder 2018: 30). The city became a microcosm of ‘all the ethnic constituents of the empire—Turks, Greeks, Armenians, Jews, Arabs, Albanians, Kurds, Bosniaks, Tatars, Circassians, and Bulgarians, among others—with all the languages spoken in true imperial style’ (Keyder 2018: 30). Istanbul, which gained a 146

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cosmopolitan character with increased interaction among various ethnic communities during this period, lost most of its diversity due to top-­down language and culture planning efforts during the first decades following the declaration of the Turkish Republic in 1923 and the foundation of the nation-­state.1 Yet inflow and outflow never decreased. The 1950s saw a flow of migrants from rural and provincial parts of Anatolia, which started new settlements in the outskirts of the city. In the same decade, thousands of Greeks fled Istanbul, following the riots on 6–7 September  1955 against the Greek community. Many others were forced to leave the city in 1964, when their residency permission was revoked as a reaction to the ‘Bloody Christmas massacres of ethnic Turkish Cypriots in 1963’ (Mills 2010: 54). In the late 1980s and 1990s, a considerable number of displaced Kurds, having to leave their hometowns behind, settled in Istanbul, adding to the social complexity of the city. A more recent and no less remarkable impact resulted from the huge inflow of Syrians escaping the civil war, with more than 400,000 refugees who settled in Istanbul out of a total 2.7 million refugees in Turkey (Keyder 2018: 34). With all such inflows and outflows, the memories of the city expanded and intermingled with those of other cities connected to Istanbul via migrations. Istanbul, which was once ‘translated out of its messy imperial multiplicity, away from its past, and given a simpler shape’ (Simon 2012: 156), has reemerged in the last few decades as a site for flourishing bottom-­up linguistic energies, as a ‘translation space’ (Cronin 2006: 68), offering ‘new culture repertoires to replace those dominant in the early years of the Turkish nation state’ (Demirkol Ertürk and Paker 2014: 171). Publishing houses founded in the Beyoğlu/Pera district of Istanbul, mainly since the 1990s, by agents from the Armenian, Greek, Jewish and Kurdish communities of the city, have been influential in reviving interaction and cooperation among various ethnic and linguistic communities having cohabited in the city space for centuries (Demirkol Ertürk and Paker 2014). They have become visible not only with their multilingual publications and translations but also with many activities, exhibitions, seminars or festivals they organized in the city, fuelling intercommunication between ‘minority’ cultures and also with the Turkish-­speaking community. Their publications remediating the cultural memories of communities who lived side by side, not only in Istanbul but also in other cities and towns around Anatolia, open new ground for awareness and ‘productive remembering’ (Huyssen 2003). In the present chapter, I  will first provide a critical overview of Istanbul’s multilingual/ multicultural past from a translational perspective, discuss the ‘cosmopolitan’ character of the city (both in the past and today) and point to the relevance of certain translation practices as a tool for observing intercommunal relations. With special attention to convergent translation practices of different communities sharing the city space, I will illustrate that, during the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries, Istanbul presented a special example of a ‘translational city’ (Simon 2012: 3), where the lines separating communities, cultures and languages became more and more permeable within a society in constant change. In the last part of the chapter, I will concentrate on more recent, bottom-­up multilingual energies in Istanbul, which have actively challenged the monolingual/monocultural vision of the nation-­state since the 1980s and mainly from the 1990s onwards. In this respect, I will take a closer look at the productions of the publishing houses founded by various communities of Istanbul. Inspired by Astrid Erll and Ann Rigney (2006), who claim that literature can have roles as a ‘medium of remembrance’, as an ‘object of remembrance’ and as a ‘medium for observing the production of cultural memory’, I will argue that literature in translation can also assume the same roles. I will also provide examples illustrating that translations published in the last decades have been influential in reshaping the culture repertoire of the nation-­state by offering new 147

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alternatives and by remediating lost memories of Istanbul, together with the memories of other cities and towns connected to it via migration flows.

Nineteenth-­century Istanbul as a ‘translational city’ Istanbul has always been home to various ethnic and religious communities;2 however, the interconnections among these communities significantly increased in the second half of the 19th century. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Istanbul was a major commercial port, a tourist destination and, more importantly, a literary and cultural centre. Just like Paris, the Ottoman capital attracted elites not only from around the empire but also from other countries: ‘diplomats, missionaries, journalists, professors, businessmen, dervishes, political refugees from central Europe, Russian Empire, Iran or British India’3 (Strauss 1999: 109). This was also a period of political reforms shaped under the influence of modernity and capitalism, marked by the introduction of print media, the spread of literacy and the inception of new European models of public and cultural life (Zubaida 2018: 39). The establishment of institutions such as the government ‘Translation Chamber’ (Babıâlî Tercüme Odası), the ‘Academy’ (Encümen-­i Daniş) and the ‘Ottoman Scientific Society’ (Cemiyet-­i İlmiye-­i Osmaniye), together with the founding of periodicals such as Ceride-­i Havadis (1840), Tercüman-­i Ahvâl (1860), Tasvir-­i Efkâr (1862) and Tercüman-­i Hakikat (1878), has been influential in orienting the change, as ‘almost all of the pioneers of innovative change and the foremost translators of European literature worked at one time or another in or for such establishments’ (Paker 2017: 19–20). Several important events enabled these developments: the declaration of the Tanzimat reforms launched in 1839, followed by a new edict declared in 1856, and the First Constitution coming into effect in 1876, which institutionalized Ottoman citizenship for all subjects of all religious backgrounds, thereby eliminating the much-­debated millet system of governance. The millet system used to be a hierarchical model for managing diversity in the Ottoman Empire. The term millet was used in the Ottoman context to categorize communities based on religion. In this sense, it was different from the concept of ‘nation’, which prioritizes ethnicity and language. Although the millet system is sometimes presented as one of ‘tolerance and harmony’, it is also criticized for having set strong barriers between various religious groups and for prioritizing the Sunni-­Muslims over other religious groups seen as ‘legally inferior and burdened with restrictions on residence, dress and comportment, and worship’ (Zubaida 2018: 38). Whether the various communities living under the Ottoman regime were interconnected or presented a mosaic of cultures separate from one another is still a debated topic. Writing about the distance between communities, Johann Strauss explains that, on the one hand, while Armenians living in cities were either bilingual or spoke only Turkish, Greeks or Levantines could be ignorant of Turkish (Strauss 2011: 130, 132). Greeks could live in neighbourhoods such as Tatavla (today called Kurtuluş) or Pera (today Beyoğlu) without having to leave the quarter and never had to speak Turkish. This was mainly the case for women who were ‘less exposed to the world outside’: in Tatavla, for instance, ‘even the postman, the street-­sweeper and the night-­watchmen were Greeks’ (Strauss 2011: 132). Sami Zubaida, on the other hand, observes that relations between communities presented changing panoramas, depending on social classes. In this regard, he points to the difference between ‘cosmopolitanism’ and a ‘plural society’. For him, ‘the mixing of minds and cultures’, seen as the sine qua non of cosmopolitanism, touched only the ‘new middle and upper classes, the personnel of government bureaucracies and legal and educational institutions, journalists and writers, artists and musicians, and some modern entrepreneurs’, but communications between other 148

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classes remained rather limited (Zubaida 2018: 43). Murat Cankara, critical of the literature on the millet system, disagrees with the opinion that communities lived in isolation under the Ottoman regime. Although the examples of interconnectedness that he provides to defend his argument concern mainly the second half of the 19th century when the millet system had already started to disintegrate following the Edicts of 1839 and 1856, his emphasis on the role of Armeno-­Turkish (Turkish language written in Armenian characters) as a ‘potential meeting place’ (Cankara 2015: 8) for Ottoman Armenian and Turkish intellectuals is worthy of attention (to be discussed later). Cankara also maintains that ‘not only the literati but also the masses had their channels for cultural encounter’ and points to theatrical productions as possible means of breaking communal barriers, or at least overcoming the script barrier (Cankara 2015: 3). Assuming that translation is ‘a site through which we can observe the operations and implications of language power’ (Lee 2013: 19), one of the best perspectives for examining interconnections between communities might be focusing on translation practices: not only those of ‘translation proper’ understood in the narrower sense of the term, but also a variety of transfer practices such as transliteration, rewriting and retranslation (terceme, tecdid), adaptation (tevfikan terceme), summary translation (hülâsa), emulation or parallel writing (nazire), creatively mediated text production bordering on originality (telif), the products of which abounded in newspapers, magazines and books (Demircioğlu 2005; Paker 2015). Such a perspective would lead us to find out not only about the intellectual production in the city but also about what was read and circulated among different readers. As stated by Sherry Simon, translation practices ‘allow us to understand the models of culture operating at a particular moment, in a particular community. They are a measure of distance and proximity’ (Simon 2006: 18). It is equally important to explore the effects of translations, their repercussions or ‘furthering’ (Simon 2012: 16). Just like Edwin Gentzer, I also suggest that we ‘look beyond translation’ and ‘begin to examine the cultural changes that take place after the translation’ (Gentzler 2017: 3). Exploring Istanbul as a ‘translational city’ (Simon 2012: 3) and looking at its ‘contact zones’, which enhanced interactions between communities, can help us grasp the shared histories and interwoven cultural memories of peoples who lived side by side. For this reason, I will concentrate on multilingual publishing activities in Istanbul and on translation practices in the wider sense of the term. In the late 19th-­ and early 20th-­century Istanbul, multilingual publishing activities and translations were central to the interconnections between communities. Magazines and newspapers were most effective in this respect. It is known that in the second half of the 19th century, periodicals were published in almost all languages spoken in the empire: Arabic, Armenian, Bulgarian, French, Greek, Judeo-­Spanish, Persian and Turkish (Strauss 1994: 130) and in all their respective alphabets. It should be noted here that in the Ottoman Empire, newspapers had different functions from those they had in the West. İlber Ortaylı explains that for the Greeks, Armenians, Arabs, Turks and Bulgarians, newspapers had mainly educational purposes and instructed their readers on issues related to history, geography, literature, natural sciences, technology and economics. They also functioned as the propaganda medium for both the government and the opposition, yet they were first and foremost cultural bodies (Ortaylı 2008: 280). They also provided their audience with serialized literary reading material such as translated novels. Johann Strauss (2003) provides a list of such influential periodicals of this period, among which we can find the first non-­official newspaper in Ottoman-­Turkish, Ceride­i Havadis, founded in 1840 in Istanbul by an Englishman, William Churchill. Most of the periodicals cited by Strauss were indeed published in Istanbul: the Greek paper Têlegraphos tou Vosporou (1843), the Bulgarian paper Tsarigradski Vestnik (1848), [‘most important event 149

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in Bulgarian press, prior to independence’ (Ortaylı 2008: 284)], the Karamanli (Turkish language written in Greek characters) paper Anatoli (1850; first founded in 1840, in İzmir by Evangelinos Misailidis), the Armenian paper Masis (1852), [‘perhaps the most influential Armenian paper’ (Strauss 2003: 43)], the Armeno-­Turkish paper Mecmuayı havadis (1852) and the Judaeo-­Spanish periodical Or Yisrael—La luz de Yisrael (1853) (Strauss 2003: 43). ‘The very first private Arabic paper anywhere’ (Ayalon 2016: 29), Miratü’l Ahval (1854), was also published in the Ottoman capital. The existence of a large number of periodicals published in different languages and alphabets of the empire is significant regarding the interconnections between communities, especially when we consider that these periodicals did not only address native speakers of the languages in which they were published; some were multilingual or had versions in different languages. For instance, Teodor Kasap’s (Ottoman Greek journalist, translator and novelist, 1835–1897) well-­known magazine Hayâl had four versions: Ottoman-­Turkish, Greek, Armeno-­Turkish and French, respectively titled as Hayâl, O Momos, Kheyal and Polichinelle (Kut 2011: 475). I  would like to add that many publications of non-­Muslim communities were published in Turkish but in different alphabets: magazines such as Manzume-­i Efkâr, Tercüman-­i Efkâr or Ceride-­i Şarkiyye were published in Armeno-­Turkish, i.e., in Turkish written in Armenian characters. Since most Armenians living in cities were either bilinguals or monolingual speakers of Turkish, the reason for periodicals published in Turkish intended for the Armenian community can be easily understood. Yet, such a dual practice as writing in one language while using the alphabet of another needs special attention as it points to a case in which identities were intertwined and communities assumed to live separate lives are seen to be interrelated. A similar, or even more complex, case is that of the Karamanlidhes, Turkish-­speaking Orthodox Christians who used the Greek alphabet for writing. They were originally ‘inhabitants of greater Cappadocia, a region with unstable borders’ (Balta 2003: 26) located mainly in central and eastern Anatolia. The Karamanli press ‘was addressed primarily to the Turcophone Rums from Caramania, the wider region of Cappadocia, who were residing in the urban centres of the empire’ (Balta 2005: 27). Evangelinos Misailidis’s paper Anatoli, mentioned earlier, was only one of the many other Karamanli periodicals and books published in Turkish using the Greek alphabet.4 In addition to Armeno-­Turkish and Karamanli publications, there were also Balkan Turkish texts written in the Cyrillic alphabet, some of which were published in Istanbul (Kappler 2011), and some Jewish periodicals published in Turkish but using Hebrew characters (Balta 2005: 27). Such practices, resulting from the multiethnic and polyglot fabric of the empire, present the most complex cases where the lines separating communities, religions and languages get blurred. They also bring to mind the concept of ‘cultural translation’ (Buden et al. 2009) and provide new grounds for examining the intricacies of the interconnections between communities. Translations and retranslations published in book form also give us clues about the reading habits of different communities. An analysis of the titles translated into different languages and alphabets of the city reveals similarities in the publishing and reading tendencies of different groups, once again hinting at interconnections and sharing. In this respect, Johann Strauss claims that ‘the canon of translated literature and the favourite authors were essentially the same for Turks, Greeks, Armenians and even Bulgarians and Jews’ (Strauss 2003: 51; see also Ayaydın Cebe 2016; Şişmanoğlu 2014). It is known that translation activity from Western languages into Ottoman-­Turkish rose in the second half of the 19th century, with ‘a steady flow of translations from the French, starting in 1859’, and introducing new genres, themes and ideas (Paker et al. 2015: 5; Paker 2017: 20). However, literary translations into Armeno-­ Turkish and Karamanli started before those into Ottoman-­Turkish, with Hovsep Vartanyan’s 150

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translation of Alain-­René LeSage’s Le Diable boiteux (in Armenian characters) and Dimitrakis Çelebi’s translation of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (in Greek characters), both dating from 1853 and both published in Istanbul (Ayaydın Cebe 2016; Stepanyan 2005). It should be noted here that Hovsep Vartanyan was also the author of the first-­ever novel in Turkish language written in Armenian letters, Akabi Hikayesi, dating from 1851. It is also known that many Turkish intellectuals learned Armenian characters to read Armeno-­Turkish periodicals and translations. Manuals were available for those who wanted to learn Armeno-­Turkish (Cankara 2015), but some learned it from friends. For instance, Ahmed İhsan [Tokgöz] wrote in his memoirs that he learned Armenian characters from his friends at school (Mekteb-­i Mülkiyye, in Istanbul) and read novels of Xavier de Montépin in Armeno-­Turkish translation (Strauss 1994: 133). Although the topic of translations from and into languages spoken in Istanbul still remains underresearched, it deserves special attention as the very existence (or non-­existence) of translations, and their directions may point to a desire for interconnectedness and also to the asymmetries of the relations between communities. Previous research has shown that Turkish folk literature and works of contemporary authors such as Ahmed Midhat Efendi were accessible in Greek and Armenian characters to Turkish-­speaking Orthodox Greeks and Armenians, respectively (Strauss 2003: 53; Şişmanoğlu 2014). There was also a collection of Ottoman Turkish literary texts by Muallim Naci, translated into Armeno-­Turkish by Bedros Zeki Garabedyan in 1894 (Ayaydın Cebe 2016). On the subject of any interest exhibited by Muslim-­Ottomans towards the literatures of other communities, Johann Strauss claims that ‘the modern literature of the minorities remained to a large extent terra incognita for Ottoman men of letters’ (Strauss 2003: 54). Indeed, very few translations from minority languages into Ottoman-­ Turkish are known. Connections between the Armenian and Muslim-­Turkish communities were more advanced than between others, yet translations between these two languages were nonetheless scarce. Sarkis Srents’s selection of Armenian short stories, translated by himself into Ottoman-­Turkish, were first published in various issues of the magazine Servet-­i Fünun, and then published as a separate volume in 1913, with eulogies written by eminent Turkish and Armenian authors of the time, namely Süleyman Nazif, Abdullah Cevdet, Şahabettin Süleyman and Harutyan Şahrigyan. Turkish authors admitted in their eulogies that they knew almost nothing about Armenian literature until then (more on this translation in the following pages). Diran Kélékian’s translation of Krikor Zohrab’s short stories titled Hayat Olduğu Gibi (Life as it is) was also published in 1913. An exceptional case was the Armenian writer Yervant Od­yan’s novel titled Abdülhamid ve Sherlock Holmes (Abdülhamid and Sherlock Holmes, 1912), published in five different languages of the empire (Armenian, Turkish, Greek, French and Albanian) in the span of only one year. The novel (most probably written in Armenian) presented a typical detective story, written clearly from an ‘anti-­Abdülhamid perspective’ (Uslu 2017). Left to oblivion for a hundred years, it was reprinted in 2014 by Everest Publishing (Istanbul), which presented a transliteration of the Ottoman-­Turkish version of the novel in Latin alphabet. According to Mehmet Fatih Uslu, Odyan’s novel was a unique literary project undertaken by the opponents of Abdülhamid ‘who wanted to produce a literary work in order to serve the unity of different Ottoman subjects’, which today ‘offers a special case for understanding the turbulent period between 1908–1914 and one hundred years of forgetfulness’ between the first and the most recent publications of the book (Uslu 2017). Although translations between languages of different communities were scarce, their very existence is significant, especially when considered against the backdrop of political and social changes that followed. Today, the reprints or retranslations of these early translations are being issued by newly established publishing houses: a remarkable practice which turns old 151

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translations into objects of remembrance, reframing them, and by this means inviting us to re-­ read past events from a new perspective. In the following pages, I will concentrate on current translation practices in the city of Istanbul with special attention to the roles that translation can play for the cultural memory of the city.

Linguistic encounters in Istanbul since the 1980s The linguistic and cultural fabric of Istanbul changed drastically throughout the last century, with the fall of the empire and the establishment of the new nation-­state. Istanbul is no more the ‘cosmopolitan’ city of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This change is also visible in the ‘linguistic landscape’ of the city. In the early 20th century, street signs, name boards, posters, tear-­off calendars and pocket diaries would appear in two, three or more languages and alphabets. Postcards of the period show that Turkish, Armenian, Greek, French and Judaeo-­ Spanish words written in Arabic, Armenian, Greek, Roman and Hebrew letters, respectively, would coexist in the same posters (Strauss 2011: 128). However, recent research on the same topic ascertains the disappearance of many of these languages from the streets. John Wendel’s linguistic landscape study (Wendel 2018) covering ten different districts of the present-­day Istanbul clearly shows the ‘overall dominance of Turkish signage’, pointing to the ‘pervasiveness of English’ in touristic centres and to the ‘emerging visibility and importance of Arabic’, related here to a new flow of tourists from Arab countries (Wendel 2018). Wendel observes that signs in Greek or Hebrew are only found at the entrance of historic temples and function today as ‘reminders of the sweeping transformations’ (Wendel 2018: 113). However, it is surprising to see that Wendel finds no trace of the Kurdish language on the walls or signs of the city (not even in graffiti) (Wendel 2018: 115), for Kurdish has become more visible recently (perhaps not on the main streets or boulevards but in smaller alleys, ‘rogue spaces’ which ‘challenge the polarities, and operate as pockets of resistance to duality’ (Simon 2012: 11–12), both in graffiti and in some coffeehouse signs (İlhan 2018; Tekin 2016). Wendel does not speak of Syrian refugees and their traces in the city either, maybe because they were only beginning to be visible when the research was conducted (2016–2017). Still, Wendel’s observations about the disappearance of the city’s many languages are significant and stand as proof that the city is no more the ‘cosmopolitan’ capital of a once-­wealthy empire. Nonetheless, newly emerging bottom-­up linguistic energies, a movement of ‘counter-­translation’ (Simon 2019), are refuelling the city with new encounters, border crossings and convergences. Translations between various languages of the city and multilingual publications are once again on the rise. Cultural memory practices become more visible, and translators and other agents of translation play important parts in remediating memories of Istanbul and those of other cities connected to it via migrations. Writing about cultural memory in the Turkish context, Catharina Dufft explains that ‘multiculturalism’ was rediscovered as a literary theme only after the coup d’état of 1980 and resulted in the ‘development of a new cross-­social discourse that continues still today’ (Dufft 2009: 9).5 It is true that publications and events concerning the multilingual-­multicultural memory of Turkey increased in the 1980s and 1990s. Magazines and journals such as Rewşen and Nûbihar, published in Kurdish, started in Istanbul in the early 1990s. Aras/Արաս Publishing issuing original and translated books in Armenian and Turkish was founded in 1993, followed by Avesta Publishing (1995), specializing in original Kurdish publications and translations from Kurdish into Turkish. The Armenian weekly newspaper Agos was founded in 1996 by the late Hrant Dink. His assassination in 2007 became ‘a dramatic turning point in the self-­identification of the “majority” with “minority”, or in the minoritizing of majority’ (Demirkol Ertürk and Paker 2014: 175). Commemorations held on the anniversaries of his death are replete with placards 152

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in multiple languages: ‘We are all Hrant; We are all Armenian’. Apart from Aras and Avesta, publishers such as Birzamanlar (2004), Heyamola (2005) and istos/ιστός (2011) have also been active in publications concerning cultural memory. Research in cultural memory and translation in the Turkish context has also increased in recent years (see for instance Eker-­Roditakis 2012; Sidiropoulou and Berk Albachten 2018; Susam-­Saraeva 2015). The aforementioned multilingual publishing houses deserve a closer look as they have been very active in multilingual publications in the city’s languages and in translations between them. Their publishing lists provide alternatives to the already existing culture repertoire and present new perspectives for remembering the city’s lost memories. Their publications play important parts in the remediation of memory narratives: those of Istanbul and also those of other cities and towns connected to it via migrations. It is known that the memory of past events cannot survive unless they are represented again and again in various media and genres: in newspaper articles, novels, photographs, films, museums or websites (Brownlie 2016: 76). But this remediation, just like translation, is never neutral. It involves transformation. And according to Astrid Erll and Ann Rigney, this remediation and transformation is what makes the ‘dynamicity’ of cultural memory, which is seen ‘as an ongoing process of remembrance and forgetting’ in which our relationship to the past is continuously reconfigured (Erll and Rigney 2009: 2). For this reason, cultural memory is as much about forgetting as it is about remembering. In such a dynamic process, translation can assume crucial roles in remediating the lost memories of cities: keeping them alive or renovating them. Writing about the connections between literature and cultural memory, Astrid Erll and Ann Rigney (2006) explain that literature can have roles as a ‘medium of remembrance’, as an ‘object of remembrance’ and also as a ‘medium for observing the production of cultural memory’. However, they do not discuss literature in translation. Taking their discussion on literature a step further, I would argue that literary translation too can act as a ‘medium of remembrance’, as an ‘object of remembrance’ and as a ‘medium for observing the production of cultural memory’. Research in the field of translation history has already given us an understanding of the role of translation as a medium for observing the production of cultural memory. While Peter Flynn and Luc van Doorslaer (2016: 88) show that earlier focus on national languages with monolingual and monocultural biases has prevented us ‘for so long from taking urban multilingualism seriously and examining its dynamics more pertinently, particularly from a translational perspective’, Saliha Paker argues that research in translation history can go beyond traditional, official and nationalistic parameters, trigger literary and cultural memory, and play an important role in remembering what has been erased (Paker 2004). In the following pages, I will focus on the first two categories and expound on the roles of translated literature as a medium of remembrance and as an object of remembrance, with examples from the city of Istanbul.

Translation as a medium of remembrance It is well known that the process of translation is all about selection and elimination, which also involves the selection of texts to be translated. Making decisions about what to translate, what to retranslate and what to leave to oblivion has clear implications for cultural memory. Translation can be central to culture planning and to the creation of culture repertoires, and what is included in the culture repertoire and what is left out would certainly have results concerning cultural memory. The catalogues of publishing houses and topics that they emphasize or neglect are significant in this respect. Translations can play roles in reframing the memories of the city and those of other connected cities and towns. 153

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A noteworthy example is a recent translation issued by Aras Publishing, Istanbul in 2017. This is the case of Aşiq û Maşûk, Ermenice Kaynaklardan Kürt-­Ermeni Aşk Masalları (The Lover and the Beloved, Kurdish-­Armenian Love Tales from Sources in Armenian), translated from Armenian into Turkish by Sarkis Seropyan. The book covers three folktales collected by Armenian ethnographers in the mid-­19th century from Dersim (today Tunceli). What makes this translation special is that it provides Turkish readers with an unusual selection of folktales. In various collections of Anatolian folktales published in Turkey, we generally find narratives related to the Turkish-­Muslim population, but the tales of non-­Muslim or Kurdish communities are usually ignored. However, The Lover and the Beloved offers an alternative by providing a different selection of tales, again from the same geography but from other communities. With paratexts foregrounding the ideas of ‘shared cultural heritage’ and ‘shared memory’, this translated collection of folktales stands as a reminder of forgotten memories of communities which once lived together in the same geography. Therefore, the past of Anatolia is given a new shape and set in a new frame. I also would like to note here that Seropyan’s translation into Turkish is currently the last ring in a chain of translations which started long ago, with the activities of Armenian ethnographers who acted as translators when they retold Kurdish folktales in written form in the Armenian language. These translations then travelled the world: Seropyan explains in his preface how a friend of his, living in Los Angeles, sent him the third tale. After reading it, Seropyan decided to translate it into Turkish and publish in Istanbul. In this way, the translation can be said to have served in connecting the memories of Dersim/Tunceli to those of Istanbul. Another example illustrating the role of translations in remediating and reframing the memories of cities and connecting them to each other is the case of Hasan Özgür Tuna’s Turkish translation of Αϊβαλί (2014) by the Greek cartoonist Soloúp (born 1966). Issued by istos/ιστός in Istanbul in 2015 with the title Ayvali/Ayvalık, this is a selection of five narratives by four authors, all from the Aegean town of Ayvalık: Photis Kontoglou (Ayvalık, 1895—Athens, 1965), Ilias Venezis (Ayvalık, 1904—Athens, 1973), his elder sister Agapi Venezis-­Molivyatis (Ayvalık, 1900—Athens, 1995) and Ahmet Yorulmaz (Ayvalık, 1932— Gömeç, 2014), collected and illustrated by Soloúp. They tell different stories around the great Greek-­Turkish population exchange of 1923, which blend in with Soloúp’s own story of his trip to today’s Ayvalık from the nearby Greek island of Lesvos. Soloúp explains in an interview that ‘wars can separate people, but memories and histories of long-­suffering places like Çeşme and Ayvalık can reunite them’, adding that ‘if we want to believe in a peaceful and better future, we should comprehend that bridges of friendship and understanding will not be constructed by political or military leaders but by the will of the peoples themselves’ (Soloúp 2016). Soloúp’s book and its Turkish translation evidently aim at connecting both sides of the Aegean together, by retelling the stories of the sufferings that people had to endure on both sides, yet from a new perspective, hoping to break prejudices against the ‘other’. I must add that the publisher istos/ ιστός, founded by the members of the Greek community of Istanbul, plays an important part in this attempt at remembering and reframing the past.

Translation as an object of remembrance Translation can also be an ‘object’ of remembrance. Reprints of old translations will not only remediate the source text but could also invite us to reconsider the context in which the translations were published for the first time. A remarkable example from Istanbul is the new edition of one of the first translations from Armenian into Turkish, 100 years after it was first published: Ermeni Edebiyatı Numuneleri 1913 (Anthology of Armenian Literature 1913). The first date of publication was evidently added to the title of the new edition in 2013 in order 154

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to draw attention to its documentary and historical character. Like the first edition, the 2013 version consists of short stories translated into Ottoman Turkish, but transliterated in Roman letters, with a parallel intralingual translation into modern Turkish. With paratexts dating from 1913 and 2013, the book aims to create some awareness of the cultural encounters between the Turkish and Armenian communities of the time, showing that they were taking considerable steps to connect to each other (see also Demirkol Ertürk and Paker 2014). Considering current controversies about the catastrophic events of 1915 and the history of relations between the two communities, we can say that this book reframes a part of the Turkish-­Armenian literary encounters in history for the readers of the Turkish language, inviting them to reconsider the past from a different perspective. The reprints of Teodor Kasap’s dramatic adaptations also stand as reminders of the once-­ cosmopolitan Istanbul. A Greek-­Ottoman journalist, playwright and translator, born in Kayseri in 1835, Kasap moved to Istanbul at the age of 13 and, after some busy years in Paris, spent most of his life there. His adaptations of Molière’s L’avare (Pinti Hamit, 1873) and Sganarelle ou le Cocu imaginaire (İşkilli Memo, 1874), both published in Istanbul, were described in the paratext by Kasap as ‘compatible translation’6 (tevfikan tercüme); this meant that he had reshaped and rewritten them to fit in with the targeted Ottoman cultural context, aligned with the domestic theatrical tradition. Both plays were later included in a collection of old Turkish plays (titled Eski Türk Oyunları, 2013) by Mitos Boyut, along with other dramatic adaptations by Ahmet Vefik Paşa and Âli Bey. The plays in this collection were ‘adapted’ to today’s Turkish by T. Yılmaz Öğüt, who produced intralingual versions (in Roman letters) for the benefit of modern readers. In 2019, Kasap’s adaptations appeared in yet another collection, but this time devoted entirely to his oeuvre and issued by istos/ιστός as the second title within the series ‘turkika’. Its editor, Seval Şahin, explains that Teodor Kasap’s works caught her attention because they ‘depicted a highly cosmopolitan Ottoman world, informing us on those aspects of the Ottoman society glossed over in literary histories’. In her view, although Kasap had worked with all the foremost names of his time such as Namık Kemal, Ziya Paşa, Âli Bey and Ebüzziya Tevfik, later on he had been pushed outside the canon—which was a pity, because studying Kasap’s work obviously brings a fresh, broadened perspective on his time, which should be shared with modern readers of our day (Şahin 2019: 21–22). The current reprints, intralingual translations and transliterations of Teodor Kasap’s adaptations not only stand as reminders of how European sources were once used to create a new theatrical tradition in Istanbul but also help restore and reshape the canon by bringing into light an author/translator whose work was only faintly visible in literary histories published in Turkey. They also help us observe both interconnections between and transitions within communities in the last decades of the empire.

Conclusion The multilingual publishing activities and translation practices that flourished in Istanbul in the second half of the 19th century provide valuable data for examining the increased interconnections among various communities of the city, which gained a lively cosmopolitan character in this period. Similarities between the titles translated into the languages of the city from European languages, and the existence of translations between these languages (albeit scarce), point to the social, cultural and linguistic contacts in Istanbul. Although the city lost its cosmopolitan character with the foundation of the nation-­state, a new wave of multilingual publications and translations between the languages of the city, mainly since the 1990s, has been influential in reviving the connections between communities and languages to a certain extent. In this process, translations act both as media and as objects of remembrance, reshaping the 155

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culture repertoire by offering new alternatives, and remediating lost memories of Istanbul, together with the memories of other cities and towns connected to it via migrations.

Further reading Altuğ, Fatih and Mehmet Fatih Uslu (eds.) (2014) Tanzimat ve Edebiyat: Osmanlı İstanbulu’nda Modern Edebi Kültür, Istanbul: Türkiye İş Bankası Yayınları. A collection of illuminating articles expounding on the emergence of modern literary culture within various communities inhabiting Istanbul during the Tanzimat period, and providing a comprehensive panorama of literary activities in the city Fisher-­Onar, Nora, Susan C. Pearce and E. Fuat Keyman (eds.) (2018) Istanbul. Living with Difference in a Global City, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. A collection of enlightening articles examining Istanbul’s cultural, linguistic, social and religious diversity, and questioning the effects of migration and globalization on the city, over the last two centuries Paker, Saliha (2017) ‘Turkey’, in Robin Ostle (ed.) Modern Literature in the Near and Middle East, 1850–1970, Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 17–32. A critical analysis of translations in 19th-­century Ottoman-­Turkish literature, concentrating on the formative role of literary translations during the Tanzimat period Strauss, Johann (2003) ‘Who read what in the Ottoman Empire (19th–20th centuries)?’ Middle Eastern Literatures 6(1): 39–76. A detailed survey of the reading habits and literary activities in the Ottoman society, concentrating mainly around Istanbul, and covering not only the Muslim Turks but also Armenians, Greeks, Jews, Bulgarians, Arabs, ‘Franks’ and Levantines, together with the exceptional cases of Turkish speaking Greek-­Orthodox (Karamanlı) and the Turkophone Armenians.

Notes 1 For the roles that translation assumed during the westernization period and in the culture planning process following the declaration of the republic, see for instance Berk (2004); Tahir Gürçağlar (2008); Karadağ (2008). 2 Literary encounters among communities also have a long history. For a discussion on Gaspard Ludwig Momartz’s poem ‘Vosporomahia’ (1742) written in the language of Phanariot Greeks with considerable borrowings from Turkish, see Tsilenis and Dafna (2018). 3 All translations are mine, unless indicated otherwise. 4 For more about Anatoli, and Karamanli press in general, see for instance Balta (2005) and 5 Although the ‘official minorities’ of Turkey were always allowed to publish journals in their mother tongues, their publications, such as the Armenian newspaper Jamanak/Ժամանակ (1908), the Greek newspaper Apoyevmatini/Απογευματινή (1925) and the Jewish newspaper Şalom/‫( םולש‬1947), mainly remained in closed communal circles. 6 I am deeply grateful to Saliha Paker for suggesting this English term, and also for her comments on a previous version of this manuscript.

References Ayalon, Ami (2016) The Arabic Print Revolution Cultural Production and Mass Readership, New York: Cambridge University Press. Ayaydın Cebe, Günil Özlem (2016) ‘To translate or not to translate? 19th century Ottoman communities and fiction’, Die Welt Des Islams 56: 187–222. Balta, Evangelia (2003) ‘ “Gerçi Rum İsek de Rumca Bilmez Türkçe Söyleriz”. The adventure of an identity of the triptych: Vatan, religion and language’, Türk Kültür İncelemeleri Dergisi/The Journal of Turkish Cultural Studies 8: 25–44. 156

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Balta, Evangelia (2005) ‘Karamanli Press. Smyrna 1845–Athens 1926’, in Oktay Belli, Yücel Dağlı and M. Sinan Genim (eds.) İzzet Gündağ Kayaoğlu Hatıra Kitabi Makaleler, Istanbul: Türkiye Anıt Çevre Turizm Değerlerini Koruma Vakfı, 27–33. Berk, Özlem (2004) Translation and Westernization in Turkey: From the 1840s to the 1980s, Istanbul: Ege. Brownlie, Siobhan (2016) Mapping Memory in Translation, London: Palgrave Macmillan. Buden, Boris, Stefan Nowotny, Sherry Simon, Ashok Bery and Michael Cronin (2009) ‘Cultural translation: An introduction to the problem, and responses’, Translation Studies 2(2): 196–219. Cankara, Murat (2015) ‘Rethinking Ottoman cross-­cultural encounters: Turks and the Armenian alphabet’, Middle Eastern Studies 51(1): 1–16. Cronin, Michael (2006) Translation and Identity, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Demircioğlu, Cemal (2005) From Discourse to Practice: Rethinking ‘Translation’ (Terceme) and Related Practices of Text Production in the Late Ottoman Literary Tradition (Unpublished PhD Dissertation), Istanbul: Boğaziçi University. Demirkol Ertürk, Şule and Saliha Paker (2014) ‘Beyoğlu/Pera as a translating site in Istanbul’, Translation Studies 7(2): 170–185. Dufft, Catharina (2009) ‘Preface’, in Catharina Dufft (ed.) Turkish Literature and Cultural Memory, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 9–12. Eker Roditakis, Arzu (2012) ‘A paratextual look at the Greek translations of Turkish novels’, İ.Ü. Çeviribilim Dergisi 5: 39–68. Eker Roditakis, Arzu (2015) ‘The identity metonymics of translated Turkish fiction in English’, in Saliha Paker, Şehnaz Tahir Gürçağlar and John Milton (eds.) Tradition, Tension and Translation in Turkey, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 273–296. Erll, Astrid and Ann Rigney (2006) ‘Literature and the production of cultural memory: Introduction’, European Journal of English Studies 10(2): 111–115. Erll, Astrid and Ann Rigney (2009) ‘Introduction’, in Astrid Erll and Ann Rigney (eds.) Mediation, Remediation, and the Dynamics of Cultural Memory, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1–14. Flynn, Peter and Luc van Doorslaer (2016) ‘City and migration: A crossroads for non-­institutionalized translation’, EuJAL 4(1): 73–92. Freely, John (1998) Istanbul: The Imperial City, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. Gentzler, Edwin (2017) Translation and Rewriting in the Age of Post-­Translation Studies, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Huyssen, Andreas (2003) Present Pasts: Urban Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. İlhan, Cesim (2018) ‘Taksim’de Kürtçe tabelalar’, Kurdistan 24,­ 0c46-­4350-­93d5-­d72190645cd9 (accessed 20 July 2019). Kappler, Matthias (2011) ‘Printed Balkan Turkish texts in Cyrillic alphabet in the middle of the nineteenth century (1841–1875)’, in Evangelia Balta and Mehmet Ölmez (eds.) Between Religion and Language, Istanbul: Eren, 43–69. Karadağ, Ayşe Banu (2008) Çevirinin Tanıklığında ‘Medeniyet’in Dönüşümü, Istanbul: Diye. Keyder, Çağlar (2018) ‘Imperial, national, and global Istanbul’, in Nora Fisher-­Onar, Susan C. Pearce and E. Fuat Keyman (eds.) Istanbul. Living with Difference in a Global City, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 25–37. Kut, Turgut (2011) ‘Teodor Kasap’, TDV İslam Ansiklopedisi, 40: 473–475, https://islamansiklopedisi.­kasap (accessed 20 July 2019). Lee, Tong King (2013) Translating the Multilingual City: Cross-­lingual Practices and Language Ideology, Bern: Peter Lang. Mills, Amy (2010) Streets of Memory: Landscape, Tolerance, and National Identity in Istanbul, Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press. Ortaylı, İlber (2008) Osmanlı’da Milletler ve Diplomasi, Istanbul: İş Bankası Yayınları. Paker, Saliha (2004) ‘Türkiye odaklı çeviri tarihi araştırmaları, kültürel hafıza, unutuş ve hatırlayış ilişkileri’, Journal of Turkish Studies 28(3): 275–284. 157

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Paker, Saliha (2015) ‘On the poetic practices of “a singularly uninventive people” and the anxiety of imitation. A critical re-­appraisal in terms of translation, creative mediation and “originality” ’, in Saliha Paker, Şehnaz Tahir Gürçağlar and John Milton (eds.) Tradition, Tension and Translation in Turkey, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 27–52. Paker, Saliha (2017) ‘Turkey’, in Robin Ostle (ed.) Modern Literature in the Near and Middle East, 1850–1970, Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 17–32. Paker, Saliha, Şehnaz Tahir Gürçağlar and John Milton (2015) ‘Introduction’, in Saliha Paker, Şehnaz Tahir Gürçağlar and John Milton (eds.) Tradition, Tension and Translation in Turkey, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1–24. Pamuk, Orhan (2006) Istanbul: Memories and the City, trans. Maureen Freely, London: Faber and Faber. Şahin, Seval (2019) ‘Giriş’, in Teodor Kasap (ed.) Oyunlar, Istanbul: Everest, 5–22. Sidiropoulou, Maria and Özlem Berk Albachten (2018) ‘The Greek Turkish population exchange: Reverberations of a historical experience through translation’, in Stefan Baumgarten and Jordi Cornellà-­ Detrell (eds.) Translation and Global Spaces of Power, Bristol: Multilingual Matters, 90–108. Simon, Sherry (2006) Translating Montreal: Episodes in the Life of a Divided City, Montreal: McGill-­ Queen’s University Press. Simon, Sherry (2012) Cities in Translation: Intersections of Language and Memory, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Simon, Sherry (2019) Translation Sites: A Field Guide, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Şişmanoğlu Şimşek, Şehnaz (2014) ‘Karamanlidika literary production at the end of the 19th century as reflected in the pages of Anatoli’, in Evangelia Balta (ed.) Cultural Encounters in the Turkish-­ Speaking Communities of the Late Ottoman Empire, Istanbul: Isis Press, 429–448. Soloúp (2016) ‘Savaşın ayırdığı insanları hatıralar birleştirir’ (Interview with Haziran Düzkan), www.­ayirdigi-­insanlari-­hatiralar-­birlestirir/ (accessed 20 July 2019). Stepanyan, Hasmik A. (2005) Ermeni Harfli Türkçe Kitaplar ve Süreli Yayınlar Bibliyografyası (1727– 1968), Istanbul: Turkuaz. Strauss, Johann (1994) ‘Romanlar ah! O Romanlar! Les débuts de la lecture modern dans l’Empire ottoman’, Turcica 26: 125–163. Strauss, Johann (1999) ‘Les voies de la transmission du savoir dans un milieu cosmopolite. Lettrés et savants à Istanbul au XIXe siècle (1830–1860)’, in Floréal de Sanagustin (ed.) Les intellectuels en Orient musulman. Statut et function, Cairo: Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale, 109–125. Strauss, Johann (2003) ‘Who read what in the Ottoman Empire (19th–20th centuries)?’ Middle Eastern Literatures 6(1): 39–76. Strauss, Johann (2011) ‘Linguistic diversity and everyday life in the Ottoman cities of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans (late 19th–early 20th century)’, History of the Family 16: 126–141. Susam-­Saraeva, Şebnem (2015) Translation and Popular Music: Transcultural Intimacy in Turkish-­ Greek Relations, Oxford: Peter Lang. Tahir Gürçağlar, Şehnaz (2008) The Politics and Poetics of Translation in Turkey, 1923–1960, Amsterdam: Rodopi Publishing. Tekin, Aziz (2016) ‘İstanbul Sokaklarında Kürtçe Yazılamalar’, Bianet, siyaset/171865-­istanbul-­sokaklarinda-­kurtce-­yazilamalar (accessed 20 July 2019). Tsilenis, Savvas E. and Kallirroi Dafna (2018) ‘Senyor Momars’ın Vosporomahia adlı Yunanca şiirinde Türkçe kelimeler ve 18. yüzyıl İstanbul tasviri’, trans. Arzu Eker Roditakis, in Feridun M. Emecen, Ali Akyıldız and Emrah Safa Gürkan (eds.) Osmanlı İstanbulu V, Istanbul: İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi, 69–96. Uslu, Mehmet Fatih (2017) ‘Benzersiz Bir Roman: Abdülhamid ve Sherlock Holmes’, http://mefuslu.­bir-­roman-­abdulhamid-­ve.html (accessed 20 July 2019). Wendel, John (2018) ‘Istanbul past and present: A  linguistic landscape perspective’, Proceedings of IBAD 2018: 106–116, ISBN: 978-­605-­66529-­2-­9. Zubaida, Sami (2018) ‘Promiscuous places: Cosmopolitan milieus between empire and nation’, in Nora Fisher-­Onar, Susan C. Pearce and E. Fuat Keyman (eds.) Istanbul: Living with Difference in a Global City, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 38–52. 158

10 Translation in global city Singapore A holistic embrace in a multilingual milieu? Eugene K. B. Tan

The prior decision and act of thinking and expressing oneself in one language rather than another clearly has political, economic, cultural and ethical implications. Nowhere is this more evident than in the city-­state of Singapore, where multilingualism is a way of life and an integral part of the country’s governance ethos. Translation in this multiracial and multilingual society is undergirded by the imperative to be even-­handed in the treatment of the vernacular languages (more commonly known as the mother tongue languages, MTLs) in a dominant English-­language environment. Singapore’s translation regime is driven overwhelmingly by the national interest and the need for the state and government to communicate effectively with different linguistic communities. The linguistic communities’ concerns with translation are, however, not motivated by a rights-­based approach in which the ‘why (translate)’, ‘what (is translated)’ and ‘when (is translation done)’ of translation are potential areas of deep-­seated contestation. Instead, the angst and anxiety expressed from time to time has more to do with the ‘how’ (competency and quality of translation) rather than the preference for more translation (quantity). While there is the recognition of deep linguistic structures and how they innately affect a person’s thinking, values and worldview, the translation framework is ultimately geared towards the needs of nation-­building. Translation is not only an end in itself but also conceived as a means to an end. Unlike many former colonies, cultural or linguistic imperialism is not a live issue in Singapore. There is no overt advocacy and promotion of vernacular forms of knowledge over the adopted ones. Neither is there the exorcization of the legacy of British colonial rule. In 2019, Singapore commemorated the bicentenary of the modern founding of Singapore by Sir Stamford Thomas Raffles of the British East India Company. In launching the Singapore Bicentennial, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong described 1819 as marking the beginning of a modern, outward-­looking and multicultural Singapore. Without 1819, we may never have launched on the path to nationhood as we know it today  .  .  . We are tracing and reflecting upon our longer history, one that stretches back way before 159

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1965 (when Singapore became independent). We are acknowledging and appreciating the broader context which shaped and created today’s Singapore. This was our journey, from Singapore to Singaporean. (Lee 2019) For Singapore, the mother tongues and English are not an ‘either-­or’ option in the linguistic state of play. Instead, Singapore seeks to incorporate the best of the vernacular world (with most of the forefathers of Singaporeans coming from China, the Indian subcontinent and the Malay Archipelago of Southeast Asia) and the English-­speaking world. In short, there is no angst, anger or anxiety over what Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o (2018) describes, in his Decolonising the Mind, as the invasion and appropriation of the minds of colonized people with the English language and the colonial education policy.1 Such is the power of thought often articulated through the means of language. The ruling People’s Action Party government, which has governed the city-­state since 1959, acutely recognizes that language (and education) can be pressed and mobilized for the purpose of nation-­ building. The language we think in and express ourselves in reflects not just what we think of but also what we think with in communicating. The ubiquity of translation in Singapore is apparent to a visitor even if Singaporeans may take it for granted. The rich linguistic landscape in the highly urbanized city-­state is nurtured by its heavy reliance on trade and investments and nourished by the movements of people, ideas and finance. An example that Singaporeans can identify with is the ‘Danger—Keep Out’ warning signs at construction sites, which are also rendered in Malay, Tamil and Mandarin (Figure 10.1). Similarly, road signs for places of interest and national schools also adopt the quadrilingual

Figure 10.1 The ‘Danger—Keep Out’ warning sign 160

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formula. While road signs are generally only in English, signages in heritage areas such as Chinatown, Kampong Glam (Malay) and Little India will also have other languages such as Tamil and Jawi in a nod to their being popular with tourists and recognizing their cultural salience.

Translation within the language regime in Singapore Language, like race and religion, is still regarded as a fault line in Singapore, a multiracial, multireligious and multilingual society. To be clear, language is often a proxy by which issues of race and culture are discussed in Singapore (Benjamin 1976). The public discourse on language in Singapore focuses more on emphasizing bilingualism and proficiency in the MTLs. Given the relative security of the MTLs, the discourse on translation is relatively uncontested, with the official narrative of translation being dominant. Translation is not activated or energized by concerns over the rights of the various linguistic communities. ‘Language ideology’ refers to the substantive content and ideational principles that undergird the state discourse, policies and actions on languages in Singapore. The key organizing principles in Singapore’s language ideology can be summarized as follows: (1) English as the primary language of education, public administration and commerce; (2) the cornerstone of bilingualism and the race-­based, state-­ascribed mother tongue policy; (3) language as a crucial cultural transmission vehicle, providing each race with the critical cultural ballast; (4) the creation of a core of cultural elites for each race with the urgency being accorded to the Chinese community; and (5) a pragmatic approach to the learning of the MTLs and the fundamental of economic relevancy in language planning. In this context, it is not surprising that there is less focus on translation within the praxis of linguistics. Translation is a subset of and ancillary to the overall language policy and regime. This framework often results in an inordinate focus on English and, to a lesser extent, on one’s mother tongue. Of greater concern is how Singapore’s bilingualism policy may result in one linguistic group not being accurately understood by others from different linguistic groups when the MTLs are used. To be understood is of utmost importance. Put bluntly, translation has its work cut out for it in such a language regime. Translation can play a mediating role in ensuring that inter-­group communication takes place effectively and efficiently, without generating concerns over differences or that one language is superior or better recognized than another. Right from the outset of Singapore attaining self-­government in 1959 and becoming an independent, sovereign nation-­state in 1965, there is a prima facie parity among the four official languages (viz Malay, Tamil, Mandarin and English). Language equality clearly recognizes Singapore’s multiracial, multireligious, and multilingual make-­up as immutable. Besides English, the MTLs of the three main races, viz Mandarin, Malay and Tamil, are adopted as official languages. This linguistic equality subsists with the Malay language as the sole national language.2 This remains a powerful symbolic political gesture recognizing the Malays as the indigenous people of Singapore and the geopolitical realities in Singapore’s locale. Article 153A of the Singapore Constitution proclaims that: 1 2

Malay, Mandarin, Tamil and English shall be the 4 official languages in Singapore The national language shall be the Malay language and shall be in the Roman script:

Provided that— a

no person shall be prohibited or prevented from using or from teaching or learning any other language; and 161

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nothing in this section shall prejudice the right of the Government to preserve and sustain the use and study of the language of any other community in Singapore.3

Majulah Singapura (‘Onward Singapore’), Singapore’s national anthem and motto, are both rendered in Malay. Military parade commands are also issued in Malay. The Prime Minister begins the National Day Rally, the most important annual address to Singaporeans, in Malay. Since Singapore’s independence, English is dominant as the language of education, commerce and government. The British, of course, introduced the English language during the colonial era. During the colonial regime, English was the language for the colonial administrators and the small privileged population who had the opportunity of learning the language. English is the surrogate lingua franca of Singaporeans. It did not ostensibly provide any racial group, including the ethnic Chinese majority, with any linguistic advantage. This choice of the English language was not only politically pragmatic but also shrewd. As Chua Beng Huat (2003: 71–72) observes: [I]t enables the state to articulate, in English, its own interests distinctly apart from the interests of all racial groups. It also effects a separation of state/national interests from those of the racial majority, and prevents state/national interests from being captured by the majority. Recognizing that the educational system offered the best platform for socialization and social engineering, the Singapore government swiftly established a national school system to replace the vernacular schools. Singapore’s bilingual policy is best described as ‘English-­based bilingualism’. Rather than the common understanding of literacy in two languages, bilingualism in Singapore is configured on the study of the English language plus a mother tongue. Bilingualism in Singapore seeks to enable students to ‘keep in touch with their cultural links whilst being equipped with skills to function in a modern economy’ (Ministry of Education 2002: v). The economic dimension looms large and is manifested in English being the first language in national schools. Thus, where translation in Singapore is concerned, it is often about translating from English to Malay, Mandarin or Tamil, rather than translating from one mother tongue to another. With the implementation of the New Education System (NES) in 1987, national schools have replaced vernacular schools. All Singapore school students learn English and their mother tongues as mandatory subjects. English was taught as the first language (and the language of instruction in all national educational institutions), while the MTLs were taught initially as second languages. Increasingly, the policy approach has been to encourage as many students to offer their mother tongues at the first-­language level while also recognizing that not everyone can be effectively bilingual. Consequently, the mother tongues are taught at either the first-­or second-­language level depending on a student’s aptitude and interest. The evolution of the language ideology and language regime is poignantly manifested in Singapore’s education system, a critical resource in social engineering. In turn, this impacts on translation in Singapore in several ways. First, translation may be perceived as of lesser importance as the lingua franca of English gains popularity in its usage. The choice of English as the dominant household language has increased with each decennial national census, particularly among the younger generation. This language shift towards English has been at the expense of the mother tongues. Although the English language has a secure status within Singapore’s language ideology and language planning, this poses two key concerns for the government. 162

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First, the government has expressed its concern with the widespread use of the English language in Singapore for its enervating effect on the traditional cultures and languages of Singaporeans. Second, the widespread use of English in many homes is now threatening the valuable home environment needed for the mother tongues to flourish. These macro-­developments impact upon translation competency, which is a variation of the persistent and weighty concern with the proficiency standard of MTLs. Nonetheless, the English language (the proficiency level and its widespread usage) is too valuable to Singapore’s economic prosperity to be downgraded in importance. In this highly conscious language regime, the non-­official languages are invariably marginalized. This results in the concomitant sidelining of the Chinese ‘dialects’ to be excluded from government support. For instance, to enforce the invented pan-­ethnic mother tongue for the Chinese community, the linguistic homogenization of the ethnic Chinese was necessary.4 This change required the invention of a cultural norm: Mandarin as the mother tongue of the Chinese Singaporeans. Taken together, such a language environment raises concerns about the competency of translating from English to the mother tongues as well as translating from one mother tongue to another. More fundamentally, the importance of translation may not be adequately appreciated with a more homogenous linguistic environment within each major racial community.

Singapore’s translational regime The political imperatives of nation-­building within a polyglot society ensure that meticulous and centralized language planning remains a focus of government’s efforts in the governance of a multiracial, multilingual society. Reine Meylaerts rightly points out that ‘there is no language policy without a translation policy’ (Meylaerts 2011: 744, and in this volume). This means that the rules of language use often determine the right to translation. In turn, this affects a citizen’s participatory citizenship and integration into the larger collective called the nation-­state. At one end is complete institutional multilingualism with obligatory multidirectional translation in all languages for all. The second regime is one of complete institutional monolingualism and non-­translation. The third regime is that of institutional monolingualism and translation into the minority languages, while the fourth regime is institutional monolingualism at the local level combined with institutional multilingualism at the national level (Meylaerts, this volume). Singapore’s translational regime is arguably sui generis. The Singaporean regime is one of limited institutional multilingualism (a variant of Meylaerts’s first regime) with non-­ obligatory translation into the minority languages (Meylaerts’s third regime). The Singapore Constitution provides a framework, rather than a prescriptive design, for institutional multilingualism. However, it is a limited form of institutional multilingualism since multidirectional translation in all languages is not a legal requirement and is practised selectively. While there is institutional equality of all the four official languages, one language (English) dominates in communication between the state and citizens in administration, education and the public life. This subtle co-­existence of de jure institutional multilingualism with de facto institutional monolingualism is managed adroitly. Depending on the situation, there is selective translation, determined more by policy, practice and prudence rather than actuated by a putative set of prescriptive rights and a rights-­based approach. Translation into the mother tongues is not cast or regarded as a linguistic right. Hence, translation into the mother tongues is occasional or limited. It is not presented or seen as obligatory, but neither is translation discouraged. Linguistic assimilation, if any, is into the 163

Eugene K. B. Tan Table 10.1  The languages and dialects available in law courts of Singapore Chinese Languages Malay Languages Indian Languages

Mandarin, Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese Malay, Javanese and Boyanese Tamil and Malayalam

English language, the putative neutral and unifying language for a polyglot nation-­state. The non-­prescriptive implementation of translation from English to the MTLs does not threaten the latent institutional monolingualism. In fact, this pragmatic approach to translation has acquired legitimacy because of the steadfast commitment to linguistic equality and the relative sense of security of the linguistic communities.5 The national tone on the equality of languages is constitutionally recognized by and prescribed by the Singapore Constitution. In addition to Article 153, Article 53 of the Constitution states that, ‘Until the Legislature otherwise provides, all debates and discussions in Parliament shall be conducted in Malay, English, Mandarin or Tamil’. Thus, a Member of Parliament (MP) may speak in English, Malay, Mandarin or Tamil in Parliament.6 An MP ‘may use any or any combination of the four official languages in his speech’.7 Hence, simultaneous oral translation is provided from a vernacular to English and from English to Malay, Mandarin and Tamil.8 In the law courts, all proceedings are conducted in English. Court interpreters provide interpretation to the relevant parties (litigants and witnesses) who do not understand or speak ­English or who may prefer to express themselves in a vernacular language. Interpreters are highly skilled professionals who fulfil an essential role in the administration of justice. The languages and dialects available in the Singapore law courts can be found in Table 10.1. Parties to a case may engage private interpreters for languages that the court interpretation service does not provide. This aspect of access to justice—the removal of any communication impediment—is crucial to ensure that persons who come before the courts are not partially or completely excluded from full participation in the proceedings due to limited English proficiency. Where the acquisition of translation expertise is concerned, the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) offer specialized translation programmes culminating in a bachelor’s or master’s degree. At the NTU, there is also the Master of Arts in Translation and Interpretation degree programme. At SUSS, there is the Bachelor of Arts in Translation and Interpretation degree programme. The Department of Chinese Studies at the National University of Singapore offers the Minor in Chinese Translation Programme.

Importance of translation: bridging cultures and communities, and opening pathways to more and better communication Translation is not merely about finding the right words in one language and rendering it into another; this would be more accurately described as transliteration. Translation, simply put, is to express the sense and meaning of words or a text in one language into another language. In Singapore, a cardinal principle is that translation can bridge cultures. With the various linguistic communities’ identities and languages relatively secure, translation is seen less as a right, with the focus shifting to how competently is translation done in the city-­state. Nevertheless, the sinews of translation need to engage with and carry the ideas behind them within a heterogeneous sociocultural milieu. Translation invariably comes up against 164

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not only the translator’s limitations but also more often those of language and culture. These limitations are not linguistic but cultural, and it is sometimes not easy to differentiate between them. As Paul Bandia (2008: 239) observes, translation involves and permits ‘a measure of linguistic experimentation and innovation and highlights the polyvalencies and plurivocities of the source text’. Thus, translators need to be proficient in both language and culture. Besides accuracy as a sine qua non, translation must also capture the essence, spirit and nuance of the original text even though its form may be different. Translation’s importance is often taken for granted, notwithstanding Singapore’s multilingual and multiracial context. Although English is the dominant language in Singapore, translation plays a vital role in bringing communities together through ensuring that important communications between the government and the people and between communities are not lost in translation. For the government, the recognition that ‘translation plays a big part in ensuring that the right nuancing goes out in our government communications materials in the official languages’ is a relatively recent phenomenon (Ministry of Communications and Information [MCI] 2016). The importance placed on quality translations and effective communication is ‘a sign of respect to our different ethnic communities’ (MCI 2017). The government strives to maintain the high quality in whole-­of-­government translation, and the public certainly expects a high standard. To ensure that standards are maintained and to further develop the capacity of the translators, the National Translation Committee (NTC), which was established on 1 March  2014 by the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), is tasked with ‘overseeing all the plans to enhance whole-­of-­government translation capabilities and see to improvements across the board for the industry’. Other specific objectives for the NTC include promoting ‘best practices among public sector agencies on procuring/producing translation’ and to ‘nurture the next generation of translation talents for Singapore’ (MCI n.d.-­a). The NTC works through a collaborative platform comprising the public sector, private sector and civil society to promote and raise translation standards and to address translation-­related issues. Chaired by a junior minister, the NTC has members from the media, academia, the translation industry and government representatives.9 Three Resource Panels (RP), namely the Chinese RP, Malay RP and Tamil RP, assist the NTC by providing expert advice on specific translation problems. In addition, the RPs will: • •

Assist and support the implementation of the National Translation Committee’s initiatives, aimed at raising translation standards for the particular language. Help standardize the translations of terms in the official languages in Singapore, and advise on the appropriateness of terms in the official languages adopted by the media and government agencies. (MCI n.d.-­a)

The government’s approach towards translation can be gleaned from a 2017 media release on the Review Panel on Government Tamil Translation, which was tasked to review and recommend measures to improve translation standards involving Tamil across the government. A key concern of government translation is enhancing the quality of translated communication materials. In its recommendations, the panel focused on three broad areas, namely, vetting procedures, gibberish text issues and capability development: •

When producing translated communications materials, government agencies are required to adopt a more rigorous process. Agencies could tap on the Whole-­of-­Government Period 165

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• •

Contract and Framework Agreement for Translation Services to procure both translation and vetting services to ensure translation quality. In addition, the Review Panel also provided a list of experienced vetters whom the agencies could hire for vetting services. The list complements the Translation Procurement Framework to assist the government agencies if they do not have any in-­house capability to vet and check translations. On preventing gibberish text, the panel proposed that government agencies engage only those publishing/printing companies that are able to convert Tamil text properly to ensure that the text does not appear as gibberish. On capability development, the panel proposed to establish a network of public officers proficient in Tamil, and to identify training opportunities to help these officers hone their translation capabilities further. (MCI 2017)

Introduced in May  2015 with the Whole-­of-­Government Period Contract, the Framework Agreement for Translation Services guides the government’s procuring of translation services from qualified translation vendors, which have been evaluated for quality and price competitiveness. The framework is based on a set of criteria set by the MCI in consultation with the NTC. Besides the requirement for vendors to have trained translators and vetters in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil with relevant working experience, the translators and vetters must also be familiar with the language as used in local context, culture and customs.10 The intended outcome is for government agencies to procure quality translations at a fair rate and with a quicker turnaround time. The need to avoid translation errors is abundantly evident. The Community-­in-­Translation initiative was launched in 2016 to reach out and engage the community through translation-­related activities. The government has introduced the Government Terms Translated Database (, which contains translations of more than 10,000 commonly used government terms or initiatives. It enables agencies, translation companies and the public to leverage this database of standardized translations of government policy-­related terms in the four official languages. The terms include the names of ministries, statutory boards, organizations as well as government programmes and schemes. Efforts are also directed towards growing the pool of translation talents in the public and private sectors.11 The Information Service (Translation) Scholarship was introduced in 2015 with the aim of identifying and grooming young Singaporeans who have a passion for government communications work and a strong interest in translation. In addition, there are also opportunities for public officers to pursue postgraduate or short-­term courses to deepen their knowledge and skills related to translation. The Translation Talent Development Scheme (TTDS) was set up in 2018 as a co-­sponsorship grant to encourage Singaporean translation and interpretation practitioners from the private sector to further develop their capabilities (MCI n.d.-­b). The TTDS subsidizes 90% of fees associated with capability development programmes such as courses, workshops and seminars, subject to a cap of S$10,000 per recipient. The vibrancy of translation cannot depend solely on the efforts of the government, particularly if the effort to bridge cultures in a richly diverse society is to bear fruit. In recent years, translated Singaporean literature is slowly growing in popularity locally. There is still much that can be done to have more mother tongue literary works translated into English to reach a wider audience, who are increasingly more comfortable in English rather than the mother tongues.12 While the effort is primarily led by the private sector, the public sector agency, the National Arts Council (NAC), also provides support for literary translation through its grant schemes, translation boot camps, book commissioning and the like (National Arts Council n.d.). 166

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In this regard, the role of the non-­governmental actors such as publishers and clan associations are important. Singaporean publishers, such as Epigram Books and Ethos Books, have published translated titles in the past few years, even if the reception has been lukewarm at best. Epigram Books’ Cultural Medallion series is a collection of translated works of Cultural Medallion winners writing in the MTLs (the Cultural Medallion is Singapore’s highest cultural award). Works published under this series include Mohamed Latiff Mohamed’s Confrontation (2013) and You Jin’s Teaching Cats to Jump Hoops (2012). Bringing a text to a larger audience is often the result of a multi-­stakeholder approach where writers, translators and publishers work quietly to make notable local works in a vernacular accessible to a readership in another language (often, and unsurprisingly, an English readership). Besides publishers, the nascent effort to promote Singapore translation is also promoted by the Singapore Book Council, which seeks to support Singaporean authors and literature, organizes events on literary translations and maintains a database of translators.

Translation as a way of life and translation fiascos Translation as a lived reality is probably best exemplified in the availability of subtitles for locally produced television programmes on national TV. The intent is to be inclusive: other linguistic groups can also enjoy a television programme produced primarily for one linguistic group. In this regard, translation can have the salutary effect of bridging and bringing communities together. In Singapore, sensitivities are sometimes pricked when public signages do not carry all four languages (The Straits Times 2019b). At one level, this may suggest a lack of recognition of the importance of language parity as a key aspect of the ethos of multiracialism. At another level, this failure to include all official languages in public signages and information panels may point to a more homogenized language use, often English. This is accompanied by the mistaken belief that all Singaporeans are conversant with and comfortable in using English. In a similar vein, where translation errors are made, they ruffle feathers and such matters are raised in Parliament. Very often, the erroneous translations stem from the lack of care taken to translation, an over-­reliance on Google Translate and even the use of a non-­official language (for example, Hindi translation instead of Tamil).13 One example of a recent translation blunder occurred in the pamphlets distributed to the audience during the 2017 National Day Parade (NDP) rehearsals. The pamphlets contained errors in the Tamil translation: the phrase in question was supposed to be ‘Let’s come together as one nation’, but the Tamil translation had some letters which were either not in place or missing, making the words unintelligible. Following complaints, investigations revealed that the original Tamil translation submitted for the pamphlets was correct but the printers made errors. The pamphlets were not proofread after printing and before distribution. The Ministry of Defence, which is tasked with organizing the NDP, has now incorporated post-­printing proofreading as a standard procedure for all translated texts in the NDP materials. Additionally, the NDP Executive Committee will also ensure that the publishing companies it engages are equipped with the necessary and reliable computer software for correct printing of different languages (Parliament of Singapore 2017a). But a similar incident occurred in 2020 again when the animation effects resulted in one line of the lyrics of a Tamil song having misaligned characters, making the words unintelligible (The Straits Times 2020). Translation errors in Singapore, especially in government communications, often cause a significant stir. For some, the errors in translating are seen as reflecting a callous and careless regard by the authorities towards the MTLs. The aggrieved parties often link this to their 167

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perception of a lack of respect for and the declining standards in the MTLs. These errors do also point to the lack of effectively bilingual public officers. Tamil, in particular, seems to bear the brunt of translation shortcomings. This could be due to the small number of users of the language. To be sure, errors also afflict translation involving Mandarin and Malay. This often involves translators who may not have an adequate understanding of the Chinese Singaporean culture. For example, in a tourism brochure, the Hungry Ghost Festival was rendered as xiongyali guijie (the Hungarian Ghost Festival)! At another level, unhappiness can be triggered over government communications and public place signages being only in English. This no-­translation unhappiness also stems from concerns that the MTLs are perceived as inferior to English. Taken together, the unhappiness over substandard or no translation is perceived by the unhappy stakeholders as a lack of appreciation as well as the recognition that translation from English to the MTLs is of fundamental importance in an English-­dominant language environment. At a more practical level, it is also about not taking seriously the raison d’être of translation in a multilingual language environment, which is to enable Singaporeans who do not understand or who are not comfortable with English to understand any given communication in an official non-­English language that they prefer. Perhaps the central issue where the state of translation in Singapore is concerned has more to do with translation’s place in Singapore’s language regime and bilingual policy. Translation is technical (the science) and an art at the same time. In other words, translation is neither solely about a language nor of technical accuracy. It is, at its heart, about being receptive and sensitive, and about articulating ideas, expression, representations and nuances from one language into another without a loss in meaning, purpose and emphasis. Looking at translation myopically will only result in the oft-­mentioned ‘lost in translation’ outcome. Translation in Singapore’s context must result in enhanced communicability; it is not only an end in itself but also a means to an end. Translation in such a mode enables a person to think of and think with others—it conceives of and promotes an enlarged way of thinking and communicating. This should result in communication that takes account of others’ points of view. As the main English-­language broadsheet remarked in its editorial in the wake of unhappiness over translation errors: ‘Respect for one another’s mother-­tongue languages must remain the bedrock of cultural practice and evolution’ (The Straits Times 2019e).

Singlish—no translation required? Singlish, the local variant of colloquial English, may perhaps be described as Singapore’s de facto lingua franca, as it requires little or no translation in Singapore’s domestic context. Although English is taught in schools as the first language, the prevalence of Singlish remains a source of concern and consternation for the authorities. Singlish has been blamed for the declining standards in standard-­English proficiency in Singapore. Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew (1999) had pithily described Singlish as ‘a handicap we must not wish on Singaporeans’. Then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong (1999) first declared the untenable status of Singlish in his 1999 National Day Rally speech: Most of our pupils still come from non-­English speaking homes. For them, English is really a second language, to be learnt almost like a foreign language, and not their mother tongue. For them to master just one version of English is already quite a challenge. If they get into the habit of speaking Singlish, then later they will either have to unlearn these habits, or learn proper English on top of Singlish. Many pupils will find this too difficult. 168

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They may end up unable to speak any language properly, which would be a tragedy . . . We learn English in order to communicate with the world. The fact that we use English gives us a big advantage over our competitors. Parents send children to Englishlanguage schools rather than Chinese, Malay, or Tamil schools, because they hope the children will get jobs and opportunities when they grow up . . . We cannot be a first-­world economy or go global with Singlish . . . if we carry on using Singlish, the logical final outcome is that we too will develop our own type of pidgin English, spoken only by 3 million Singaporeans, which the rest of the world will find quaint but incomprehensible. We are already half-­way there. Do we want to go all the way? We would be better off sticking to Chinese, Malay or Tamil; then at least some other people in the world can understand us. (Goh 1999) The government regards Singlish as pidgin English and seeks to reduce its popularity in order not to undermine Singapore’s competitive strength. At the forefront of this endeavour is the Speak Good English Movement (SGEM), which runs an annual campaign to ‘encourage Singaporeans to speak and write in Standard English and help those who habitually use fractured, ungrammatical English to use grammatical English. It is important to understand the differences in Standard English, broken English and Singlish’ (SGEM n.d.). Converesly, Singlish is also jealously protected by some Singaporeans who regard it as a unique Singaporean identity marker, a ‘symbolic expression of the country’s novel, bicultural identity’ (Schneider 2003). Singlish, while serving the younger generation well informally, is ‘often troubling their elders’ (McArthur 2003: 21). In truth, Singlish may well not require translation for those born and bred in Singapore. In recent years, however, the rhetoric against Singlish has toned down, a tacit recognition that Singlish is a popular bottom-­up identity marker of being Singaporean. In a sign of the times, the SGEM now ‘recognizes the existence of Singlish as a cultural marker for many Singaporeans. We aim to help those who speak only Singlish, and those who think Singlish is English, to speak Standard English. To achieve all this, we wish to create an environment of good English in Singapore’ (SGEM n.d.). Nevertheless, the constant worry that persists is that Singaporeans cannot tell the difference between Singlish and standard English, and they do not know how or when to code-­switch. Despite a less combative approach to Singlish, promoting good English usage remains the thrust of the SGEM: the use of standard English enables Singaporeans to communicate effectively and be understood by others even across borders and cultures. The persistent concern with Singlish, especially when Singaporeans use it abroad, is that translation of sorts (from Singlish to English) is needed! This segue to the possibility of a subaltern lingua franca without the need for translation reminds us that translation in Singapore and elsewhere is not merely an academic exercise. The quest to understand and to be understood remains in Singapore’s rich linguistic environment. The apparent ability of Singlish to transcend the linguistic divide for many Singaporeans highlights how average people in informal settings seek to communicate without the need for translation, which would minimally involve a working knowledge of two languages. It also highlights how subaltern translation sits alongside formal translation in the everyday quest to communicate in an environment where several languages are spoken.

Chinese dialects: No translation to Mandarin permitted The recent and refreshing response to Singlish’s popularity is not adopted where Chinese dialects are concerned. Given the multiplicity of Chinese dialect groups, translation is not seen 169

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as a viable option. Neither is it seen as being appropriate. Affording Chinese dialects the same status and support as Mandarin is seen as undermining the longstanding efforts at boosting proficiency and use of Mandarin. As discussed earlier, Mandarin as the adopted mother tongue for the heterogeneous ethnic Chinese community homogenizes the linguistic usage within the community, particularly for young Singaporeans. The impetus is the Singapore government’s steadfast belief that cultural values are originally encoded and best transmitted through the mother tongues. In Singapore, one’s ‘mother tongue’ has a formulaic definition, founded on the state’s rigid Chinese-­Malay-­Indian-­Others (CMIO) racial classification inherited from the British colonial administration. As Nirmala PuroShotam (1998: 49–50) puts it, it is ‘the symbolic language of the group of one’s paternal ancestry, rather than the language of one’s primary socialization, or one’s “native speech” ’. In the early 1990s, the rapid and impressive rise of East Asian economies of Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan provided the hubris and supposed empirical support for ‘culture as destiny’ in economic development. Culture, as a derivative of race and encoded in the ‘cultural DNA’ of a nation-­state, was seen as the driving force behind the impressive economic achievements. The Confucian core of these economies was regarded as the explanatory variable in the remarkable achievement of sociopolitical stability and sustainable economic prosperity. The evolving primacy of the Chinese language in Singapore was also driven by the heightened concern that the Chinese Singaporeans were becoming deculturalized in a globalizing city. This loss of the cultural ballast was perceived as being detrimental to Singapore’s long-­ term economic sustainability, and a fundamental correction was urgently needed. To stem the tide of Westernization and the loss of cultural heritage, the mother tongues were envisaged to play a facilitative role in this cultural revitalization effort (Vasil 1995). Thus, there was the imperative and urgency to promote the Chinese language and culture within the national education system. The concern is that younger generations of Chinese Singaporeans still have difficulties coping with two languages in school. The widespread use of dialects is taken as making the problem worse. There is also the concern that dialects would be mixed with Mandarin, resulting in a pidgin Mandarin.14 The annual Speak Mandarin Campaign graduated from one of reducing the usage of dialects by the Chinese community to the present elevation of Mandarin as the high language of Chinese Singaporeans. Cultural revitalization, with the younger generation Chinese as the target beneficiaries, requires the leitmotif of language as a carrier of high culture. A prominent spokesperson for the ‘language as culture’ belief, then Information and the Arts Minister Mr. George Yeo (1998), declared that: If the majority of Chinese Singaporeans use Chinese, not as the mother tongue but as a second language, not used at home and taught only in school, the nature of our society will change, and it will be for the worse . . . It is worth recapitulating why promoting Mandarin as a high language for Chinese Singaporeans is necessary. The reasons are both cultural and economic. The use of Mandarin will help us preserve and develop our cultural roots. Chinese Singaporeans are the proud inheritors of 5,000 years of Chinese civilization, the longest continuous civilization in human history. Chinese culture and the Chinese language give us a sense of who we are, where we came from and what we can be . . . The culture of a people gives its members their internal strength. Without that internal strength, we will not be able to survive disasters, political turmoil and war. If we use only English, and allow our mother tongue to degenerate into a second language, with Chinese not used at home and taught only in school, we will lose much of our internal 170

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strength and become a weak people with shallow roots. There is also a powerful economic reason to promote Mandarin. The re-­emergence of China will have a growing impact on world economics and world politics in the coming decades. Those who speak and write Mandarin, and understand Chinese culture, will enjoy a considerable advantage in the next century. Those who are able to master both Chinese and English at a high level will be much sought after. (Yeo 1998) These concerted efforts to marginalize the Chinese dialects extends to the ban on programming in dialects in television broadcasts and public cinema movie screenings. Such programmes are dubbed into Mandarin, often irritating viewers as nuances are lost. Chinese dialect programming on television is regarded as undermining the efforts to promote Mandarin and to have the Chinese community speak and communicate in Mandarin and bond as one homogenous community. Without the multiplicity of Chinese dialects, translation from a dialect to Mandarin (or even English) is not required. In this regard, there are ‘transaction costs’ if giving the status of Chinese dialects at the same standing as official languages. This is illustrated, for example, in the naming of streets. During the colonial era, Singapore had street names in English and Malay, but the various Chinese dialect groups had their own dialect versions of the names. This obviously generated confusion and inconvenience, leading to the then Ministry of Culture establishing a committee in 1968 to standardize the Chinese names of streets and roads. Today, the MCI proposes Chinese translations of approved English street names, in consultation where necessary with the NTC’s Chinese Resource Panel, before the Street and Building Names Board adopts them as the official Chinese translations of street names. There is no arrangement for the translation of street names into Malay and Tamil because the issue of different translations did not arise in these languages. There were also instances of street names transliterated from Malay and Tamil (Parliament of Singapore 2017b). Nevertheless, the Chinese dialects continue to demonstrate their relevance and resilience. In government communications to the masses, especially in critical times such as a public health emergency, the approach in Singapore is to use whatever languages are most accessible to the target audiences. Implicit in this is the acceptance that there are limits to government efforts to discourage the use of Chinese dialects. There will be exceptional situations where translation of an official language to a Chinese dialect can serve the public interest. This was most vividly showcased during the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in Singapore in mid-­2003. In order to reach out to every Singaporean ‘in a language that he or she understands’, the government permitted the use of dialects on television and radio. Government communication on what Singaporeans can do to avoid contracting SARS and other related health information was done in the official languages and Chinese dialects to ensure that no one was excluded and that Singaporeans, especially the elderly who are conversant with dialects, understood the life-­and-­death health advisories. The then Media Development Authority (2003) explained such an adjustment of programming guidelines was necessary ‘in these exceptional circumstances . . . so that everyone will be aware of the SARS problem’. In particular, the target audience was the elderly, who spoke only dialects and who did not read the newspapers but watch and hear television and radio programmes. This is also the case in the ongoing COVID-­19 global pandemic, where the national broadcaster produced videos in various Chinese dialects providing health advisories and encouraging the elderly to stay calm during this trying period.15 Dialects are also commonly used during the general elections. Electoral candidates, from both the ruling and opposition parties, would campaign in door-­to-­door visits and election 171

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rallies using Chinese dialects to reach out to older Chinese Singaporeans. Similarly, rather than translating, government face-­to-­face outreach to elderly Chinese Singaporeans by public officers are often in the dialects. Undoubtedly, beyond a pragmatic response to the linguistic demographics and ground realities, there remains the residual appreciation of the intrinsic worth of dialects. Translation in these situations is not only inadequate but not an option at all. Take the case of an elderly Chinese Singaporean who only communicates in a Chinese dialect. Rather than translate from an official language to the applicable Chinese dialect, communicating directly and empathetically in the Chinese dialect would ensure that important government communication reaches the target audience effectively and efficiently.

Conclusion Given the port city that Singapore was and being strategically located at the crossroads of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Singapore was a translation hub during the colonial era (1819– 1963). For example, notable figures include Munshi Abdullah Bin Abdul Kadir, who is considered the father of modern Malay literature and the scribe/translator for Sir Stamford Raffles, and Lim Boon Keng, Singapore’s first Queen Scholar and the founding principal of Xiamen University in China’s Fujian Province, who translated Qu Yuan’s epic Chinese poem Li Sao: An Elegy on Encountering Sorrows into English. The Mission Press from the 1850s published newspapers in Chinese and Jawi, and other works in English, Japanese and Thai. Similarly, the earliest surviving Malay book (a translation of the Sermon on the Mount from 1829) and the oldest bible in Japanese (from 1837) were printed in Singapore.16 All of these works are examples of a vibrant language environment that facilitated translation and the production of publications in non-­native languages. In his seminal work, Imagined Communities, Benedict Anderson (1991) emphasized how shared languages can possess and generate societal cohesion. In the nation-­building process, a shared language has the ‘capacity for generating imagined communities, building in effect particular solidarities’ (Anderson 1991: 133; original emphasis). Singapore’s bilingualism policy helps to ensure that English is a shared language among all Singaporeans. As a complement to a shared language, the significance and centrality of translation in Singapore is that it can help a polyglot society, with English as the dominant language, to better understand the myriad of cultures. In this sense, translation has a nation-­building role. Conceived as such, the proper endorsement of and a competent environment of translation can help to allay any concerns of linguistic authoritarianism of English (the dominant language) or Mandarin (the mother tongue of the largest racial community). Bilingualism is a boon and a key attribute of the average Singaporean and a cornerstone of Singapore’s education system and language regime. Being bilingual is not merely an advantage in the job market but, increasingly, a basic requirement. This should enhance the relevance and proficiency level of translation, although that is not the current state of affairs. Translation for much of modern Singapore’s history was a private enterprise. However, with independence, translation transformed from a reality to a necessity for a multilingual society that continues to nurture its bilingual regime. Singapore’s experience demonstrates that the importance of translation is not just a linguistic one; it is also of historical, social, economic and political importance to Singapore. Competent translation is essential to a multilingual society. Not giving due recognition to translation’s purpose and meaning is to Singapore’s peril. The abiding challenge for plurilingual and cosmopolitan Singapore is to embrace translation in a holistic manner. It has to go beyond the mere translating of texts from one language 172

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(often English) into another. Translation has to be an integral part of Singapore’s language regime, one that enhances bilingualism and sustains multiracialism, enabling the formation of a truly Singaporean linguistic identity. The attainment of a societal mindset—one that is sensitive to and alive to the centrality of translation as a means of becoming Singaporean and understanding Singaporeans from different linguistic groups—will enhance national identity and belonging and ensure translation is not just a concern of the state but one that every citizen has a stake in.

Further reading Ghim Lian Chew, Phyllis (2013) Sociolinguistic History of Early Identities in Singapore: From Colonialism to Nationalism, Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan. A broad overview of Singapore’s complex yet fascinating sociolinguistic landscape from the colonial era to present day, and how language policies seek to shape national identity and belonging Kuo, Eddie C. Y. and Brenda Chan (2016) Singapore Chronicles: Language, Singapore: Straits Times Press and Institute of Policy Studies. A comprehensive and succinct introduction to the evolving language use patterns in Singapore as an independent nation-­state, executed through education policy, language campaigns and the mass media Lee, Kuan Yew (2012) My Lifelong Challenge: Singapore’s Bilingual Journey, Singapore: Straits Times Press. A frank account by Singapore’s founding Prime Minister and architect of its bilingual policy on the challenges of sustaining the policy in a polyglot nation in the throes of building a unifying identify upon independence, and of his lifelong struggle in learning the Chinese language

Notes 1 ‘Therefore behind the cannons was the new school . . . But better than the cannon it made the conquest permanent. The cannon forces the body and the school fascinates the soul’ (as cited in Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o 2018: 9). 2 See Enright (1969) for an early observation of the linguistic balance of power in Singapore. 3 This provision is also found in section 7 of the Republic of Singapore Independence Act (Act 9 of 1965), passed on 22 December 1965, but having retrospective effect to 9 August 1965 (‘Singapore Day’). 4 On the linguistic ideology as part of the political ideology of nation-­building, see Bokhorst-­Heng (1999). 5 For one perspective of the politics of languages in Singapore, see Tan (2007), and the references provided. The reality is that no linguistic community in Singapore has a total ‘sense of security’ and that is why translation errors continue to elicit strong reactions. 6 Standing Orders of the Parliament of Singapore (2017 Reprint), Standing Order No. 47. 7 Standing Orders of the Parliament of Singapore (2017 Reprint), Standing Order No. 48(7). 8 See, generally, Standing Orders of the Parliament of Singapore (2017 Reprint), Standing Order No. 49. 9 The NTC is currently chaired by Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information, and Ministry of National Development. 10 Taken from the website of Lingua Technologies International, a selected vendor for the provision of translation services to the Singapore government. The company states that it is ‘the only locally owned translation company with adherence to the ISO 17100 standard’. See­technologies-­international-­awarded-­framework-­agreement-­supply-­translation-­ services-­whole-­singapore-­government/ (accessed 28 October 2020). 11 See, for example, ‘More than words: A translator’s job’, a 15 April 2019 article to promote translation as a career and to create awareness of the work of translators in the public sector, appearing in the official Medium account of the MCI, Singapore. See post at­than-­ words-­a-­translators-­job-­60b21e119f0a (accessed 28 October 2020). 12 Cost is a major issue in putting out a high-­quality translated work and can also be a loss-­making venture for publishers: see The Straits Times (2019a). 173

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1 3 See The Straits Times (2019c, 2019d, 2019e). 14 See The Straits Times (2003). This was the government’s response to a government-­appointed committee’s recommendation on increasing programming variety. 15 See videos at­message-­from-­our-­dialect-­speaking-­actors-­covid-­ 19-­sgunited-­strongertogether/565157574100839/ (accessed 28 October 2020). 16 Information obtained from Today (2015).

References Anderson, Benedict (1991) Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (Revised edition), London and New York: Verso. Bandia, Paul F. (2008) Translation as Reparation: Writing and Translation in Postcolonial Africa, Manchester and Kinderhook, NY: St Jerome Publishing. Benjamin, Geoffrey (1976) ‘The cultural logic of Singapore’s “Multiracialism” ’, in Riaz Hassan (ed.) Singapore: Society in Transition, Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 115–133. Bokhorst-­Heng, Wendy (1999) ‘Singapore’s Speak Mandarin campaign: Language ideological debates and the imagining of the nation’, in Jan Blommaert (ed.) Language Ideological Debates, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 235–266. Chua, Beng Huat (2003) ‘Multiculturalism in Singapore: An instrument of social control’, Race & Class 44(3): 58–77. Enright, D. J. (1969) Memoirs of a Mendicant Professor, London: Chatto and Windus. Goh, Chok Tong (1999) ‘First-­world economy, world-­class home’, Prime Minister’s National Day Rally Speech, 22 August  1999, 2019 (accessed 28 October 2020). Lee, Hsien Loong (2019) ‘Speech by the prime minister at the launch of the Singapore Bicentennial’, 28 January  2019,­Lee-­Hsien-­Loong-­at-­the-­launch-­of-­the-­Singapore-­ Bicentennial-­Jan-­2019 (accessed 28 October 2020). Lee, Kuan Yew (1999) ‘Speech by the Senior Minister at the Tanjong Pagar 34th National day celebration’, 14 August  1999, (accessed 28 October 2020). McArthur, Tom (2003) ‘English as an Asian language’, English Today 19(2): 19–22. Media Development Authority (2003) ‘Allowing the use of dialect on television and radio’, 30 April  2003 News Release,­and-­events/Media-­Room/archived/mda/Media-­ Releases/2003/allowing-­the-­use-­of-­dialect-­on-­television-­and-­radio (accessed 28 October 2020). Meylaerts, Reine (2011) ‘Translational justice in a multilingual world: An overview of translational regimes’, Meta 56(4): 743–757. Ministry of Communications and Information [MCI] (2016) ‘Remarks by Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information, and Ministry of Health, and chairman, National Translation Committee, at the Translation Workshop, 1 August 2016’, pressroom/news-­and-­stories/pressroom/2016/10/the-­translation-­workshop?page=39 (accessed 28 October 2020). Ministry of Communications and Information [MCI] (2017) ‘Press release on ‘maintaining whole-­of-­ government Tamil translation standards’, 26 January  2017,­and-­ stories/pressroom/2017/1/maintaining-­whole-­of-­government-­tamil-­translation-­standards (accessed 28 October 2020). Ministry of Communications and Information [MCI] (n.d.-­a) ‘National translation committee’, www.­comms/what-­we-­do (accessed 28 October 2020). Ministry of Communications and Information [MCI] (n.d.-­b) ‘Translation talent development scheme (TTDS)’, (accessed 28 October 2020). Ministry of Education (2002) Education Statistics Digest 2002, Singapore: Ministry of Education. National Arts Council (n.d.) ‘Creation grant’, overview.html (accessed 28 October 2020). 174

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Ngũgĩ  wa Thiong’o  (2018) Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature, Oxford: James Currey. Parliament of Singapore (2017a) ‘Parliamentary question on errors in Tamil translations on national day parade 2017 rehearsal collaterals’,­ answer-­3747 (accessed 28 October 2020). Parliament of Singapore (2017b) ‘Official translations of names of new places’, search/sprs3topic?reportid=oral-­answer-­1447 (accessed 28 October 2020). PuroShotam, Nirmala (1998) Negotiating Language, Constructing Race: Disciplining Race in Singapore, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Schneider, Edgar W. (2003) ‘The dynamics of new Englishes: From identity construction to dialect birth’, Language 79(2): 233–281. Speak Good English Movement (SGEM) (n.d.) ‘About Us’,­us (accessed 28 October 2020). The Straits Times (2003) ‘More dialect shows will hit Mandarin use’, 10 March 2003, 15. The Straits Times (2019a) ‘Push for translation’, 9 August 2019, D1—D2. The Straits Times (2019b) ‘Rooting for signs of multilingual Singapore’, 18 February 2019, B1 and B3. The Straits Times (2019c) ‘Wet market operator draws flak for flier translation error’, 24 March 2019, A13. The Straits Times (2019d) ‘Accurate translations a mark of respect: Iswaran’, 25 March 2019, B2. The Straits Times (2019e) ‘Editorial—respect for language, and unity it brings’, 27 March 2019, A17. The Straits Times (2020) ‘NDP organisers apologise for Tamil language errors in NDP 2020 evening show’, 12 August  2020,­organisers-­apologise-­for-­tamil-­ language-­errors-­in-­ndp2020-­evening-­show (accessed 28 October 2020). Tan, Eugene K B (2007) ‘The multilingual state in search of the nation: The language discourse in Singapore’s nation-­building’, in Lee Hock Guan and Leo Suryadinata (eds.) Language, Nation and Development in Southeast Asia, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 74–117. Today (2015) ‘Arts company the select centre puts spotlight on translation’, 26 August  2015, www.­company-­select-­centre-­puts-­spotlight-­translation (accessed 28 October 2020). Vasil, Raj (1995) Asianising Singapore: The PAP’s Management of Ethnicity, Singapore: Heinemann Asia. Yeo, George (1998) ‘Speech (delivered in Mandarin) by the Minister for Information and the Arts and 2nd minister for Trade & Industry at the 1998 Speak Mandarin campaign launch’, 12 September 1998, (accessed 28 October 2020).


11 Imperial translational spaces and the politics of languages in Austria-­Hungary The case of Lemberg/Lwów/Lviv Irene Sywenky

The context of the city This chapter focuses on the translational spaces, plurilingualism and language-­centred nationalist ideologies that defined the complex plurilinguistic and multicultural urban community of the 19th-­century city of Lemberg/Lwów/Lviv. The city of Leopolis, Lemberg, Lwów, Львов (Lvov) and Львiв (Lviv) in what is now Western Ukraine has been a site of political and cultural negotiation since its first mention in the annals of 1256 and through the historical succession of colonial contexts: from the Kingdom of Poland (14th to 18th centuries), the Austro-­Hungarian Empire (1772–1918), the Second Polish Republic (1918–1939), to the Soviet Union (1939–1991). Founded by the Ruthenian Prince Danylo (1202–1264) and named after his son, Prince Lev, Lviv had historically become a meeting ground of diverse ethnic and national influences (Ruthenian/Ukrainian, Armenian, Turkish, Greek, Polish, Jewish, German, Italian, Austrian, Czech and Russian) and a site of multiple imperial transfers and political and economic contestation between East and West. Today’s Lviv (formerly Lemberg and Lwów in the respective German and Polish cartographic and administrative toponymic usage) became the capital of the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, the crown land of the House of Habsburg, in 1772. Austro-­Hungarian Lemberg was mostly Ruthenian (Ukrainian), Polish and Jewish, with German being the language of the government. Thus, in Austrian Galicia the scholarly and sacred languages of Latin, Old Church Slavonic, Old Armenian and Hebrew were complemented by the secular Polish, Ruthenian, Yiddish and German, and many citizens were commonly fluent in several languages. Although initially the Austrian authorities pursued a ‘policy of steady linguistic Germanization’, the city (Lwów) was re-­Polonized with the introduction of municipal autonomy in the 1860s, when Polish became the official administrative language; by the end of the 19th century, the city became a fairly well-­known urban destination and was included in major European tourist guides (Davies 2011: 459, 470). As D’hulst and Koskinen most recently noted: The city has long been understood as a place of language contact, attracting people from different backgrounds and with varied linguistic repertoires, and the spatial coexistence of 176

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different languages within the confined and shared urban space has made cities a popular environment for studies on linguistic variation and multilingualism. (D’hulst and Koskinen 2020: 1) Positioning Lviv between the shifting points of power, John Czaplicka (2005: 33) notes a series of different ‘fields of political and cultural gravitation’. Though mainly Slavic, the city was oriented toward the German-­based culture of Vienna in the Habsburg Empire, while it became predominantly Polish and Jewish at the beginning of the 20th century. Its competing languages—some receding, some moving to the foreground—reflected historically changing imperial powers and shifts in geopolitical orientation. The multicultural legacy of Lviv, a result of numerous border shifts and geopolitical changes, masks many centuries of troubled historical past, often marked by ethnic conflicts, political strife, mass violence and displacement. Narvselius (2012: 57–58) refers to Lviv as an ‘(un)usual borderline city’ and as the city that ‘changed its geocultural and geopolitical orientation’ throughout its history. Contemporary German historian Karl Schloegel (2003: 258) comments on Lviv as ‘the capital of European province’ and a city of ‘washed out borders’, while hoping that Lviv will be able to ‘find its polyglot voice’ with which to tell the history of its Central European identity. The city’s histories, sociocultural and political struggles and negotiations can be articulated, using the words of Homi Bhabha, only in the ‘interstitial passages and processes of cultural difference that are inscribed in the “in-­between” ’, and ‘disjunctive spaces and signs’ (1994: 310, 311), that is in the space of cultural and linguistic contact, collision, mediation and transfer. While elsewhere I explored the operation of this city’s translational spaces along the 20th century historical shifts (see Sywenky 2014, 2017), focusing on the processes of cultural translation through literary practices as well as in other media, here I turn my attention to the earlier period in Lviv’s complex history as part of the Austro-­Hungarian Empire. The chapter explores the shifting status of the city’s languages in the public sphere throughout the 19th century, with a specific focus on the post-­1867 reform period when ‘the dominance of the German language gradually weakened while other languages gained strength’ and there were ‘increasing calls for a codification of equal language rights’; in Galicia, for example, ‘the Landessprachen were Polish and Ruthenian and, in theory, also German; in Bukovina they were German, Romanian and Ruthenian’ (Wolf 2015: 62–63). The dynamic relation between languages in the provinces of Austria-­Hungary such as Galicia shows the production and gradation of power in the public sphere through the state regulation of languages but also through the ensuing political and cultural dialogue created by the competing use of these languages. According to Jan Fellerer, it is productive to differentiate between such distinct spheres as language use and policy, thus plurilingualism and language policies ‘are facets of the discourse that was the arena where groups negotiated or fought for power over Galicia’ (Fellerer 2003: 107). The focus of this study is the public discursive space as exemplified by journalistic practices, newspapers and other publications of popular interest, their circulation, market, audiences and spheres of influence. Publishers, journalists and translators working within the heteroglot and pluricultural urban environments necessarily engage as mediators, cultural translators and producers of meanings—or agents—that respond to and/or shape political attitudes and nationalist sentiments as reflected in language practices within a public sphere. The multiple coordinates within which such agents are situated, or their ‘positionality’, according to Maria Tymoczko, comes to be scrutinized ‘not merely as a matter of history, geography, material culture, or the literary system, but also a question of the relation to power structures, ideology, politics and ethics’ (2007: 44). Linguistic and translational practices within the context of institutional plurilingualism, along with practices of exclusion and ‘othering’, are indicative of the complex 177

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multivectorial political and cultural processes that come to shape urban communities such as 19th-­century Lemberg/Lwów/Lviv.

Theoretical considerations Responding to the multiple paradigmatic shifts within the disciplinary landscape of the humanities and social sciences, the cultural turn of the 1990s had a profound impact on the discipline of translation studies. Breaking away from the historically traditional focus on texts and textuality and refocusing on the complex forms of cultural transfer and cultural mediation, such translation analyses foreground asymmetrical power relations underlying these processes. These new conceptualizations and approaches to translation attend to the cultural and social encodings that characterize the phenomenon of translation to a special degree—special because processes of mediation are deeply embedded in cultural and societal structures that entail both the negotiation of cultural difference and the exploitation of all the various forms of translational action. (Wolf 2015: xiv) It is thus crucial to understand translational processes in a broader context of trajectories of cultural flow and exchange, which become particularly significant under conditions of urban plurilingualism. The culturally and historically complex phenomenon of plurilingualism implies a temporally sustained coexistence of multiple linguistic spheres and a dynamic interaction between languages in the context of specific politically determined power relations between different linguistic agents and social institutions. Such complex and diverse interactions become particularly prominent in imperial conditions that often stimulate cultural contact, albeit within asymmetrically structured power relations. Galicia, as a province within a major European empire and a borderland, is a prime example of plurilingualism, a meeting space of many languages and cultures that came to interact in an ever-­more-­contested public space throughout the 19th century. While one important aspect of urban plurilingualism is the oral performative element and linguistic usage in different social spheres, e.g., ‘the shared spatiotemporal situation of spoken language’ (Maitland 2017: 59), the landscape of print culture (such as periodical publications) presents a much more nuanced picture of cultural flows (and clashes). Publications in specific languages seem to constitute separate spheres of influence and target different audiences. However, in the conditions of official imperial and unofficial provincial languages and the population’s competence in more than one language, these multiple publications posit ‘voices’ that participate in a dialogue and exchange through the mere fact of their co-­temporal material presence and circulation (e.g., from the street to coffee shops to private residences), and create a multivectorial translational space of transfer of meanings and contestation of cultures. It is relevant to draw here on M. L. Pratt’s (1991, 1992) concept of a contact zone as a social site where, under asymmetrical power relations, cultures come to interact with each other, challenging each other, constructing spaces of resistance and competing for spheres of influence. Extending this conceptual apparatus to the perspective of literary studies and studies of print cultures, we can find similar theoretical and methodological trajectories. The much-­contested site of world literature (often intricately tied to the gradations of global power) has been redefined from the perspective of translation, where the ambivalent and fluid global body of texts is situated in a translational continuum shaped by the historically changing mechanisms of 178

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circulation and networks of influences. Thus, for example, Emily Apter’s (2006, 2013) influential theoretical interventions present a noteworthy movement from the idea of the translation zone to the concept of untranslatability as the phenomena/processes that both engage with and resist the transfer of meaning. Discursive cultural networks within culturally diverse empires such as Austria-­Hungary share many aspects with global cultural networks that constitute a translational space as a site of multidirectional exchanges and conflicting cultural agents. Translation is thus understood here in the broadest possible sense as a fluid continuum of interacting, clashing and competing discourses, transnational flows and exchanges of cultural information. Theorizing the city as ‘a space of productive diversity’, Cronin and Simon (2014: 119) contend that language is ‘key in the creation of meaningful spaces of contact and civic participation’ and introduce the idea of a ‘translational city’ (cf. Simon, this volume). Urban translational spaces often have specific material manifestations and material cultures that are associated with technological developments, distribution of print materials, and their circulation and accessibility. Engaging with (and against) the linguistic and cultural turns, Karin Littau, for example, contends that culture ‘could not exist were it not for the technological artefacts that give it a body’ (2015: 86). She argues that the media has an important impact on shaping our perceptions and forming our attitudes and mentalities; media thus impacts their consumers ‘not through the content they carry, but through their material and technical properties’ (87). The forum that took place in Translation Studies a few years ago may have signaled if not a beginning of a new ‘turn’, then at the very least an acknowledgement of the significance of the material aspects of cultures in translation. Newspapers were an important medium and cultural product that participated in the increasingly more diverse linguistic, cultural and informational traffic that shaped the life of Galicians in the 19th century. As opposed to books, which were more expensive, bulkier and often required higher levels of literacy and appreciation of individual and idiosyncratic artistic styles, newspapers—which were quickly expanding and becoming the recognizable attribute of modernity—were cheap, omnipresent and disposable. They delivered brief updates on popular topics and often engaged in debates of social and political relevance. They were thus important medial venues for constructing cultural and political perceptions in populations and accessing broader audiences. Consideration of the historical practices of ‘editing, printing and translation gives crucial insights into how meanings are produced, manipulated and spread’ (89), shedding light on different aspects of translational processes, from textual to cultural and intermedial.

Historical context The temporal focus of this chapter—the second half of the 19th century in Austria-­Hungary— covers the period starting with the time around the revolutionary turmoil of 1848 and the beginning of the rule of Franz Josef I, the 1860s and beyond, that is ‘a period in which, for reasons of political and social change, the [Habsburg] monarchy was undergoing a transformation from authoritarian principality to civil constitutional state’ (Rindler Schjerve 2003: 5). In 1860 the political regime of monarchy that can be described as (neo)absolutist was replaced by a parliamentary constitutional era. Manifestation of national interests and formation of nationalist discourses gradually became more prominent, especially because they proved, ‘under the influence of general European developments, to be a flexible catalyst for the claims to power of a variety of groups’ (Wallnig 2003: 23). In this context, the ideas of nationality and national language acquire particular importance and become topics—implicit or explicit—of discussion in and among various periodical publications. These discourses underlie other hidden 179

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agendas, such as the hierarchy and ongoing power play of languages, which was defined by various factors, including these languages’ level of cultural prestige and degree of institutionalization (e.g., Ruthenian was predominantly the language of the rural population). In the province of Galicia, ‘the conflict between estates and the state was clearly focused in the battle over the official language and . . . the state sought to create support by upgrading an underprivileged language’ (Wallnig 2003: 27), which would also strengthen the position of the state. In the case of Galicia, such an underprivileged language was Ruthenian, although the state’s laxer minority language policies did not gain a lot of support from the local elite (often Polish-­ speaking), which was given more power after the reform of 1867, and with Polish becoming the official language of the administrative structures of Galicia in 1869. Many scholars note that as a province in the Austro-­Hungarian Empire and an administrative, economic and sociocultural unit, Galicia was very different from the territories such as Habsburg Bohemia or Hungary, which were crownlands with a long history of political and cultural power and traditions to define them. As national movements developed among the Poles, Ruthenians, and Jews of Galicia during the course of the nineteenth century, the idea of Galicia transcended nationality in the spirit of inclusive provincial integrity. That integrity, however, require its own work of conscientious cultural construction. (Wolff 2010: 5) As Wolff contends, the idea of Galicia, while being contested among various political and cultural leaders, literary and artistic figures, was also negotiated in the public sphere of periodical publications, with the locus of this cultural production situated predominantly in urban spaces (Wolff 2010: 4). While Galicia, like other Austro-­Hungarian provinces, historically gravitated toward the imperial capital of Vienna, it also had its own important centres, one of them being Kraków/Cracow (the official capital of Poland until the end of the 16th century, which went on to retain its economic and cultural status), and the other, Lwów/Lviv. The two major urban centres competed against each other for spheres of influence and were an important geopolitical factor on the provincial cultural scene that evolved throughout the 19th century.

The publishing market, its audiences and spheres of influence The period since 1848, which has been identified in related scholarship as the most indicative of the changes that followed the political upheaval in Europe and the administrative shifts in the Habsburg Empire, is also associated with the rise of nationalisms in the peripheries of the Empire and the constitutional reforms that resulted in more linguistic diversity in the public sphere. This study draws partially on the archival work and data collection that was done in the city of Lviv, mainly in the archives of the Vasyl Stefanyk National Scientific Library of Ukraine, and to a lesser extent, in the Central State Historical Archive and the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe. According to the catalogue listings of the Vasyl Stefanyk National Scientific Library, in the period between 1848 and 1918, the linguistic landscape of the periodicals published in Lviv can be broken down in the following way: 99 Polish newspapers and journals, 69 Ruthenian/Ukrainian (including one in Latin transcription), 9 German, 2 Jewish and 1 French (one year only). While the Central Archive contains correspondence and a variety of documents of some of the editorial offices pertaining to the management of newspapers and journals, these materials are often inconsistent and do not present a full picture of the circulation 180

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of these periodicals. The Stefanyk Library figures include a number of periodicals that lapsed for a period of time and then reappeared; this, however, does not change the overall picture in a significant way. The numbers may not be representative synchronically, e.g., during any particular point of time, as the publishing industry was quite fluid and changing, responding to the market demands and other factors, such as official policies. For example, the scope of the publication market in Ruthenian/Ukrainian has an uneven historical distribution, as most of the publications appeared in the last third of the century. Thus, discussing the periodicals in eastern Galicia (with Lviv as its publishing centre), Vushko comments that the majority of Ukrainian periodicals, for various reasons, ‘stopped their existence quite quickly, although new ones were founded on an ongoing basis, which ensured a relative balance in the publishing sphere’ (Vushko 2002: 64; my translation). Termination of periodical publications involved a number of possible factors, such as the decline of a particular market or problems with distribution, not the least important being the financial factor and the cost of production. Periodicals in national/ provincial languages were also a tool of navigating broader political trends. For example, the idea of pan-­Slavism promoted by Russia was both inconvenient and potentially dangerous to the Habsburgs. Thus, in 1842 there was a proposal from the imperial authorities for an establishment of a state-­sponsored Ruthenian journal to counter Russian pan-­Slavic influences. The project, however, fell through over Vienna’s insistence on the use of the Latin alphabet over Cyrillic (see Wolff 2010: 130). The preference for the Latin alphabet is politically significant as it would effectively attempt, even if only through the impact of a periodical publication, to ‘de-­ foreignize’ Cyrillic and bring it under the umbrella of the German and Polish cultures. Translational spaces formed by these networks of periodical publications facilitated cultural flows, although they were limited to the range of the population’s linguistic fluencies. For example, German, as the imperial administrative language, was known and used in the educated social milieu, while many Ukrainians had varying degrees of competence in Polish. Therefore, the reach of specific language depended on its positioning within the political and cultural hierarchy of the empire. Publications in two of Galicia’s main languages (Polish and Ukrainian) inevitably entailed interests in the construction of power by different agents. Considering that Ruthenian/Ukrainian language had been absent from the public sphere until around 1848, the gradual growth of publications in this language not only contributed to the diversity of print culture in Galicia (in different varieties of written Ukrainian), but also constituted a definitive stage in the formation of national consciousness among the Ukrainian population. Jan Fellerer’s study of 3,500 administrative texts in Galicia from the period between 1772 and 1914 shows that there were no administrative texts in Ukrainian until 1848, which means that this language was effectively excluded from the administrative system, although Ukrainian speakers made up 40%–50% of the Galician population (Fellerer 2003: 129). However, in the period from 1848 to 1852, documents such as laws and decrees were commonly translated into both Polish and Ukrainian, which is evidenced by the fact that ‘the Ministry of Justice in Vienna published a Ukrainian and a Polish version of the official compendium of laws until 1852’ (Fellerer 2003: 146). Such administrative translation practices provided more equitable access to the information distributed through administrative channels. This situation changed in 1869, with the issuing of a language law that replaced German with Polish as an official language to be used for administrative purposes. Through this constitutional change the Polish population ‘gained many privileges which supported their political and cultural hegemony. In effect, the Poles took the helm of provincial governance in Galicia and Polish replaced German as the language of administration and legislation’ (Wierzbieniec et al. 2000: 232). This shift affected further changes in the linguistic and cultural power structure and the landscape of print culture. 181

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Negotiating linguistic spaces, communities and nationalisms Lemberg/Lwów/Lviv holds an important place in the history of print culture of the region, with the first printing press founded by Ivan Fedorov in the 16th century and, in the next few decades, followed by a Polish press and an Armenian press, with a number of presses steadily growing. The first newspaper published on the territory of what is now Ukraine, the French-­ language Gazette de Léopol, though short-­lived, came out in Lviv in 1776, four years after Galicia became part of Austria-­Hungary. It was printed by the Piller family press, which also produced publications in Latin, Gothic, Hebrew, Greek and Cyrillic (‘Printing’ n.d.). It was a weekly government publication that was mostly a political and informational chronicle modelled after other similar newspapers (Narizhnyi n.d.). An important periodical that established its presence throughout the 19th century and beyond was Gazeta Lwowska (a Lwów daily newspaper) published in Polish. The newspaper first appeared in 1811 as the official publication of the Austrian government in Galicia and was limited mostly to government documents and legal matters. Just like the comparable German-­language publications of Austria-­Hungary, the very linguistic presence of this Polish paper regulated the political and cultural status quo in the province of Galicia and constructed an official perspective and assumption that all or most of the population, both Polish and non-­Polish, would be able to read it; it thus served as a translational continuum that mediated flows of information for non-­Polish consumers. As with many other periodical publications, the last third of the century, and specifically the 1870s saw the diversification of the content of Gazeta Lwowska, which started publishing articles on political issues as well as various other topics of interest. While the market of periodical publications in Lviv was largely dominated by the Polish language, ethnic groups other than Polish had their presence on the publishing scene. As revolutions and nationalist movements swept across Europe in 1848, the same year saw the founding of the Supreme Ruthenian Council in Lviv. It demanded a creation of a separate crownland that would unite all territories with Ukrainian population in Galicia, Bukovyna and Transcarpathia (see ‘Galicia’, Encyclopedia of Ukraine n.d.). The Council created the first Ukrainian/Ruthenian newspaper Zoria Halyts’ka (Galician Star, published until 1857), which had a Russophile and pan-­Slavic political platform, thus implicitly promoting the interests of the Russian Empire for the unification and domination of the Slavic peoples, especially those under Austria-­Hungary. The complexity of the political situation after the failure and suppression of the 1848 revolutions is reflected in the establishment of the Ruthenian Congress that had a distinct Polonophile leaning and started publishing another newspaper, Dnewnyk Ruskij (The Ruthenian Daily, 1848), with the goal of offsetting the nationalist and separatist tendencies of the Ruthenian Council. These two competing newspapers clearly showcase the differing political agendas of both organizations, signalling them even at the level of language script and typography: Zoria Halyts’ka was published in the Cyrillic alphabet while Dnewnyk Ruskij used mainly transliterated Latinized Ruthenian (with some supplements also issued in Cyrillic), thus suggesting the unity of Polish and Ruthenian languages and, by extension, the peoples. It is noteworthy that the editorial in the inaugural issue of Dnewnyk Ruskij, while stating the goals of the Ruthenian Congress (free and independent development of the Ruthenian nation while ‘maintaining harmony and unity with the kindred people in our common homeland’; my translation), addresses the choice of linguistic script and explains on the first page that the Latinized edition is offered because many Ruthenians could not read Cyrillic. Both papers emphasize the new constitutional autonomy of Ruthenians and thus implicitly attribute an important function to the newly created periodical organs. Zoria Halyts’ka publishes an address to the Emperor in Ruthenian translation (Issue 4); this is an important example of using the national 182

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language in communicating a document of political significance. In the same issue, the paper discusses problems of Ruthenian literacy and laments that many educated people write in foreign languages, while also providing various reasons for this situation (Issue 4: 16); the editors call against Polonization of Ruthenians and mention the complex ethnic composition of Galicia where the Polish population does not constitute the majority. As it often happens in the political debates unfolding on the pages of these papers, examples of other European countries are used. The editors refer to the collapse of the Kingdom of the Netherlands with the secession of Belgium, contending that Ruthenians and Poles need the same politico-­administrative solution (ibid.). The paper offers a clear direction toward Ruthenian autonomy, linguistically, culturally and administratively. Dnewnyk Ruskij, however, strongly emphasizes anti-­German sentiments: while Vienna can provide constitutional support, it cannot slow down Germanization, which is ‘[a] hundred times more detrimental than other influences’ (Issue 6: 22). In addition to political commentary, both papers also carry content related to history, culture, literature and various topics of interest for the local Ruthenian community. According to one study, in the 1860s, the predominant print genres in this language were ‘religious literature, primers, elementary school textbooks, calendars, and panegyrics to governmental and church officials’ (Dibrova 2017: 133), and therefore both newspapers were important contributions to the diversification of the landscape of Ukrainian print culture. With the beginning of Galician autonomy after 1867 and the growing impact of the official dominance of the Polish language, for some ethnic groups the language choice between German and Polish also meant taking a position with regard to a pro-­German/Austrian or a pro-­Polish orientation. This was the case with the political circles of the Jewish community of Lviv. Der Israelit (1869–1893) was a bimonthly journal published by the political society Shomer Yisra’el (Guardian of Israel) after the establishment of this organization in Lviv in 1868 (the catalogue of the Stefanyk Library in Lviv does not identify the publication year of the inaugural volume). The journal appeared in German, with German text transliterated into Hebrew, an interesting case of linguistic transcoding, which was not unique to the context of plurilingualism in Austro-­Hungarian Galicia; it was also, however, a prime example of the political and cultural power asymmetry in the Empire and a form of financial control, as the use of transliteration was part of the restrictions exercised by the government for giving the paper a subsidy. Starting in 1873, this publication was Latinized (Manekin 2010). The same year, Shomer Yisra’el was permitted to conduct political activities and was involved in the direct parliamentary elections. According to Manekin, the society aligned itself with the liberal Austro-­German forces that represented the left wing in the Austro-­Hungarian parliament. To counteract the Polish bloc, it was active in establishing connections with the Ruthenian community. This publishing organ played an important role in establishing the cultural and political presence of the Jewish community in Galicia. Other Jewish periodicals, published in Polish, reflected the shift of administrative power in Galicia under the constitution of 1867, and their pro-­Polish (and, implicitly, anti-­German) orientation. One such example is the semi-­monthly publication Zgoda (Unity, 1877–1878), established by the Jewish association Dorshei Shalom (Greetings of Peace). A  little later, another Polish-­language Jewish periodical appeared, the magazine Ojczyzna (The Fatherland, 1881[3]–1891[2]), by a press organ of the Jewish organization Agudas Akhim (The Covenant of Brothers), which was founded in 1882. This publication ‘propagated Jewish assimilation to the Polish community and encouraged Jews to practice their faith in the Polish language’ (Wierzbieniec et al. 2000: 234). The assimilationist cultural trend also had an impact on the German Der Israelit, which started publishing a Polish-­language supplement (1884–1887). The Agudas Akhim society and its activities were supported in part by provincial subsidies 183

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(‘ “Agudas Akhim” society in Lviv’ n.d.), which also likely sustained Ojczyzna, due in no small part to the fact that it was published in Polish. Language rights and language equality occupied a particularly prominent space after 1867. Key newspapers in circulation, particularly in marginalized languages such as Ukrainian, privileged continuing debates on the issues of fostering the space of nationhood and matters of education and culture. In the context of the development of a Ukrainian press, apart from the constitutional changes in Austria-­Hungary, an important external factor was the ban on publishing in the Ukrainian language in the Russian Empire in July of 1863 (the Valuev Circular) as a reactionary means to stop the growing number of educational materials in Ukrainian as well as to curtail the rising nationalist sentiments and calls for independence and nation-­ building. Another significant event was the Polish uprising of 1863 that showed the growing threat of the emancipatory movements among ethnic minorities. The Russian Empire pursued a similar language politics in relation to other groups; e.g., two years later, in 1865, there was a ban on the use of Lithuanian in print. In one of the recent discussions of the implications of the Valuev Circular, it is argued that the primary danger perceived in the spread of writing associated with a specific language was a construction of a literate cultural community. While in lay discourse the concept of literature is associated mainly with canonical writers and the ‘classical’ corpus of works represented by the select few names, in socio-­economic terms it is a very complex and dynamic system which includes the author, his or her immediate milieu, salons, literary agents, in some cases—censors, the publisher, the literary critic, periodicals, distributors, bookstores, people and institutions who are responsible for book promotion, literary readings, advertising, libraries, schools, university syllabi etc., and finally—readers, preferably with networks of reading clubs, subscriptions, and social events featuring various literary figures. (Dibrova 2017: 129) The key goal of the Circular was thus ‘to prevent the emergence of a Ukrainian reader’ (Dibrova 2017: 129) as a powerful identity and nation-­building factor. The next decade was marked by the so-­called Ems Decree (Ukaz) of 1876 that placed a complete ban on the use of Ukrainian in print media in the Russian Empire, including any instructional use of Ukrainian. In light of these considerations, the significance of the rise of new periodicals in languages other than official government languages in Austria-­Hungary can be seen precisely in their contribution to the building of language-­ and culture-­based communities and networks of readers. Because of the bans on the Ukrainian language in the Russian Empire, the broadening and strengthening of emergent readerships was the most important impact of Ukrainian publications in Austria-­Hungary, especially those published in Lviv, the key urban centre with a Ukrainian population. The newspaper/journal Pravda (Truth, 1867–1879, 1888–1896) varied between a bimonthly and monthly publication schedule and became one of the most important Ukrainian-­language Galician periodicals published in Lviv. One of its early issues (Issue 12, 1867) publishes an open letter addressing Ruthenian intelligentsia and educated elite that discusses the importance of accessible popular educational literature for sustaining and developing the national language and identity. The letter emphasizes that Ruthenians are brought up under conditions of ‘foreignness’; the younger generation learns German while the older is accustomed to Polish culture; at the same time, educational materials in Ruthenian such as dictionaries are lacking. The letter mentions the release of the German-­Ruthenian dictionary (under the compilation of Partytsky), the first edition of which was predicted to sell out soon, 184

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thus creating a need for a second edition. The authors of the letter call for the publication of a solid Ruthenian dictionary as well as collections of popular/oral literature for reading (Issue 12: 95). Another important publication established in the 1860s was Slovo (Word, 1861–1887), a popular paper that was oriented mainly toward the peasantry. It was published twice a week in Cyrillic, but in a type of Ruthenian commonly referred to as yazychiie, a linguistic construct combining Ruthenian vernacular, Church Slavonic, some Polonisms and Russian. The choice of the language was an indicator of the ideological leanings of the publication and constituted a kind of a cultural translational space between several linguistic spaces, although the implied political asymmetry was clear. The paper gave voice to the Russophile-­oriented movement in Galicia, promoting the idea of political unity of Ruthenians and Russians within the Russian Empire. The political premises of Slovo became the subject of heated dialogues and debates across other periodicals, including Polish ones, since Russophile sentiments were seen as potentially dangerous and inciting the Ruthenian population of Austria-­Hungary to separatist movements. Examples of such a continuous debate were Polish periodicals Gazeta Narodowa (National Gazette) and Tygodnik Niedzielny (Sunday Weekly). Thus the July 1867 issue (Issue 161) of Gazeta Narodowa, explicitly referring to Slovo and its two popular supplements, discusses their use of Russified Ruthenian language (‘pisemk[o] moskiewsko-­rusk[ie]’) and manipulation of audiences, arguing that their political content is not meant for the common people/peasantry, who are not likely to read it or understand it; instead, these articles target the educated demographics such as teachers, the clergy and students (Issue 161: 1). Tygodnik Niedzielny engages in similar discussions. Established in 1867 and published in Polish but also carrying some content in Latinized Ruthenian, it creates a space of curious bilingualism on its pages. This bilingual space—through the alignment of Polish and Ruthenian—is a staging ground for Polonophile ideologies and participates in the discourse of actively shaping political affiliations and constructing national identities. The newspaper carries a series of articles signed by ‘Iwan Suskij’, who appears to represent the position of Ruthenian peasants. In one of the articles (Issue 18, May 3, 1867), Suskij, in a direct address to Bohdan Didyckyj (the editor of Slovo), engages in a direct critique of the paper’s politics. Suskij, however, was a constructed collective voice of the peasantry and a fictitious person who was used to maintain the debate between the two publications (Sereda 2001: 210). The last decades of the 19th century saw the growth of the market for periodicals, the overall modernization of the press and an increase in the number of popular publications. This process is exemplified by Goniec Lwowski (Lwów Courier), a Polish-­language daily paper that started publishing in September of 1875. The editorial piece in the inaugural issue was quite specific about the rationale behind the establishment of this new periodical. While the editors acknowledged that there were other, bigger newspapers in circulation in Lwów, these were mainly concerned with current events, whereas the new publication was poised to reflect ‘the Lwów life in its entirety’—art, education, local economy and trade, news from the local police, etc. (Issue 1: 1; my translation). Moreover, the establishment of the paper was seen as a response to the similar existing periodicals in the two other major cities of Galicia, Warsaw and Cracow (Kurjer Warszawski and Kronika Krakowska), thus filling what was perceived as a gap in the publishing scene of the capital city of the province. The paper would disseminate the news from the city beyond its limits, thus emphasizing the administrative role of Lwów as a Polish city (and perhaps implicitly its superiority to the other two cities in the ongoing competition between the three important urban centres of Galicia). The style of the paper is deliberately informal and engaging for the average reader. It is clear that Polish is seen as the provincial language of communication and a dominant language, with the newspaper 185

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catering to the general urban residents regardless of their ethnic and linguistic belonging. The paper carried some popular literary content. The inaugural issue, for example, included the first installment of a translation of The New Magdalen, one of Wilkie Collins’s ‘sensation’ novels that were so popular at the time. Considering that the novel was originally published in 1873, its appearance in Polish was quite timely. Serialized publications of longer literary works were part of the attraction of such local periodicals. They sustained readers’ interest and built anticipation for the next installment. The translation of the English title into Polish (Żywa Umarła—The Living Dead) made it even more sensationalist (while perhaps avoiding a slightly scandalous implication of the original title) and clearly aimed to attract attention and secure readership. Characteristically, the placement of each installment within the physical layout of the paper is equally important: it starts on the first page of the paper, thus drawing the readers’ attention to it, and runs through the next few consecutive pages. Everything in the inaugural issue is geared toward solicitation of potential readership—from the informal journalistic style and relative brevity of articles to the selection of a literary translation. The ecology of periodical publishing becomes much more diverse toward the last third of the 19th century. Thus, newspapers and journals published in Ukrainian become more numerous and specialized, and reach diverse audiences. Many newspapers undergo changes in format, content and scope, responding to the changing political conditions, the growth of education and readership, and demands of the market. The Ukrainian publishing and reading market constituted an emergence of an important cultural voice counteracting the dominant language. The prominent Ukrainian Galician newspaper Dilo (The Deed, 1880–1939), which was the only Ukrainian daily newspaper for a while, published a literary supplement The Library of the Most Illustrious Novellas (1881–1906) (Putivnyk 2001: 196). Some other notable publications in Lviv were the weekly Svoboda (Freedom, 1897–1918) and journals such as Zoria (Star, 1880–1897), and Literaturno-­naukovyi vistnyk (Literary Scientific Herald, 1898–1906, 1922–1932), among others. New Jewish publications in the last third of the century, both in Hebrew and Yiddish, Kol Machsike Hadas  (Hebrew, 1879–1913), Der Carmel-­Der included Machsike Hadas-­ Wecker (Yiddish, 1893–1894) and Jüdisches Wochenblatt (Yiddish, 1895) (Shanes 2012: 294). Some official periodicals started including supplements in other languages, thus acknowledging the growing presence and importance of other audiences. For example, in the period between 1890 and 1914, Gazeta Lwowska, discussed earlier in this chapter, included a daily supplement, Narodna Chasopys’ (People’s Journal) in Ukrainian (Putivnyk 2001: 195). The constitutional changes introduced by Vienna in 1867 and the subsequent Galician provincial autonomy that led to an increased dominance of Polish political and cultural power inevitably stimulated growing oppositional voices from the Jewish and Ruthenian communities to destabilize the Polish linguistic and cultural status quo and to counteract Polish hegemony. This situation ‘called forth the increasingly articulate dissidence of Jewish and Ruthenian perspectives in the province’ (Wolff 2010: 232) and effectively encouraged a new struggle for cultural spheres of influence, which was prominent on the scene of publishing and journalism.

Conclusion The development of the periodical press in an Austro-­Hungarian urban centre such as Lemberg/Lwów/Lviv is punctuated by a number of political events, both within the Habsburg Empire and in a broader context of Europe, with the overall temporal trajectory including the late 1840s (the revolutions of 1848–1849), the late 1860s (the constitutional changes of 1867) and the last two to three decades of the century, when the changing sociopolitical landscape 186

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in the Empire saw a much greater diversity of the periodical press. While the plurilinguistic journalistic space of Galicia and the Galician capital city may reflect the individual battles fought by national communities for linguistic and political presence, this complex scene in itself constitutes a multifaceted translational space where meanings were shaped, circulated and contested, and where the geopolitical unities were constructed along and across many of the linguistic, cultural and ideological fault lines. The evolving interaction and power dynamics between the official language(s) and marginalized languages in the context of the changing and evolving market of periodical publications is of particular significance, as the linguistic and cultural spaces shaped by these periodicals were often translational spaces that encouraged particular usage, privileged specific cultures and communities, and promoted specific ideologies and political agendas. Responding to today’s complex theoretical and methodological ecology of translation studies, this chapter engaged with both cultural and material aspects of the translational space of the city of Lemberg/Lwów/Lviv, such as histories, print catalogues and bibliographies, archival presence and the functioning of periodicals in the everyday culture of Galicia. The plurilingual landscape of the periodical print culture in the Austro-­Hungarian urban space is significant for the study of cross-­cultural flows and interactions, and the role of the periodical press in the shaping of education and national language development, popularization of literature and culture, and constructions of national identities and communities in an imperial context. The turn of translation studies away from the text as the locus of traditional translation problematics and toward the cultural and sociological perspectives (Wolf 2007, 2015) emphasizes the broader significance of plurilingual situations and their implications, such as negotiation and construction of power within the translational space of the city and evolving asymmetries of power relations within various social networks and practices. Examining the historically competing linguistic and cultural spaces in the imperial context of 19th-­century Austria-­Hungary and Galicia illuminates the processes that shaped the complex and vibrant multicultural and polyglot reality of today’s city of Lviv.

Further readings Czaplicka, John (ed.) (2005) Lviv: A City in the Crosscurrents of Culture, Harvard, MA: Harvard University Press. An interdisciplinary collection of essays exploring the complex history of Lviv’s multicultural urban identity Simon, Sherry (2012) Cities in Translation: Intersections of Language and Memory, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. A compelling examination of the role of translation and language relations in the urban cultural spaces divided by historically competing languages Wolf, Michaela (2015) Habsburg Monarchy’s Many-­Languaged Soul: Translating and Interpreting, 1848–1918, trans. Kate Sturge, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. An in-­depth study of the construction of cultures in the Habsburg Empire through translation and multilingual spaces of communication

References ‘ “Agudas Achim” Society in Lviv 1882−1892’ (n.d.), Virtual Shtetl, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews,­lwow/101-­organizations-­and-­associations/81033-­ agudas-­achim-­society-­lviv-­18821892 (accessed 14 January 2020). 187

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Apter, Emily (2006) The Translation Zone: A New Comparative Literature, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Apter, Emily (2013) Against World Literature: On the Politics of Untranslatability, London: Verso. Bhabha, Homi (1994) The Location of Culture, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Cronin, Michael and Sherry Simon (2014) ‘Introduction: The city as translation zone’, Translation Studies 7(2): 119–132. Czaplicka, John (2005) ‘Lviv, Lemberg, Leopolis, Lwów, Lvov: A city in the crosscurrents of European culture’, in John Czaplicka (ed.) Lviv: A City in the Crosscurrents of Culture, Harvard, MA: Harvard University Press, 13–45. Davies, Norman (2011) Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise and Fall of States and Nations, New York: Viking. D’hulst, Lieven and Kaisa Koskinen (2020) ‘Translating in towns: An introduction’, in Lieven D’hulst and Kaisa Koskinen (eds.) Translating in Town: Local Translation Policies During the European 19th Century, London: Bloomsbury, 1–20. Dibrova, Volodymyr (2017) ‘The Value Circular and the end of little Russian literature’, Kyiv-­Mohyla Humanities Journal 4: 123–138. Dnewnyk Ruskij [The Ruthenian Daily] (1848) Vasyl Stefanyk National Scientific Library of Ukraine, Lviv. Fellerer, Jan (2003) ‘Discourse and hegemony: The case of the Ukrainian language in Galicia under Austrian rule (1772–1914)’, in Rosita Rindler Schjerve (ed.) Diglossia and Power: Language Policies and Practice in the 19th Century Habsburg Empire, Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 107–166. ‘Galicia’ (n.d.) ‘The internet encyclopedia of Ukraine’, kpath=pages%5CG%5CA%5CGalicia.htm (accessed 12 November 2019). Gazeta Narodowa [National Gazette] (1867) Vasyl Stefanyk National Scientific Library of Ukraine, Lviv. Goniec Lwowski [Lwów Courier] (1875) Vasyl Stefanyk National Scientific Library of Ukraine, Lviv. Littau, Karin (2015) ‘Translation and the materialities of communication’, Translation Studies 9(1): 82–96. Maitland, Sarah (2017) What Is Cultural Translation? London: Bloomsbury. Manekin, Rachel (2010) ‘Shomer Yisra’el’, trans. Barry D. Walfish, YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe, 15 October 2010, (accessed 16 October 2019). Narizhnyi, Symon (n.d.) ‘Ukrains’ka presa’ [Ukrainian Press], (accessed 23 November 2019). Narvselius, Eleonora (2012) Ukrainian Intelligentsia in post-­Soviet L’viv: Narratives, Identity and Power, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. Pratt, Mary Louise (1991) ‘Arts of the contact zone’, Profession 33–40. Pratt, Mary Louise (1992) Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation, London and New York: Routledge. Pravda [Truth] (1867) Vasyl Stefanyk National Scientific Library of Ukraine, Lviv. ‘Printing’ (n.d.) ‘The internet encyclopedia of Ukraine’, nkpath=pages%5CP%5CR%5CPrinting.htm (accessed 24 November 2019). Putivnyk [Guidebook] (2001) The Central State Historical Archive (the city of Lviv), The Central Committee of the Archives of Ukraine: Lviv and Kyiv. Rindler Schjerve, Rosita (ed.) (2003) Diglossia and Power: Language Policies and Practice in the 19th Century Habsburg Empire, Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. Schloegel, Karl (2003) ‘Lemberg—Hauptstadt der europaeischen Provinz’, Genius Loci. Leopolis. Lviv. Lemberg. Lwow 29: 252–258. Sereda, Ostap (2001) ‘ “Whom shall we be?” public debates over the national identity of Galician Ruthenians in the 1860s’, Die ukrainische Nationalbewegung vor 1914 Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 49(2): 200–212. Shanes, Joshua (2012) Diaspora Nationalism and Jewish Identity in Habsburg Galicia, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Sywenky, Irene (2014) ‘(Re)constructing the urban palimpsest of Lemberg/Lwów/Lviv: A case study in the politics of cultural translation in East Central Europe’, Translation Studies 7(2): 152–169.


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Sywenky, Irene (2017) ‘Spaces of unhomeliness: Re-­reading post-­imperial urban heterotopias in East Central Europe’, in Carrie Smith-­Prei and Helga Mitterbauer (eds.) Crossing Central Europe, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 121–147. Tygodnik Niedzielny [Sunday Weekly] (1867) Vasyl Stefanyk National Scientific Library of Ukraine, Lviv. Tymoczko, Maria (2007) Enlarging Translation, Empowering Translators, Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing. Vushko, Iryna (2002) ‘Popular periodical publications in Galicia in the 70–80s of the 19th c.’, in Myroslav Romaniuk (ed.) Ukrainian Periodicals: History and Contemporaneity, Lviv: National Academy of Sciences, 64–66. Wallnig, Thomas (2003) ‘Language and power in the Habsburg Empire: The historical context’, in Rosita Rindler Schjerve (ed.) Diglossia and Power: Language Policies and Practice in the 19th Century Habsburg Empire, Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 14–32. Wierzbieniec, Wacław, Iwona Dorota Kogut and Patrice Dabrowski (2000) ‘The Processes of Jewish emancipation and assimilation in the multiethnic city of live during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries’, Harvard Ukrainian Studies 24: 223–250, JSTOR, (accessed 19 September 2019). Wolf, Michaela (2007) ‘Introduction: The emergence of a sociology of translation’, in Michaela Wolf and Alexandra Fukari (eds.) Constructing a Sociology of Translation, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1–36. Wolf, Michaela (2015) Habsburg Monarchy’s Many-­Languaged Soul: Translating and Interpreting, 1848–1918, trans. Kate Sturge, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Wolff, Larry (2010) The Idea of Galicia: History and Fantasy in Habsburg Political Culture, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Zoria Halyts’ka [Galician Star] (1848) Vasyl Stefanyk National Scientific Library of Ukraine, Lviv.


12 Cities and desires Translating Seoul Hunam Yun

Introduction One of the intrinsic properties of a city is its rapid changes, just as Baudelaire (2007: 227) mentioned in his poem Le Cygne (The Swan): ‘La forme d’une ville/Change plus vite, hélas! Que le cœur d’un mortel’ (‘no human heart/changes half so fast as a city’s face’). Especially in this era of globalization when cross-­border movement of people, capital and information is rapidly increasing, the transformation of cities is accelerating at every level from their urban structure to their language, and the dynamic atmosphere makes a city an irresistible, fascinating space. People desire to be part of a city and to partake in the dynamic urban life for various reasons. However, the desire for city life is always preceded by politically, economically or aesthetically motivated desires for the transformation of cities. The grid-­like ancient Greek city Miletus was created by the colonizer’s desire: it was planned by Hippodamus, ancient Greek architect and urban planner, to make it easier for the Greeks to rule the colony. The Haussmannization of Paris during the mid-­19th century was initiated by Napoleon’s desire to hold his throne, partly by holding Paris: ‘The new boulevards and barracks were designed to contain riot, not prevent it; the demolitions were intended to deny the center of Paris to any insurrection’ (Jordan 1992: 100). Today’s cityscape of skyscrapers in large cities such as New York is the product of capitalist desire. Thus, whether it is political, economic or aesthetic, desire transforms the urban structure and cityscape before the cities become objects of desire. Throughout history, moments arise when desire is key to language movement in the city. When this happens, cities can be ‘translation zones—areas of intense interaction across languages, spaces defined by an acute consciousness of cultural negotiations and often host to the kinds of polymorphous translation practices characteristic of multilingual milieus’ (Cronin and Simon 2014: 119–120). Cities can be the epicentres of translation activities, and their linguistic landscape and soundscape may change. With the changing urban structure, the shifting linguistic landscape and soundscape may be involved in the political, economic or aesthetic desires of related authorities, as seen in the history of name changes of what is now called New York City and its streets. The changing names of New York reveal the political desire of the colonizers and the power relations among Native Americans, the Dutch and the English. 190

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Because the English won the Anglo-­Dutch war in the 17th century, Dutch names were changed into English names: Nieuw Amsterdam was renamed New York, de Waal Straat was renamed Wall Street, and Brede Weg became Broadway. Different languages in these translation zones create different linguistic landscapes and soundscapes by changing the audio-­visual surface of the city, which leads to different senses and perceptions of the city because, as Bourhis and Landry (1997) pointed out, a linguistic landscape functions as an informational indicator and as a symbolic marker communicating the relative power and status of linguistic communities in a given territory. What historic moment, then, makes a city a contact zone where translation takes place? What type of desire is involved in the translation of a city? What happens to the urban landscape and its dwellers when a city is translated? This chapter seeks to answer these questions by examining the translation of Seoul, the capital city of South Korea.

Translation of Seoul The area of what is now called Seoul was the only city on the Korean Peninsula until the 19th century (Park et al. 2011: 18). Situated at the centre of the peninsula with the Han River flowing through and surrounded by mountains, this area was the best place to host the centre of government. Thus, during the reign of the Three Kingdoms of Korea from the 4th to the 7th centuries AD when the Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla dynasties competed for supremacy in the Korean Peninsula, the Seoul area was their major concern, and the dynasty that occupied the area held hegemony over the peninsula (Park et al. 2011). The area currently called Seoul became a city in the 14th century and experienced transformation after being renamed and relocated. The city was renamed from Namgyeong during the Goryeo era (918–1392) to Hanseong by the Joseon Dynasty at the end of the 14th century, from Hanseong to Keijo (Gyeongseong in Korean) during the period of Japanese colonization (1910–1945), from Keijo to two names, Hanseong and Seoul, after the liberation from colonial rule, and then to Seoul alone in 1946. Throughout the process, the audio-­visual landscape of what is now called Seoul has also witnessed transformations with changes in its linguistic landscape. The following sections investigate these transformations against the historical backdrop and desire of the translators—in this case, a political group, colonizers, nationalists and local citizens— involved in the translation.

Hanseong: Macbethian desire The area now called Seoul was first transformed into a full-­fledged city during the Joseon Dynasty, when it became the dynasty’s capital. The founder of the Joseon Dynasty, Seong-­ gye Yi (reigned 1392–1398), was a man of Macbethian desire: just like the titular character in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, he had an ambition to overthrow the dynasty and seize the throne. After overthrowing the Goryeo Dynasty, he founded the Joseon Dynasty in 1392 and relocated the capital from Gaeseong to the place where Seoul is located in 1395 with the aim to build a new Confucian dynasty, casting off the Buddhist image of the Goryeo Dynasty. The relocation of the capital was mainly motivated by emotional and practical reasons. Gaeseong, the capital of Goryeo, was the place that kept old memories of the Goryeo Dynasty and traces of its loyalists, such as Mong-­ju Jeong (1337–1392), who was killed in resistance against Seong-­gye Yi. Yi wanted to break with and erase those old memories of the Goryeo Dynasty and start anew. Another important reason for the relocation was practical: 191

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the geographical characteristics of the area. Situated at the centre of the peninsula, the area was the best place to rule the whole territory; with the Han River flowing through its centre, the area was best for effective rule because the river could be used as a transportation route, and the mountains surrounding the area could repel foreign invasions. For these reasons, the Goryeo Dynasty had also considered the place important, calling it Namgyeong, or ‘south capital’. Namgyeong was later renamed Hanyangbu (漢陽府), meaning ‘the sunny side of the Han River’. In 1395, Seong-­gye Yi renamed the place Hanseongbu (漢城府) and planned a city with a population of 100,000. The renaming reflected his desire. First, he wanted to erase all the traces and memories of the former dynasty that the name Hanyang evoked. Second, the name reflected the ambition of Seong-­gye Yi. The Chinese characters for Hanseong (漢城) mean ‘a great fortress’ or ‘a fortress near the Han River’. By constructing a great fortress in the centre of the Korean Peninsula, Yi wanted to build a powerful kingdom free from foreign invasions and to show his power. Historically, fortresses were the fundamental facilities used to show off the ruler’s power, to stabilize a city and to defend the city militarily (Hong 2018). Besides, Hanseong was also the name of the capital of Baekje (18 BC—660 AD), a kingdom that was a regional maritime power (Ebrey and Walthall 2006: 123) and controlled most of the western Korean Peninsula at its peak in the 4th century. Hanseong was the kingdom’s capital for approximately 500 years. Yi might have wanted to follow the spirit of the kingdom, too. The Macbethian desire of Seong-­gye Yi also changed the urban structure. A  great wall called Hanyang Doseong, now referred to as the Seoul City Wall, was constructed in 1394, and the whole area was transformed to serve Confucian ideals. Approximately 197,400 young men were conscripted to build the wall, which would be completed in 30 years along the four mountains: Bugaksan, Naksan, Namsan and Inwangsan (Jang 2014: 7). The Seoul City Wall had eight gates through which people could pass. These gates functioned as more than just gates. Four of the gates and a large bell pavilion were named after the five virtues of Confucianism—Ren (仁: benevolence and humanity), Yi (義: righteousness and justice), Li (禮: propriety and politeness), Zhi (智: wisdom) and Xin (信: faithfulness and integrity)—so that people could cultivate and monitor themselves according to the Five Constants. Hanseong was a place where Confucian idealism was materialized. Thus, Confucianism ruled the lives and spirit of the residents and continues to influence the lives and spirit of the Korean people today. The linguistic landscape in Hanseong comprised two different language systems: although the Korean language was used for spoken communication, Chinese characters were used for writing until the Korean alphabet, Hangeul, was invented in 1443 under the rule of King Sejong the Great. Literary Chinese, known as Hanmun, was the medium through which Chinese civilization and the works of Confucius were disseminated. Upper classes in Joseon learned to read and write literary Chinese from an early age. Thus, although the Korean language filled the linguistic soundscape of Hanseong’s streets, Chinese characters composed its visual landscape. Still, the written Chinese used in Korea at that time had, in fact, ‘to an extent, become Koreanized’ (Lee and Ramsey 2003: 56). Additionally, Korean phonology was used to read Chinese characters. After the Korean alphabet was introduced and started being taught in 1446, Buddhist and Confucian books and Chinese poems were translated using it, and some new literature and the royal mandates issued directly to the people were written with it (Lee and Ramsey 2003: 55–56). Literary Chinese continued to dominate over transcribed Korean because educational works continued to be written in Chinese, and an extensive knowledge of Chinese was required 192

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to succeed because the state examination for becoming a government official was conducted in written Chinese (Lee and Ramsey 2003: 56). Around the time of the 1894 Gapogyeongjang political reform movement, national awareness arose, and the modernization movement began in Joseon. Throughout this process, the position of and perception about Chinese characters changed as the Joseon court’s attitude toward the Qing Dynasty changed. In an effort to escape the dynasty’s influence and establish itself as an independent state, the Joseon court discarded the Qing Dynasty label in 1896, which had been used for 250 years, and proclaimed Joseon to be the Daehan Empire in 1897. The Hangeul language became the official language in 1894, when a royal decree established it as the primary language for all government documents. According to the decree, Chinese characters could be mixed in as necessary when translating documents into Korean. As such, mixed-­script writing was used for a period. This blended style of writing competed with Hangeul-­only writing in Korea for most of the 20th century, giving way to Hangeul-­only usage in North Korea by 1948 and slowly dwindling to very infrequent use in 21st-­century South Korea (Song 2015: 477–492). Hanseong’s visual landscape also reflected this change in the language policy—street signs written solely in the Korean alphabet or with intermixed Chinese characters appeared— although the linguistic soundscape remained unchanged. This monolingual soundscape became more multilingual around the late 19th century, however, when Korea opened to Japan and Western countries. Joseon had previously stuck to a closed-­door policy before it was forced to open its ports to Japan in 1876. It had maintained diplomatic relations with China only to prevent a Western imperial invasion. After opening to Japan, the Joseon court thought that, for its national security, it needed to maintain the power balance of the Great Powers within Joseon by establishing diplomatic relations with Western countries. Thus, it signed commercial treaties with several of them—the United States (1882), the United Kingdom and Germany (1883), Italy and Russia (1884) and France (1886). As a result, many Westerners from several countries visited Joseon, including missionaries, diplomats, scholars, doctors, soldiers, writers, travellers and explorers. Accordingly, several Western languages, as well as Japanese, began to be mixed into Hanseong’s linguistic soundscape. English especially had a more audible presence, compared to French, German, Russian and Italian, largely due to the Joseon court’s relatively favourable attitude toward the United States and many modern educational institutions operated by American Protestant missionaries in Hanseong. The Joseon court hoped to offset Japanese, Chinese and Russian imperial power with that of the United States. Among the Protestant missionaries who visited and remained in Joseon from 1884 to 1910, around four-­fifths of them (387 out of 499) were from the United States (Cho 2002: 111–112). Most of them worked in education and medicine. The more prominent presence of English in Hanseong’s streets was also due to Korean elitists’ attitude toward English at that time—they considered English to be the means by which advanced Western civilization could be imported to enhance Korean national power.

Keijo (京城): assimilationist desire As Cronin and Simon (2014: 121) pointed out, ‘Translation has the force of coercion when it participates in the violence of sponging out, of renaming’. Like Yi’s Macbethian desire, the colonial desire was involved in such coercion. The Japanese colonization of Korea in 1910 followed time-­tested colonial narratives, where conquered people and lands are uncivilized and should be ruled. Japanese colonial rule featured assimilationism that aimed to physically and spiritually Japanize Korean society. 193

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In an effort to wipe out the historical memory of the Joseon Dynasty and reconstruct its new protectorate as part of Japan, the Japanese colonial government reorganized the administrative districts in 1914 and launched a project to materially and spiritually assimilate Seoul (Henry 2014). The buildings symbolizing the dynasty’s power and sovereignty, including its royal palace Gyeongbokgung, the Hanyang Doseong and its gates, were demolished. The Wongudan altar for performing divine harvest rituals was replaced by the Chosun Hotel, and a Japanese Shinto shrine was built atop Namsan Mountain. Japanese wooden houses were built throughout the city, especially in Namchon, the southern area of the Cheonggye Stream in Hanseong, as Japanese people immigrated to the Korean Peninsula. Thus, Hanseong gradually changed from a traditional Korean city into a colonial city. The Japanization of all names was also enforced as part of the assimilationism. As with all other toponyms in the Korean Peninsula, the proper name Hanseong was Japanized into Keijo, a generic name for a capital. It would function as the centre of the colonial administration, losing its status and uniqueness as Korea’s capital city as it was incorporated into Gyeonggi Province. In 1939, the Japanese colonial government forced Korean people to change their names to Japanese names. The colonizer’s policy of assimilation notably affected the status of the Korean language during the colonial period, changing the linguistic landscape and soundscape of Hanseong. Under the first, second and third Joseon Educational Ordinances promulgated by the Japanese colonial government in 1911, 1919 and 1938 respectively, the status of the Korean language gradually lessened (Bak 1986: 144–159). As Kloss pointed out, the governmental attitude toward a language may affect the language’s status as the sole official language, joint official language, regional official language, promoted language, tolerated language or discouraged language (as cited in Bell 1976: 182). The Korean language was demoted to a joint official language in 1904 when both Korean and Japanese began to be used in official documents; during the 1910s, it was further downgraded to a tolerated language, one that was neither promoted nor proscribed by the authorities; and finally, it became a discouraged language as the colonial government adopted Kokugo Zouyou (everyday use of the Japanese language) as its language policy in 1938. Under Kokugo Zouyou, the use of the Korean language was not allowed in daily life, which included schools, courts and public spaces. With these changes, Hanseong’s linguistic landscape and soundscape was initially transformed into a bilingual one where Japanese and Korean were mixed before eventually becoming a monolingual one, where only Japanese was seen and heard in public spaces. The changing hierarchy of languages and the linguistic chaos of Keijo produced fatigue among the inhabitants, which is described in the short story ‘Fatigue’ (1933) by Taewon Park. Park was born in Keijo in 1910 when Korea was colonized, and he wrote many autobiographical pieces, including ‘Fatigue’, depicting his observations in the city of Keijo. In the story, Park shows that being a writer in Keijo creates a feeling of ‘fatigue’ connected to the chaos of languages in the colonial city (Aikawa 2015: 435). By adopting various writing systems—Korean, Japanese and Chinese—in his story, he shows that expressing his own conscious world inevitably involves the process of fusing his mother tongue with that of the colonizer, and this linguistic chaos creates fatigue. This fatigue must have been felt by many other Koreans who lived in the colonial city and often encountered different language systems. The space of fatigue was also the space where the bodies of the colonized were translated to respond to the colonizer’s language, of which memory would persist even in the liberated


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space of Seoul, as described in Changseop Son’s short story ‘An Unsolved Chapter’ (1967). In the story set in the postwar (postcolonial) period of the 1950s, the character Jisang’s colonized taste is depicted as such: 젠자이를 청했다 . . . 나는 불시에 기름이 자르르 흐르는 쌀밥과 김이 떠오르는 만둣 국을 생각하는 것이었다. 그러나 잠시 뒤 내 앞에 날라온 것은 진한 세파이 색깔의 젠자이였다. 나는 좀 당황한 것이다 . . . 『난 밥을 먹어야 하거든요, 만둣국에 꼭 밥 을 먹어야 한단 말예요. 』『이이가 미쳤나봐. 아니 그럼 으째서 젠자인 청했어요?』 『아 돈을 치르문 되잖소? 자 이렇게 돈만 치르문 그만 아뇨.』 . . . 나는 어떻게서든 밥을 먹어야 한다는 생각이 들었다 . . . 몇 군데 기웃거리다가 나는 마침내 어떤 양 식집으로 들어갔다. 의자에 앉아서 메뉴를 들여다보니 여러 가지가 적혀 있다. 그 가운데 돈까스라는 글자가 있었다. 왜 그런지 나는 그 발음이 내게 알맞는 것 같았 다 . . . 우리는 결국 딴 음식집으로 가서 비빔밥을 먹기로 한 것이다. (Son 1967: 206) I ordered zenzai . . . Suddenly I thought of glossy boiled rice and dumpling soup from which soup steam is rolling up. However, it was zenzai that was brought to me a moment later. I was a little embarrassed . . . ‘I must eat boiled rice. I really must eat boiled rice with dumpling soup’. ‘You must be out of your mind. Why on earth did you order zenzai then?’ ‘I just can pay for the dish, can’t I? Here you are. No problem as long as I pay, isn’t it?’ . . . I thought I really must eat boiled rice . . . After going around a few restaurants, I finally walked into a Western-­style one. I found a word donkatz among the list of many dishes from the menu. Somehow, I felt the pronunciation of donkatz suit me . . . After all, we decided to go to another restaurant to eat bibimbap.1 What Jisang wants to eat first when he has the money to spend is a colonizer’s food, zenzai, because the memory of the taste has been inscribed in his body. But at the same time, he feels that he should eat Korean dishes and gets embarrassed to know that he has ordered the colonizer’s dish instead. Worse still, the memory of the taste has made him feel that the pronunciation of a Japanese pork cutlet, donkatz, suits him better than that of Korean food. In this way, Keijo was a space where bodies were being colonized. However, Keijo was not just a city passively translated by colonizers; it was also a space where translation activities took place to undermine the colonial assimilationists’ desire. After the failure of the March First Independence Movement in 1919, Korean intellectuals turned to cultural nationalism as an alternative to political struggle to lay the foundation for national independence, as the Japanese colonial government adopted a cultural policy that allowed Korean people to publish vernacular newspapers and magazines. These publications ‘nurtured the development of Korean national consciousness in historiography, literature, drama, music, and film. This represented an indirect form of resistance to the cultural assimilation policy of the Japanese’ (Eckert et  al. 1990: 294). Translation activities also constituted a part of the resistance movement (Yun 2010). The modern Korean theatre movement, which evolved throughout the 1920s and 1930s, sought to arouse a Korean national consciousness by establishing modern national theatre in Korea. Because modern theatre was in its infancy in Korea, people had to depend on the translation of foreign drama. Thus, Keijo, the colonial administrative centre, became ‘a place of translation activities as an indirect political struggle to subvert the colonial power’: these activities aimed to set up a model for modern national drama and theatre, encourage national awakening and resistance, and sustain and revive the Korean


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language, which was on the verge of extinction due to the colonizer’s policy to obliterate the language (Yun 2010: 92–115). Thus, the work of Irish playwrights, such as W. B. Yeats, Lord Dunsany, Augusta Gregory, J. M. Synge, St. J. Ervine, T. C. Murray, and Sean O’Casey, were translated and staged in the colonial city of Keijo (Yun 2010: 118–197).

Seoul and Hanseong: desire for postcolonial amnesia After Korea gained its independence in 1945, the postcolonial space of Keijo again became a translation zone to erase the traces and memories of being translated by colonizers and to reclaim the country’s dismembered history. As postcolonial theorist Leela Gandhi (1998: 4) stated, the emergence of anticolonial and independent nation-­states after colonialism is frequently accompanied by a desire to forget the colonial past, and this postcolonial amnesia is symptomatic of the urge for historical self-­invention or the need to make a new start—to erase painful memories of colonial subordination. The liberated space of Keijo was the place where the desire for this postcolonial amnesia was surging. The symbolic buildings and structures of the colonial period, including the Joseon Shrine, were demolished, and administrative districts were reorganized. Keijo was separated from Gyeonggi Province and was renamed the capital of Korea in 1946. However, the most prominent ideology in postcolonial Korea was linguistic nationalism, which would fulfil a powerful identity function. As Bourhis and Landry (2002: 126) pointed out, symbolic functions of display are even stronger in ethnic groups for whom language has become the most important symbol of their social identity in relation to other criteria such as religion, territory or blood ties. The symbolic functions of display in the streets of postcolonial Korea were considered as a means to recover the national identity. Thus, the space of Keijo was translated accordingly. Japanized place and street names were renamed after great men or saints in Korean history or historic villages. Street names such as Sejongno, Euljiro, Wonhyoro, Toegyero, Chungmuro and Chungjeongno so emerged (Seoul Development Institute 2000: 154). Keijo was also renamed to restore it from its history of ruptures and reclaim its legitimacy. As for the names to replace Keijo, Hanseong and Seoul were considered, and Seoul was finally adopted, not without the influence of the United States military government, which conquered the southern zone of the Korean Peninsula after World War II and ended Japanese rule in Korea. After the war, Korea was divided into two occupation zones that were supposed to be temporary but became permanent. Although Hanseong was a symbolic name that the Korean people could have chosen to bridge the severed history of the country, it meant the restoration of the monarchical Joseon Dynasty in the view of the U.S. military government. Most importantly, however, most Koreans preferred the name Seoul to Hanseong: they cherished ‘Our Seoul’ in their hearts by using Seoul instead of Keijo when they were under colonial rule (Kim 1946). The name Seoul was derived from the native name Seobeol or Seorabeol, which originally referred to the capital of the Silla Dynasty (57 BC—935 AD), then called Geumseong (SMOHCC 1997: 31). It has been used for a thousand years in Korea to refer to the centre of a kingdom where a king resides (Kim 1946). Under Japanese colonial rule, the word was ‘a secret language concealing the desire for national liberation’ among the Korean people: 일제 강점기에 한성부는 경성부로 명칭이 바뀌었고, 그 지위도 한 나라의 수도, 신 시(神市)에서 일본 제국의 일개 지방도시로 전락했지만, 대다수 사람들은 여전히 서울이라는 표현을 즐겨 썼다 . . . 공식 명칭 ‘게이조’와 민중세계의 언어 ‘서울’은 196

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그 내용상의 현격한 괴리에도 불구하고 공존했고 혼동되지도 않았다. 동경은 ‘東 京’이거나 ‘도쿄’였을 뿐, 결코 서울이 되지 못했다. 서울이라는 말은 그렇게 식민지 예속민들이 민족 해방의 염원을 꼭꼭 감춰놓은 ‘비밀의 언어’로 남았다. (Jeon 2008: 19) Although Hanseong was renamed Gyeongseong [that is, Keijo] under the Japanese colonial rule and its status was degraded from a capital of a country to a local city of the Japanese Empire, most Korean people still preferred the name Seoul . . . Despite the great gap in their status between the official name Keijo and the people’s word Seoul, the two names coexisted and were never mixed. Tokyo was just Tokyo and could never become Seoul [the capital of Korea]. The name Seoul was such a secret language concealing the desire for national liberation among colonized Korean people. The linguistic nationalism in the postcolonial space made use of the Korean language normative because it was an urgent task for Koreans to recover or acquire their national language. As Ngũgĩ (1986: 9) noted regarding the colonial situation of Kenya, ‘Language was the most important vehicle through which that power fascinated and held the soul prisoner. The bullet was the means of the physical subjugation. Language was the means of the spiritual subjugation’. In his work Decolonising the Mind, Ngũgĩ indicated that the urgent task of independent Kenya after it was liberated from British colonial rule was to decolonize the mind, and the key to that task was to decolonize the language. Likewise, the urgent priority in postcolonial Korea was to decolonize the mind to recover the country’s national identity, and an essential part of that task was to decolonize the language. However, the mere change in the language they used did not amount to a decolonization of their colonized bodies and minds, especially for those who were born and raised during the colonial period and had to use the Japanese language. The influence of the colonizer imprinted in their bodies and minds is persistent, as Gandhi observed: As it happens, histories, much as families, cannot be freely chosen by a simple act of will, and newly emergent postcolonial nation-­states are often deluded and unsuccessful in their attempts to disown the burdens of their colonial inheritance. The mere repression of colonial memories is never, in itself, tantamount to a surpassing of or emancipation from the uncomfortable realities of the colonial encounter. (Gandhi 1998: 4) Postcolonial Seoul was a space of conflicts between the will ‘to disown the burdens of their colonial inheritance’ and the ‘uncomfortable realities of the colonial encounter’ (Gandhi 1998: 4). When they are forced to discard the colonial memories despite its impossibility, individuals are thought to suffer from schizophrenia or identity confusion. Postcolonial Seoul was a space where such people wandered in conflict between the influence of colonialism imprinted in their bodies and minds and the struggle to resist it, as described in Son’s (1967: 206) short story mentioned earlier in the section ‘Keijo (京城): assimilationist desire’. In the story, the food the character ‘wants to eat’ is Japanese food, zenzai and donkatz, but he thinks he ‘must eat’ Korean foods such as boiled rice, dumpling soup and bibimbap. The list of foods shows that his mind experiences conflict between the influence of colonialism imprinted in his body and his will to resist it. Feeling embarrassed that he has instinctively ordered the Japanese food zenzai, he tries to think of Korean food to dispel the memories of his colonized taste, but still feels that the Japanese food donkatz suits him. Eventually, he decides 197

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to eat bibimbap because he must eat Korean food even if he does not want to. Besides, the verbs he uses when mentioning Korean food also reveal the conflict between his instinct and his will. He uses terms of reason rather than sense, such as ‘thought of’, ‘must eat’, ‘really must’ and ‘decide’. As Han (2007b: 297–298) pointed out, this illustrates the identity confusion of postwar (postcolonial) generations caused by the repression and the conflict between the reality (what exists) and the mandate (what must exist). The conflict between the reality and the mandate also symbolically reveals the identity confusion caused by the conflict between two languages. In postcolonial Korea, the Korean language was a mandate, but the Japanese language was the reality. This situation caused ‘identity confusion for post-­colonial generations who were born and educated during the colonial period and learned the Japanese language as their mother tongue’ (Han 2007b: 258). They could understand spoken Korean and speak it but could not read or write it fluently when their country was liberated from Japan. Thus, these generations had difficulty expressing their emotions and thoughts in Korean: ‘While they reacted, understood and analyzed things in Japanese, they had to express them in Korean. This produced a gap between thinking and expression; this means two countries coexist[ed] in their consciousness’ (Kim 1995: 241–242). Thus, writing in Korean for the postcolonial generation was a process of self-­translation: thinking in Japanese and translating the thought into Korean. Korean poet Suyoung Kim, who was born in colonial Keijo and educated during the colonial period, wrote his diary in Japanese and composed poems in Japanese and then translated them into Korean until the late 1960s (Han 2007b: 292). He confessed, ‘I could write without the trouble of translating only 20 years after the liberation [of Korea from Japanese rule]’ (Kim 2013: 451). This identity confusion made some Koreans feel guilty: a Korean novelist who was educated under colonial rule confessed that he thought, because he was fluent in Japanese, he was a ‘less pure Korean’ or a ‘more contaminated Korean’ than those who were not educated under colonialism and did not know the Japanese language (Yi 1977: 12). Thus, liberated Seoul was a space where colonized bodies wandered in the desire for postcolonial amnesia.

Seoul now: capitalist desire With the increased influx of immigrants since 2000, Korea is becoming a multinational and multilingual society, and Seoul has been the city most affected by the change. According to the Korea Immigration Service, the number of resident aliens in Korea was approximately 2.4 million as of October 2018, with the plurality (45.2%) from China. The next three countries by percentage were Vietnam (8.3%), the United States (6.6%) and Uzbekistan (2.9%). Approximately one million of them live in Seoul, comprising 10% of Seoul’s population (Lee 2011). Although those of Chinese nationality comprise the highest percentage of immigrants in Seoul, the foreign language most visible and most audible in the city’s streets is English, not Chinese. Despite regulations on the use of signs, English signboards are commonplace in the streets, and many building signs are written in English. English is commonly heard along with Korean in the streets, offices and TV advertisements. To protect the Korean language, Korean governmental agencies regulate the use of signs just like many other countries do. According to the Charter of the French Language of 1977, for example, advertising in Québec was required to be done only in French, and all commercial signs must be in French. Later, these measures were eased, and English is now acceptable on signs provided that French is given priority (Gorter 2006: 84–85). In France, the so-­called 198

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Toubon Law, introduced in 1994, mandated the use of the French language in official government publications, advertisements and other contexts (Gorter 2006). In 1990, the Korean government promulgated the Outdoor Advertising Signboards Control Law, which included regulations on the use of language. According to the law, the language used on signboards should be Hangeul, and when foreign languages are used, Hangeul should also be used unless there is an unavoidable reason not to do so (Choi 2014: 552). Unlike in France, this law does not mandate that Korean be given priority. Because of the law’s leniency, foreign languages, especially English, are commonly used on street signboards in Seoul. As of 2014, approximately 33% of commercial signboards in Seoul were written in a foreign language, and 8% of them were written with a mix of Korean and a foreign language (Newsis 2014). The use of foreign languages on signboards in Seoul increased so much that some areas such as the Apgujeong-­dong area in the Gangnam District have more signboards written in foreign languages than those written in Korean. Of course, the most frequently used foreign language is English. It is not only dominant in the visual landscape of Seoul, but also heard more often in the streets and offices in Seoul. It is increasingly used on signboards, in brand names, in advertisements, in Korean songs, in the names of singing groups and even in people’s names. The dominant presence of English in the linguistic landscape of Seoul is partly due to the process of globalization, just as it is in other Asian countries such as Thailand and Japan (Backhaus 2006; Huebner 2006). However, in the case of Seoul, this phenomenon is also closely related to the historically constructed and deep-­rooted desire of Korean people. English has had a special status throughout the rocky history of Korean society, which is closely related to the desire of Korean people. The first visible presence of English in Seoul—at the time of Hanseong—was due to the Korean elitists’ attitude toward the United States in the 19th century, as previously mentioned. Korean elitists hoped to modernize their society by importing advanced Western civilization, and the English language was considered integral to this process. The first national organization that provided English education in Korea was Yugyeong Gongwon (the Royal Academy for Fostering Talent). The Royal Academy was established in 1886 following the Treaty of Ganghwa Island, which was made between Korea and Japan in 1876. Under the unequal treaty requested through Japan’s gunboat diplomacy, Korea was forced to open three ports to Japanese trade and grant the Japanese people many rights in Korea, such as extraterritoriality. After the treaty was signed, the Korean government felt the need to import advanced aspects of Western civilization to strengthen its national power. Thus, they established the first modern school, Yugyeong Gongwon, to educate government officials and noblemen. Although the school was supposed to teach reading, writing, foreign languages, mathematics, geography, history and so on, most of its curriculum was focused on the English education program. The school employed native English teachers and mostly taught speaking and listening, rather than grammar and reading, because the purpose of the education was for practical use. English during this period was considered by the Korean government to be a means to import advanced Western civilization, and this interest in the English language was closely related to the desire of Korean elitists to make their country powerful like the Western powers, although some people thought of it as a means to advance their careers. When Japanese colonial rule began in Korea in 1910, the status of the English language in Korea was greatly diminished, and the Japanese language was used for most of the curriculum in schools in colonial Korea. English education was mostly focused on grammar and reading, rather than speaking and listening, because there was no need for practical use from the perspective of the Japanese colonizers. However, although the English language was not 199

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visible or heard in the streets of colonial Korea, it was one of the most important Western languages, together with German and French, for Korean intellectuals because it was a means to develop cultural nationalism. One of the activities that the cultural nationalists focused on was establishing modern Korean literature and modern Korean theatre through translation to lay a foundation for future independence. Thus, many European writers were translated into Korean during the 1920s and 1930s, and knowledge of the English language was critically important in the process (Yun 2010). In 1945, the Korean Peninsula was liberated from Japan by the Allies, and the U.S. military government came to officially rule the southern half of the Korean Peninsula from September 1945 to August 1948, when the independent Korean governments were created. In 1948, the pro-­U.S. Syngman Rhee was appointed as the first president of South Korea, and the pro-­ Soviet Il-­sung Kim was named the first leader of North Korea. In the liberated space of South Korea, English was promulgated as an official language, and the first newspaper published in the space was in English, not Korean (Kang 2014: 60–61). Thus, English became a weapon for survival in the liberated space, and English interpreters enjoyed great power; Koreans who could communicate in English with American soldiers regarding the rights to the so-­called enemy property that the Japanese colonial government left behind had an advantage because the U.S. military government had the authority to dispose of the property (Kang 2014: 65). In this situation, the status of the English language in South Korea was drastically promoted, and South Korea’s frenzy to learn English began in 1948 when politics through interpretation began (Han 2007a: 24). English-­language ability in this period was a means to gain wealth, as described by a character in a short story at that time: ‘English ruled the world . . . so with English communication ability, you could make a lot of money’ (Son 1967: 154). The frenzy to learn English accelerated as the Korean government focused on exports during the 1970s, and English was included as one of the required subjects for the College Scholastic Ability Test in 1986. English grades on the College Scholastic Ability Test could decide students’ future because the test determined which university they could attend, and top-­ranking universities assured their careers to a degree. The craze changed the linguistic landscape of Seoul during the period: the percentage of Hangeul signboards dropped from 65% in 1986 to 60% in 1988 and to 52% in 1990 (Seoul Shinmun 1993). Globalization, which began to affect Korean society in the 1990s, and the Information Age, which swept the society in the 21st century, further accelerated the English craze in South Korea. In the Information Age, the use of English in Korea also becomes a means for survival: Korean people are worried that they might lag behind others if they do not know English because more than 80% of information on the Internet is written in English, and communication with foreigners is becoming a daily routine as Korean society enters the age of the global economy (Kim 2001). Of course, Seoul’s linguistic landscape has also changed due to other factors. For example, the ‘Korean Wave’ (Hallyu)—the global dissemination of Korean pop-­cultural entertainment, including music, TV dramas and movies, which began in the late 1990s—affected the audio-­ visual landscape of Seoul’s streets. In the 2000s, the Korean Wave and a strong Japanese yen/ currency resulted in Seoul’s streets, especially the Myeongdong area, being swamped with Japanese tourists. When the yen weakened and the relationship between Korea and Japan worsened in the 2010s, Chinese tourists replaced those from Japan. Even with these changes, however, English is now predominantly seen and heard in the streets of Seoul as a result of the previously described historical background. English is considered to have the power to fulfil Koreans’ desire for a powerful country, national sovereignty, survival, wealth and success in life and career. 200

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Additionally, the visible presence of English in Seoul is noticeable because of the Koreans’ attitudes toward English. Many Korean people view English as a language that is difficult for them to learn and speak well (Park 2009: 2–3, 227). This leads to the increasing emphasis on English in Korean society and partly contributes to the visible presence of English in Seoul. In this way, the English language has become a fetish, not just a vehicle of communication. Older generations who lived through Japanese colonial rule saw those who knew the colonizer’s language wielded power. Thus, they think that knowledge of the English language is essential to survival and success in this competitive global age. However, the younger generation’s perception of English in Korea is more neutral; for them, English is also a language of communication with the world (Yoon 2007: 302). The younger generation in Korea, brought up in a more affluent environment than older generations, prioritizes seeing the world and enriching their knowledge through travelling to and living in foreign countries. Witnessing the Korean Wave (Hallyu), they also see possibilities for them to go global. Thus, English, for the younger generation, is not only a means to survival, wealth and success in life or a career, but also a means of communication with people globally, a gateway to the world. However, this does not mean that Koreans blindly pursue ‘English as a language of opportunity’. Such pursuit of English coexists with resistance against English, thus rendering Koreans’ relationship with the language ambivalent (Park 2009: 52). The Korean language has always played an important part in Korean nationalism, particularly in the resistance against imperial powers during modernization and during Japanese colonial rule. Based on these roots, Koreans ‘maintain a strong nationalistic language attitude that warns against valorizing other language more than one’s own’ (Park 2009: 52–54).

Conclusion: cities in translation as palimpsests of desires Cities are palimpsests on which desires are inscribed and then effaced to make room for later desires. These inscriptions of desires change the cityscape and have an impact on residents of the city. Sometimes the changes make the residents feel alienated from the familiar sights and landmarks of the city, just as Baudelaire (2007) felt alienated in his native city when urban renewal replaced the old, familiar Paris in the 19th century. The experience of change in the linguistic cityscape may even cause identity confusion to city dwellers, as witnessed in the colonial and postcolonial space of Seoul mentioned earlier. As new desires replace old desires, the city is rewritten. However, the history of rewriting, even when the effacing seems definitive and irrevocable, leaves its traces in some corner of a city or in the memory of people who refuse to forget it, which become stimuli-­signe to summon the memories of how the city was once translated according to desires. The history of changing the name or linguistic landscape of a city reveals how the city was translated with changing desires. The city currently called Seoul had different names throughout its history: Namgyeong, Hanseong and Keijo. Referring to the city as each of these names functions as stimuli-­signe to summon the memories of how the city was once translated according to the desires of a political group, colonizers, nationalists, the local populace or citizens. It is not just the city’s names that function as stimuli-­signe. The traces of the translated city that remain in the language and every corner of the city also function as signs. The partly demolished fortress of Hanyang Doseong summons the memories of Seoul translated in accordance with the Macbethian desire of Seong-­gye Yi and then the colonizer’s desire for conquest. The remaining Japanese language on signboards, along roads or in daily language recalls painful memories of Seoul’s translation into Keijo under the colonizer’s assimilationist desire and sometimes stirs the Korean society as humiliating vestiges of Japanese imperialism that should be eliminated. 201

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The linguistic landscape of Seoul, where English is dominant, reveals the historically constructed desires of the Korean people. Having experienced deprivation of their national language during Japanese colonial rule and its impact on the wider social and cultural reality, some Korean people voice their concerns about English-­language hegemony. They exhibit concern that the Korean language might be hindered or overwhelmed by English, but this concern is silenced by the capitalist desire to gain success and power through the use of English. Now, because it is easier for people to cross borders in this globalized era, varied desires shape the linguistic landscape and soundscape of cities around the world. Migrating people following capital, for example, change the linguistic landscape of cities, as seen in many multilingual cities. The translation of a city is an ongoing and unfinished process where different desires meet a narrative of a history. Thus, to borrow from Stuart Hall (1987: 44), the translation of a city is formed at the unstable point where desire meets the narrative of history and is an endless conversation.

Further reading Blackwood, Robert, Elizabeth Lanza and Hirut Woldemariam (eds.) (2017) Negotiating and Contesting Identities in Linguistic Landscapes (Advances in Sociolinguistics), London and New York: Bloomsbury Academic. Investigates the linguistic landscape as the negotiation and contestation of identities Rubdy, Rani and Selim Ben Said (eds.) (2015) Conflict, Exclusion, and Dissent in the Linguistic Landscape, London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Investigates the dynamics of the linguistic landscape as a site of conflict, exclusion and dissent with a focus on sociohistorical, economic, political and ideological issues Shohamy, Elana, Eliezer Ben-­Rafael and Monica Barni (2010) Linguistic Landscape in the City, Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Investigates the various forces that shape the linguistic landscape in the city and the impact of the linguistic landscape on the social and cultural reality

Note 1 All translations from Korean texts were done by the author.

References Aikawa, Takuya (2015) ‘경성소설가의 글쓰기 (Writing novelist-­ness in Keijo—Pak Taewon’s early autobiographical narratives)’, Bangyo Eomun Yeongu 41: 397–436. Backhaus, Peter (2006) ‘Multilingualism in Tokyo: A look into the linguistic landscape’, in Durk Gorter (ed.) Linguistic Landscape: A New Approach to Multilingualism, Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 52–66. Bak, Gyeong-­sik (1986) 일본제국주의의 조선지배 (Joseon under the Rule of Japanese Imperialism), Seoul: Cheonga Publishers. Baudelaire, Charles (2007) Complete Poems: Charles Baudelaire, trans. Walter Martin, Manchester: Carcanet Press Ltd. Bell, Roger T. (1976) Sociolinguistics: Goals, Approaches and Problems, New York: St. Martin’s Press. Bourhis, Richard Y. and Rodrigue Landry (1997) ‘Linguistic landscape and ethnolinguistic vitality: An empirical study’, Journal of Language and Social Psychology 16: 23–49. Bourhis, Richard Y. and Rodrigue Landry (2002) ‘La loi 101 et l’aménagement du paysage linguistique au Québec’, Revue d’aménagement linguistique, hors série 107–131. 202

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Cho, Hyunbum (2002) 문명과 야만: 타자의 시선으로 본 19세기 조선 (Civilization and Barbarism: Joseon of the Nineteenth Century from the Eye of the Other), Seoul: Chaeksesang. Choi, In-­ryeong (2014) ‘퀘벡, 프랑스, 한국의 언어정책 비교연구: 옥외광고물의 언어사용을 중심 으로 (Linguistic policies of Québec, France and Korea: Outdoor signboards)’, French Language and Literature Studies 99: 535–565. Cronin, Michael and Sherry Simon (2014) ‘Introduction: The city as translation zone’, Translation Studies 7(2): 119–132. Ebrey, Patricia and Anne Walthall (2006) East Asia: A Cultural, Social, and Political History, Boston, MA: Wadsworth. Eckert, Carter J., Ki-­baik Lee, Young Ick Lew, Michael Robinson and Edward W. Wagner (1990) Korea Old and New: A History, Seoul: Ilchokak Publishers. Gandhi, Leela (1998) Postcolonial Theory: A Critical Introduction, New York: Columbia University Press. Gorter, Durk (2006) ‘Further possibilities for linguistic landscape research’, in Durk Gorter (ed.) Linguistic Landscape: A New Approach to Multilingualism, Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 81–88. Hall, Stuart (1987) ‘Minimal selves’, in Homi K. Bhabha and Lisa Appignanesi (eds.) Identity: The Real Me—Postmodernism and the Question of Identity (ICA Documents), London: Institute of Contemporary Arts, 6: 44–46. Han, Soo-­Yeong (2007a) ‘전후소설에서의 식민화된 주체와 언어적 타자 (The colonialized subject and ‘the lingual Other’ in Postwar novel: Focus on the self-­consciousness of bilingualist in Son Changseop’s novel)’, Inmun Yeongu 52: 1–33. Han, Soo-­Yeong (2007b) ‘전후세대문학과 언어적 정체성 (A study on the lingual identity of postwar generation in Korean literature)’, Daedong Munhwa Yeongu 58: 257–301. Henry, Todd A. (2014) Assimilating Seoul. Japanese Rule and the Politics of Public Space in Colonial Korea, 1910–1945, Berkeley, CA and London: University of California Press. Hong, Seong-­tae, ‘성곽도시 서울, 그 어제와 오늘을 잇는 한양도성 (Walled city Seoul: Hanyang Doseong that conntects past and presence)’, (accessed 20 December 2018). Huebner, Thom (2006) ‘Bangkok’s linguistic landscapes: Environmental print, codemixing and language change’, in Durk Gorter (ed.) Linguistic Landscape: A New Approach to Multilingualism, Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 31–51. Jang, Eun Sun (2014) Seoul City Wall, Seoul: Seoul Metropolitan Government. Jeon, U-­yong (2008) 서울은 깊다:서울의 시공간에 대한 인문학적 탐사 (Deep Seoul: A Humanistic Exploration of Place and Time in Seoul), Seoul: Dolbegae. Jordan, David P. (1992) ‘The city: Baron Haussmann and modern Paris’, The American Scholar 61(1): 99–106. Kang, Junman (2014) 한국인과 영어 (Koreans and English), Seoul: Inmulgwa Sasangsa. Kim, Gihyeop (1946) ‘우리의 수도는 아직도 게이조(京城)입니다! (Our capital is still Keijo)’, Pressian, (accessed 4 March 2019). Kim, Hyeon (1995) The Complete Works of Kim Hyeon 2, Seoul: Munji Publishing. Kim, Jingak (2001) ‘영어! 영어! 영어! 영어 강박증의 원인은? (‘English! English! English! Why Obssessed with English Language?)’, The Hankook Ilbo, 23 October. Kim, Suyoung (2013) The Complete Works of Kim Suyoung 2—Prose, Seoul: Minumsa. Lee, Iksop and S. Robert Ramsey (2003) The Korean Language, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Lee, Ji-­hyeon (2011) ‘10월 한국 찾은 중국인 작년 대비 30 증가 (Chinese visitors to Korea recorded 30% jump from a year earlier)’, (accessed 2 March 2019). Newsis (2014) ‘국내 도심 간판 셋 중 하나는 외국문자 (One of three signboards in cities in Korea is in foreign language)’, ID=10201&pID=10200 (accessed 2 January 2019). Ngũgĩ, wa Thiong’o (1986) Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature, London: J. Currey. 203

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Park, Jin-­han, Yeong-­seok Yee and Yugi Min (2011) 도시는 역사다 (The City is the History), Seoul: Seohae Munjip. Park, Joseph S. (2009) The Local Construction of a Global Language: Ideologies of English in South Korea, Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter. Seoul Development Institute (SDI) (2000) 서울 20세기, 100년의 사진기록 (20th-­Century Seoul, Photos of 100 Years), Seoul: SDI. Seoul Metropolitan Office of History Compilation Committee (SMOHCC) (1997) 서울행정사 (The History of Seoul Administration), Seoul: SMOHCC. Seoul Shinmun (1993) ‘외국어 간판 (Signboards in foreign language)’, 서울신문 (The Seoul Newspaper), 23 December. Son, Changseop (1967) 현대한국문학전집 3-­ 손창섭집 (Modern Korean Literature: An Anthology 3-­Son Changseop), Seoul: Singu Munhwasa. Song, Jaejung (2015) ‘Language policies in North and South Korea’, in Lucien Brown and Jaehoon Yeon (eds.) The Handbook of Korean Linguistics, Chichester, UK: John Wiley and Sons, 477–491. Yi, Hocheol (1977) 작가수첩 (The Writer’s Notebook), Seoul: Jinmun Publishers. Yoon, Hye-­joon (2007) ‘영어의 여러 얼굴 (Many faces of English)’, Inside and Outside 23: 296–303. Yun, Hunam (2010) Appropriations of Irish Drama by Modern Korean Nationalist Theatre: A Focus on the Influence of Sean O’Casey in a Colonial Context (Unpublished doctoral dissertation), Coventry: The University of Warwick.


13 Translation and controversial monuments in Tallinn Federico Bellentani

There has been a significant literature developing in recent years considering translation as a cultural practice going beyond the linguistic domain. The concept of translation has been applied, for example, to multilingual cities as focal points of translation among different languages, cultures, identities and memories (e.g., Simon 2012; cf. Deumert et al., this volume). This chapter conceives of translation as an analytical tool to explore the meaning-­making of monuments. Monuments are widely used to promote the dominant worldviews of those in power. As such, monuments have both commemorative and political functions: formally erected to preserve the memory of specific events and identities, they present the cultural positions of those that took the initiative for their erection, while obscuring others. National elites are aware of the power of monuments and use them as tools to legitimate the primacy of their power and promote the kinds of ideals they want citizens to strive towards. However, individuals interpret monuments in ways that can be different or even contrary to the elites’ intentions. This has been particularly evident in post-­Soviet countries, independent states that emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1990–1991. Here national elites have extensively used monuments as a primary ‘translation strategy’ to culturally reinvent urban space (Torop 2010: xxvi, 230). Specifically, the redesign of Soviet monuments and the erection of new ones have been two distinct but concurrent practices to shape specific worldviews consistent with the new cultural and political condition. However, these initiatives have not been accepted by the entire population in post-­Soviet countries, where multiple memories and identities coexist at the societal level. The chapter is divided into two parts. The first part is conceptual and suggests categorizing translation through a semiotic perspective to explore the role of monuments in transferring the meanings of existing urban spaces into new cultural contexts as well as in constructing and spreading new cultural and political meanings in space. To do so, it first outlines the major steps that make translation studies move towards the nonlinguistic domain, and then highlights the rationale of analyzing monuments as translation strategies able to legitimize specific cultural worldviews (Torop 2010). The second part explores these ideas by analyzing three monuments in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, each representing a different stage in the process of cultural reinvention of the Estonian urban space. 205

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Translation beyond linguistic boundaries Translation: from linguistics to semiotics As traditionally conceptualized, translation is a purely linguistic process aiming to replace ‘an original text, known as the source text, with a substitute one, known as the target text’ (House 2009: 4). A moral category characterizes this process: to achieve a good translation, the target text should be as faithful as possible to the source (Buden et al. 2009: 199). In the wake of the cultural turn in the mid-­1980s, translation has begun to be seen as embedded in a web of cultural circumstances. In this view, to ensure the best translation, the translator should reproduce the historical and cultural context of the source text in the context of the target text, including its cultural values and beliefs. Hence, scholars have started to approach translation as a cultural practice, aiming to render linguistic and nonlinguistic meanings of the source language within the sign system of the target language (Buden et al. 2009: 204). By being a cultural practice and including meaning-­making processes at the centre of inquiry, translation can be studied as a ‘semiotic act’ (Kourdis 2015: 303). Semiotics denotes the study of how signs are produced and interpreted. Signs are anything that convey meanings. They presuppose someone who produces them and someone who understands them, e.g., a producer and an interpreter. A ‘sign system’ is a set of signs, producers and interpreters, plus the circumstances underlying interpretation processes (Posner 2004: 56). Semiotics thus studies signs and their functioning within sign systems. Cultural semiotics is a branch of semiotics that studies cultures as sign systems (ibid.). Semiotics of translation defines a scientific field focusing on translations from one semiotic system to another, regardless of whether it is linguistic or non-­linguistic (Kourdis 2015: 303). Semiotic research on translation has drawn on two methodological approaches. One has relied on Peirce (Hartshorne et  al. 1931–1958), who considered translation as sign interpretation, and thus it has connected translation with the notions of interpretation and meaning (e.g., Eco and Nergaard 2001; Petrilli 2015). The second has conceptualized translation as inseparable from the concept of culture (e.g., Torop 2002, 2008). Focusing on the latter approach, the next section looks at culture as a translation mechanism.

Culture as a translation mechanism Monuments cannot be analyzed separately from the cultural context in which they are established. Culture can shape the designers’ and the users’ interpretations and influence actions and interactions within the space of monuments. In turn, monuments convey cultural and political meanings contributing to the shaping and reshaping of culture. For Peeter Torop, culture is a mechanism of translation having its ‘translational capacity’ able to include new meanings and promote cultural innovation: Translating as an activity and translation as the result of this activity are inseparable from the concept of culture. The translational capacity of culture is an important criterion of culture’s specificity. Culture operates largely through translational activity, since only by the inclusion of new texts into culture can the culture undergo innovation as well as perceive its specificity. (Torop 2002: 593) Culture also creates its own type of internal organization by defining boundaries that divide itself from what it is not (Lotman 1990: 142). It thus articulates an internal space of culture in 206

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opposition to an external one. As part of culture, monuments play an essential role in ‘shaping a given community’s basic values and principles of belonging’, while obliterating and obscuring others (Tamm 2013: 652). Internally, culture is characterized by the constant interaction between an abstract, global level and its concrete, local manifestations. Umberto Eco (1984) divides culture into a global and a local level. Drawing on his reading of Peirce’s semiotics, he defines signs as sets of instructions guiding interpreters during their interpretations (Nanni and Bellentani 2018: 382). Along with this definition of signs, Eco conceives the notion of ‘encyclopedia’, a stock of shared signs that interpreters use during their interpretative processes. This stock includes global and local levels. The global level refers to the cultural knowledge as a whole and contains all the potential interpretations circulating in culture. The local level defines the routinized ways to use that knowledge, e.g., to interpret specific portions of culture (Eco 1984: 68). Local cultures select relevant portions of knowledge to delimit their own areas of consensus and to differentiate themselves from other cultures. The identity of a culture is thus based on a socially constructed signifying system, actively produced and continuously changed by the present needs of society. Juri Lotman (1990) describes culture as internally organized by the centre-­periphery hierarchy. This hierarchy is one of the mechanisms for the internal organization of the semiosphere; that is, the semiotic space within which signification processes continuously emerge and different languages and cultures variously interrelate with each other (Lotman 2005). At the centre of the semiosphere, central cultures constantly attempt to prescribe conventional norms to the whole culture. The majority of members of culture embody these norms and perceive them as their own reality. However, peripheral cultures can always arise and influence the central norms. In doing so, they are vital sources for the definition and the development of the central culture itself. The centre-­periphery hierarchy can be useful to explain the interpretative dynamics of monuments. National elites use monuments as tools to legitimate the primacy of their cultural and political power, promoting the kinds of ideals they define as central and want users to strive towards. Here, ‘national elites’ refer to the leadership group that presides over the national government organizations, whose decision making is inspired by a large number of ideas and values, but eventually produces consistent resolutions: for example, to erect a monument in order to convey specific interpretations of the past. But the ways in which monuments are designed can elicit a range of different interpretations at the societal level, which variously position themselves at the periphery of the semiosphere. Thus, the same monument can be for one community a sacred place of commemoration, but for another a source of traumatic memories.

Translating the city: the cultural reinvention of the urban space The semiotic approach to translation has shifted the focus away from the linguistic domain alone, analyzing both verbal signs and non-­verbal sign systems (Petrilli and Ponzio 2012: 20). Buden et al. (2009: 196) conceive of translation as applying to cultural and political conditions: ‘They [humans] too can be moved across all sorts of differences and borders and so translated from one place to another, for instance from one cultural and political condition to another’. For Hartama-­Heinonen, the semiotic approach to translation focuses on texts and discourses, which typically includes nonlinguistic sign systems: The semiotic approach to translation first leads us to the sphere of texts and discourses . . . that presuppose the co-­existence, interaction, and even the confrontation of different 207

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semiotic systems and signifying practices. These systems, which reach beyond linguistic boundaries, manifest themselves in varying codes and combinations. (Hartama-­Heinonen 2012: 305) Following this view, semiotic analysis has been produced on a number of non-­linguistic semiotic systems, going as far as to explore the connection between translation and space (Nergaard 2018). According to this approach, a city is seen as a melting pot of different languages that variously interact. As Lotman puts it: The city is a complex semiotic mechanism, a culture-­generator, but it carries out this function only because it is a melting-­pot of texts and codes, belonging to all kinds of languages and levels. The essential semiotic polyglottism of every city is what makes it so productive of semiotic encounters. The city, being the place where different national, social and stylistic codes and texts confront each other, is the place of hybridization, recodings, semiotic translations, all of which makes it into a powerful generator of new information. (Lotman 1990: 194) Sherry Simon has been a key author looking at the role spatial dimension has in translation (see also Simon, this volume). Specifically, she has focused on linguistically divided cities; that is, cities characterized by ‘competition between two languages each claiming entitlement to the space of the city’ (Simon 2008: 1). Taking up from here, this chapter goes a step further by using translation as an analytical tool for exploring the cultural reinvention of the urban space, a set of practices set up by national elites and aims to fill urban space with cultural and political meanings. As such, translation really goes beyond the linguistic dimension to include cultural and political phenomena, such as the meaning-­making of the urban space and of monuments in particular.

Monuments as translation strategies Semiotics considers urban space and its built environment as having implications beyond their physical forms. They are forms of discourse which can be shaped to convey meanings and influence communities of interpreters (Nanni and Bellentani 2018: 384). Hence, the design of urban space can be seen as a ‘translation strategy’ to transfer the meanings of built forms from one cultural and political condition to another (Buden et  al. 2009; Torop 2010: xxvi, 230). Drawing on this assumption, semiotic analysis focuses on the way social groups, and especially national elites, design and manipulate urban space for cultural and political purposes, aiming to promote a uniform national memory and identity. Hence, a line of semiotic research has begun to focus on memory representation. Moving from the psychological concept of memory as a mental faculty, this research has concentrated on memory as external to the human mind, as manifested in texts, documents, everyday objects and architecture. Following this view, Violi (2014: 11) has discussed the modalities through which material devices articulate a specific ‘discourse on the past’ (my translation). Discourses on the past are designed to convey specific historical narratives and, as such, they always present a ‘partial vision’, focusing attention on selective histories while concealing others (Eco 1976: 289–290). Authors thus create discourses on the past to educate readers towards what to remember and what to forget. As a consequence, discourses on the past affect present and future identity, as well as the ways in which individuals represent themselves and 208

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relate to each other (Violi 2014: 18). Moreover, they convey collective meanings supporting a uniform national memory and identity. Nevertheless, individuals and groups can interpret differently the same discourses on the past. In the case of monuments, each user interprets monuments differently and, on this basis, develops specific patterns of behaviour. Hence, the interpretations of monuments emerge from the interplay between designers’ and users’ interpretations. By inviting questions on readership, semiotic analysis has investigated the effects monuments have at the societal level (Huebner and Phoocharoensil 2017; Violi 2014). Here, ‘designers’ is used as a generic term to indicate the wide set of actors that have the mandate to design monuments, such as state, local authorities, architects, planners, artists, heritage departments and construction companies (Yiftachel et al. 2001: 4). Contrarily, ‘users’ indicates those who use monuments during the course of everyday life through a myriad of different practices: (in)attentive crossing, commemoration and mourning, sightseeing, learning, resistant political practices and so on.

What, really, are monuments? Monuments exist in many different forms. What is common among them is that they have both commemorative and political functions. In monuments, commemoration and politics are strongly interlinked: while commemorating specific events and identities, monuments present the cultural positions of those who erect them. As such, the cultural positions embodied in monuments are necessarily partisan, encompassing a whole set of meanings, identities and events while concealing others. Commemorating an individual or an event, public monuments are not merely ornamental features of the urban landscape but rather highly symbolic signifiers that confer meaning on the city and transform neutral places into ideologically charged sites. (Whelan 2002: 508) National elites are aware of the power of monuments and use them as tools to legitimate the primacy of their cultural and political power. However, individuals interpret monuments in ways that can be different or even contrary to the intentions of those who have them erected. Monuments embody the agency of generations and can assume different functions as time passes: for example, monuments legitimizing dominant power can turn into sites of resistant political practice (Benton-­Short 2006; Hershkovitz 1993). In other cases, monuments sacred for an elite can become the object of scorn and ridicule (Atkinson and Cosgrove 1998). [T]he original meaning is not really written in stone at all. Instead, it might be remembered completely differently later on or become the unexpected site of controversy. The memorial may even become invisible and unnoticed. (Kattago 2015: 185) This is particularly evident in transitional societies associated with regime change. Here, monuments are used as tools to set political agendas and the dominant dynamics of social inclusion and exclusion. This use of monuments can be seen as a practice of translation aiming to switch their meaning—and that of the whole urban space—into new cultural and political conditions. Monuments in Tallinn, which will be analyzed in the next part, present particularly evident cases of this phenomenon. 209

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Translating the past: the cultural reinvention of monuments in Tallinn, Estonia This part presents analyses on three monuments in Tallinn to illustrate different stages in the cultural reinvention of the Estonian urban space: 1 2 3

The removal and relocation of a Soviet memorial: The Monument to the Liberators of Tallinn, the so-­called Bronze Soldier (1947) The establishment of a memorial representing Estonian historical narratives: The War of Independence Victory Column (2009) The creation of a multilayered landscape where different memory politics coexist: The Maarjamäe Soviet Memorial (1960–1975) and The Victims of Communism Memorial (2018)

In the first analysis, the relocation of a Soviet memorial is presented as a ‘translation strategy’ to transfer its Soviet meanings into contemporary Tallinn culture and society (Torop 2010: xxvi, 230). The second analysis investigates a memorial erected by the Estonian government as an attempt to promote the kinds of ideals it defines as central and wants citizens to strive towards. In this memorial, language is used to create a ‘space of untranslatability’, drawing borders preventing the translation between different languages and memories (Lotman 2009: xxii; Simon 2018: 11). The third analysis examines a multilayered landscape where different memory politics coexist, allowing translation between new and old memory politics.

Setting the scene: the kind of issue monuments that are in Tallinn When Estonia declared its independence from the Soviet Union on 20 August, 1991, the newly formed government began to take initiatives to relocate or remove the inherited monuments created by the Soviets. More initiatives were taken after 2004, when Estonia gained European Union and NATO memberships, which provided adequate resources and security in such a manner as to underpin the redesign of Soviet monuments and the erection of new ones (Ehala 2009). The erection of new monuments gained new momentum in 2018, when Estonia celebrated its 100th anniversary: Estonia reached independence for the first time in 1918 by winning a war in the aftermath of the First World War, known as the War of Independence. In Estonia, and especially in its capital Tallinn, the cultural reinvention of monuments can be seen as a strategy to construct and spread meanings reflecting the needs of post-­Soviet culture and society (Torop 2010: xxvi, 230). However, this cultural reinvention has not been widely accepted in Estonia. Controversies have been so intense that scholars have used the phrase ‘War of Monuments’ to refer to a series of small-­scale conflicts over the interpretations of monuments starting from the early 2000s (e.g., Brüggemann and Kasekamp 2008; Smith 2008).

Removal and relocation as translation strategies: the Bronze Soldier of Tallinn In 1947, Soviet authorities erected a memorial to celebrate the third anniversary of the entrance of the Red Army in Tallinn. According to Soviet-­Russian historical narratives, the victory of the Red Army on the Eastern Front during the Second World War (hereafter WWII) paved the way for the liberation of Tallinn and Eastern Europe from Nazism. For this reason, the 210

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memorial was named Monument to the Liberators of Tallinn (Smith 2008: 422), but people nicknamed it the ‘Bronze Soldier’ because it featured a two-­metre bronze statue of a soldier in a Red Army uniform (Figure 13.1). The Bronze Soldier was originally located in a park in Tallinn city centre. In Soviet Estonia, this park was the venue for the WWII memorial practices because the bodies of some fallen Red Army soldiers were buried here in 1945 (Pillak 2016: 181). Though referring to Soviet aesthetics, the Bronze Soldier survived the tearing down of Soviet monuments in the post-­ Soviet era. As such, the memorial continued to be an important site of commemoration in independent Tallinn for many and especially for the community of Russian speakers, which today makes up about 37% of the Tallinn population (Statistics Estonia 2017). Here, ‘Russophones’ refers to Russian speakers living in Estonia who may be in possession of Estonian citizenship and do not define their identity as ‘Estonian’.

Figure 13.1 The statue of the Bronze Soldier. Picture taken on 29 October, 2015 211

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Since 1994, a number of initiatives have been taken to marginalize visibility and meanings of the Bronze Soldier. First, its name was changed to translate its celebratory Soviet narrative into a more neutral sentiment of mourning: once celebrating the liberators of Tallinn, it was then dedicated to unknown soldiers killed in WWII (Ehala 2009: 141). Since the 2000s, in the context of the so-­called War of Monuments, tensions elevated towards the public display of totalitarian material remains (Pääbo 2008). In this context, the Estonian government felt that it was time to take more concrete measures towards the Bronze Soldier. By promising its removal, national conservative parties gained exceptional popularity and won the parliamentary elections in 2007 (Tamm 2013: 666). Once in power, they honoured the promise and started the works for the removal of the memorial in April 2007. The Bronze Soldier was finally relocated in a military cemetery outside Tallinn city centre. As a result of this action, two nights of disorder broke out, during which a 20-­year-­old Russian died. When the riot was over, excavations were conducted, revealing the remains of 11 men and 1 woman who had been buried at the site in 1945: some of the remains were identified and handed over to their relatives in Russia, while others were reburied in the military cemetery where the memorial was relocated (Pillak 2016: 181). Relocating the Bronze Soldier was a ‘translation strategy’ implemented by the Estonian government to transfer the meanings of the memorial into contemporary Tallinn and to transform them as to be in tune with the current cultural and political condition (Torop 2010: xxvi, 230). Placing the memorial in a peripheral location had spatial as well as ideological consequences: it was not only an excision of a material object from Tallinn city centre, but also an attempt to define the memorial and its meanings as alien to what is today’s central culture (Lotman 1990). Yet, the Bronze Soldier was not completely excised, but relocated to the Defence Force Cemetery of Tallinn, the foremost military cemetery of independent Estonia, part of the City Cemetery (Pillak 2016: 181). The relocation in such a cemetery, as opposed to total excision, was meaningful in itself: it demonstrated that the Estonian government still embraced the commemoration embodied in the memorial. At its new location, the meanings of the memorial have today switched to a more neutral sentiment of mourning. The memorial is still visited by members of the Russophone community, who use it for their commemorations. Scholars in different disciplines have described the relocation of the Bronze Soldier as the event that created a disruption in the everyday interaction between the two main ethnic communities of Estonia: the Estonians and the Russophones. Actually, the narrative of two conflicting ethnic groups with opposing understandings of the past has disguised the broader context in which each individual and group interpreted the relocation. Estonians and Russophones are heterogeneous groups cut across by a number of criteria: not only ethnic origins, but also age, gender, education and profession can shape the attitude towards the relocation. To support this view, by the turn of the century, the Bronze Soldier was visited by a decreasing number of elderly people, demonstrating the declining relevance it had for the new generations of Russophones (Ehala 2009: 139). Estonians themselves presented different attitudes towards the memorial before the relocation: statistics showed that the majority of them were against its relocation before the debate on its fate started (Pääbo 2008). To move beyond ethnic division, the relocation of the Bronze Soldier can be seen as a political matter, rather than an ethnic one alone. National conservative parties and ethnic activists made the relocation strategically look like an ethnic clash between Estonians and Russophones. Following a divide et impera strategy, they gained and maintained power by breaking up the common layers of meaning that were shared by the largest segments of the Estonian population and, simultaneously, by highlighting the potential conflicting ones. A real semiotic 212

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war was created, opposing the meanings that the Bronze Soldier conveyed to different parts of the Estonian society. The more the Estonian government attempted to marginalize the memorial, the more Russophones began to see it as an important symbol of their identity to be protected. And the more the Russophones had such great consideration for the memorial, the more the Estonians started to call for its removal, linking it to the experience of the Soviet regime.

Establishing a space of untranslatability: the War of Independence Victory Column Two years after the relocation of the Bronze Soldier, 500 metres from its original location, the War of Independence Victory Column was unveiled (Figure 13.2). This is a large column-­ shape memorial commemorating those who served in the Estonian War of Independence (1918–1920), which ended with the first recognition of Estonia as an independent state. For this reason, Estonian historical narratives link this war with ideals of freedom and sovereignty, and the soldiers who served in this war are seen as freedom fighters against foreign occupation. To celebrate them, Estonian authorities established many local memorials throughout the country during the period of first sovereignty for Estonia (1918–1939). However, a central memorial was not erected before 2009, when the Estonian government made up for this lack by establishing the Victory Column. As it is normal for memorials, the function of the Victory Column went beyond commemoration by promoting a selective understanding of the past and symbolizing a range of possibilities about the future of Estonia and its capital Tallinn. The reference to the independence

Figure 13.2 The War of Independence Victory Column. Picture taken on 5 October, 2015 213

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war meant to recall the memory of Estonia’s first independence and signify the aspiration of returning to pre-­war traditions and institutions, previously destroyed by foreign regimes. In this context, the first independence was remembered as a ‘golden age’, creating the ground for the development of Estonian national culture (Young and Kaczmarek 2008: 54). Articulating specific historical narratives, the Victory Column has helped to reflect and sustain the cultural and political agendas of the Estonian government. It can be seen as a firm resolution of the government to emerge as a winner from the War of Monuments and to turn a new page in the construction of the national politics of memory and identity. As such, it became more urgent after the troubled events following the Bronze Soldier’s relocation. Its erection was also rushed in view of the 2007 elections to gain political consensus among those who strongly wanted this memorial. The time pressure created different issues such as lack of participatory planning practices, non-­transparency of financing, shortage of adequate supervision and defective works during construction. Once erected, the Victory Column was defined as the most important monument established after Estonia regained independence (Mattson 2012). The resources spent for its construction mirrored the significance that it assumed for the Estonian government. However, the meanings that the government strived to convey through it were not reflected at the societal level: its figurative and plastic design as well as its general political meaning received great criticism. As for the figurative level, the Victory Column presents a highly hermetic iconography, featuring a Greek cross topped on a column. This is a large representation of the Cross of Liberty, the first Estonian military decoration to honour remarkable services during the War of Independence, a symbol associated with Estonia’s fight for freedom. Only those familiar with the historical experience of the independence war could correctly recognize what this iconography represents. It is unlikely for tourists and also difficult for the younger population of Tallinn to acknowledge it. The writings behind the column also demonstrate the hermetic character of the memorial’s figurative level: these include the name and the years of the commemorated war and part of a poem written by the Estonian poet Gustav Suits (Figure 13.3). The writings are only in the Estonian language, and no information plaque in other languages is provided. It is common within the main tourist paths of Tallinn that information plaques inform about important places in many different languages. This is not the case with the writings behind the Victory Column. This lack gives no weight to tourist needs or to the countries which were allied to Estonia during the War of Independence. The hermetic iconography and the language barriers of the Victory Column contradict the original plan to erect a central memorial dedicated to the whole nation (Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2009). Rather, the memorial establishes an exclusive space, with a low ‘translational capacity’ to include peripheral ideals and identities (Torop 2002: 593). To embody dominant meanings of the nation is normal for memorials: in the case of the Victory Column, figurative elements and language have been used to create an exclusive ‘space of untranslatability’ that does not address those who are alien to the Estonian culture and history and may easily misinterpret its logic (Lotman 2009: xxii). In practice, a drawing line has been created between those who can speak Estonian and correctly recognize the represented events and symbols, and those who cannot. As for the plastic dimension, the Victory Column has sparked a broad debate among the public. Tallinn citizens believe that its modern-­looking, imposing structure made of glass is inappropriate and disconnected from the adjacent medieval architecture. Moreover, they consider the loss of natural and historical heritage caused by the earthworks for its construction to be not a worthwhile cost. 214

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Figure 13.3 The name and the years of the War of Independence and the poem on the wall behind the Victory Column. Picture taken on 7 October, 2015

The Victory Column thus reveals a case in which users have reinterpreted the designers’ stated intentions. The memorial celebrates an event that, according to Estonian historical narratives, is linked with ideals of freedom and sovereignty. However, design choices such as hermetic iconography, as well as its large size and elevated location, link the memorial with powerful messages and totalitarian aesthetics. Opposite to the designers’ intention, Tallinn citizens have seen the memorial as presenting conservative political messages. Moreover, they have expressed discontent because the remembered events and identities were presented through a hermetic iconography and a controversial design, in a location that does not facilitate interactions or fit in with the adjacent urban space. Due to this negative attitude, the Victory Column has remained unused. It is very rare that users climb the staircase to approach the memorial, which attracts practices of commemorations—i.e., practices in accordance with its intended purpose—only during public rituals periodically arranged by the Estonian government. For the rest of the year, the memorial attracts only unexpected activities that are different from those envisioned by its designers, for example, skating and biking. The gap between the intentions of the designers and the interpretations of the users demonstrates that monuments ‘can be used, reworked and reinterpreted in ways that are different from, or indeed contradictory to, the intentions of those who had them installed’ (Hay et al. 2004: 204). Designers have access to a ‘repertoire of semiotic resources’ to create translation regimes preventing the transfer of languages and memories (Abousnnouga and Machin 2013: 134; Simon 2018: 11). However, designers do not have complete control over the 215

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interpretations of monuments, and users can interpret them in multiple ways. Monuments thus embody a boundless set of potential meanings, each one being activated by users depending on their knowledge, evaluation, emotions, as well as on the cultural, social and political context in which monuments are interpreted.

Allowing translation between old and new: the memorial landscape of Maarjamäe Maarjamäe is part of Pirita, a district a few kilometres away from Tallinn city centre. Overlooking the coastal road connecting Tallinn and Pirita, there are two landscape memorials: a Soviet memorial dedicated to those who had fallen defending the Soviet Union in WWII and a memorial to commemorate Estonia’s victims of communism during the Soviet regime. The first—that will be called ‘Soviet memorial’—was erected between 1960 and 1975, and it resembles the typical Soviet monumentalism, including a high obelisk celebrating an operation initiated in February 1918 to evacuate warships of the Imperial Russian Navy from Tallinn (Figure  13.4). The second memorial was unveiled in 2018 in the context of Estonia’s 100th anniversary celebrations: it is a 30,000-­square-­metre memorial complex established by the Estonian government to remember all Estonians who were imprisoned, deported or murdered during the Soviet era between 1940 and 1991 (Figure 13.5). The memorial to the victims of communism consists of physical parts and an online database where one can search for information on people who perished due to Soviet crimes. Thanks to the electronic database, everyone can make a new entry for a name to be added on the wall and give feedback on corrections and improvements. The physical memorial includes two main parts. First, ‘The Journey’ is a corridor of memory formed by two tall walls bearing plaques with the names of 22,000 Estonians who were victims of the Soviet regime. The visitor passing through has low visibility and perceives only small portions of the surroundings. The closeness and narrowness of the memorial corridor is opposed to the openness of

Figure 13.4 The Maarjamäe Soviet memorial. Picture taken on 10 April, 2015 216

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Figure 13.5 The memorial to the victims of communism 1940–1991. Picture taken by Alexander Chanadiri, on 27 April, 2019

‘The Home Garden’, a square representing peace and safety at home after returning from the symbolic journey of the corridor. Meant to be a ceremonial square, this area resembles a public park, placed in a hollow with trees, footpaths and benches. On the wall of the corridor overlooking this area, there is an inscription displaying a poem celebrating ideals of peace and home. A swarm of bees’ sculptures symbolically represent the commemorated victims. Drawing on the description on the website of the memorial (, its plastic categories can be linked to figurative ones to form a semi-­symbolic mechanism, e.g., when an opposition belonging to the plane of expression is linked to an opposition to the plane of content (Greimas 1989: 646). The narrow corridor conveys repression, lack of freedom and death, whereas the open space of the square can be associated with peace and freedom. A visitor to the memorial is supposed to pass through the corridor and then reach the ceremonial garden, completing both a physical and a learning trajectory. As seen above, specific plastic features do not suffice to convey specific meanings. However, in this case, the designers describe the memorial as based on this mechanism, and the practices of visitors conform to it. The memorial to the victims of communism stands only 50 metres away from the Soviet memorial. The Maarjamäe memorial landscape thus bears the monumental and memorial imprint of different political formations and faces the challenge related to, as Smith (2008: 420) put it, the ‘existence within the population of two divergent—one could say diametrically opposed—national collective memories relating to the events of the WWII and its aftermath’. While the majority of Estonians link WWII with the experience of the Soviet regime and the consequent deportations and repressions, a significant part of the Russophone community 217

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remembers it as the victorious war that liberated Tallinn and Eastern Europe from the Nazi German invader. For this reason, as the issue of the Bronze Soldier showed, the cultural reinvention of the Maarjamäe memorial landscape could elevate political debates arousing from the potentially conflicting interpretations of WWII. However, the Maarjamäe memorial landscape has not provoked major conflicts yet. There are two reasons for the lack of any serious criticism. First, mindful of the lesson of the Victory Column, the Estonian government used participatory practices for its design, working together with representatives of the organizations of repressed people, the municipality of Tallinn, sculptors and landscape architects. Second, the memorial to the victims of communism was designed in a spirit of continuity, with the aim to rearrange the bygone meaning of the Soviet memorial, but without demolishing its material structure. By adding a new memorial in its surroundings, the Soviet memorial was translated into a new, multilayered landscape where different memory politics coexist in a relation of mutual participation rather than being exclusive to each other. Hence, the Maarjamäe memorial landscape calls for a ‘growing hybridity and pluralism’ in the represented memories, identities and meanings (Simon 2012: 12). Its plurality is demonstrated also by the electronic database where anyone can search for and update information on victims under the Soviet regime. All the information panels are in Estonian, Russian and English: this leads to greater participation of the Russophone community of Tallinn as well as of tourists—in opposition with the language barriers of the Victory Column. Due to its participatory aspects, the memorial to the victims of communism has so far been positively accepted by Tallinn citizens. It is now becoming a popular destination for walks during the warm season: here, visitors pass through the corridor with appropriate sentiments of mourning and use the ceremonial square as a safe area to walk and relax, as envisaged by the designers. They are not passive spectators, but rather active learners keen to discover what the memorial teaches by using it. The memorial has thus become a learning opportunity for all. The new memorial has brought more visits even to the Soviet memorial, which would otherwise remain an alienated memorial of a bygone era, dissonant due to its non-­Estonian meanings and attracting only practices that are different from its original function: skating, graffiti, alcoholism and few tourists appreciating Soviet architecture.

Conclusions: monuments and the cultural reinvention of the post-­Soviet city Monuments have both commemorative and political functions: while commemorating specific events and identities, they present the cultural positions of those in power. While national elites use monuments to set their cultural and political agendas, individuals interpret them in ways that can be different or even contrary to the elites’ intentions. Monuments are meant to be stable over time in their physical forms, but their meanings are dynamic, reflecting changes in culture, social relations, concepts of nation and views on the past. The meaning changeover of monuments has been particularly exemplified in post-­Soviet countries. Here, national elites have largely used monuments as tools to culturally reinvent urban space, so that they could create and spread meanings consistent with the needs of post-­ Soviet culture and society. In post-­Soviet cities, some monuments have survived as a legacy of the Soviet regime, a past whose material remains post-­Soviet national elites have tried to marginalize or remove. New monuments have also been established to promote the new society’s rule of play. However, the redesign of Soviet monuments and the erection of new ones have not been accepted by the entire population, sparking broad debates and resulting in civil disorder. 218

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This chapter analyzed three monuments in Tallinn, each representing a ‘translation strategy’ to sustain the cultural and political agendas of the Estonian government (Torop 2010: xxvi, 230). A comparison can be drawn among them to reveal the trajectory of cultural reinvention through monuments that characterized Tallinn since the Estonian European Union and NATO memberships in 2004. This trajectory is based on three steps: 1



Removal and relocation aiming to translate the meanings of Soviet monuments into the current Estonian culture and society. With the relocation of the Bronze Soldier, the Estonian government aimed to define the memorial as alien to today’s Estonian culture and to transfer its Soviet-­oriented commemoration into more neutral sentiments of mourning. The establishment of new monuments to reflect and sustain the cultural and political agendas of the Estonian government. The Victory Column conveyed the intention of the government to establish an exclusive space for a select audience filled with dominant meanings, a translation regime impeding the transfer of languages and memories (Simon 2018: 11). However, the meanings that the government strived to attach to the Victory Column were not reflected at the societal level. The memorial thus revealed a case in which users have largely reinterpreted the designers’ stated intentions. The establishment of a multilayered memorial landscape allowing the translation between different memory politics. The memorial to the victims of communism was designed in a spirit of continuity, with the aim to rearrange the meaning of the nearby Soviet memorial. The result is a landscape bearing the monumental imprint of different memory politics, which are materially and ideologically different, but peacefully coexist without creating major issues or political debates at the societal level.

Beyond Tallinn, similar practices of cultural reinvention can be found throughout post-­Soviet cities (Forest and Johnson 2011). Of course, this trajectory is only analytical: at the empirical level, each step can assume its own particularity according to the cultural context. This study suggests that categorizing translation through a semiotic perspective can be useful to explore the role of monuments in transferring the meanings of existing urban spaces into new cultural contexts as well as in constructing and spreading new cultural and political meanings in existing urban spaces. Focusing on monuments as translation strategies can also inform urban planners and policymakers by providing solutions to comprehend how interpretations are negotiated between different agents involved in the design of monuments. Following this discussion, future research should concentrate on how to limit broad debates and social conflicts resulting from ill-­ advised national politics of memory and identity in post-­Soviet cities and all over the world.

Further reading Cobley, Paul (ed.) (2010) The Routledge Companion to Semiotics, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Includes essays from leaders in the field discussing the history, development and main application of semiotics Gottdiener, Mark and Alexandros Ph. Lagopoulos (eds.) (1986) The City and the Sign: An Introduction to Urban Semiotics, New York: Columbia University Press. Collects seminal essays which paved the way for the development of urban semiotics and the study of urban signs, meanings, interpretations and cultures Lorusso, Anna Maria (2015) Cultural Semiotics: For a Cultural Perspective in Semiotics, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Reviews key structuralist theories and the work of Juri Lotman and Umberto Eco, and investigates how semiotics and social communication can connect to analyze how culture works 219

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Violi, Patrizia (2017) Landscapes of Memory: Trauma, Space, History, Bern: Peter Lang. An innovative semiotic analysis of memory and trauma sites aiming to reveal the forms of social control and power relationships underlining the politics of memory

References Abousnnouga, Gill and David Machin (2013) The Language of War Monuments, London: Bloomsbury Academic. Atkinson, David and Denis Cosgrove (1998) ‘Urban rhetoric and embodied identities: City, nation and empire at the Vittorio Emanuele II monument in Rome 1870–1945’, Annals of the Association of American Geographers 88(1): 28–49. Benton-­Short, Lisa (2006) ‘Politics, public space and memorials: The brawl on the Mall’, Urban Geography 27(4): 297–329. Brüggemann, Karsten and Andres Kasekamp (2008) ‘The politics of history and the “War of Monuments” in Estonia’, Nationalities Papers 36(3): 425–448. Buden, Boris, Stefan Nowotny, Sherry Simon, Ashok Bery and Michael Cronin (2009) ‘Cultural translation: An introduction to the problem, and responses’, Translation Studies 2(2): 169–219. Eco, Umberto (1976) A Theory of Semiotics, Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Eco, Umberto (1984) Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language, Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Eco, Umberto and Siri Nergaard (2001) ‘Semiotic approaches’, in Mona Baker (ed.) The Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation, London and New York: Routledge, 218–222. Ehala, Martin (2009) ‘The bronze soldier: Identity threat and maintenance in Estonia’, Journal of Baltic Studies 1: 139–158. Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2009) ‘Fact sheet April 2009. Estonia today: The cross of liberty and the monument to the war of independence in Tallinn’,­ editors/web-­static/044/Monument_to_the_War_of_Independence.pdf (accessed 19 March 2017). Forest, Benjamin and Juliet Johnson (2011) ‘Monumental politics: Regime type and public memory in post-­communist states’, Post-­Soviet Affairs 27(3): 269–288. Greimas, A. Julien (1989) ‘Figurative semiotics and the semiotics of the plastic arts’, New Literary History 20(3): 627–649. Hartama-­Heinonen, Ritva (2012) ‘Semiotico-­translation-­theoretical reverberations revisited’, Sign Systems Studies 40(3): 299–318. Hartshorne, Charles, Paul Weiss and Arthur W. Burks (eds.) (1931–1958) Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce, Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Hay, Iain, Andrew Hughes and Mark Tutton (2004) ‘Monuments, memory and marginalisation in Adelaide’s Prince Henry Gardens’, Geografiska Annaler 86(B/3): 201–216. Hershkovitz, Linda (1993) ‘Tiananmen Square and the politics of place’, Political Geography 12: 395–420. House, Juliane (2009) Translation, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Huebner, Thom and Supakorn Phoocharoensil (2017) ‘Monument as semiotic landscape: The silent historiography of a national tragedy’, Linguistic Landscape 3(2): 101–121. Kattago, Siobhan (ed.) (2015) Ashgate Research Companion to Memory Studies, Farnham: Ashgate Publishing. Kourdis, Evangelos (2015) ‘Semiotics of translation: An interdisciplinary approach to translation’, in Peter P. Trifonas (ed.) International Handbook of Semiotics, Dordrecht: Springer, 303–320. Lotman, Juri M. (1990) Universe of the Mind: A Semiotic Theory of Culture, London and New York: I. B. Tauris. Lotman, Juri M. (2005) ‘On the semiosphere’, Sign Systems Studies 33(1): 205–229. Lotman, Juri M. (2009) Culture and Explosion, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Mattson, Toomas (2012) ‘Acting rashly caused the problems of the War of Independence Victory Column’, Riigikontroll, amid/557/language/en-­US/Default.aspx (accessed 19 March 2017).


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Nanni, Antonio and Federico Bellentani (2018) ‘The meaning making of the built environment in the Fascist city: A semiotic approach’, Sign and Society 6(2): 379–411. Nergaard, Siri (2018) ‘Presentation’, in Sherry Simon (ed.) Space (special issue), translation, a trans­ disciplinary journal, vol. 7, 9–10. Pääbo, Heiko (2008) ‘War of memories: Explaining “memorials war” in Estonia’, Baltic Security and Defence Review 10: 5–28. Petrilli, Susan (2015) ‘Translation of semiotics into translation theory, and vice versa’, Punctum 1(2): 96–117. Petrilli, Susan and Augusto Ponzio (2012) ‘Iconicity, otherness and translation’, Chinese Semiotic Studies 7(1): 11–26. Pillak, Peep (2016) ‘Archaeology as a tool for better understanding our recent history’, in Paulina Florjanowicz (ed.) When Valletta Meets Faro: The Reality of European Archaeology in the 21st Century, Proceedings of the International Conference, Lisbon, Portugal, 19–21 March 2015, Namur: Europae Archaeologia Consilium, Association Internationale Sans But Lucratif (AISBL), 175–186. Posner, Roland (2004) ‘Basic tasks of cultural semiotics’, in Gloria Withalm and Josef Wallmannsberger (eds.) Signs of Power—Power of Signs. Essays in Honor of Jeff Bernard, Vienna: INST, 56–89. Simon, Sherry (2008) ‘Cities in translation: Some proposals on method’, Doletiana: Revista de Traducció, Literatura i Arts 2: 1–12. Simon, Sherry (2012) Cities in Translation: Intersections of Language and Memory, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Simon, Sherry (2018) ‘Introduction’, in Sherry Simon (ed.) Space (special issue), translation, a trans­ disciplinary journal, vol. 7, 11–15. Smith, David J. (2008) ‘ “Woe from stones”: Commemoration, identity politics and Estonia’s “War of Monuments” ’, Journal of Baltic Studies 39(4): 419–430. Statistics Estonia (2017) ‘RV022: Population by sex, age group and county’, 1 January, http://andmebaas. (accessed 16 September 2019). Tamm, Marek (2013) ‘In search of lost time: Memory politics in Estonia 1991–2011’, Nationalities Papers, The Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicity 41(4): 651–674. Torop, Peeter (2002) ‘Translation as translating as culture’, Sign Systems Studies 30(2): 593–605. Torop, Peeter (2008) ‘Translation and semiotics’, Sign Systems Studies 36(2): 253–257. Torop, Peeter (2010) La Traduzione Totale. Tipi di Processo Traduttivo nella Cultura (Doctoral dissertation), trans. and ed. Bruno Osimo, Milan: Hoepli. Violi, Patrizia (2014) Paesaggi della Memoria. Il Trauma, lo Spazio, la Storia, Milan: Bompiani. Whelan, Yvonne (2002) ‘The construction and destruction of a colonial landscape: Monuments to British monarchs in Dublin before and after independence’, Journal of Historical Geography 28(4): 508–533. Yiftachel, Oren, Jo Little, David Dedgcock and Alexander Ian (2001) The Power of Planning: Spaces of Control and Transformation, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Young, Craig and Sylvia Kaczmarek (2008) ‘The socialist past and postsocialist urban identity in Central and Eastern Europe: The case of Lódz, Poland’, European Urban and Regional Studies 15(1): 53–70.


Part III

Counter-writing cities Translation as praxis

14 Translation as translanguaging Acts of distinction in multilingual karate clubs in London Zhu Hua and Li Wei

Introduction The notion of translanguaging, since its inception as a pedagogical strategy in bilingual education, has been influential in foregrounding fluid and dynamic communicative practices that transcend the boundaries between named languages and/or language varieties as well as the boundaries between named languages and other semiotic systems. Whilst translanguaging urges us to rethink a number of conceptual issues, such as the role of language in communication, the social, psychological and cognitive reality of languages as discrete systems, etc., the tendency seems to be to emphasize a language user’s capacity to create an apparently seamless flow between languages, signs and modes to achieve effective and meaningful communication in everyday social interaction. In the meantime, there is a tension between such research endeavours and everyday situations where (a) language users make an effort to draw boundaries between languages, and (b) named languages carry significant and different symbolic meanings and values. It would be important, therefore, for us to understand when and why individuals evoke and mark boundaries between named languages and what implications these marked acts of distinction have on the notion of translanguaging. In this chapter, we aim to examine the strategic and flexible use of translation and the marking of named languages through the translanguaging lens in multilingual karate clubs in London, drawing data from our ethnographic project entitled ‘Translation and translanguaging: Investigating linguistic and cultural transformations in superdiverse wards in four UK cities’ (abbreviated as TLANG). Specific attention is paid to the Key Participant’s use, or not, of translation as marking the differences between named languages in different contexts for different purposes. Two key arguments we would like to make are: translation as translanguaging; acts of distinction as manifested in marking language boundaries and delineating language differences are acts of translanguaging, just as blending and mixing named languages (cf. Chapter 20 by Liu and Lin, this volume). We will start with an overview of translanguaging and translation, followed by a brief introduction to the TLANG project in order to situate our discussion of translation in context. We then give some background information about the linguistic and cultural diversity in London, with an account of the contrasting neighbourhoods where the karate clubs are based 225

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and introduce our Key Participant, SK, a highly experienced karate sensei of Polish Roma background, and the participants of the clubs. We will then examine examples of linguistic and communicative practices within the club with a specific focus on instances of translation where SK marks out the boundaries of the named languages. We interpret these acts of distinction with reference to his language ideologies and his situated translanguaging practices and discuss the consequences of these acts and implications for translanguaging and translation research in general.

Translanguaging and translation Translanguaging, as a way of understanding language and communication, refers to the dynamic meaning-making process whereby multilingual speakers go beyond conventional divides between named languages and between modalities to act, to know and to be (Garcia and Li 2014). It is part of applied and sociolinguists’ attempts to ‘disinvent and reconstitute’ (Makoni and Pennycook 2007) languages from discrete systems to historically rooted and ideologically laden semiotic repertoires. It postulates that multilinguals do not think unilingually in any historically and politically named linguistic entity, even when they are in a ‘monolingual mode’ and producing one named language only for a specific stretch of speech or text. Moreover, human beings think beyond language, and thinking requires the use of a variety of cognitive, semiotic and modal resources, of which language in its conventional sense of speech and writing is only one. While the concept originated from two rather different but complementary fields of enquiry: bilingual education and distributed cognition and language (Garcia and Li 2014; Li 2018), it became a key theme and topic of debates within a short space of time in a number of fields beyond these two, as evident in dedicated conferences and symposia, special journal issues and research monographs. One of the topics that is relevant to the theme of the chapter is the relationship between translanguaging and translation, or to put it in Baynham and Lee’s (2019) words, ‘What can translanguaging tell us about translation and what can translation tell us about translanguaging?’ Before going into Baynham and Lee’s work, we want to make the point that translanguaging is key to cultural translation. This is the main argument that Kramsch and Zhu (2020) put through in their special issue with the theme of translating culture in global times. For Kramsch and Zhu, cultural translation denotes not only, in a literal sense, the interlingual transfer of meaning between members of different linguistic and cultural communities, but also in a metaphorical, non-linguistic sense, the negotiation of meaning between people with different value systems and different cultures of communicative practices. Translanguaging, with its transformative potential, enables individuals to go beyond different linguistic structures and semiotic systems and modalities, to create new meanings through transgressing monolingual and monocultural identities. Importantly, the studies in the special issue also illustrate the importance of understanding the politics of translanguaging, e.g., who uses translanguaging for what purposes. This point will guide us in the data analysis section that follows. In their latest work, Baynham and Lee (2019) critique the tension as well as synergy between translanguaging and translation vis-à-vis the latter’s conventional formulation (as interlingual translation as opposed to intralingual and intersemiotic translation in the three types of translation discussed by Jakobson 2012). For them, translanguaging and translation differ from each other in the way they achieve their common goal of communication: translation ‘works on a communication model that privileges equilibrium by way of remedying perceived ruptures and filling perceived gaps between languages’ (Baynham and Lee 2019: 42); translanguaging, 226

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however, ‘thrives on the sustenance and propagation of semiotic perturbation and communicative turbulence’ (ibid.). Appropriating Deleuze and Guattari’s terms, they compare translation as a process of ‘territorialization’ and ‘reterritorialization’ and translanguaging as that of ‘deterritorialization’. Close to the metaphor of territory is the issue of (language) borders: [A]s a practice, translanguaging strategically destabilizes language borders—these borders are not meant to be taken too seriously from a translanguaging perspective. Translation, on the other hand, regards language borders with absolute seriousness, as the entire business of translating hinges on their resolutions. (Baynham and Lee 2019: 40–41) In essence, what we have seen here is the differentiation of the two concepts in terms of the way they deal with the differences between named languages: translation recognizes the differences but aims to smooth them out by rendering a reiteration, while translanguaging makes new meanings out of differences. This is a relevant and important positioning statement to what we are going to argue in this chapter. While translanguaging challenges us to rethink the social, psychological and cognitive realities of named languages as discrete systems, it does not disregard the naming of languages, or claim that named languages do not exist. In fact, translanguaging is interested in human beings’ capacity to transgress language boundaries for communicative, sociocultural as well as political and ideological purposes. Baynham and Lee’s discussion helps us to see the differences between translanguaging and translation. In this chapter, we want to argue that translation is translanguaging, as the process of translation always involves gauging differences in codes and meaning in situ. Following this perspective and our discussion on named languages, we will explore in this chapter (a) who uses translation to whom in what context, (b) when and why individuals evoke and mark boundaries between named languages (acts of distinction) in their translation practices, and (c) what implications these marked acts of distinction have on the notion of translanguaging.

The project The present study draws data from the sports phase of the project, Translation and translanguaging: Investigating linguistic and cultural transformations in superdiverse wards in four UK cities (TLANG), funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in the UK. The overall aim of the TLANG project is to understand how people communicate multilingually across diverse languages and cultures. For the purpose of the project, translation is defined broadly as the negotiation of meaning through different modes (spoken/written/visual/ gestural), where speakers have different proficiencies in a range of languages and varieties.1 The project adopts linguistic ethnography as the overall methodological framework, a methodology that allows the researcher to tie ethnography down with concrete examples of interactional data and at the same time to open linguistics up through rich ethnographic analysis and interpretation (Rampton et al. 2004). In addition, for each city, the project uses team-based ethnography which ‘enables a wider and deeper coverage of work, a broader comparative base, and multiple researcher triangulation’ (Woods et al. 2010). We led the London part of the project and carried out team ethnography in four contexts, which we termed ‘phases’: business, arts and heritage, sociolegal practices and sports, with an aim to understand the role of multilingualism in the everyday life of the individuals in these settings. Within each phase, we identified a Key Participant (KP) and followed the person over a four-month period. In addition to our own observations and recordings, the KP collected 227

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data on our behalf, which included recordings of their interactions with others, their social media usage and in some cases diaries of their activities. The data for the present study were collected during our investigations into two multilingual karate clubs where our KP taught between October 2015 and January 2016, and include field notes (45,997 words), recordings (28h 26m 27s audio recording and 4h 19m 4s video recording), linguistic landscaping (110 photographs) and interviews (8 sessions). In addition, a small amount of social media data (6 text messages, 13 emails and 23 WhatsApp messages) were collected through screenshots and forwarding/archiving. In Zhu et al. (2020a, 2020b), we discuss the cultural translation of karate in a historical perspective, and language and cultural learning through translanguaging, in particular, embodied repertoires. In this chapter, we focus on instances of interlingual translation.

The Key Participant Our KP, Sensei SK, was in his fifties at the time of the project. He was born into a Polish Roma family of travellers in Żary, a town in western Poland. He started learning karate in his teens and became a 6th Dan (rank) karate instructor. In 2006, SK moved to the UK to join his sister who had lived in London already, aiming to find a better life for his family and a better future for his children. In London, SK started off teaching karate to young children and gradually expanded his professional engagement to teaching adults in other clubs. SK’s language profiles cannot be easily described in conventional terms such as first language/ mother tongue, second language or foreign language. Growing up in a family and a community where multiple languages/dialects coexist and, at the same time, symbolize different status and allegiance, SK learned to speak and use a number of languages at home and school and later through various work. In the following we outline the ecology of SK’s linguistic repertoire. Whilst we use conventional linguistic labels for the languages he knew, used and had learned/was learning, it was very clear during our observations that SK took it as part of his everyday existence that he needed to use bits of different named languages and language varieties for communication. He seemed very comfortable with selecting expressions from his linguistic repertoire and alternated from one language to another in his communication, although he claimed that his proficiency in certain named languages, e.g., English, was poor. His linguistic profile is as follows: •


Romani (or Romanese as known amongst the Roma communities): SK learned to speak two mutually unintelligible Romani dialects from his mother’s and father’s side, respectively. As a child, the main language at home was the Romani dialect spoken by his father, as his mother moved to his father’s home after getting married. Although his mother did not speak her own dialect to them until he was older, SK learned to speak his mother’s dialect by keeping in contact with other speakers of the same dialect. Polish: SK started learning Polish, the language of instruction and learning in schools in Poland, when he attended a local primary school at the age of seven after the Polish government outlawed Roma tradition of roaming and his family was forced to settle down. He struggled with learning through a language that was very different from his home languages. However, he made it through the school system without being sent to the special education centre where most of the ‘Gypsy’ children, including many of his childhood friends, were sent, just because they were Gypsies. He spoke Polish at home, as his wife did not speak Romani. His spoken Polish has features that appear

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to be different from standard Polish grammar and pronunciation. He used Polish with other Polish-English bilingual speakers including our research assistant, DJP. During our data collection period, we observed him speaking Romani and Polish with his assistant from the Polish Roma community and sending text messages in Romani as well as Polish. English: SK started learning English when he moved to the UK in his mid-forties. He still went to English lessons every week. SK could read some limited English (e.g., signs, simple forms or emails from his workplace). However, in everyday interactions, he seemed reluctant to speak in English and tended to use a mediator to interpret for him whenever he could find someone who spoke both English and Polish or Romani. Japanese: SK started learning specialized Japanese terms and vocabulary for karate when he learned karate at the age of 15 in Poland. He was proud of his mastery of specialized Japanese karate terms and regarded this as a key indicator of his advanced karate skills. SK’s expertise in Japanese karate terms was impressive and contributed to his authority as the 6th Dan (rank) instructor. Other languages: He appeared to have some knowledge of Russian, Ukrainian, German and French, as he understood some phrases and expressions when they were spoken by the participants of the karate club and at community events.

Multilingual and multicultural London as the research site According to the latest 2011 census (Office for National Statistics 2011), London has a total population of 8,173,941 (this figure is estimated to have increased to 8,908,081 in mid-2018, according to the Office for National Statistics 2018). Among them, 36.7% (2,998,264) are foreign-born, making the city the second largest immigrant city after New York City. The five largest foreign-born groups in London are Indian, Polish, Irish from the Republic of Ireland, Bangladeshi and Nigerian. More than 300 different languages are spoken in the capital’s schools, making the city one of the most linguistically diverse cities in the world (Baker and Eversley 2000; Von Ahn et al. 2010). As of 2008, the top 15 languages spoken other than English in London are Bengali, Urdu, Somali, Panjabi, Gujarati, Arabic, Turkish, Tamil, Yoruba, French, Portuguese, Polish, Spanish, Albanian/Shqip and Akan (Von Ahn et al. 2010).

The East London Karate Club The research sites reported in this chapter consist of two karate clubs where SK teaches. One is located in a local community centre (Figure 14.1) in Newham, East London, the most linguistically diverse borough in the UK with the lowest proportion of population (58.6%) speaking English as their first language (Office for National Statistics 2011). The club brands itself as a Roma Karate club in London and names itself as AGE KAN (Figure 14.2, top). AGE KAN was the name of the karate club in Nysa, Poland, where SK trained since he was a young man. According to SK, ‘AGE’ means ‘a hill, don’ and ‘KAN’ means ‘a building’, and together they mean ‘a building on the hill’. But SK did not know why the coach chose this name. While the main hall was not designed specifically for karate lessons, SK clearly knew how to transform the place into a space for karate, i.e., dojo, the term in karate meaning practice hall, temporarily, through the ritual of making karate tatami stage. Before each lesson, SK would open the walk-in storage cupboard, get karate tatami mats out and make


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Figure 14.1 Top: The club from outside; Bottom: The main street in the area


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Figure 14.2 Top: The logo of the karate club; Bottom: The hall with temporary tatami stages


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them into a carpet. The mats have two colours: blue and red (Figure 14.2, bottom). The field notes (a) document how the colours were used to mark boundaries of the main stage and side stage and how SK orchestrated the design and demanded precision in making tatami stage. [Field notes a] DJP and I went on to help with Dv to turn mats into a carpet. SK was the chief designer. He divided the room into a main stage and a side stage. For the main stage, he put a red square mat in the centre, some blue mats around the red one and then some red mats at the outside. The side stage is blue mats only. Colours are used to mark boundaries of the stages. The trick is to connect the edges of the mats. While Dv, DJP and I were working on the side stage, SK came over and watched us. He said ‘No’ when we were trying to press down some mats, presumably in a wrong way. For a moment, I felt quite inadequate: things which look simple are not simple. (ZH/ELKC/24.11.15) The cupboard door was decorated with a few photos from SK’s karate competitions (­ Figure 14.2, bottom). SK was happy and proud to talk about the prizes and medals, as these were highlights of his career and evidence of his achievements as well as credential of being a coach. What turned out to be intriguing is an assemblage of handwritten notes, print-outs, drawing of karate moves, and photo of the master, Funakoshi Gichin, inside the storage room door. SK left the door open during the lesson. The cupboard door thus became a mobile notice board and temporarily marked the place as a space for karate. The club ran on a weekday during school terms, and it was free and open to the local children. SK was the only official instructor there, with the help of a 15-year-old boy of Polish Roma background, Dv, who spoke English, Polish and Romani. There were about 20 children of mixed ability, age and language background attending the club. Six children were speakers of Polish; the rest of the group were from other ethnic backgrounds and speak various languages. The oldest, 16-year-old Dn, was a recent arrival from Russia speaking no English but Russian and basic Polish. The youngest 4-year-old participant, Baby S, was of Lithuanian origin. While he remained quiet most of the time, his carer spoke Lithuanian, Russian and Polish to him. A couple of active players were both Lithuanians. There was an Albanian girl, speaking both Albanian and English. One girl and two boys spoke English only. There were also children of African and Afro-Caribbean heritage. One boy had a Polish father and a Jamaican mother, and both of the parents spoke to him in Polish. The children had different karate ranks, marked by the colours of their belts, with yellow and orange colours (beginner to intermediate levels) being the most common.

The Southwest London Karate Club The other karate club where SK teaches that became our research site is in Richmond, Southwest London, a less ethnically diverse borough in London (Figure  14.3, top), with White British taking up 71.44% among residents (Office for National Statistics 2011). The venue is a Scout Hall hired by the Karate Association where SK worked part-time (Figure 14.3, bottom). The hall was spacious and decorated with flags, crafts, paintings and drawings. Some of the decorations were fixed and permanent and some were temporary. The writings of Japanese kanji (characters) in field notes (b) were apparently put up by an after-school club. Although the writings were a coincidence, it provided a fitting backdrop to the karate practice we observed (Figure 14.4). One of the paintings was of the Master Funakoshi Gichin, whose 232

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Figure 14.3 Top: The main street in the area; Bottom: The Scout Hall from outside


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Figure 14.4 Top: Inside the Scout Hall; Bottom: The portrait of Master Funakoshi Gichin with writings and drawings 234

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style of karate the Association promoted (Figure 14.4, bottom), the same as the East London Karate Club. [Field notes b] As soon as I walked in, I noticed that the walls are decorated with some new A3 size posters with Japanese writing. Each poster has one word with the Japanese character (or Kanji) written on top and its alphabet pronunciation below. Some posters are also signed with the name of the person who wrote the word. There are some numerals and some nouns which are presumably selected because they resemble the shape of objects they denote. This seemed very fitting to the Karate session and transformed the space into Japaneseness. (ZH/WLKC/21.10.15) The session we observed was for higher-level students of black and brown belts. SK was one of several coaches, or ‘sensei’, in the club. Sensei F was the deputy manager of the Association. He originally came from Italy, where he started learning karate and joined the club first as a student. He managed practical and logistical aspects of the club and organized the structure of sessions. The other coaches in the club were Sensei K and Sensei J, who occasionally led the advanced group together with SK. There were about 25 students of different levels (roughly equal numbers in gender) taking part in the club. They were teenagers and young adults, apart from a woman in her forties. The advanced group which SK coached were mostly young men. As far as we could observe, students had a variety of linguistic and ethnic backgrounds, such as Polish, Italian, French and Romanian. Unlike the East London venue, parents were rarely seen inside this club. In the following sections, we present examples of translation from the ethnographic fieldwork, showing in turn: • • • • •

Translation (or not) as an everyday communication practice Translation as a means of filling perceived language and knowledge gaps Translation as active learning Translation equivalents as part of embodied repertoires in coaching Translation as sharing

Translation (or not) as an everyday communication practice Translation and interpreting are practices inextricable from SK’s everyday life and work routine. Living and working in London involves using English, the language which SK seemed reluctant to use. He tended to use a mediator to translate for him whenever he could and established a routine about whom to turn to for help. In the interview, he reported that he often got his children to reply to his work-related emails on his behalf and went to opticians or doctors with his daughter as interpreter. During our fieldwork, we noticed that SK relied on Dv, the young assistant, to translate for him in the East London Club, and DJP, the bilingual research assistant in the West London Club, particularly when speaking to a group or making official statements. Examples of the field notes which document instances of translation are provided as follows. In the West London Club, [Field notes c] He was consultative and attentive and I could tell that he was really enjoying the process of finding a countermove. At one point, he beckoned DJP and gathered the 235

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group around him and DJP. DJP translated his words and the group seemed to understand what he was trying to convey. (ZH/KG/21.10.15) [Field notes d] After a while, SK decides to use me as an interpreter. He calls me to the middle of the group and sits everybody on the floor. He explains that the use of the rough methods is sometimes very important because Karate is not only a sport but it is self-defence, to defend one’s life. . . . SK calls me twice to interpret when he talks to the students about real life self-defence. (DJP/KG/25.11.15) In the East London Club, [Field notes e] SK comes back to the middle of the room and asks all students to sit down. He takes all Budopasses. He asks J (a volunteer) to interpret what he has to say. More or less they say. . . ‘as everybody seen, no one was helping the students and they were doing their exercises without any help, so everyone passed the exam today!’ (DJP/EH/15.12.15). [Field notes f] There is an assistant, called Dv, working with SK. They are in a circle and SK was getting them to do some warm-up jumps and stretching. He is giving instructions in English: Switch, Jump, Wait, Change, Back, Toes, Yes, No, Good. And sometimes he asks ‘Do you understand? Understand or not?’ But he is counting in Japanese when they do the jumps. The assistant occasionally does a bit of translation if SK says something in Polish to him, and he refers to SK as Sensei. (LW/EH/10.11.15) The following interaction example illustrates how SK used translation to mediate his coaching and where he preferred not to translate. In the interaction, SK showed his black belt students and other senseis how to teach a seiza (deep seating) for the purpose of mokuso, a kind of meditation performed before and after a karate training session in order to prepare and clear the mind. In Turns 1, 3 and 5, he gave instructions on how to teach seiza. His instructions and explanations were predominately in English, which contained short chunks of, in his own words in the interview, ‘simple words’. His instructions were mixed with several Japanese karate technical terms, such as seiza (deep seating), mokuso (meaning meditation) and ichi (meaning one). This kind of mixing was typical of his ways of speaking in coaching in the clubs: there were a set of core Japanese karate terms for which SK rarely used their translation equivalents in English or Polish, as he believed learning karate terms was part of karate training. In Turn 11, SK turned to DJP for help, and he marked his request twice in a row: first time in English to declare his intention, ‘I want er say’ and second time in Polish as a direct request, ‘chciałbym żebyś coś przetłumaczyła nie’ (‘I would like you to translate something, right’). His marking thus ratified DJP as an interpreter/mediator and changed the interaction into a translation chain in Turns 12–13: a source sentence followed by target sentence. At the end of Turn 13, DJP checked the word ‘samurai’, and SK confirmed and continued his next sentence in Polish in Turn 14.

Excerpt 1: I want er say Context: The West London venue SK: the coach; S: student; DJP: the bilingual research assistant Source: LonSpoAud_20151125_SK_KewGardens 236

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  1 SK: ok, I’m. er. remember this. question me. seiza   2 S: what seiza?   3 SK: er. ey!.. (voices in the background) everyone. please seiza like this. yes?   left right and sit and practiks* for.. eer. children yes for your students yes?   4 . . .   5 SK: mokuso. every every young- younger student no understand mokuso yeah say can’t er bref*. yeah how many. slowly yes. sometime you ask how man bref*. yes how many how many how many yes. and ‘practiks’ the same eeeer seiza yes fff. seiza. stand up.. like. like this. ich. yeah. for/unintel/   6 S: forward   7 SK: forward. yes?. why. why err right leg first   8 S: I knooow   9 SK: no? no?. who? 10 S: when the Japanese get up they had a sword 11 SK: Yes! Very good!! Yes. yes. eeer. I want er say {looking at DJP}.. chciałbym  żebyś coś przetłumaczyła nie.. [trans: I  would like you to translate something, right] 12 SK: bo to nie tylko się wzięło z er. z samurajów 13 DJP: {translates S’s talk to the group} it’s not only cause it comes from the samurais. samurai? 14 SK: yeah. samurai eeeer. to sie wzięło z kodeksu bushido 15 DJP: it comes from the er. it comes from the codex of bushido (Notes: full transcription conventions are provided in Appendix 1. * marks the words with wrong pronunciation: practik for practice; bref for breath Japanese words: seiza: deep seating; mokuso: meditation, ichi: one; samurai: warriors; bushido: codes of honours for samurai way of life) When asked about his ways of using others as mediators for him in coaching in the interview, SK commented that he aimed to explain things ‘in a simple way’, and the use of translation was ‘about precision so they could understand exactly what it is all about’.

SK: Trenując ich jestem w stanie jakby . . . tłumaczyć w prosty sposób że rozumieją to.. ale czasem . . . to po prostu korzystam z twojego tłumaczenia . . . bo chodzi o dokladne czasami. . . żeby zrozumieli dokładnie o co w tym chodzi..   [Trans. when I train them I am kind of able to . . . explain in a simple way so they understand it . . . but sometimes . . . I use your translation . . . because it is about precision . . . so they could understand exactly what is it all about] (Interview, I2SD_2 123–124).

Translation as a means of filling perceived gaps in meaning Related to the point made earlier about using translation for precision, SK employed translation to fill perceived gaps in understanding. In the East London Club, SK used Romani to make sense of what is going on by asking Dv to translate English into Romani. Excerpt 2 records such use. It was a multiparty discussion between SK, parents, F (the caretaker) and Dv as to whether parents could stay and watch their children. At the beginning of the selected excerpt, F asked the children to list, trying to help with SK (Turn 9) and then started addressing the children (Turns 11 and 14). In between his speech was a side sequence between SK and 237

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Dv: SK signalled his non-understanding and his request for help by asking Dv in Romani what F was talking about and Dv subsequently translated F’s words into Romani (Turns 12–13). In Turn 15, SK acknowledged Dv’s translation.

Excerpt 2: What is he saying? Context: The East London Club. At the beginning of a session. SK lined up the children and F walked in and started addressing the parents. The topic under discussion was whether parents should stay and watch their children. SK: the coachh; Dv: Assistant; F: Caretaker Source: LonSoAud_20151013 . . .   9 F: listen!! 10 SK: . . . line up [eeeey! {hand clapping. whisper} 11 F: [hep!!!.. thank you {to the group loudly. right.. mums and dads. I know you’re gonna be [//unintell// 12 SK: {to Dv indicating that he does not understand F’s speech} [co mówi? [trans.: what is he saying?] 13 Dv: {to SK} kova, te meken te zhan peske [trans.: he is saying something about to allow them to join] 14 F: the kids are being distracted from the training because when you’re here they’re looking through the hatch 15 SK: {to Dv} aha

Translation as active learning of new words Interestingly, in the interview, SK admitted that although he asked others to translate for him, he also used his own understanding to double-check. He reported that he could tell when his young assistant did not translate accurately, as he could ‘pick up words’.

SK: wyłapuję kiedy on {Dv} mi dokładnie nie tłumaczy, nie {laughing} no.. i mówię.. ale już wyłapuję słowa bo już trochę tych słów znam mówię nie dokładnie przetłumaczyłeś powiedz jeszcze raz   [trans.: I  am already pick up when he (Dv) does not translate accurately, right {laughing} yeah.. I say . . . I already pick up words because I know some of them I  say you haven’t translated properly, do it again but properly again] (Interview, I2SD_2).

On several occasions we observed that SK was an active listener and used translation as a way of learning new words. In the following example, while they were discussing SK’s knowledge of English language in Polish in the interview, SK asked DJP for the English translation equivalent of a Polish word ‘ubogi’ to describe his English proficiency, probably triggered by the topic of the discussion. ‘Ubogi’ is an adjective describing something insufficient, simple, limited, etc. In responding to SK’s request ‘how should I say in English’, DJP opted for the word ‘simple’ and, interestingly, made a meta comment that it was impossible to translate the word precisely from Polish to English. In the next turn, SK asked for translation of another word, ‘biedny’, an adjective meaning ‘poor’. DJP offered the English equivalent. SK then 238

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repeated DJP’s word, but pronounced ‘poor’ as /por/. In the subsequent turns, the two speakers engaged in clarification and repair exchanges.

Excerpt 3: How shall I say in English? Context: the interview with SK by DJP Source: I2SD_2 229–240 SK: / . . ./to jest badzo jak się mówi po angielsku. taki ubogi język?   [trans.: this is a very. how should I say it in English. the kind of sparse language?] DJP: simple.. simplified?.. tak bezpośrednio się nie da..   [trans.: it’s not possible {the translation} literally.. ] SK: albo biedny?   [trans.: or poor?] DJP: poor SK: por*? {pronouncing it as /por/} DJP: poor {pronouncing it as /pʊə/} . . . poor language SK: no ale słyszę żę mówią por   [trans.: but I hear they say /por/] DJP: . . . poor SK: a to to prze u?   [trans.: ah it’s through u?] DJP: hm? SK: albo..   [trans.: well maybe]

Translation equivalents as part of embodied repertoires in coaching In coaching, SK combined a range of semiotic resources to get the job done. He managed and instructed the class through orchestration of embodied repertoires and verbal instructions (see embodied repertoires further in Zhu et al. [2020a]). Learning Japanese karate terms became part of embodied performance, repeated, copied and polished along with drilling of physical moves, whilst the other available linguistic repertoires, Polish and English, became languages of discipline, explanation, elaboration or reinforcement. There are examples where the acts of distinction in the form of translation equivalents were used as part of embodied repertoires in coaching. In Excerpt 4, SK asked students how to say ‘attack’ in Japanese.

Excerpt 4: How do you say attack? Context: The West London Club—adults and teenager training. SK is talking through an attack move and starts asking students how to say ‘attack’ in Japanese. SK: the coach; S: student Source: LonSpoAud_20151202_SK_KewGardens

SK: S: SK: S: 

how do you say attack? forehand? no. atama-zuki atama-zuki.. 239

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SK: yes {laughing} yes. this is.. {demonstrating an attack move} S: atamazuki? SK: yes

In another example (Excerpt 5), SK was leading a warm-up exercise and trying to get his students to lean forward while sitting legs apart. He instructed the students to bend forward using the Japanese word, ‘mae’, immediately followed by its English translation equivalent ‘forwards’, to reinforce the word and move.

Excerpt 5: Teaching Japanese command ‘mae’ [forward/front]

Turn number



Context: SK teaches his team the Japanese term ‘mae’. SK: the coach; Cc: children Source: LonSpoVid_20151124_SK_EH (1) Transcript

Body movements

SK Cc 1

changes position— transition between exercises

Cc SK 2

students follow SK’s change of position students get into ‘legs apart’ sitting positions


Figure 14.5

Cc SK 3

Figure 14.6 SK Cc 4 mae. SK keeps on bending forwards forward with his arms stretched ahead

Figure 14.7 240

Turn number



Translation as translanguaging

Cc SK 5


Body movements


students copy SK’s move and bend forward

Figure 14.8

Translation as sharing While SK routinely asked others to translate, there were occasions when SK translated for others. As recorded in the field notes, during a three-party conversation in the London Underground among SK and two researchers, DJP acted as an interpreter for SK and ZH, the first author of the chapter, who did not speak Polish. At one point, however, DJP did not hear SK’s words, and rather unexpectedly, SK volunteered to translate English into Polish to help DJP to catch up with the conversation. The example provides further evidence for SK’s active listening habit as discussed before and for his English ability—he understood English most of time. We will turn back to this in the ‘Discussion and conclusion’ section. [Field notes g] At one point, DJP did not hear SK’s words and then SK started translating my English into Polish—it was hilarious, cause I have always thought SK’s English is better than what he thinks it is. He understands most of words, but seems to be reluctant to admit that. (ZH/WLKC/11.11.15) During the observation, we also found out that SK had a good knowledge of sports-related terms in English and Japanese and, at DJP’s request, he willingly helped out with the translation for the research team (Excerpt 6).

Excerpt 6: Translating for the research team Context: An interview between DJP and SK Source: I1SD 285–286 DJP: a wiesz jak się puchar Europy nazywa po angielsku? [trans.: and do you know what is the European cuprum cup called in English?] SK: to jest.. err.. to był akurat cuprum cup a to to European cuprum cup no [trans.: it is.. err.. it was actually cuprum cup.. it’s it’s European cuprum cup yeah] In addition to sports-related terminologies, SK also helped with the access to the data in Romani. As mentioned before, SK speaks Polish Roma dialect, and occasionally Polish, 241

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with Dv, his young assistant. Dv learned karate from SK from a young age and was fluent in English, Polish and Polish Roma. SK shared with us several text messages in Romani with Dv’s mum and translated the message from Romani to Polish for us. An example is provided as follows. In the text message, Dv’s Mum appeared as ‘Jd from Szczecin’, a city in Northwest Poland, although there was a typo in the contact name stored in SK’s phone (Jd from Szczecin). The first column (Figure 14.9) is the original message in Romani, the second column is the translation of the message in Polish provided by SK and the third column the translation of the message in English. SK was contacting Jd about collecting Dv, her son, at five o’clock and asking them to make some decision about training in Hammersmith (previously, he has recommended Dv to take up classes with another Polish karate coach who teaches in POSK in Hammersmith). In her reply, Jd, addressing SK as Uncle, apologized for not being able to visit SK because she, and other family members, had the flu. When probed about the address term by the research team, SK explained that he was not an ‘uncle’ for Jd, nor was he a family/relative for her or Dv, but ‘this is generally the way they address one another’.

Excerpt 7: Text messaging with Dv’s mum in Romani Original message in Romani

Polish translation by SK

English Translation

Jd zeszczecina [typo there, should be Jd że Szczecina = Jd from Szczecin] SK: przyjadę o 5tej SK: I will arrive to po niego. Podejście collect him at 5. jakaś decyzję Make some decision odnośnie treningów regarding trainings in na Hammersmith. Hammersmith. Jd: Wujek, Jd: Uncle, I apologize that przepraszam was we couldn’t come over, że nie mogliśmy but there was such bad przyjechać ale była flu that we couldn’t taka grypa że nie leave the bed, and mogliśmy z lóżka forgive that we couldn’t wstać, i wybacz come over że nie mogliśmy przyjechać

Figure 14.9


‘Original message in Romani’, Excerpt 7

Translation as translanguaging

Discussion and conclusion We want to use the examples in this chapter to argue that through interpretation of verbal signs by bringing in a different language, (interlingual) translation constitutes an act of distinction, acknowledging differences and boundaries between languages while searching for equilibrium. These acts of distinction are part and parcel of translanguaging, a dynamic meaning-making process where speakers ‘turn irreconcilability into a site for creative and critical potentialities’ (Baynham and Lee 2019: 41). Translation practices feature prominently in our Key Participant SK’s everyday life, and he uses it strategically for a range of purposes: for the benefits of others, providing precise information; for himself, active listening and learning; for his students, providing a pedagogical tool, and becoming an integral part of the embodied repertoires in coaching; and for the research team and beyond, offering a means of sharing specialized knowledge about sports terms or cultural norms. In serving these purposes, translation practices become translanguaging, whereby interaction participants overcome and transcend the boundaries that are imposed by named languages and thus make meaning while making sense of each other’s behaviour. As to why individuals evoke and mark boundaries, or in other words, why acts of distinction, our Key Participant and the participants of the karate clubs that we observed in general are very much aware of the sociocultural significance of the differently named languages. Japanese was used as a language of performance, and commands and learning Japanese karate terms was part of karate training (examples of karate terms elicited through translation equivalents). In contrast, Polish, English and other linguistic and semiotic forms including Romani were used collaboratively as languages of instruction, elaboration, discipline or information. There were also unspoken rules about which languages were preferred. In the East London venue where SK had a greater sense of ownership, he had the tendency to use more Polish than English to discipline, explain, feedback, correct, inform and build rapport with the children. Romani was used not just as a convenient choice for SK and his assistant to keep their conversation to themselves, but also as a symbol of solidarity and shared heritage. In the West London venue where there was a stronger sense of students as customers and users, English was the preferred language of communication, and therefore there were many examples of translations from Polish to English in that venue. Another important factor beneath the acts of distinction, whereby SK sought help for translation from Polish to English, is SK’s internalized sense of inferiority with his English and gaps between his real knowledge of English and constructed sense of ‘poor’ English. We have noticed from very early on that SK seemed to have internalized a sense of insecurity when it came to speaking English. He started learning English when he moved to the UK. However, he was reluctant to say how long he has been learning English in the interview, as he felt embarrassed about the seeming lack of progress. As analyzed in the previous session, SK’s spoken English was limited to basic grammar and a small set of vocabularies and remained at a beginner’s level. Despite this, and contrary to SK’s self-evaluation, we had ample evidence of his abilities to effectively understand and manage communication in English. The field notes (g) show that he has a good ability to comprehend spoken communication around him, although he seems to prefer to speak in Polish rather than English. In an increasingly mobile world where different named languages are in constant contact with each other, translation practices of the kinds that we see through the examples in this chapter have become commonplace. Whilst we have argued that such practices are acts of distinction, they are not simply about marking or enhancing the boundaries between named languages. Instead, they are an important means of meaning- and sense-making that the 243

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participants are engaged in. And as such, they are part of the translanguaging process that engages with multilingual and multicultural recourses to act, to know and to be.

Further reading The AHRC Translating Cultures website: Provides a summary of a portfolio of over 100 grants, focused on key concepts such as multiculturalism and multilingualism, and the role of translation, understood in its broadest sense, in the sharing and interpretation of languages, values, beliefs, histories and narratives Baynham, Mike and Tong King Lee (2019) Translation and Translanguaging, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. A key reference to understanding translation from a translanguaging lens Garcia, Ofelia and Li Wei (2014) Translanguaging: Language, Bilingualism and Education, Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. An authoritative monograph on translanguaging, which traces the development of the theory of translanguaging and considers its relationship with traditional theories and models of language and bilingualism Kramsch, Claire and Zhu Hua (eds.) (2020) ‘Translating culture in global times (special issue)’, Applied Linguistics 41(1). A collection of six papers on the theme of translating culture. Of particular relevance to this chapter are ‘Whose Karate? Language and cultural translation and transformation in a multilingual karate club’ by Zhu Hua, Li Wei and Daria Jankowicz-Pytel, and ‘Translating Culture in Global Times: An Introduction’ by Claire Kramsch and Zhu Hua The TLANG project website: Provides an overview of the project Translation and translanguaging: Investigating linguistic and cultural transformations in superdiverse wards in four UK cities (TLANG)

Acknowledgements This work was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK [grant number AH/L007096/1]. We would like to acknowledge Daria Jankowicz-Pytel’s contribution in collecting and analyzing data as the project Research Assistant, and Denisa Psenickova’s help with the transcription and translation of Romani.

Note 1 In what Baynham and Lee (2019) describe as the most inclusive rubric of translation in the field, Baker (2016: 7) defines translation as ‘involv[ing] the mediation of diffuse symbols, experiences, narratives and linguistic signs of varying lengths across modalities (words into image, lived experienced into words), levels and varieties of language . . . and cultural spaces, the latter without necessarily cross a language boundary’.

References Baker, Mona (2016) ‘Beyond the spectacle: Translation and solidarity in contemporary protest movements’, in Mona Baker (ed.) Translating Dissent: Voices from and with the Egyptian Revolution, Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 1–18.


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Baker, Philip and John Eversley (eds.) (2000) Multilingual Capital: The Languages of London’s Schoolchildren and Their Relevance to Economic, Social and Educational Policies, London: Battlebridge Publications. Baynham, Mike and Tong King Lee (2019) Translation and Translanguaging, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Garcia, Ofelia and Wei Li (2014) Translanguaging: Language, Bilingualism and Education, Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. Jakobson, Roman (2012) ‘On linguistic aspects of translation’, in Lawrence Venuti (ed.) The Translation Studies Reader (3rd edition), London and New York: Routledge, 126–131. Kramsch, Claire and Hua Zhu (eds.) (2020) ‘Translating culture in global times (special issue)’, Applied Linguistics 41(1). Li, Wei (2018) ‘Translanguaging as a practical theory of language’, Applied Linguistics 39(1): 9–30. Makoni, Sinfree and Alastair Pennycook (2007) Disinventing and Reconstituting Languages, Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Office for National Statistics (2011) ‘2011 census data’, (accessed 6 August 2019). Office for National Statistics (2018) ‘Population estimates for the UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland: Mid-2018’, (accessed 27 October 2019). Rampton, Ben, Karin Tusting, Janet Maybin, Richard Barwell, Angela Creese and Vally Lytra (2004) ‘UK linguistic ethnography: A discussion paper’, UK Linguistics Ethnography Forum, (accessed 20 March 2019). Von Ahn, Michelle, Ruth Lupton, Charley Greenwood and Dick Wiggins (2010) Languages, Ethnicity and Education in London, London: Institute of Education. Woods, Peter, Mari Boyle, Bob Jeffrey and Geoff Troman (2010) ‘A research team in ethnography’, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education 13(1): 85–98. Zhu, Hua, Wei Li and Daria Jankowicz-Pytel (2020a) ‘Translanguaging and embodied teaching and learning: Lessons from a multilingual Karate club in London’, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 23(1): 65–80. Zhu, Hua, Wei Li and Daria Jankowicz-Pytel (2020b) ‘Whose Karate? Language and cultural learning in a multilingual karate club in London’, Applied Linguistics 41(1): 52–83.


Appendix 1 Transcription conventions



Text in italics Text in bold Text in plain Text in bold and underlined Text underlined //unintell// {text} text [text [text text ! ? . ..  . . .  / . . . /

Japanese language Polish language English language Romani /Romanese language Russian language unintelligible speech additional information, explanation or context overlapping speech, interruption

text[trans.] *


shouting or loud speech asking/checking a short pause a longer pause/ hesitation/waiting a very long pause part of irrelevant audio omitted during transcribing, e.g.: coughing, restarting etc. the hyphen after text indicates interrupted or unfinished word or phrase marks the translation in the transcript words with wrong pronunciation

Appendix 2 List of abbreviations




the name of the coach as the Key Participant the Key Participant, also referred to as SK Zhu Hua—TLANG Research Team Li Wei—TLANG Research Team Daria Jankowicz-Pytel—TLANG bilingual Research Assistant The young Teaching Assistant with a black belt, helping SK in the East London Karate Club The project: Translation and translanguaging: Investigating linguistic and cultural transformations in superdiverse wards in four UK cities



15 Cape Town as a multilingual city Policies, experiences and ideologies Ana Deumert, Sandrine Mpazayabo and Miché Thompson

Introduction This chapter explores aspects of Cape Town as a multilingual city, where questions of signification and translation are chronotropic and multilayered; they are negotiated by different actors in different spaces and temporal constellations. In our understanding, translation is not a process by which an original or source text is faithfully replicated in another language, but rather it is a messy metasemiotic process of meaning-making across linguistic, material and cultural boundaries, creating ‘sameness-with-difference’, repetition and innovation in localized TimeSpaces (Gal 2015: 226). Translation, if successful, allows one to establish relations and connections: between texts and practices as well as between people. Translation, understood in this way, is intertextual, intersemiotic as well as intersubjective. The first section of this chapter introduces Cape Town as a southern city. It is located in the global south and has been shaped by colonial violence, which has created deep-seated inequalities grounded in the intersectional complexities of racial capitalism. Cape Town is also a city that is known to its many international visitors for its natural beauty, excellent hotels and highend dining experiences. However, residents of Cape Town experience the city differently and viscerally: Cape Town as an urban space carries the legacies of apartheid, and for many life is a daily struggle. Like any urban space, Cape Town has many facets and, for reasons of space, we decided to organize this chapter around three case studies: two multilingual spaces of economic transaction that are part of the everyday life of many residents and one educational space, which is highly privileged, but speaks in important ways to the history of the city, the importance of addressing the violence and dehumanization of the colonial past, and the role of language and naming in transforming ‘white public space’ in the post-colony (Hill 1998). Throughout the discussion we keep in mind formal and informal language policies, the ideologies that inform them, and the experiences of people as they negotiate their lives and livelihoods in the city.

Cape Town: a southern city Writing about cities in the global south, Susan Parnell and Sophie Oldfield (2014: 1) suggest that southern cities ‘are our future’: they are cities that show high levels of linguistic and 248

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cultural diversity (or even ‘superdiversity’ if one wishes to use this terminology) and that house ‘young’ populations, whose presence shapes the emotional-artistic experience of ‘being in the city’, creating dynamic and rapidly changing cityscapes. Southern cities are also growing quickly (via internal, mainly rural-urban and international migration) and show extreme levels of social inequality—inequalities that are grounded in their colonial histories and experienced in the present, and that will inevitably shape urban futures. Cape Town, a port city located at the southwestern tip of Africa, reflects these broad trends. It is a multilingual city with Afrikaans, English and isiXhosa as the three main named urban languages. Sesotho, though spoken by only about 1% of the population, is another historically established language of the city: there are at least two Sesotho-medium schools, and it is regularly used in churches (usually in combination with English and isiXhosa, see LekhanyaTshikare 2018). In addition, one finds a multitude of other languages—chiShona, French, German, Greek, Portuguese, Lingala, Kiswahili, Hindi, Mandarin and so forth—that are spoken by migrants from across the world. Some languages are spoken by well-established diasporic communities, such as Kokni (known as Konkani in India), which arrived in Cape Town in the late 19th century with so-called passenger migrants from India (Mesthrie et al. 2017). Two other languages that occupy important spaces in Cape Town are (1) Arabic, which is taught in local madrassas, ‘Islamic school’ (about 5%–6% of the city’s residents follow the Islamic faith), and (2) Khoekhoegowab, a Khoekhoe language, which is the focus of what has been called the ‘Khoisan revival’, Indigenuous activism of people identifying themselves as the descendants of pre-colonial populations (Brown and Deumert 2017; Verbuyst 2016).1 According to the 2011 South African Census, only 0.4% of the city’s population uses South African Sign Language as a first language (Statistics South Africa 2011: 27), but the language has a strong presence in various local institutions. None of the languages listed in the previous paragraph in census-like fashion is unitary or stable, and each exists in many forms and carries complex indexicalities. Language practices in Cape Town show high levels of linguistic mixing. This includes, for example, a form of speech that is commonly referred to as Tsotsitaal, a portmanteau term of tsotsi (a slang word for a small-scale gangster) and taal (Afrikaans for language, see Mesthrie and Hurst 2013). Mixing is also common in what is sometimes described as ‘urban isiXhosa’, as well as in Kaaps or AfriKaaps, a local version of Afrikaans that has been traditionally associated with coloured working-class communities. It has been reclaimed by local hip hop artists as a language of resistance, challenging the whiteness of standard Afrikaans and pushing against entrenched linguistic hierarchies in the city (Williams 2018). Population growth has been rapid over the past quarter of a century, mostly as a result of internal migration. The city’s population grew by over 40% between 1996 and 2011, and stands now at over four million. Most significant was the growth for isiXhosa-speaking residents, who had not been granted the right of residency in Cape Town under apartheid. This was a consequence of the so-called Coloured Labour Preference Policy, which was formulated in the 1950s. The aim of the policy was to prevent the movement of Africans into urban areas and to bolster employment levels of those classified Coloured (colonized people of mixed ancestry, see Adhikari 2009). It was an attempt at apartheid social engineering, aimed at creating a city of white masters and madams, and coloured workers. The policy was abandoned in the mid1980s, and in-migration from the Eastern Cape (the Ciskei and the Transkei, so-called homelands of isiXhosa-speaking South Africans) increased gradually. It picked up, especially, after the advent of democracy in 1994 when isiXhosa-speaking South Africans claimed their ‘right to the city’, and their numbers increased by over 125% between 1997 and 2011, fundamentally changing the language ecology of the city (Marom 2019). What used to be a predominantly 249

Ana Deumert et al. Table 15.1 The home (or first/main) languages in Cape Town (Statistics South Africa 2011: 27) Language

Percentage of total population

Afrikaans isiXhosa isiNdebele Sesotho isiZulu Setswana South African Sign Language isiNdebele Sesotho sa Leboa SiSwati Tshivenda Other

34.7 29.8 28.4 1.0 0.5 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.1 2.9

bilingual city (Afrikaans/English) became a city with three dominant languages: Afrikaans, English and isiXhosa. These are used as home languages by about 95% of the city’s population (Statistics South Africa 2011, see Table 15.1). The strongly trilingual character of Cape Town (and the Western Cape in general) is reflected in the provincial language policy which recognizes Afrikaans, isiXhosa and English as official languages (Western Cape Language Committee 2019).2 The policy also commits itself to ‘advanc[ing] the use of those indigenous languages  .  .  . used by the people of the Western Cape, such as the Khoi and San languages’ (Western Cape Language Committee 2019: 1). Among the three official languages, particular attention is paid to isiXhosa, a language that has been historically marginalized in the public sphere. However, implementation has been slow, and English and Afrikaans, which were sole official languages under apartheid, continue to dominate in public spaces (Nel 2014). Thus, linguistically, the ‘right to the city’ (Harvey 2008; Lefebvre 1968) has not yet been realized for many South Africans. Writing about the lack of public signage in isiXhosa, Tessa Dowling (2010: 196) quotes a resident from Masiphumelele, one of the southern townships: ‘Lona Qubathi . . . confessed that when she sees a sign for recreational area that is in English and Afrikaans but not in Xhosa, Ndiziva ndingamkelekanga (‘I feel unwelcome’)’. Transnational migration—both temporary and permanent—also increased following the end of apartheid. Cape Town emerged as a major tourist destination, and most of the more than 15 million international tourists that visited South Africa in 2018 spent some time in Cape Town (Winchester 2019). Some of the tourists might have hopped onto the Red Bus (part of a global franchise that has its current headquarters in Spain) and listened to information in a variety of languages: English, Arabic, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish (indicating the places most tourists come from). More permanent patterns of international mobility are also evident and shape language practices in the city. In 2011, less than 4% of Cape Town’s population was foreign-born, with the largest group of migrants originating from Zimbabwe (Rule 2018).3 Thus, the percentage of international migrants in Cape Town is lower than what we see for Euro-American metropolises, such as New York, Paris or Madrid (where over 30% of residents are foreign-born). However, since many migrants remain undocumented, it is likely that the actual percentage is considerably higher (for undocumented migration in Cape Town, see Williams 2017; for South Africa’s large refugee population, see Rogerson 2018). 250

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Unemployment is high in Cape Town and income inequalities are severe. This is reflected in a high Gini coefficient: 0.61 in 2016 (Western Cape Government 2017). Present inequalities mirror past injustices: those who were designated as African under apartheid and most severely oppressed show the highest poverty levels, followed by those who were classified as Coloured and Indian. Whites, however, continue to command high incomes and have extremely low poverty rates.4 Over 20  years after the end of apartheid, the cityscape still reflects the legacies of apartheid town planning, and spatial inequalities shape life in the city. As noted by Nathan Marom: Even more than other South African cities during apartheid, Cape Town was an extreme example of how racial principles of vision and division could be imprinted on urban space to create a strict structure of segregation. (Marom 2019: 6) The wealthiest areas in the city are the former whites-only suburbs that are located close to the city centre, near the Atlantic Seaboard or at the foot of the mountain. They are strongly English-dominant. The poorest areas are on the periphery, the so-called Cape Flats. These areas are called ‘townships’ in South Africa: they were created under apartheid as settlements for black and coloured residents and were systematically underdeveloped. In terms of language, they are typically Afrikaans- or isiXhosa-dominant, and multilingualism is a common practice. Charlyn Dyers (2018) described the multilingual realities in such areas as a ‘messy linguistic market’ (drawing on Blommaert 2010). In these areas one also finds squatter camps. According to official statistics, one-fifth of the city’s population lives in such informal settlements, with limited access to sanitation, electricity or other services (Western Cape Government 2017). The inequalities of the past are further intensified by processes of gentrification, pushing working-class residents—many of them are people of colour—out of small remaining pockets in the inner-city areas and into the urban periphery. Gentrification has sociolinguistic consequences: given that English is strongly associated with middle-class and upper-middleclass identities, gentrification turns former multilingual urban areas into monolingual ones (for gentrification in Cape Town, see Teppo and Millstein 2015; for arts-based activism against gentrification, see Becker 2018). Understanding Cape Town’s spatial inequalities and spatial patterns of multilingualism is relevant for reading the three case studies: case study 1 is located on Station Road, a busy thoroughfare in a historically Afrikaans-dominant, lower-middle-class suburb; case study 2 is located in a nearby retail complex in the business district; and case study 3 is located in the wealthy English-dominant southern suburbs, a former white area. For reasons of space, we are not able to include a case study that focuses on multilingual lives in the former apartheid townships on the Cape Flats; however, works on these contexts are available (e.g., Coetzee 2012, 2018; Deumert 2010, 2013; Deumert et  al. 2005; Deumert and Mabandla 2009; Dyers 2008, 2018; Lekhanya-Tshikare 2018; Stroud and Mpendukana 2009; Williams and Stroud 2013).

Three case studies: translating Cape Town Securing livelihoods In post-apartheid South Africa, various forms of informal trading have emerged as an important livelihood strategy for those who have struggled to enter the formal employment sector. 251

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The informal sector, which is a common feature of southern cities more generally, attracts not only South African traders but also transnational traders (Khosa and Kalitanyi 2014). It is estimated that the informal sector provides employment for more than 2.5 million workers and business owners in South Africa (Fourie 2018: 13). Markets are important spaces where such informal businesses operate, and one such market is found on Station Road in Parow, an area east of the Central Business District of Cape Town. Station Road is easily accessible by public transport and is frequented by many people on their way to work or school, as well as by residents going about their errands (for a discussion of a similar nearby area, see Williams and Lanza 2016). The offerings on Station Road are diverse: there are butcheries and fisheries, supermarket chains and local food stores, shoe and clothing shops, hair salons and cosmetic stores, shops that sell and repair mobile phones and other types of technological products, as well as furniture stores. It is quite common for traders to share retail space: we might find mobile phone shops inside clothing shops and cash-for-gold businesses inside hair salons and beauty parlours. In addition, traders have set up informal businesses on the pavement, selling a diversity of goods from makeshift stalls: caps, belts and watches, underwear, bags and sunglasses, dishcloths, dresses and jeans, and jackets and tracksuits. Station Road is colourful, busy and absorbing, filled with a variety of sights and sounds, an experience that is constructed (and co-constructed) through complex multi- and trans-modal interactions. The majority of informal traders on Station Road are migrants from elsewhere in Africa, and depending on language repertoires, trade interactions are not always smooth. In his analysis of Rastafarian herb sellers, Quentin Williams (2017) argues that informal traders achieve communication—and thus sales which enable their livelihoods—through complex processes of action and interaction, drawing not only on verbal language but also on deixis, body and locality.5 He describes the trading space around Bellville taxi rank as porous, constantly made and remade by migration, mobilities and consumption practices. Station Road is no different. Shoppers and traders employ a range of communicative strategies to enact a sale. Mihlali6 is 23 years old and lives in Mfuleni, a township about 20 kilometres from Parow. She comes to Station Road to do her shopping. Mfuleni is one of Cape Town’s newer townships, but just like many of the older townships, it does not offer much choice with regard to retail. Residents therefore travel to other areas for shopping, especially to areas such as Station Road that are known for offering well-priced items. Talking about interactions with migrant traders, Mihlali commented on the importance of deixis in these commercial translations: The difficulty comes in describing something that you can’t point at . . . often the first thing you do is mention the colour of the thing, but even then sometimes they [migrant traders] don’t know what it is, so when I can, I literally point at it. (Mpazayabo 2019: 35) Traders too are aware of the challenges that come with not sharing a common language. Caroline is 42  years old. She came to South Africa from Cameroon and makes a living selling peanuts in the street. Hers is a precarious way of making a living: she has no shop or stall, but walks with her bag along the road, hoping to find customers. Deixis and gesture are again a central part of communication. They are complemented by hope—the hope that one will be understood, that communication is possible and that the sale will be successful. Caroline said: I just speak my broken English and use my hands and hope they [the clients] will understand. (Mpazayabo 2019: 35) 252

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Jane Hill (1998) argues that gatekeeping as well as enforcing and policing standard norms is common in what she calls ‘white public space’. Station Road is the opposite of these ‘white public spaces’: communication—and trade—succeeds because a variety of ways of speaking are enacted, accepted and allowed. The importance of communication, the precariousness of understanding and the need to centre the client, no matter how difficult they might make the situation, are emphasized by Ijeoma, a 31-year-old female Nigerian migrant and trader: Sometimes you can meet someone who doesn’t understand what you’re saying . . . sometimes there are rude people, who don’t know how to talk. But you know, they say the customer is always right. No matter what they do, you must take it. When people are like that, you must calm down, and talk to them. You must respect anybody that gives you money, anyone who supports you. (Mpazayabo 2019: 36) Making a livelihood, in other words, is about trying one’s best, pointing and speaking ‘broken English’ if necessary, and always showing respect to ensure that one does not risk one’s livelihood: traders cannot afford to alienate their customers in any way. English functions as a lingua franca on Station Road. However, since Parow is an Afrikaansdominant area, some customers choose to speak Afrikaans. And again, traders will do their best to accommodate, in any possible way, no matter how difficult it is. Aadila (43 years old) comes from Tanzania and runs a beauty salon. She does not understand Afrikaans but will always try: People sometimes come in and speak Afrikaans and I don’t understand it . . . I just do my best, try and do what I can. (Mpazayabo 2019: 35) The intersubjective and relational nature of translation comes to life in these sales interactions, but the interaction is also one in which power is unequally distributed: traders rely on hope and respect, acknowledging that their future depends on their ability to communicate with their clients. Thus, migrant traders constantly navigate the heavy burden of trying to ensure that communicative obstacles do not impact their business. Often they would—in addition to using gestures and other forms of multimodal communication—rely on one another in the process: asking fellow traders to help with translation, or breaking down the complexity of their clients’ wishes into comprehensible chunks. And in the process, they create a sense of community and sociability among traders, their linguistic differences and different points of origin notwithstanding. Their—often painstaking—efforts display the complex nature of translation, the interplay of various sociocultural and linguistic worlds. Foncha Wankah and Charlyn Dyers (2010) refer to this as ‘cultural competence’: our ability to communicate multimodally and without expecting language to function unproblematically as a tool for communication. In these interactions, signifying and meaning-making emerge as a space of negotiation, but it is not—we would suggest—something that distinguishes migrants from citizens: in a multilingual city such as Cape Town, meaning is constantly negotiated. Cécile Vigouroux has argued based on her work on transnational migration in Cape Town that the identities of hostguest are mutually dependent on one another, but that they also keep shifting: ‘their referential meanings are context dependent’ (2019: 35) and the result of sociolinguistic practice. This shifting is evident in the short interview extracts cited previously. When Aadila indicates that she will try to use Afrikaans, a local South African language to which she never had access before, she performs the identity of a guest who tries to fit in and seeks to accommodate herself 253

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to the new environment. Yet, when Caroline insists on speaking ‘broken English’, she shifts the interaction onto more equal terms: neither guest nor host, just someone who hopes to communicate and make a living. And finally, Ijeoma welcomes customers as ‘guests’ into her own house—her shop—and accommodates them in this space as ‘honoured guests’ who have to be treated well and respectfully (even if they treat her badly). In all of these examples, language is central: it defines the space where difference is negotiated and, eventually, the trade—the instrumental aim of the interaction—is achieved.

Brokering language Even though Chinese migration to Cape Town remains fairly small in numbers (Rule 2018), it has reshaped the cityscape, and the impact of Chinese entrepreneurship in the trading sector is evident in a number of new shopping centres, which are called Chinatowns. In many parts of the world where Chinese diasporas exist, Chinatowns are understood to be neighbourhoods that are characterized by concentrated settlement and a trading sector that, via restaurants and shops, caters to the diasporic community. Chinatowns in South Africa are quite different: they are mall-like structures, comprising a network of Chinese-owned stores that sell affordable made-in-China goods. These goods include clothing, fashion jewellery, car accessories, toys, electronics and household goods. Three major retail centres were established in Cape Town in 2008, 2010 and 2012. In this case study, we report on the work carried out in the most recently built Chinatown (see also Thompson and Anthonissen 2019). Customers, shop owners and shop assistants have varying language repertoires. The shop owners, who have all migrated from China, have limited English proficiency, and most speak Mandarin as their first language. They rely on shop assistants to act as translators and interpreters. In other words, the role of the shop assistant is not merely to assist the owner in trading, but also to broker these trade interactions linguistically and semiotically. Local customers come from the surrounding working-class communities, and most speak English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa and Sesotho. Transnational migrants also shop at Chinatown, with Lingala, French, Portuguese, chiShona and Ásụ̀sụ̀ Ìgbò as the most commonly heard languages. Despite the multilingualism that is present in these spaces, English functions, again, as a lingua franca. Yet, we should keep in mind that those who work and shop there speak different Englishes (see Kachru 1992, 1996), and that for most of them English is a language in which they have varying degrees of proficiency (see Blommaert 2010). It is noticeable that, compared to the previous case study, store owners rarely communicate with the customers themselves: this, as noted earlier, is the responsibility of the shop assistants, most of whom are migrants from other African countries. The communicative work of the shop assistants can be described as ‘language brokering’. Lucy Tse (1996: 486) defines language brokering as the everyday interpretation or translation done by those who have not been trained in such a capacity. Thus, when there is a communication breakdown with a customer, the shop owner would call the assistant to translate. Such breakdowns can happen, for example, when customers speak Afrikaans, a language the Chinese migrants do not usually speak. However, breakdowns can also happen with English, a language in which the Chinese shop owners have limited proficiency. Nolan (aged 30), a male Chinese shop owner, when asked how he deals with communicative barriers, comments as follows: I just uh say I don’t understand what . . . then you just uh call those . . . call, you say Sarah [his shop assistant] come, or call them. (Thompson 2018: 85) 254

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Although the assistants are not necessarily proficient in Afrikaans, they speak enough to get by and facilitate the sale. It is an example of a spatial repertoire (in the sense of Pennycook and Otsuji 2014): their use of Afrikaans is occupational, used only in interaction with customers who speak Afrikaans. In one case Sarah, who comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo and learned Afrikaans through contact with customers while working in Chinatown, understood when the customer asked about the price for doekies, Afrikaans for ‘scarves’, and was able to explain this to Nolan afterwards. The use of isiXhosa by customers is more of a challenge for many shop assistants, as most of them do not speak or understand isiXhosa and are not able to assist in these cases. In other words, isiXhosa is not prioritized as a language to be acquired by the assistants or shop owners, even though isiXhosa customers constitute a large percentage of the clientele. As mentioned earlier, Cape Town is a historically bilingual city, and the continued marginalization of isiXhosa in the city remains evident in the informal de facto language policy of Chinatown. As in the previous case study, translation and communication refer to diverse inter- and intra-semiotic practices (Maranhão and Streck 2003) and to acts of interpreting between culturally and linguistically different participants (McQuillan and Tse 1995). Consider the following example: Farah is a 46-year-old shop assistant from Benin City in southern Nigeria who works in a small lingerie store with her Chinese employer, Suzie (a 58-year-old female). She is a first language speaker of Nigerian English and she also speaks Ẹdó, the local language in Edo State. Farah was talking to a customer who was showing her a picture of a specific clothing item that she wanted. When Farah informed the customer that they did not have the item in store, the customer left. Suzie observed the interaction and asked Farah why the customer left without making a purchase. SUZIE:  What? FARAH:  Uhhh . . .

my looking for top but we don’t have it. [Suzie silently nods and continues with her hobby knitting.]

(Thompson 2018: 148)

When Farah explains the customer’s request to Suzie, she uses ‘my’, a possessive pronoun, to indicate ‘she’ (third-person subject pronoun). The use of ‘my’ as a generalized personal pronoun is a common feature of Suzie’s use of English, as she typically uses ‘my’ to replace I, me, mine and myself. This is not usually part of Farah’s register of English. However, when she speaks to Suzie, she would mirror her language use; that is, she would engage not only in brokering/translation, but also in speech accommodation/convergence. In doing so she would extend the use of ‘my’ to replace not only various first-person pronouns but also third-person pronouns. Farah is quite aware of this process and the emergence of a new situated form of speech: So there’s a way we now communicate now, if I want to say “I am talking to you” [I say] “my talk to you”. So not “I am talking to you” now “my” means “I am” . . . So when I tried to use the same language back to her [like] “my” she understood that I’m talking about “me”. (Thompson 2018: 122) Grace, a 20-year-old assistant who worked with Suzie before Farah was employed, described the way she and Suzie spoke as ‘turning their words around’—a process of grammatical simplification intended to ensure mutual understanding. In such spaces of lingua franca 255

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communication, it is common for speakers to maximize simplicity in their expression (Mauranen 2006: 124). Brokering happens intersemiotically, and sometimes non-verbal actions are translated into verbal communication. In other words, it is not only the spoken word that is translated but also other semiotic activities that take place in the retail space (for ‘intersemiotic translation’, see Jakobson 1959: 233). In another instance a customer entered Suzie’s shop and browsed through the offerings without interacting with Suzie or Farah; after a few minutes the customer left without making a purchase, and the following interaction took place between Farah and Suzie: SUZIE:  What’s wrong? FARAH:  No nothing . . . SUZIE:  Just look.

my just checked. (Thompson 2018: 148)

Here the customer’s silent non-verbal behaviour and movement is the object of enquiry for Suzie. When Farah explains that the customer was simply browsing— ‘just checked’—Suzie rephrases this as ‘just look’, thus affirming Farah’s explanation and her understanding. The self-service layout of the stores in Chinatown allows customers to enter the store without acknowledging the shop owner, to browse through the offerings and to exit the store without making a purchase. Typically, the store owners are seated at the point of sale, either at the back of the store (with surveillance technology to oversee all movement in the shop) or at the entrance with a good view onto people that enter and leave the shop. The assistants do the groundwork on the shop floor: they move around between shelves and rails, work with stock or assist customers. Various linguistic and non-linguistic resources are present in Cape Town’s Chinatowns. Semiotic activities, material artefacts and the movements of social actors need to be intersemiotically translated in this context. These everyday intersemiotic and intersubjective practices indicate how linguistic resources, situated activity and space are linked.

Naming heritage Susan Gal (2015: 227) describes translation as a form of intertextuality or citationality: ‘segments of texts echo or point to (index) a presumed source and anticipate possible (always partial) repetitions’. Translation, in other words, is a rephrasing, a recontextualization, a revoicing and reframing, but also an objectification: something is taken out of the flow of everyday life as it happens and turned into an object that can be turned into another object, endlessly. From this perspective, heritage can be conceptualized as a form of translation: the past is translated so that it can be meaningful in the present, and in this process the past is also, to some degree, objectified. This can include expressions, genres or registers (as sets of signs and practices that are associated with social identities). Importantly, translation in this context does not create boundaries between objects (as is the case for linguistic translations of texts, or for multilingual signage which implicitly create boundaries between languages), but instead creates a relation between past and present, and tries to undo the boundary that separates us from what has been. In this third case study we consider memory and translation by looking at the recent renaming of the graduation hall at the University of Cape Town. The University of Cape Town (founded in 1829 as the South African College) is very much part of the city: it is a public university with an open campus; its students, who come from 256

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all over the country as well as abroad, are an integral part of the city; and schools regularly utilize the campus facilities for science and debating competitions. Yet, the university is also a place set apart from the city: it is located halfway up the mountain; its view overlooks the wealthy suburbs and stretches all the way to the impoverished areas of the Cape Flats. This view has been described as reflecting ‘the imperial gaze’ of the colonizer—and it was no accident that a few steps down from the building the statue of arch-colonist Cecil John Rhodes (1853–1902) embodied just this gaze, looking over the lands that he had stolen. But then everything changed. On 9 April 2015, Rhodes ‘fell’: following protest action from students, the statue (which had been unveiled in 1934) was removed, and the university began a long process of decolonization (for the role of language, see Motinyane 2018). Another focal point, apart from the Rhodes statue, was the graduation hall. Its name was Jameson Memorial Hall, remembering Leander Starr Jameson (1853–1917), a close friend of Rhodes. Like Rhodes he was an unscrupulous politician, best known for his involvement in the Jameson Raid when he tried to bring the eastern territories under British rule. The imposing neo-Grecian architecture of the hall, coupled with its name, created a place of whiteness in Africa. In 2015, in the aftermath of the removal of the statue, some student activists informally renamed the graduation hall. They called it Marikana Memorial Hall: remembering not the land-grabbing of capitalist-colonialists but the struggles of South African mine workers for a living wage. This struggle culminated in the Marikana Massacre, the fatal shooting of 34 striking miners by the South African police force in Rustenburg, around 1,500 kilometres northeast of Cape Town, on 16 August 2012. This ‘first’ informal renaming speaks to the fact that Cape Town as a city is not a place set apart from the rest of the country, and that struggles for justice and equality are interconnected across space and time. In the same year (2015), the university space was also the site of a public art intervention by the art collective Tokolos Stencils, which takes its name from the Nguni mythical figure of the tokoloshe, a mischievous spirit that causes trouble and upsets the order of things. On the walls they had painted graffiti in blood-red letters, accusing the institution of having shares in the mines where the massacre took place; and the iconic image of one of the miners, Mgcineni Noki, draped in a green blanket, was stencilled on the walls in the central part of campus. Noki died on 16 August ‘with 14 bullets to his face, neck and legs’ (Becker 2018: 2). Bringing the memory of Marikana to the university challenged a politics of a space that is imperial and set apart from working-class and anti-colonial struggles. Remembering Marikana through the renaming of the hall and transgressive graffiti (which was quickly denounced as ‘vandalism’) created a form of translation that is not a repetition, but a radical reimagination, a call for socioeconomic justice in an educational space that for many remains a symbol of colonial whiteness, a space that changes, but much too slowly. Yet, not everyone used the name Marikana Memorial Hall; to use this name indicated, at the time, a particular political consciousness. Others, including the institution itself, began to refer to it simply as Memorial Hall, an empty signifier, a remembrance that could not offend, but that also was not directed at anyone or anything in particular. Fast forward to 2019 when the hall received another name. This time the renaming was official, sanctioned by the university after many years of discussion: the hall is now called Sarah Baartman Hall. Sarah (or Sara) Baartman was born sometime before 1790 in what was then the Cape Colony. She was an Indigenous woman and, like so many others, was forced to work for the colonial masters and madams. In 1810, she was brought to London to be displayed to audiences. Her appearance was seen as singular by Europeans, who attended the shows and exhibitions in large numbers, first on the British Isles and later in France, where she died at age 26. Upon her death her remains were dissected and stored at the Musée de l’Homme in Paris; a cast of her 257

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body remained on display until 1974 (Crais and Scully 2010). Almost a decade after the end of apartheid, in 2002, her remains were repatriated to South Africa and she could finally receive a burial. The renaming of the hall was negotiated with local Khoisan communities and, implicitly, draws attention to questions of land—the very soil on which the city is built and which private individuals and public entities now ‘own’. Thus, while the name Marikana Memorial Hall evokes the history of working-class struggles, drawing attention to Sarah Baartman brings into the debate not only questions of colonial dehumanization, exploitation and racism, but also questions of Indigenous heritage and, most importantly, land. Indigenous groups long resisted colonization and fought three anti-colonial wars between 1659 and 1677. Only at the end of the 17th century were they forced into labour and lost their grazing lands. And it is on these lands that the university is built. On the university property there is also a slave graveyard, where those who worked on colonial farms in the 17th and 18th centuries are buried. Thus, the university is very much part of the city and its violent colonial history: colonial dispossession, slavery and exploitation are ever-present as students, staff and workers go about their everyday lives. Practices of naming are central to colonial power. As noted by Achille Mbembe (2001: 187): ‘to endow the colonized with an essence and enshrine them in a fossil, the colonizer can confine them in a name’. It is thus no surprise that questions of names and naming—an integral part of language and linguistic practice—have emerged as central points of contestation in postcolonial cities. What we call our buildings, streets, parks and beaches matters. And it also matters that in the post-colony we cannot see land as neutral, as merely providing the material ground for houses and offices. In southern cities the very ground on which we stand is drenched in blood or stolen, and our urban futures need to acknowledge, grapple with and find ways to address this history.

Conclusion: transforming white public space In our conclusion, we would like to return to Jane Hill’s (1998) notion of ‘white public space’. The colonial and apartheid history of Cape Town affirmed and created white public space: through language and naming, or through buildings and the spatial design of the city. Yet, at the same time, white public space was always contested. Consider the city’s beaches: just like residential areas which were historically segregated on the basis of race, so were beaches and other leisure spaces. Beach protests were one of the many strategies of the anti-apartheid struggle in the late 1980s: black and coloured residents would come to whites-only beaches to picnic and swim, only to be removed forcefully by the police. Language played an important role in these protests: protesters would often change the lyrics of well-known songs and sing the familiar tune—more often than not a church hymn—in isiXhosa. Since many members of the police force did not understand isiXhosa, they were thus unaware of the revolutionary messages that were communicated right in front of them (Dontsa 1990). In post-apartheid South Africa, Cape Town is a city transforming. Even though the city remains spatially segregated, boundaries are now porous and movement is, in principle, possible. One sees this movement in the retail spaces that were discussed: shoppers travel across the city, not only for well-priced consumer goods, but also for work and education. As a result, communicative spaces in the city are increasingly multilingual and diverse. Linguistic resources can be seen as intertwined with space and activity (Pennycook and Otsuji 2014: 162), while at the same time commanding important symbolic and indeed political meanings. Susan Parnell and Sophie Oldfield (2014) have suggested that southern cities are the ‘new epicentre of urbanism’, and as such they deserve scholarly attention. Yet, the global south is 258

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inherently heterogenous: Cape Town’s largely trilingual ecology is very different from Johannesburg, which has a much more multilingual and, indeed, global and African profile. It is important to keep such differences in mind, while exploring common trajectories and urban policies. Cape Town is a southern city that is haunted by its colonial-apartheid past, a past that, at this point in time, still shapes its urban futures.

Further reading Dyers, Charlyn (2018) The Semiotics of New Spaces: Languaging and Literacy Practices in on South African Township, Stellenbosch: SUN Press. A case study of the linguistic ecology in a Cape Town township, Westbank, a post-apartheid housing development McKinney, Carolyn (2017) Language and Power in Post-Colonial Schooling: Ideologies in Practice, Abingdon: Routledge. A critical sociolinguistic study of language hegemonies in the South African school system Mesthrie, Rajend (2002) Language in South Africa, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Provides a comprehensive introduction to questions of language in the South African context Parnell, Susan and Sophie Oldfield (eds.) (2014) The Routledge Handbook on Cities of the Global South, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. An excellent overview of the idea of ‘southern cities’, drawing on work from urban geographers across the world Soudien, Crain (2012) Realising the Dream: Unlearning the logic of Race in the South African School, Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council. A provocative look at the history and present of race in South Africa

Notes 1 The term Khoisan, its problematic colonial origins notwithstanding, is commonly used by those who identify themselves as descendants of the Khoikhoi and San (on the politics of naming in South Africa, and the complexities associated with it, see Ellis 2015). 2 South Africa recognizes 11 official languages at the national level (Constitutional Assembly 1996). Provinces are requested to develop regional language policies that take into account local practices and language demographics. 3 In terms of areas of origin: about 33% of international migrants come from Zimbabwe, around 10% from Europe, 6% from Congo and Namibia, 5% from Somalia, 2% from Nigeria and India, and around 1% from China (Rule 2018). 4 The classification of the population into categories of Black, Coloured (a complex hybrid identity, including descendants of Khoisan communities, slaves and interracial unions), Indian and White is common in South Africa. These racial categories were established under colonialism-apartheid. Their continued use allows demographers to track the persistence of historical inequalities (and imposed colonial-apartheid identities). These labels are highly contested: they are rejected as well as embraced. 5 The herb sellers are members of the Rastafarian (religious) movement who make their living by selling indigenous herbs commonly used for medicinal and/or spiritual purposes. 6 All names in this chapter are pseudonyms. The data reported in this chapter comes from research conducted by Sandrine Mpazayabo and Miché Thompson for their Honours and PhD theses, respectively.

References Adhikari, Mohamed (ed.) (2009) Burdened by Race: Coloured Identities in Southern Africa, Cape Town: University of Cape Town Press. 259

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Becker, Heike (2018) ‘Remembering Marikana: Public art intervention and the right to the city in Cape Town’, Social Dynamics 44(3): 455–471. Blommaert, Jan (2010) The Sociolinguistics of Globalization, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Brown, Justin and Ana Deumert (2017) ‘ “My tribe is the Hessequa. I’m Khoisan. I’m African”: Language, desire and performance among Cape Town’s Khoisan language activists’, Multilingua 36(5): 571–594. Coetzee, Frieda (2012) Local and Translocal Literacies in an Urban ‘Village’: A Sociolinguistic Study (Unpublished MA Dissertation), Cape Town: University of Cape Town. Coetzee, Frieda (2018) ‘Hy leer dit nie hier nie (‘He doesn’t learn it here’): Talking about children’s swearing in extended families in multilingual South Africa’, International Journal of Multilingualism 15(3): 291–305. Constitutional Assembly (1996) ‘The constitution of the republic of South Africa’, legislation/constitution/SAConstitution-web-eng.pdf (accessed 6 April 2020). Crais, Clifton and Pamela Scully (2010) Sara Baartman and the Hottentot Venus: A Ghost Story and a Biography, Princeton, NJ and Oxford: Princeton University Press. Deumert, Ana (2010) ‘Tracking the demographics of (urban) language shift—an analysis of South African census data’, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 31(1): 13–35. Deumert, Ana (2013) ‘Xhosa in town (revisited)—space, place and language’, International Journal of the Sociology of Language 222: 51–75. Deumert, Ana, Brett Inder and Pushkar Maitra (2005) ‘Language, informal networks and social protection: Evidence from a sample of migrants in Cape Town, South Africa’, Global Social Policy 5(3): 303–328. Deumert, Ana and Nkululeko Mabandla (2009) ‘I-Dollar EYI One!—Ethnolinguistic fractionalisation, communication networks and economic participation—Lessons from Cape Town, South Africa’, The Journal of Development Studies 45(3): 412–440. Dontsa, Luvuyo (1990) Contemporary Political Performing Arts in South Africa (Unpublished PhD Dissertation), London: SOAS. Dowling, Tessa (2010) ‘ “Akuchanywa apha please” No peeing here please: The language of signage in Cape Town’, South African Journal of African Languages 30(2): 192–208. Dyers, Charlyn (2008) ‘Truncated multilingualism or language shift? An examination of language use in intimate domains in a new non-racial working class township in South Africa’, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 29(2): 110–126. Dyers, Charlyn (2018) The Semiotics of New Spaces: Languaging and Literacy Practices in on South African Township, Stellenbosch: SUN Press. Ellis, William F. (2015) ‘Ons is Boesmans: Commentary on the naming of bushmen in the southern Kalahari’, Anthropology Southern Africa 38(1–2): 120–133. Fourie, Frederick (ed.) (2018) The South African Informal Sector: Creating Jobs, Reducing Poverty, Cape Town: HSRC Press. Gal, Susan (2015) ‘Politics of translation’, Annual Review of Anthropology 44: 225–240. Harvey, David (2008) ‘The right to the city’, New Left Review 53: 23–40. Hill, Jane H. (1998) ‘Language, race, and white public space’, American Anthropologist 100(3): 680–689. Jakobson, Roman (1959) ‘On linguistic aspects of translation’, in Reuben A. Brower (ed.) On Translation, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 232–239. Kachru, Braj B. (1992) ‘Models for non-native Englishes’, in Braj B. Kachru (ed.) The Other Tongue (2nd edition), Urbana, IL and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 48–74. Kachru, Braj B. (1996) ‘The paradigms of marginality’, World Englishes 15(3): 241–255. Khosa, Rismati M. and Vivence Kalitanyi (2014) ‘Challenges in operating micro-enterprises by African foreign entrepreneurs in Cape Town, South Africa’, Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences 5(10): 205–215. Lefebvre, Henri (1968) Le Droit à La Ville, Paris: Anthopos. Lekhanya-Tshikare, Tlalane (2018) Out-of-School Literacy Practices: The Case of Sesotho-Speaking Learners in Cape Town (Unpublished MA Dissertation), Cape Town: University of Cape Town. 260

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Maranhão, Tullio and Bernhard Streck (eds.) (2003) Translation and Ethnography, Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press. Marom, Nathan (2019) ‘Urban visions and divisions in the global south: Comparing strategies for Mumbai and Cape Town’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 44(4): 778–793. Mauranen, Anna (2006) ‘Signalling and preventing misunderstanding in English as lingua franca communication’, International Journal of the Sociology of Language 177: 123–150. Mbembe, Achille (2001) On the Post-Colony, Berkeley, CA and Los Angeles: University of California Press. McQuillan, Jeff and Lucy Tse (1995) ‘Child language brokering in linguistic minority communities: Effects on cultural interaction, cognition, and literacy’, Language and Education 9(3): 195–215. Mesthrie, Rajend and Ellen Hurst (2013) ‘Slang registers, code-switching and restructured urban varieties in South Africa: An analytic overview of tsotsitaals with special reference to the Cape Town variety’, Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 28(1): 103–113. Mesthrie, Rajend, Sonal Kulkarni-Joshi and Ruta Paradkar (2017) ‘Kokni in Cape Town and the sociolinguistics of transnationalism’, Language Matters 48(3): 73–97. Motinyane, Mantoa (2018) ‘A textual analysis of the African language expressions used during the #RhodesMustFall campaign’, Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 36(1): 37–48. Mpazayabo, Sandrine (2019) Talk of the Trade: Investigating Power Relations Through Transactional Communication Between Refugee Informal Traders in Station Road, Parow and Their South African Women Clients (Unpublished honours thesis), Cape Town: University of Cape Town. Nel, Jo-Mari Anne (2014) Challenges and Opportunities/Possibilities of Implementing the Western Cape Language Policy (Unpublished doctoral dissertation), Cape Town: University of the Western Cape. Parnell, Susan and Sophie Oldfield (eds.) (2014) The Routledge Handbook on Cities of the Global South, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Pennycook, Alastair and Emi Otsuji (2014) ‘Market lingos and metrolingua francas’, International Multilingual Research Journal 8(4): 255–270. Rogerson, Christian M. (2018) ‘Informality and migrant entrepreneurs in Cape Town’s inner city’, Bulletin of Geography. Socio-economic Series 40: 157–171. Rule, Stephen (2018) ‘Migrants in Cape Town: Settlement patterns’, HSRC Review 16: 19–21. Statistics South Africa (2011) ‘Provincial profile: Western cape’, Report-03-01-70/Report-03-01-702011.pdf (accessed 6 April 2020). Stroud, Christopher and Sibonile Mpendukana (2009) ‘Towards a material ethnography of linguistic landscape: Multilingualism, mobility and space in a South African township’, Journal of Sociolinguistics 13(3): 363–386. Teppo, Annika and Marianne Millstein (2015) ‘The place of gentrification in Cape Town’, in Loretta Lees, Hyun Bang Shin and Ernesto López-Morales (eds.) Global Gentrifications: Uneven Development and Displacement, Bristol: Policy Press, 419–440. Thompson, Miché (2018) Multilingualism in the Workplace: Communicative Practices between Store Owners and Assistants in Chinese Shops in Cape Town. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation), Stellenbosch: Stellenbosch University. Thompson, Miché and Christine Anthonissen (2019) ‘Transnational traders’ discourse: Informal language policy emerging in a South African Chinatown’, Language Matters 50(1): 3–24. Tse, Lucy (1996) ‘Language brokering in linguistic minority communities: The case of Chinese- and Vietnamese-American students’, The Bilingual Research Journal 20(3): 485–498. Verbuyst, Rafael (2016) ‘Claiming Cape Town: Towards a symbolic interpretation of Khoisan activism and land claims’, Anthropology Southern Africa 39: 83–96. Vigouroux, Cécile B. (2019) ‘Language and (in) hospitality’, Language, Culture and Society 1(1): 31–58. Wankah, Foncha John and Charlyn Dyers (2010) ‘Uncovering and negotiating barriers to intercultural communication at Greenmarket Square, Cape Town’s “world in miniature”: An insider’s perspective’, Per Linguam: A Journal of Language Learning 26(1): 1–12. Western Cape Government (2017) ‘Socio-economic profile: City of Cape Town’, 261

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16 Translation and the struggle for urban symbolic capital in Cairo Randa Aboubakr

Cairo, a city divided along class lines In a popular Egyptian comic movie released in 2010 (Al-Gindi 2010), the central figure is a young man coming from the lower middle class who, through a series of comic episodes, gets to act as an aid to the police in capturing a high-profile drug dealer-cum-businessman. The young man, given a very unusual name, Hazal’um, undergoes a series of plastic surgeries aimed to make him look like the businessman’s ‘right arm’ (who was killed in a busted transaction) and is then planted as a spy in the businessman’s company and household. Hazal’um’s incompatibility with his new surroundings and the incongruity between his naivete and clumsiness on the one hand and the presumed subtlety and craft of his dead lookalike are behind most of the humour produced in the movie. One of the areas where Hazal’um’s ‘inferiority’ is highlighted is the language register he uses. His vocabulary and pronunciation are those of lower-middle-class Cairene men, and he proudly upholds that he comes from Abdin, a popular Cairene neighbourhood. Hazal’um gets attracted to the businessman’s beautiful assistant, Jermine, who evidently comes from a more privileged background and whose utterances, like most of her social counterparts, are a mixture of English and Arabic, and reveal the highprofile places she frequents in Cairo. The encounter between Hazal’um and Jermine, who he tries to impress, unfolding in a subplot, is laden with incidents where the young man’s ‘habitus’ (Bourdieu 1983: 311, 1996), particularly reflected in his apparent poor educational background, his lack of knowledge of English vocabulary and his poor pronunciation of English words, is juxtaposed to the language Jermine uses. The juxtaposition is not only between two different language registers, but one that reveals class differences and hence incompatibilities. Some of the phrases uttered by the two figures in the movie continue to resonate in everyday conversations of Egyptian youth in particular, who use them to poke fun in similar situations where discrepancies in social classes are evident. The movie gives us a very realistic glimpse into the social and class divisions in Cairene society based on linguistic competence. A capital metropolis, Cairo is a heavily populated city. It has a metropolitan population of around 20 million inhabitants (CAPMS n.d.) and an added estimate of five million daily visitors for work, education and dealing with government offices. Cairo underground metro lists two billion annual riders in the year 2018–2019 (Cairo Metro 263

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Statistics n.d.). Cairo is also the largest Egyptian city in size and the 17th largest worldwide (World Population Review n.d.). It is Egypt’s most centralized city in terms of the presence of government offices, embassies and even entertainment facilities, and is also the most densely populated city in Egypt, with an average of 30,000 inhabitants per square kilometre (CAPMS n.d.). As a result of successive waves of internal migration and the absence of efficient government plans in this regard (Ghannam 2002), Cairo is also home to several shanty towns and informal settlements, a phenomenon that has noticeably escalated during the past two decades (El-Mouelhi 2014; Sabry 2009). As an old city (established in 969), Cairo has been the target of ‘modernization’ plans by successive governments. In 2007, Jamal Mubarak, son of then President Hosni Mubarak, who was at that time aspiring to assume even bigger roles in leading the country, announced a 50-year plan of modernization, a project envisaging the moving of key government facilities out of Cairo, the ‘modernizing’ of key neighbourhoods and the restoration of historic Cairo. The project was thwarted by the outbreak of the protests in early 2011 and the subsequent deposition of Mubarak. Jamal Mubarak’s plan was mainly based on the alliance with neoliberal capital and lacked a developmental vision targeting the less privileged. Up until now, however, projects of ‘modernizing’ Cairo mainly amount to gentrification plans that usually entail the forced removal of residents from key locations1 targeted by national, regional and multinational investors. Enforced gentrification is only one of the manifestations of class-induced division and tension in Cairo. Because of the huge number of permanent residents and temporary visitors of the city, Cairo has developed a character of diversity that gives it a distinct character among other Egyptian cities. Whereas one can view this diversity as a positive feature, the proximity of different classes and social and educational backgrounds often renders divisions along those lines more sharply marked and, in the case of Cairo, makes the tension more conspicuous. Among the areas where these divisions are played out is the area of linguistic practices. Besides revealing the marked class division in Egyptian society, particularly in Cairo, the comic subplot in the movie referred to earlier is a good reflection of the fact that language is a marker of prestige and that everyday communication is replete with instances that highlight such aspects of social division. Particularly interesting in the case of Cairo and in the investigation of this chapter is the status English occupies in this power play, where the ‘correct’ use of the language has the power to enhance an agent’s status and prestige (Bourdieu 1986) and give him/her an added edge over their interlocuters.

Cairo, a multilingual city Arabic was instated as the official language in Egypt in the few years following the Arab conquest in 642, and gradually replaced spoken Coptic and Byzantine Greek as the dominant language. Successive waves of foreign rule, including the long Ottoman rule between 1517 and 1867 and the British military occupation between 1882 and 1956, did not seek to decentralize Arabic as the main official language and the language of communication (Miller 2003: 5–6; Shivtiel 1999: 132). Between 1952 and 1970, the socialist (military) regime that took over from the monarchy and oversaw the end of the British military presence in Egypt worked to elevate the status of Arabic in the society (in spite of the presence of other minority languages such as Nubian, Armenian and Tamazigh) as part of its attempt to reinforce its image as the pioneer of an emancipatory project of pan-Arabism. Following the end of this ‘socialist’ era, Egypt’s economic policies gradually shifted towards policies of open-door economy coupled with increased political and economic cooperation with the USA. The social impact of such a shift was manifest in wider gaps of income distribution and decline in the quality of public 264

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services (Daef 1986). As American goods invaded the markets, services initiated by American aid, such as schools and means of transportation, became part of the everyday lives of Egyptians. In more recent times, the adoption of English as the language of the hegemony of global capital has created a situation where English is used in contexts where citizens are most probably unable to read it. For instance, some big economic and commercial ventures, such as banks, telecommunication companies, real estate companies and franchises of global fashion chains, use English as the main written language (Figure 16.1). In these contexts, multilingualism in fact turns into the monolingualism of global (economic) hegemony, and Arabic,

Figure 16.1 The advertising signs inside the branch of an international fashion retailer 265

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the language spoken by the majority of the inhabitants, all but disappears. This situation poses questions about the communicative use of English as opposed to its more symbolic use.

Language and symbolic capital in urban practices Pierre Bourdieu (1991) uses the terms ‘symbolic power’ and ‘symbolic violence’ in the course of discussing the power-charged nature of language and hence of communication. According to Bourdieu, the arena of daily communication, whether spoken or written, becomes a space where ‘relations of symbolic power  .  .  . between speakers or their perspective groups are actualized’ (Bourdieu 1991: 38), while certain language registers are legitimized and become a measure of people’s social status, power and privilege (Bourdieu 1986). These processes of legitimation are characterized by ‘symbolic violence’ (Bourdieu 1991: 106) manifest in the spontaneous imposition of the values of specific groups (Bourdieu 1984: 244–256). Consequently, power relations, such as those manifest in the exclusive use of English in commercial contexts discussed earlier and the use of a register that is a mixture of English and Arabic in the movie mentioned previously, reflect processes of standardization, verification and legitimation (Bourdieu 1984) against which other utterances are judged. Although Bourdieu’s investigation initially focuses on children’s educational achievements, and is largely restricted to the spoken medium (Bourdieu 1991), the chapter uses his insights into the relationship among language, power and prestige in the investigation of the pervasive concept of ‘communication’ represented in the written aspect of Cairo’s cityscape, where the sphere of communication can be approached as an arena of power play. Many theorists of space have argued in different historical and geographical contexts that modern urban space is produced and shaped through relations of power, which are mainly those associated with the power of economic capital allied to other nodes of power such as the political and the social (Deleuze and Guattari 1987; Foucault 1979, 1986; Harvey 2012; Lefebvre 1991). In the sphere of daily communication, whether spoken or written, language is one of the players in such power dynamics in terms of the social status and legitimacy associated with different registers of language. This can be understood with recourse to Bourdieu’s idea of ‘cultural capital’, a concept he never actually defines but one whose scope can be gleaned from his designation of its three states of manifestation: objectified, embodied and institutionalized. The three contribute to defining a person’s or a group’s position vis-à-vis other persons and groups (Bourdieu 1986). Objectified cultural capital is the material possessions persons amass, such as clothes and works of art; embodied cultural capital is cultural attributes such as language and accent, while institutionalized cultural capital is institutional achievements such as education and the certificates a person accumulates (Bourdieu 1986). Viewing the three in their interconnectedness helps in examining the politics of using English in Cairo. Educational achievements can (though not always) enhance a person’s ability to communicate in a foreign language, while a person’s alliance with a foreign language might result in his or her adoption of a ‘habitus’ where material possessions reflect the kind of status connected with the use of that language. Because it is primarily informed by post-Marxist thought, Bourdieu’s vision of the different forms of capital remains tied to the contexts of post-industrial, capitalist societies, where power is mainly lodged in capitalist (and by extension now neoliberal) institutions operating with varying degrees of independence from, or alliance with, state policies. Outside the contexts of ‘participatory democracies’ and in settings of political contestations where the struggle is waged on both the symbolic and the very concrete levels, however, it is possible to view the scope of the use of symbolic capital as extending into arenas of confrontations 266

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with the state over the exercise of rights. The struggle over this specific form of symbolic capital, which we could call ‘political capital’, is over the right to impose political and social visions. The state, which possesses the coercive power needed to impose its visions, is also challenged by individuals and groups who struggle to impose theirs. When the struggle plays out in public space, this can be seen to translate in two main areas: the freedom of movement and the right to free speech. In both of these areas, linguistic policies play an important role in claiming public space, not only when it comes to who has the right to speak, but also in terms of who has the right to linguistically shape urban space in the form of signs, placards, directions and warnings. The fight over the right of free speech and the ownership of public space in authoritarian settings then becomes part of the struggle to reclaim ‘substantive’ citizenship, or the performance of an ‘array of civil, political, and social rights’ available to ordinary people (Holsten 1999: 167). Since channels of a more participatory setting of consensus building and shared decision making in the classical Habermasian sense (Habermas 1989) are blocked, public space in authoritarian contexts becomes an arena for the emergence of ‘counterpublics’ whose members ‘invent and circulate counterdiscourses’, which enable them to reassess and reformulate their interests and needs (Fraser 1990: 67). In linguistic terms, this struggle is waged both on the material level, for instance in the use of language in demonstrations and sit-ins and sometimes in violent clashes, and on the symbolic level, in various performative linguistic practices meant to contest the political capital of the state and to break its monopoly over public space and free expression.

Conceptualization of translation Linguistic practices in urban space render various conceptualizations of translation possible. In a study of translation as ‘artivism’ in cities such as Berlin, Kitchener and Montreal, Myriam Suchet and Sarah Mekdjian (2016: 2–3) take it as their starting point that in urban contexts, translation both shapes urban space and helps us ‘read’ it. Signs and billboards in public space can also produce messages that ‘translate’ power relations and ideological stances (Lefebvre 1991: 142), while artistic exhibitions and installations translate the agency of individuals and groups and provide an arena for self- and societal expression (Suchet and Mekdjian 2016: 10). In place of a source text the translation is traditionally believed to follow and emulate, translation is here seen as a response to a certain discourse by way of semiotically providing a comment on it (Suchet and Mekdjian 2016: 5). This is usually achieved through a transfer of signification from one context into another or from one medium into another (Baker 2006; Mezey 2011: 67). The stress here lies on translation as a discursive performative practice aiming at the creation of new ‘narratives’ (Baker 2006; Boéri 2008; Suchet and Mekdjian 2016: 9) or counterdiscourses. This would lend ordinary people the agency required for the enactment of citizenship through prefigurative performative manifestations of symbolic capital. In that sense, translation, as Bourdieu thinks of language in general, is a style, an ‘individual deviation from a linguistic norm’ meant to fashion new ‘idiolects’ from ‘the common language’ related to ‘singular and collective experiences’ (Bourdieu 1991: 39). By extending Bourdieu’s ideas of the place of linguistic practices in power play into the field of translation, oppositional translation practices can be seen to have the potential of fashioning a ‘heretic discourse’ capable of changing the established order of things and presenting new common senses ‘beyond the range of available possibilities’ (Suchet and Mekdjian 2016: 12; cf. Suchet and Mekdjian, this volume). The semiotic richness inherent in the very practice of urban translation enables it to stand in opposition to a variety of linguistic (and translation) practices imposed on urban space by nodes of power, whether social, economic or political. As 267

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oppositional practices, they have the capacity to redefine the field through practices that define and (re)distribute symbolic capital (Bourdieu 1983: 311). In contrast to Bourdieu’s preoccupation with the position of individuals vis-à-vis symbolic capital, however, urban translation practices, like other forms of social practices, can be seen to create ‘imagined solidarities’ (Bayat 2010: 22) capable, through the invocation of ‘counterpublics’, of producing counterdiscourses (Fraser 1990: 67) and hence new common senses (Bourdieu 1991: 133).

Translation as prestige Translation practices in Cairo, in the senses outlined in the previous section, can be viewed as arenas for the performance of symbolic capital meant to create ‘prestige’ by means of allying agents to a ‘habitus’. Whether meant to comply with the tacit rules of professing this capital or to symbolically deconstruct these rules, the various manifestations of the use of English and Arabic in shop signs reveal areas of tacit contestation in city space. It is not always readily possible to view the practices discussed in this section as intentionally oppositional or purposeful practices performed for the purpose of reclaiming status and prestige. In fact, most of them, as most of the interviews I have conducted with shop owners reveal, are done playfully. Nonetheless, the participatory value of these practices is not diminished as a result. Participation, broadly defined, can be understood as the practice of citizenship through representational practices and not necessarily as a purposeful activity (Baker and Blaagaard 2016: 14–16; Tripp 2012: 94–95).

English and Arabic The official urban linguistic norm for communicating with the public in Cairo (as in road signs, the underground metro, traffic signs, notes of warning, etc.) is generally to use both Arabic and English. Translation (in its very basic sense) is usually provided where possible but not consistently. This almost standard official practice is expectedly echoed in some private practices, such as in the signs of shops and other places providing private services such as hospitals and schools, even if such a translation was not evidently needed (as in neighbourhoods hardly frequented by foreigners). In the middle-class district of Moqattam, a fish shop, a bean roastery and a furniture shop put up their signs in both Arabic and a functional English translation. The shop owners explain that the English translation gives their shops ‘elegance’ and that it is a ‘trend’ they want to follow, pointing out that anybody can easily find out what the shop sells by looking at the shop windows, without either the Arabic or the English name. Asked about whether they specifically thought that the English translation would serve a communicative function for foreigners, they reported that the communicative function of the translation was not readily on their minds when creating the shop signs. One of the shop owners added that the translation was there ‘only because my 11-year-old son was happy he could translate the shop name, and I thought it was a good practice for him!’ Stretching the practice of appealing to the symbolic capital of English, a stationery shop in the same district gives itself the Arabic name ‘Maktabit Kambridj’ with the translation ‘Cambridge Book Shop’ next to it. The appeal to symbolic capital is here doubly made, through the use of the name of the prestigious British university and an English translation. The shop in fact sells stationery and toys. The not-veryaccurate translation is the result of the fact that in Egyptian Arabic, the same word can be used for both ‘stationery shop’ and ‘bookshop’. This does not seem to be intentional, and might not have a significant effect on the average Egyptian customers, who might not read the English name at all. 268

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Variations on this translation practice reveal other manifestations of the logic of symbolic capital. Shop signs that only show a proper name (usually the name of the shop owner) also tend to produce the name in both Arabic and Latin letters. In affluent neighbourhoods more likely to be inhabited by foreigners, this practice could be seen as an act of communication which would still only enable the foreign potential customers to pronounce the name of the shop correctly, since the shop’s name in either English or Arabic would not reflect the nature of merchandise it offers. However, the practice is also prevalent in lower-middle-class and working-class neighbourhoods. The use of Latin script here, which my interlocuters dubbed as ‘English letters’ or simply ‘English’, is not meant to communicate relevant information about the business facility in question, or to facilitate the identification of the shop to foreigners, but seems to be more of an effort at allying with a dominant practice and consequently of partaking in power relations (Bourdieu 1991: 38). In such cases, too, shop owners explained their choices by appealing to a practice that is ‘in vogue’ and the fact that it gives the shops ‘prestige’. Responding to a question of whether they thought a foreigner could actually pass by the shop and benefit from reading the name, my interlocuters reported that it was mainly done for ‘fun’ or ‘play’. One of them also added that at school, long ago, ‘I learnt how to write my name in English; it’s nice to recall what I learnt at school long ago now that I have a shop!’

Latin script Some of the instances discussed here testify to a tendency to consider not only the use of English, but also Latin script in general, as possessing (and imparting) symbolic capital. Practices of translation in shop signs reveal other innovative (and potentially subversive) strategies of mixing Arabic and Latin scripts in gestures. implying the ‘equality’ of both. The displacement involved extends the signification of both types of script, regardless of the literal meaning of the signs in question, while the new ‘heretic’ combination can be seen to reflect a symbolic appropriation of the more ‘powerful’ global script by interpolating the narrow local. This is usually done in more playful contexts such as the names of cafés and small service shops, and the playfulness there can in itself be seen as a sign of the carnivalesque breakdown of boundaries and suspension of order (Bakhtin 1984). In Muhandisin, an affluent business neighbourhood, a café carrying the name of the city of Bucharest writes its name in Latin script except for the letters ‘ch’, which are rendered in the Arabic letter ‘‫ ’خ‬representing the same sound. This practice seems to be related to a dominant tendency, particularly among Egyptian youth on social media, of writing Arabic sentences using Latin script, emerging predominantly in youth digital communication during the past two decades (see, for example, Al-Saeed 2019). More innovative uses of the mixture of Arabic and Latin scripts underscore its potential for subversion through the symbolic deconstruction of icons of economic power. In Muqattam, a very small mobile phone shop gives itself a name both using a mixture of Arabic and Latin script and presenting a literal translation of the word Apple into Arabic: Tofa7a (Figure 16.2). Whereas ‘Apple’ as the name of the software giant is never produced in translations into Arabic, the incongruous use of the Arabic literal translation evokes a local context and creates a playful and humorous effect. As Naomi Mezey observes, gaps between discursive similarities and conceptual differences create the particular significance of an utterance, thereby giving the translated utterance an afterlife (Mezey 2011: 67). Conjuring up the global giant Apple and using a mixture of Latin and Arabic script here create a semblance of equality that is only evoked to be deconstructed. This practice of cultural jamming (Lievrouw 2011: 67) or reverse appropriation (Baker and Blaagaard 2016: 67) signals the simultaneous acknowledgment and dethroning of power (the power of global capital in that case), and introduces an 269

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Figure 16.2 The ‘Tofa7a’ shop facade

element of subversion (that might not be wholly intentional) within the field of competing for symbolic capital and prestige. Similar instances also involve the use of a variation of the name of the international chain of convenience stores On the Run, which also operates in Cairo and is mainly frequented by the upper middle classes, in names of many small shops and local kiosks. Several variations of the name appear particularly in lower-middle-class and working-class neighbourhoods in Cairo, such as in a kiosk named ‘On the Haram’, referring to the district where it is located, and another one named ‘On the Bahr’ (on the sea), as it is located close to the banks of the Nile (it is common to refer to the river Nile as ‘the sea’ in spoken Arabic). In such instances, the colours and design patterns adopted try to recreate the original colours and designs of the international brand. The displacement (Benjamin 2000: 19) here ambiguously signals both a wish to compete with and a satirical dismissal of the corporate giant. The owners of both Tofa7a and one of the kiosks that uses a reworking of the name On the Run have confirmed in the interviews that part of their aim was to create laughter and ‘appear smart’ through the playful reversal, while neither saw in the adaptations traces of intentional opposition to globally legitimized brands.

Translation and the (re)appropriation of public space Instances of cultural jamming can also be interpreted as acts of the (re)appropriation of a public space heavily dominated by global capital. While appealing to economic legitimacy, the kiosk and the small shop discussed in the previous paragraph also claim an actual space in the landscape of a city dominated by neoliberal expansion. While the shop owners interviewed do not acknowledge purposeful subversion, more intentionally subversive translation practices aiming at the (re)appropriation of public space can be encountered in the field of political 270

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contestations. The January 2011 Uprising in Egypt has ushered in a radically transformed relationship between people and public space (Mehrez 2012: 14), a relationship that was already in the making during the last few years of Mubarak’s rule. Many observers have also analyzed the 18 days of uninterrupted sit-in in Tahrir Square in central Cairo in January 2011 in terms of symbolic performative practices aiming at the reclamation of a field of representation long confiscated throughout a 30-year state of emergency under Mubarak (Aboubakr 2013; Baker 2016; Gribbon and Hawas 2012). Linguistic practices in general, and translation more specifically, were among the arenas where this reclamation of public space (in both its material and digital sense) was most interestingly manifested (Gribbon and Hawas 2012; Herrera 2014; Iskandar 2014; Sanders IV 2012; Taha and Combs 2012).

Naming Naming as a symbolic gesture of power over what is named plays a significant role in the reclamation of spaces in conflictual contexts (Baker 2000: 265–267). The central state’s monopoly over naming public facilities in Cairo has appeared most strongly since the 2013 military takeover in the episode of the naming of the Rabia al-Adawiyya Square in the Cairene district of Nasr City. Between June and August 2013, supporters of ousted Muslim Brothers President Muhammad Morsi (President between June 2012 and July 2013) formed a huge sit-in in the square, protesting against an ultimatum issued by the military to Morsi to respond to the demands of protesters, and then his actual ousting on July 3. The sit-in was extremely violently dispersed, which resulted in around 600 civilian casualties according to official statements (while the number increased in non-state reports). In 2015 the Egyptian cabinet approved the renaming of the Rabia al-Adawiyya Square after the Egyptian Attorney General (Hisham Barakat) who was assassinated in 2015 at the hands of Islamist militants. In addition to commemorating the name of Barakat, the act of renaming is also an act of ‘de-naming’, effecting the symbolic obliteration of the episode of the sit-in and standing for the state’s reappropriation of the square. Unlike the case with the Rabia al-Adawiyya Square, where the state’s power of naming was uncontested, the first few years following the ouster of Mubarak in 2011 showed naming as an arena of powerful contestations between the protesters and the regime. Muhammad Mahmud street, adjacent to Tahrir Square, was in 2012 renamed as Shari’ Oyun Al-Hurriyya (Eyes of Freedom Street) due to the fact that several protesters lost one or two of their eyes in the bloody clashes with the security forces in 2011 and 2012, who protesters believe deliberately targeted their eyes in the confrontations. The act of renaming was carried out by protesters and executed in the crude form of whitewashing the street signs and putting up the new ones. In the post-2013 military era, however, the street was renamed as Muhammad Mahmud. The naming of some of Cairo’s underground metro stations is also one of the arenas where the struggle over representation is as real as it is symbolic. Some of the central stations in the oldest two underground metro lines were named after three Egyptian (military) Presidents (Naguib, Sadat and Mubarak) as well as after some historical national figures. In the aftermath of the ouster of Mubarak and the ‘initial’ victory of the Uprising, protesters started to place large stickers on the metro signs carrying the names of Sadat and Mubarak, substituting names such as ‘Thawrat al-Khamis wal-Ishrin min Yanayer’ (The January 25 Revolution) and ‘AlShuhadaa’ (Martyrs) for them. After a few weeks of contestation with the authorities, Sadat station went back to its original name, while the station carrying Mubarak’s name was in April 2011 officially changed into ‘Martyrs’. This coincided with a court ruling in 2011 imposing the removal of Mubarak’s name off all public facilities. 271

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Graffiti In the wake of the fierce protests of January 2011, graffiti was one of the most impactful means of political expression and participation in Cairo (Abaza 2012, 2013; Gröndahl 2013; Karl and Hamdy 2014; Sanders IV 2012). Because it is a medium that engages several media such as drawing, calligraphy and stencilling, graffiti lent itself to a variety of acts of social and political dissent. It was also to some extent one of the arenas charting the progress of the ‘revolution’ and the development of contestations between the ‘revolutionaries’ and the authorities on the one hand, and among the different trajectories within the ‘revolutionary’ opposition on the other. These would be reflected in cycles of painting, whitewashing and painting a new one on the walls of key institutions, especially in downtown Cairo. Muhammad Mahmud street in central Cairo became home to the longest graffiti mural in Egypt, with messages being sprayed and painted by activists, whitewashed by the authorities, and painted and sprayed on again by the activists. The continuation of clashes on Muhammad Mahmud street, one of the main streets leading to the Ministry of Interior, prompted the authorities to erect a security wall separating the building from potential incursions. In 2012, this wall in particular turned into one of the sites of translation in its more metaphorical sense as it was painted over with 3D images symbolically deconstructing it by drawings of the extension of the street behind. Graffiti has been on the decrease in Cairo since the military takeover of July 2013 due to tightened security measures in public spaces. However, sporadic instances of graffiti show a continuation of the spirit of the visual representation of protest. Among those rare instances, two stand out. One is a late 2018 stencilled writing on a wall in the district of Zamalek, showing a face resembling that of the current President along with an English caption reading: ‘Elect a Clown, Expect a Circus’. In addition to the graffiti representing the translation of political stances into visuality, the use of English here can be attributed to a number of reasons, foremost among which is that it is an obvious tactic to avoid censorship. The fact that English would be less easily understood by representatives of the municipal authority means that the graffiti has a chance of ‘living’ slightly longer than if it was written in Arabic, and hence of reaching a larger audience. Another significant element about the use of English in the graffiti is the suitability of the linguistic medium to the particular urban context it appeared in. Zamalek is an upper-middle-class neighbourhood with a higher likelihood of proficiency of English among its inhabitants, and it is also one of Cairo’s districts that is most highly inhabited by foreigners and foreign missions. This indicates that the graffiti might also be addressed at least in part to foreigners and representatives of diplomatic missions in Egypt, and highlights the potential of written signs and graffiti to perform the dual act of self-expression and communicability with a wider audience in and outside of the local context (Gribbon and Hawas 2012: 103). The adoption of the caption with an international traction (recently famously used in relation to Donald Trump) similarly contributes to enlarging this dimension of communicability and forging ‘imagined solidarities’ (Bayat 2010: 22). The other instance of recent graffiti is a writing on one of the walls of al-Azhar’s University campus in Nasr City (Figure 16.3). The campus of al-Azhar, one of the oldest religious universities in the region, witnessed deadly clashes between student protesters and the security forces in late 2013 and throughout 2014. Nasr City where the University is located is also a highly militarized city with a concentrated presence of key military facilities. In August 2013, the city was also the scene of the prolonged sit-in and violent massacre of Muslim Brothers President Muhammad Morsi’s supporters referred to in the previous section. The graffiti which appeared in early 2019 is crudely written in classical Arabic and reads ‘Rabbi Arini Kayfa Tohiye Aththawra’ (‘My Lord! Show Me How You Resurrect the Revolution’). The sentence is a variation 272

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on the Quranic verse which translates into English as ‘My Lord! Show me how Thou givest life to the dead’ (Ali 1983: 105), a phrase attributed to Abraham in the Quran. The intertextuality with the Quranic verse evokes the idea of supernatural resurrection, which might be necessary for the revolution to be brought to life in the midst of despairing circumstances. Those who are familiar with the rest of the Quranic chapter where the verse occurs would also know that God responds to Abraham by inquiring whether that meant that Abraham’s faith was not strong enough. In the verse Abraham responds by asserting his faith yet interjects by saying that the reason is ‘to reassure my heart’. The resurrection of the revolution is thus not only necessary on the practical political and social levels, but also on the emotional level. Much less directly oppositional than the Zamalek graffiti, this graffiti is a more multilayered act of translation. In addition to being a metaphorical act of translating political stances into calligraphic representations, the reworking of the Quranic verse into a political statement extends the signification of the original statement (Mezey 2011: 67; Suchet and Mekdjian 2016: 5) and fuses the two contexts. Consequently, the transference of a ‘sacred’ Quranic saying from the metaphysical context of divine miracles into the mundane context of politics, which might be considered by some conservative Muslims as verging on blasphemy, is an act of defying dominant doxa. Add to that the fact that it is also done on the walls of a religious university known for its conservativism, so the graffiti emerges as triply subversive. It is also interesting to observe that the phrase is written in classical Arabic, a variety of the language hardly used in daily communication, though easily understood by the majority of people. It also features the use of diacritical marks, which are integral to well-written standard Arabic as they help disambiguate some words in addition to aiding the reader into correct pronunciation. The careful addition of diacritical marks in an otherwise hastily finished graffiti is also an added signifier here. Visually, it lends the writing a serious edge, perhaps to compensate for the clumsy handwriting. Because diacritical marks are usually not added to written

Figure 16.3 The graffiti on the walls of al-Azhar University ( fbid=149927079987677&set=a.117722949874757&type=3) 273

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statements in mainstream uses of classical Arabic, their careful addition here also points indirectly to the creator(s), labelling themselves as ‘responsible’ actors who are well versed in the tradition of their language, thus symbolically separating themselves from representations of the ‘anarchist’ revolutionary ‘youth’ in mainstream media. As al-Azhar is also the seat of Arabic and Quranic learning in Egypt, the graffiti ironically shows Arabic as (heretically) used to assert and gain symbolic capital.

Conclusion In the context of his examination of protest movements as representatives of people’s struggles for the reclamation of urban space, David Harvey sees ‘the right to the city’ as both the right to what is already there and the right to ‘rebuild and recreate’, hence to ‘reimagine’ the city on more egalitarian terms (Harvey 2012: 138). The various occupation movements Harvey studies are practical manifestations of the ability of ordinary people to mobilize and literally reclaim city space. The fact that social protest is inevitably circumscribed by its political context, however, urges us to extend our understanding of the concept of reclamation of urban rights. In authoritarian contexts, where the body is under threat and freedom of movement and speech is severely curtailed, physical congregation and direct contestation with the authorities are rendered exceedingly difficult. Hence, a more symbolic understanding of acts of space reclamation is necessary for an understanding of the dynamics of resistance. The symbolic power of linguistic practices therefore deserves closer scrutiny within the examination of urban resistive practices. The right to the city in this sense is not only the right to reclaim the city from neoliberal expansion, but also to reclaim a shared public space for a more equitable redistribution of symbolic (linguistic) capital. The ‘heretic discourses’ (Bourdieu 1991: 129) produced through translation practices can produce new common senses (Bourdieu 1991: 133) that can gradually change minds and dispositions. Even though practices such as the naming of shops and the execution of graffiti do not particularly bely the presence of collective actors, they do represent what can amount to collective action, in their common trajectories and recourse to common strategies. This collectivity of public expression is central to conferring legitimacy on heretic discourses (Bourdieu 1991: 129). The severe control imposed on public assembly and public expression in Cairo and other cities in Egypt has significantly impacted the translation practices discussed in this chapter, rendering subversive linguistic acts in public space as dangerous and rare. One arena where these constraints are evidently circumvented is in digital space, which still relatively enjoys more freedom. In April 2019, the Egyptian Parliament introduced a number of controversial constitutional amendments for public referendum. It was obvious that the amendments were meant to consolidate the power of the President and weaken civil society. Despite severe criticism from activists and some trade unions, the proposed amendments were strongly supported by state media and institutions. For weeks before the referendum, the landscape of Cairo was packed with signs and placards put up by businesses, sports clubs and public figures, supporting the proposed amendments. The city was also flooded with banners urging the citizens to participate in the referendum. Although these banners were allegedly unbiased, it was tacitly understood that they were meant to increase the number of voters so that the de facto approval of the amendments would be seen as being endorsed by a large constituency. Due to tightened security, it was literally impossible to put up a sign opposing the amendments, and extremely dangerous to speak in public against them. The digital realm compensated for such restrictions and partly acted as an ‘extension of territoriality’ for activists. Mock imitations of the banners urging the public to vote were created digitally and shared online. Interestingly, translation 274

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was noticeably operative here. The standard banner appearing almost everywhere in Cairene streets read ‘Sharik, Qul Ra’yak’ (‘Take Part. Voice your Opinion’), while the online ‘heretic’ reworking read ‘Sharik, Qul Ra’yii’ (‘Take Part. Voice MY Opinion’), thereby giving a sarcastic comment on the status of the freedom of expression in Egypt and shaping the nature of social and political participation on new terms that need yet to be studied.

Further reading Hamdy, Basma, Noha Zayed, Huda Abifares and eL Seed (2019) Khatt: Egypt’s Calligraphic Landscape, London: Saqi Books. A compelling visual overview of Egypt’s calligraphic script in public spaces, coupled with insightful commentary on and analysis of the history of the craft of calligraphy in Egypt Lenze, Nele and Charlotte Schriwer (eds.) (2019) Participation Culture in the Gulf: Networks, Politics and Identity, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. An important addition to the literature on the link between cultural practices and social and political activism, where cultural practices are conceived of as both the production and consumption of cultural artefacts Schäfer, Mirko Tobias (2011) Bastard Culture! How User Participation Transforms Cultural Production, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. An in-depth investigation of the role of information and communication technologies in fostering untraditional modes of social and political participation

Note 1 See, for instance, D9%84%D8%AB-%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%A8%D9%8A%D8%B1%D9%88%D9%85%D9%90%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%8F%D8%B4%D8%A7%D8% B1%D9%83%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%AC%D8%AA%D9%85%D8%B9% D9%8A%D8%A9/,, and

References Abaza, Mona (2012) ‘Segregating downtown Cairo and the Mohammed Mahmud Street graffiti’, Theory, Culture & Society 30(1): 122–139. Abaza, Mona (2013) ‘Mourning, narratives and interactions with the martyrs through Cairo’s graffiti’, E-International Relations 7 October, (accessed 17 May 2014). Aboubakr, Randa (2013) ‘The role of new media in the Egyptian revolution of 2011: Visuality as an agent of change’, in Walid El Hamamsy and Mounira Soliman (eds.) Popular Culture in the Middle East and North Africa: A Postcolonial Outlook, New York and London: Routledge, 231–245. Al-Gindi, Ahmad (Director) (2010) La Tarago’ Walastislam (Motion picture), Cairo: The Arab Company for Film Production and Distribution. Ali, Yusuf A. (1983) The Holy Qur’an: Text, Translation and Commentary, Beirut: Dar al-Quran al-Karim. Al-Saeed, Samar (2019) ‘The design of the advertising message using the Franco Arab and its impact on the Arab identity’ (in Arabic), Al-Imara wasl- Funun (Arts and Architecture) 13: 182–204. Baker, Charles (2000) ‘ “It’s the same me, isn’t it?” The language question and Brial Friel’s translations’, Midwest Quarterly: A Journal of Contemporary Thought 41(3): 264–275. 275

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Baker, Mona (2006) Translation and Conflict: A Narrative Account, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Baker, Mona (ed.) (2016) Translating Dissent: Voices from and with the Egyptian Revolution, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Baker, Mona and Bolette B. Blaagaard (2016) ‘Reconceptualizing citizen media: A preliminary charting of a complex domain’, in Mona Baker and Bolette B. Blaagaard (eds.) Citizen Media and Public Spaces: Diverse Expressions of Citizenship and Dissent, Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 51–72. Bakhtin, Mikhail (1984) Rabelais and his World, trans. Hélène Iswolsky, Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Bayat, Asef (2010) Life as Politics: How Ordinary People Change the Middle East, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Benjamin, Walter (2000) ‘The task of the translator: An introduction to the translation of Baudleaire’s Tableaux Parisiens’, in Lawrence Venuti (ed.) The Translation Studies Reader, London and New York: Routledge, 15–25. Boéri, Julie (2008) ‘A narrative account of Babels vs. Naumann controversy: Competing perspectives on activism and conference interpreting’, The Translator 14(1): 21–50. Bourdieu, Pierre (1983) ‘The field of cultural production or: The economic world reversed’, Poetics 12: 311–356. Bourdieu, Pierre (1984) Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, trans. Richard Nice, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Bourdieu, Pierre (1986) ‘The forms of capital’, fr/bourdieu-forms-capital.htm (accessed 6 September 2014). Bourdieu, Pierre (1991) Language and Symbolic Power, trans. Gino Raymond and Matthew Adamson, Cambridge: Polity Press. Bourdieu, Pierre (1996) ‘Physical space, social space and habitus’, Rapport 10 Institutt for sosiologi og samfunnsgeografi Universitetet iOslo 1–22. Cairo Metro Statistics (n.d.) (accessed 13 September 2019). CAPMS (Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics) (n.d.) (accessed 13 September 2019). Daef, Mohamed Ayman (1986) The Impact of Open Door Policy on Public Service Provision in Urban Areas of Egypt: A Major Factor Influencing Income Distribution since 1974 (Master thesis), London: Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning, University of London. Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari (1987) A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Brian Massumi, Minneapolis, MN and London: University of Minnesota Press. El-Mouelhi, Hassan (2014) Culture and Informal Urban Development: The Case of Cairo ‘Ashwa’eyat, Berlin: Verlag Dr. Koester. Foucault, Michel (1979) Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. Alan Sheridan, London: Vintage. Foucault, Michel (1986) ‘Of other spaces’, Diacritics 16: 22–27. Fraser, Nancy (1990) ‘Rethinking the public sphere: A contribution to the critique of actually existing democracy’, Social Text 25(26): 56–80. Ghannam, Farha (2002) Remaking the Modern: Space, Relocation, and the Politics of Identity in a Global Cairo, Berkley, CA: University of California Press. Gribbon, Laura and Sarah Hawas (2012) ‘Signs and signifiers: Visual translations of revolt’, in Samia Mehrez (ed.) Translating Egypt’s Revolution: The Language of Tahrir, Cairo and New York: The American University in Cairo Press, 103–142. Gröndahl, Mia (2013) Revolution Graffiti: Street Art of the New Egypt, New York and Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press. Habermas, Jürgen (1989) The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society, trans. Thomas Burger and Frederick Lawrence, Cambridge: Polity Press. Harvey, David (2012) Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to Urban Revolution, London and Brooklyn: Verso. 276

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Herrera, Linda (2014) Revolution in the Age of Social Media: The Egyptian Popular Insurrection and the Internet, London and Brooklyn: Verso. Holsten, James (1999) ‘Spaces of insurgent citizenship’, in James Holston (ed.) Cities and Citizenship, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 155–175. Iskandar, Adel (2014) ‘The meme-ing of revolution: Creativity, folklore, and the dislocation of power in Egypt’, Jadaliyya, 5 September, (accessed 5 November 2014). Karl, STONE Don and Basma Hamdy (2014) Walls of Freedom: Street Art of the Egyptian Revolution, Berlin: From Hero to Fame Publishing. Lefebvre, Henri (1991) The Production of Space, trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith, Malden, MA and Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. Lievrouw, Leah (2011) Alternative and Activist New Media, Cambridge: Polity Press. Mehrez, Samia (2012) ‘Translating revolution: An open text’, in Samia Mehrez (ed.) Translating Egypt’s Revolution: The Language of Tahrir, Cairo and New York: The American University in Cairo Press, 1–24. Mezey, Naomi (2011) ‘Law’s visual afterlife: Violence, popular culture, and translation theory’, Georgetown Public Law and Legal Theory Research Papers 11(39): 64–99. Miller, Catherine (2003) ‘Linguistic policies and language issues in the Middle East’, in Akira Usuki and Hiroshi Kato (eds.) Islam in the Middle Eastern Studies: Muslims and Minorities, https://halshs. (accessed 1 April 2019). Sabry, Sarah (2009) ‘About Cairo and its informal areas. Egypt’s informal areas: Inaccurate and contradictory data’, in Regina Kipper and Marion Fischer (eds.) Cairo’s Informal Areas Between Urban Challenges and Hidden Potentials, Cairo: PDP-GTZ, 29–33. Sanders IV, Lewis (2012) ‘Reclaiming the city: Street art of the revolution’, in Samia Mehrez (ed.) Translating Egypt’s Revolution: The Language of Tahrir, Cairo and New York: The American University in Cairo Press, 143–182. Shivtiel, Shlomit Shraybom (1999) ‘Language and political change in modern Egypt’, International Journal of the Sociology of Language 137: 131–140. Suchet, Myriam and Sarah Mekdjian (2016) ‘Artivism as a form of urban translation: An indisciplinary hypothesis’, in Sherry Simon (ed.) Speaking Memory: How Translation Shapes City Life, McGill: Queen’s University Press, 220–248. Taha, Amira and Christopher Combs (2012) ‘Mulid al-Tahrir: Semiotics of a revolution’, in Samia Mehrez (ed.) Translating Egypt’s Revolution: The Language of Tahrir, Cairo and New York: The American University in Cairo Press, 25–68. Tripp, Charles (2012) ‘Acting and acting out: Conceptions of political participation in the Middle East’, in Michael Freeden and Andrew Vincent (eds.) Comparative Political Thought: Theorizing Practices, Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 88–109. World Population Review (n.d.) ‘Cairo population 2020’, (accessed 13 September 2019).


17 Translation and trans-scripting Languaging practices in the city of Aθens Tereza Spilioti and Korina Giaxoglou

Introduction: translation and/as translanguaging In contexts of late capitalism, multilingualism has accrued symbolic value as an index of globalized cosmopolitanism (Kelly-Holmes 2005) as much as a strategy for marking and negotiating local languages and cultures. The mobilization of multilingualism across different domains—from marketing and advertising, tourism and call centres to language teaching and translation—relies on a range of strategies, which blur spheres and boundaries, variously described as phenomena of hybridity, multiplicity, complexity, polynomia, metrolingualism, transnationalism, irony or other distancing stance mechanisms (Heller 2010: 103). More recently, such phenomena are discussed as part of languaging practices, referred to also as polylanguaging (Jørgensen et al. 2011) and translanguaging (Garcia and Li 2014). Translanguaging broadly refers to the combined use of different linguistic and semiotic resources, bringing and meshing languages together for a range of meaning-making and communication purposes. Such practices of mobilizing features from multiple linguistic, graphemic and other semiotic repertoires pervade everyday and professional languaging; they (re) produce tensions around uses, norms and ideologies of language and extend struggles over what counts as a legitimate language. The concept of translanguaging advocates alternative approaches to linguistic systems and cultural communities that ‘focus on practices, speakers, resources, processes, and mobility’, contesting foundational ideas that posit essentialist relationships between languages and cultures (Heller 2010: 104; cf. Li 2018). Such approaches have put forward a view of translation as practice, moving away from earlier understandings of translation as a process of crossing linguistic and cultural borders through transitions from language A to language B. Baynham and Lee (2019: 184), in particular, propose a practice theory of translation whereby translation is unpacked ‘into a sequence of translation moments’ that are ‘of the same order of the translanguaging moment[s]’ and that call attention to ‘the repertoire of the translator and the moment-to-moment bricolage through which the translation is assembled’. Translation and translanguaging can be said to represent distinct phenomena in terms of directionality: translation tends to keep languages apart whereas translanguaging fuses


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them together; yet, they can be complementary practices and, at times, mutually embedded in multilingual environments. In this chapter we are concerned with practices of translation and/as translanguaging in the city and the tensions that these raise in the urban landscape of Athens (Greece). We use translation and translanguaging as complementary angles in order to investigate the different ways of mobilizing multilingualism in late capitalism. As we argue in this chapter, recent developments in research on digitally mediated communication and multilingual practices, as well as linguistic landscape research, are also key in developing a cross-context approach to translanguaging phenomena. We will focus, more specifically, on phenomena of translanguaging that emerge from the mobilization of primarily graphemic resources, also known as trans-scripting. In this chapter, we will pay particular attention to the vernacular respelling of English-related forms in (local) scripts, i.e., words typically identified as English that are not translated but rather appear scripted with non-Roman letters or characters.

Trans-scripting: what’s in a term? The term trans-scripting, as script-focused translanguaging, was introduced by Androutsopoulos (2015: 188) and defined as ‘features of one of the available languages . . . represented in the spelling or script of another [and] . . . creating linguistic forms that blur and cross boundaries of scripts and orthographies’. Since then, the term has been taken up to describe internet languaging practices in multilingual environments where language contact involves the mobilization of different writing systems. Spilioti (2017, 2019), for example, was among the first adopting the term to refer to the digital practice of representing English-related forms in local scripts (e.g., Greek, Chinese and Arabic). In her work, trans-scripting is approached as a process of respelling, emphasizing the creative and performative effects that such languaging practices have in particular moments of commenting on and critiquing language production online (Spilioti 2019: 1, 3). Li and Zhu (2019: 151) also coined the term tranßcripting in their study of the subversive effect of the languaging practices of Chinese internet users who create new scripts from mixing symbols of different writing systems, as well as other semiotic systems (e.g., emojis). Similar scripting phenomena, yet referred to as transliteration rather than trans-scripting, had of course attracted the attention of earlier studies of digitally mediated communication. The focus of such earlier research, however, was predominantly on cases of Romanization where local scripts (e.g., Greek, Chinese and Arabic) are represented with Roman characters. In the case of Romanized Greek (also known as greeklish), previous research has shown that such scripting practices appear in both public and private digital spaces and rely on transliteration schemes, such as phonetic and orthographic/visual (e.g., Androutsopoulos 2009; Tseliga 2007). They have been attested in longer messages and interactions, particularly among teenagers and diasporic Greeks, indexing cosmopolitanism and an international outlook and giving rise to moral panic discourse even in recent years (e.g., Koutsogiannis and Mitsikopoulou 2003). In comparison to the widely explored Romanization practices, Hellenization practices (cf. Androutsopoulos 2020), in the form of scripting English-related forms with Greek characters (Greek-alphabet English or engreek, a term coined by internet users), remain still uncharted territory. Based on existing research (Androutsopoulos 2020; Spilioti 2017, 2019), Hellenized forms of English are used mainly for play and fun, but also as a way of animating particular voices, such as Greek-accented English, for representing particular personas (such


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as in the case of widely circulating online memes re-presenting the ‘words’ of Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of Greece, 2015–2019). In the process of respelling, internet users tend to orient to the acoustic quality of the form represented and engage in the respelling of graphemes, words and sentences that are limited though within individual (rather short) messages. While such practices are quite prevalent among younger users, they are not—at least not yet—definitely associated with a particular social group, and any indexicalities of such uses remain largely ambivalent. The bulk of research on trans-scripting, thus, has so far focused on internet contexts. Yet, limiting the focus on digital communication runs the risk of overplaying the significance of media factors and technological constraints in such languaging practices. For example, early research on Romanization phenomena overemphasized factors related to character input constraints, as well as typing speed and effort considerations. While we acknowledge that the mediational means, such as keyboard and software technologies, play a role in languaging practices online, we seek to broaden the scope of trans-scripting research by turning the focus on the urban linguistic landscape and by investigating the tensions around uses, norms and ideologies of language that this type of mobilization of graphemic and other semiotic resources raises beyond the digital mediascapes. To do that, we draw from the rich interdisciplinary field of sociolinguistics known as linguistic landscape research that is concerned with the communicative and symbolic uses of language in the public space for signalling the presence of an ethnolinguistic community or to invoke communal or shared values and ideas, respectively (Androutsopoulos 2014: 82; BenRafael 2006). We are mainly interested in the emplacement of instances of trans-scripting in particular urban spaces and their indexical potential that contributes to the marking and making of particular identities and positions in the city.

Trans-scripting in the Linguistic Landscape Linguistic Landscape (LL) researchers examine top-down signs, understood as signs issued by public authorities, and bottom-up signs, i.e., either less-regulated signs produced by commercial businesses or transgressive signs, such as graffiti. The application of an LL perspective to our study of trans-scripting in the city is based on an understanding of space not as a distinct and autonomous entity but as a social construct that is delineated and structured in relation to particular positions and ideologies (van Dijk 1998, 2014). The LL is constituted through the interaction of space and language, as played out at a particular historical moment. As Seargeant and Giaxoglou (2020) suggest, LL artefacts constitute socially and culturally meaningful signs in the public arena that contribute to, while taking their meaning from, the discourse of the public space. The way various linguistic and other semiotic resources are mobilized in the LL is, therefore, indexical of regulatory, historical and normative discourses about languages and multilingualism in the city as well as discourses that contest or subvert these (see also Blommaert 2013). To uncover the indexical meanings of signs in the LL, an analysis connecting the microlevel of the texts to the macro-level of the social-ideological positionings that they index is needed. Such an analysis is offered, for example, in Tsiplakou’s (2017) study of the Nicosia LL, which focuses on the micro-level of the local functions of translanguaging mobilized in the signs under study and on the macro-level of how these functions index specific kinds of subjectivities and ideological orientations. A substantial number of LL works have been concerned with bilingualism or multilingualism and have been carried out in officially multilingual and multiethnic areas (e.g., 280

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Ben-Rafael 2006; Cenoz and Gorter 2006). A  recurrent finding of these studies has been that English is used as a symbol of modernity and cosmopolitanism, but also for facilitating commercial activity. As Nikolaou notes (2017: 7), less attention has been paid so far to contexts of official monolingualism, which are nonetheless characterized by increased diffusion and visibility of English, as exemplified in the case of Greece. In this chapter we will focus on examples from the LL of the capital of Greece, Athens, to investigate translation and/as translanguaging in the city.

The city of AΘens and its Linguistic Landscape Earlier studies of the Athenian landscape have noted the strong presence of multilingual signs in the LL of the city, despite the fact that official monolingualism has been a norm in Greece embraced by successive governments and constitutions, which have been largely ignoring the linguistic rights of minorities (Greenberg 2010: 210). As Nikolaou notes (2017: 173), the status of English is very high, and this is attested in its pervasiveness ‘in almost every communicative domain of Greek society, thus creating a situation of a de facto bilingualism even in a restricted sense’. More specifically, in Nikolaou’s sample of Athenian shop signs, almost one-third of the signs contained more than one language, with at least 15 identified patterns of language arrangement; the proportion of language hybridity and mixing is higher (almost 1 in 2) when signs containing Romanized Greek are included (2017: 172). It is notable that in studies of multilingual LL, instances of trans-scripting are neglected or only mentioned in passing. With a focus on enumerative approaches that count languages in the LL, there was less attention to the study of hybridity and anti-normative bottom-up creativities as an integral part of multilingualism in the city. In our work we understand the city as a ‘relatively large and permanent settlement endowed with a particular administrative, legal or historical status’ (Ben Rafael et al. 2010: xii). As the capital of Greece with a long history and more than 3 million inhabitants in its wider urban area, Athens is a big modern city or a metropolis (Maragos 2018). As a modern metropolis, it has a distinct city centre that becomes a pole of attraction ‘for residents of quarters far from the centre who live on the outskirts or in rural areas: old-timers rub shoulders with immigrants and tourists here’ (Ben Rafael et al. 2010: xiii). The diversity of people who live, work and move in and through the urban areas tends to be reflected in the city’s LL and the multilingual signs that abound in the public space. The multilingual signs discussed in this chapter appear in two distinct urban spaces of Athens: the Athens International Airport, located 20 kilometres to the east of the city centre, and the neighbourhood of Eksarcheia in central Athens. The choice of the two areas is motivated by Stroud and Jegels’s (2014) distinction between transit spaces and lived-in spaces. Transit spaces are understood as the urban zones that operate as a portal through which one can enter and access particular areas, neighbourhoods and cities. The city’s international airport represents one of the key transit zones through which locals and outsiders enter the city of Athens. It is worthy of investigation because, as noted by Stroud and Jegels (2014: 188), such zones ‘function as a facade—an imaginative representation of the community for outsiders’. On the other hand, lived-in spaces refer to areas where people live, work, raise families, eat, go out and get through the day (Stroud and Jegels 2014: 191). The neighbourhood of Eksarcheia historically represents one such space: throughout the 20th century, generations of Athenians were born and brought up in the area and, despite the presence of more transient groups (such as tourists, refugees and anti-establishment groups), the area is still populated by a large number of people who live, study, work and socialize locally. 281

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While a large part of LL research is concerned with patterns of prominence and language preference, as well as frequencies of such patterns, we have opted for a qualitative approach in our analysis. Taking as our unit of analysis the sign in its specific spatio-temporal location, we employ the following heuristics in order to study phenomena of trans-scripting in the urban LL: 1 2 3 4

Where and when: focus on the textual and spatio-temporal context where trans-scripting is present (or notably absent) in public signs What and how: focus on the specific trans-scripted forms and their respelling orientations (e.g., orientation to phonetic or visual/aesthetic aspects of languaging) Who and to/for whom: focus on the producers of the signs and the potential audiences addressed or invoked by the design of these signs What for: focus on the symbolic meanings associated with or mobilized by such signs and on the potential indexicalities of wider regulatory, historical or normative discourses and subjectivities invoked

For the purposes of this chapter, we draw on our ongoing research on trans-scripting in the city, which so far has resulted in a corpus of approximately 80 pictures of public signs. The signs were gathered through a guerrilla collection and curation of moments of trans-scripting in the urban landscape of Athens, as and when these became known and visible to us. This method was motivated by the fact that manifestations of trans-scripting and creative respellings of English-related forms are particularly elusive and often marginal. This means that it would have been difficult to capture the fleeting and unpredictable trans-scripting moments if our focus had been set a priori on a specific site or a single neighbourhood community. To supplement our own collection of signs, we also used crowdsourcing techniques that allowed us a glimpse into how the people who live and walk the Athenian cityscape engage with it. The crowdsourcing of signs was based on social media sharing and facilitated through a Facebook group that we created as a hub for group members by inviting people from our own networks and the networks of these people. This approach is consistent with the method of ‘guerilla ethnography, i.e., seizing the opportunity to use whatever methods are possible under the circumstances of each particular context’ (Androutsopoulos 2008: 9). Through that process we have decided to zoom in on the two aforementioned urban areas that represent two distinct, yet complementary, types of spaces: the transit zone of the international airport of Athens and the lived-in space of the Eksarcheia neighbourhood.

The transit space of the Athens International Airport The LL of the Athens International Airport is populated by a plethora of signs, some of which are issued by public authorities, such as the signs pointing to particular areas within the airport, and others that are designed by individuals or businesses less restricted by—yet operating within—the limits of authorized regulations, such as commercial shop signs. As mentioned before, the main linguistic resources dominating public signs are Greek and English represented in their associated writing systems, i.e., Greek and Roman alphabet, respectively. The specific configuration of these resources, though, varies across the signs depending on their functions and their emplacement in the public space of the airport. The official and, thus, heavily regulated signs, whose aim is to create a wayfinding system for the streams of visitors and travellers passing through, feature a combination of visual signage of wayfinding pictograms to indicate facilities in and around the airport. The pictograms are accompanied by written text in the local language (in this case, Greek) plus an additional 282

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language, most often English.1 These signs are clear instances of parallel-text bilingualism (Coupland 2012: 2), where the same content appears in two languages and where each form stands as a translation of the word in the ‘other’ language, as shown in Example 1.

Example 1 [visual wayfinding pictogram]

Πληροφορίες για Ανταποκρίσεις Transfer Information

Content in each language occupies a single line, and there is no mixing of resources other than their spatial coexistence with a related pictogram against the often coloured background of the signage, presenting a symmetrical configuration which is also followed in other signs in the airport. This parallel display, though, is not void of socioideological meaning as it places languages within a particular nexus of relationships. As argued by Sebba, in such texts, the symmetrical arrangement is a visual metaphor for equality, the content equivalence is a response to assumed monolingualism or a preference for literacy in one of the languages only, while the absence of mixing is a response to a pervasive ideology of monolingualism and purism and a preference for standard forms. (Sebba 2013: 109) Indeed, the heavily regulated official signs at the airport align with the normative frames of standardization and monolingualism that have been dominant language ideologies in Greece throughout the 20th century, as already mentioned. However, being less restricted by official regulations, commercial shop signs rarely present this pattern of parallel-text bilingualism where all content appears symmetrically in both languages. Instead, language resources are deployed at times separately and other times combined. An example of such creative blendings is evident in a sign placed in the sitting area of a restaurant/café at the departures hall that reads as: YIASSAS! The phrase in Roman characters is a phonetic respelling of the local greeting formula ‘Γεια σας!’ and translates as ‘Goodbye’. This practice of using the Roman script to represent Greek words draws on and alludes to the digital literacy practice of Romanizing local scripts and the aforementioned case of greeklish.2 The orientation of the phonetic respelling that represents the greeting as one word and introduces a double ‘s’ to instruct a more ‘authentic’ pronunciation (/s/, rather than /z/ if re-spelt as ‘yiasas’) points towards an orientation to a non-local audience, which contributes to the construction of the airport as a non-local, transit space. We will focus on languaging in the airport’s campaign ‘PerhaΨ you’re an Aθenian too’, which aimed to promote tourism and Athens as a top city break destination.3 As Thurlow and Jaworski (2011: 287) note, tourism is ‘an intensely social and communicative business’, in addition to being an economic and political business and in many respects ‘the ideal industry for global capitalism because it is highly flexible, constantly reflexive and deeply semiotic’. As such, it is an apt site for languaging as a practice that is potentially mediatized and commoditized.

The campaign ‘PerhaΨ you’re an Aθenian too’ The campaign in question was run by the Athens International Airport and Marketing Greece in different launch phases from 2014–2016. It was based on a so-called creative marketing 283

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approach, which aimed to promote the city across 18 international airports and reach new audiences and markets. This creative marketing approach involved, more specifically, a multisite campaign that included print posters, (social) media marketing and live events in various locations. It was launched at different temporal points and sought to get people to engage, participate and co-create the experience of being in Athens through sharing travel experiences, joining in immersive, live events and becoming part of a ‘community’ of the city of Athens. In that respect, the campaign distances itself from the package holiday model of tourism and proposes a touristic experience steeped in the local ‘languaculture’ (Agar 1994), which is reimagined through a participatory languaging practice. Having sketched out the main components of the location of the trans-scripting phenomena under focus across digital and physical contexts (e.g., social media and print posters), we now move on to the description of its temporal setting(s), covering the first heuristic of where and when. In its first phase in 2014, visitors to the city of Athens were invited to participate in the campaign on the website ( and use the related hashtag (#Iamanathenian) for sharing moments from their life in Athens that entitled them to ‘becoming an Athenian, too’. In its second phase in 2015 the campaign focused on transforming the Athenians into digital ‘Aθenians’ through the launch of an app called: ‘Speak Aθenian. Be an Aθenian’. Using this app, visitors were invited to share photos or describe personal moments in the city and ‘earn the right to BE AN ATHENIAN’ by ‘adopting the new vernacular’ of ‘Aθenian’. This was achieved by sharing moments of, for example, reaching a creative climax with an Artgasm or feeling Ecstasea on the beach. These new words that make up the vocabulary of this ‘new’ language are based on blends of Greek and Roman alphabetical characters (e.g., PerhaΨ, Aθens) and further mixes of forms associated with resources from both languages (e.g., Philosofa, Ecstasea). The terms featured in posters with glosses at the city’s airport and metro stations and across 18 airports (see Figure 17.1).

Figure 17.1 The campaign poster on an airport wall, featuring one of the new Aθenian words, Ecstasea, a blend of Ecstasy + Sea and glossed as: ‘In Athens, you’re never more than an hour away from a beautiful coast and exhilarating dip’. 284

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In this phase of the campaign, visitors to Athens were invited to take up ‘their new citizenship’ and ‘to embrace, use and play with the new words of the new language’ (ImAnAthenian n.d.). On the campaign’s website, speaking ‘Athenian’ is presented as an ‘experience’: Today, a beautiful confluence of ancient and modern, vibrancy and splendor, tradition and cosmopolitanism, will leave you breathless, at a loss for words. For this reason, an exciting, sparkling new vocabulary has arrived on the scene; one to grab your attention and fire your imagination. It reflects the creative new energies on the move in this contemporary European capital. But it also tips its hat to the city’s richly layered history as a source of inspiration. It makes sense of wanting to BE AN ATHENIAN. (ImAnAthenian n.d.) In 2016, the campaign was supplemented by live events, inviting participants to immerse themselves in authenticating staged experiences (e.g., food tasting events), which are, however, beyond the scope of this analysis. Moving on to the consideration of the what and how heuristics now, we notice that across this advertising campaign, trans-scripting phenomena are attested in the non-space of the transit zone of the airport as well as the digital spaces that become associated with it (and the campaign). In the first phase, trans-scripting is limited to single graphemes (Θ, Φ, Π, Σ, Λ) in the space of English words, as evident in the campaign’s logo (Perhaps you’re an AΘenian too) and its variations in the posters’ message (An AΘenian keeΠs on making history*; An AΘenian is a Φun enthusiast*; An AΘenian Φinds harmony in nature*; An AΘenian enjoys a bΛue paradise*; An AΘenian enjoys a plethora* of taΣtes; An AΘenian can Σee comedy* in tragedy*; An AΘenian knowΣ about philoxenia*; An AΘenian reinvents claΣΣical myths*). Words in asterisks are glossed for the Greek word they are derived from and their pronunciation; for example, ‘history’ is glossed as ‘derived from the Greek word: Ιστορία (e-sto-réa)’. The individual graphemes are selected from the Greek alphabet on account of their difference from the Roman alphabet and their ecumenical appeal, given that these phonemes are also commonly used as mathematical symbols. Their use foregrounds their ‘exotic’ appeal and, at the same time, contributes to visually sketching the idea of ‘Greekness’. Their visual prominence is further highlighted by changes in font (see, for example, the different fonts used in ‘this is αthεΝs’ in Figure 17.1) or the use of capitals to mark the Greek-alphabet letters in the main text of the campaign: ‘PerhaΨ’, ‘AΘenian’, ‘taΣtes’. It is, however, noteworthy that in the context of promotional phrases used in social media campaigns, all Greek characters are omitted in favour of monoscriptual slogans in order to facilitate wider sharing and dissemination in the digital mediascape. Similarly, in the second phase of the campaign, languaging is mobilized as a participatory resource through blends of Greek and English elements into new words written in Latin script, such as Ecstasea (see Figure 17.1), proposed as part of the ‘new’ Athenian language. The use of Latin alphabet seems to be preferred here to maximize the potential of its sharing on social media in participant visitors’ posts or hashtags. The playful textualizations of the two languages, mobilizing scripts for the visual or sharing potential, are exemplary enactments of banal globalization that Thurlow and Jaworski (2011) describe as the everyday, micro-level ways in which the social meanings and material effects of globalization are realized. Trans-scripting in this context of advertising in the non-place of the airport and metro station foregrounds an orientation to hybrid linguistic forms that project a hybrid cosmopolitan identity for the city and the country. They construct and distribute 285

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commodified authenticities in and through advertising discourse that are oriented to tourists, visitors but also locals. As Heller (2014: 4) notes: Language is one way to produce authenticity (although by no means the only one) . . . The trick is to balance authenticity (a tie to the local, to the face-to-face scale of human relations) with marketability, that is, the local product with the, if not global, at least international market. Here, the production of ‘glocalizing’ authenticities through languaging and trans-scripting, in particular, is an integral part of the city branding strategies as a unique tourist destination that betray an alignment with discourses of global English as an emblem of cosmopolitanism, on the one hand, and with discourses of the Greek alphabet and its associations with ancient Greece as emblems of ecumenicality, on the other.

The lived-in space of Eksarcheia Leaving the transit space of the Athenian airport, we are moving west towards the centre of Athens and the neighbourhood of Eksarcheia. The area represents a lived-in space: it is developed around a main square and hosts a buzzing crowd of local residents, shop owners, and university and school students who live in the adjacent apartment blocks, frequent the local shops and businesses, and study at the local schools and the National Technical University of Athens (one of the most prestigious engineering schools in Greece). At the same time, though, Eksarcheia can be seen as a liminal space due to the high number of tourists attracted by its central location, and of refugees who find shelter in old and deserted buildings of the area. The national and international discourses about the alternative and anti-establishment groups that are also present in the area further contribute to its construction as a liminal and, potentially, dangerous space. This is particularly evident in the US State Department (2018) travel warning, according to which ‘American citizens should exercise caution in Eksarchia square and its vicinity . . . [V]iolent anarchists often gather in . . . the Eksarchia and Omonia Squares in Athens, before marching toward the city center’. Compared to the LL of the airport that is to a greater or lesser extent regulated, the area includes not only top-down signs produced by local authorities (e.g., road signs) but also a wider range of bottom-up signs such as posters, local announcements and various types of graffiti, including political or other slogans, stencils, tags and other mural art. Similar to what was evidenced at the airport, top-down signs, such as road signs, arrange the two languages in the format of parallel-text bilingualism, where the text appears first in Greek and then in English. As mentioned in the previous section, this spatial representation reflects and constitutes an ideological positioning that sees the two languages as separate and orients to an ideal of a functional parallel bilingualism: each language addresses a different audience, i.e., Greek for the assumed monolingual audience of locals vs. English for the non-locals. Leaving such topdown signs aside, we will shift our focus on bottom-up languaging as manifest in the graffiti of the area. Figure 17.2 captures a graffiti on the wall of one of the neighbourhood schools, only a block away from the area’s main square. The visuals paint a portrait of the so-called FIREBNB (see bottom area of the graffiti), a play on the name of the site for booking short-term accommodation, Airbnb. Similar to the visuals of the popular site, a map of an urban area is drawn with rent prices marked on top of individual buildings but with flames coming out of the flats. The visual parody of the popular platform that sets the neighbourhood on fire illustrates the tension 286

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Figure 17.2 The graffiti on the wall of a local high school

that the presence of tourists and similar aspects of commodified mobility have brought to the lived-in space of the city. In addition to the visuals, the language and graphemic resources are also deployed in ways that make a parody of the parallel-text bilingualism noted in top-down texts that address the locals and non-locals in the area. Rather than finding the Greek text (ταξιδιωτικος οδηγος) in the prominent position, we notice the English translation appearing first. Nevertheless, it is scripted in a way that phonetically approximates the English form but does not conform to the standard orthography (turist guide). This ungrammaticality at the level of spelling is in stark contrast with the orthographically oriented Romanization of the area’s name at the very top of the graffiti (Exarcheia; cf. the phonetically oriented respelling. ‘Eksarchia’ in the US travel warning above). Such tensions between different orientations of scripting within the same text (e.g., orthographic vs. unorthographic/misspelt) underline the parodic element of the bottom-up languaging. Visual and graphemic resources work together to subvert the topdown practices of parallel bilingualism and the social media app’s monetized representation of the area as a tourist attraction. In this context, parody and subversion become resources for critiquing the intense commodification of the area’s flats and of the locals’ lived-in spaces over the recent years. While the previous graffiti orients to tourism and top-down discourses that follow the pattern of parallel-text bilingualism and keep languages apart, we will turn to other bottom-up languaging practices in the next section. More particularly, we will focus on graffiti in the area that capture instances of trans-scripting and feature the aforementioned mixing and meshing of language, graphemic and other semiotic resources. By applying the aforementioned heuristics, 287

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we will investigate the ways in which trans-scripting is emplaced in such subversive signs, as well as their indexical potential in the specific LL.

‘Love is in the air’ at the Eksarcheia squat Following the internal mobility of local Athenians from the centre to the suburbs in the 1980s–1990s, there are a number of old and deserted buildings in the city centre and particularly in the area of Eksarcheia. Some of them have been turned into squats occupied by homeless locals, anti-establishment groups and, more recently, refugees. Figure 17.3 features the wall of such a squat where, next to the window in the centre of the picture, we notice the respelling of English words with Greek letters and read the handwritten slogan: λαβ ιζ ιν δι έαρ (love is in the air), followed by the heart sign. Applying our key heuristics for analyzing trans-scripting in the urban linguistic landscape, we focus first on the particular spatio-temporal and textual context of the graffiti. The squat whose wall is depicted in Figure 17.3 is known as Βανκούβερ Απαρτμαν (Vancouver Apartment). Occupied since June 2005 and located 1 kilometre away from Eksarcheia main square, it is one of the most active squats in the area, hosting a range of collective actions and events, together with its regular squatters (vancouver_apartman n.d.). Frequented by a range of local anti-establishment and anarchist groups, it has also repeatedly become the target of attacks from local fascist groups. The graffiti is emplaced within a space that is highly subversive and conflictual due to the squat’s tension with the establishment and local fascist groups; the two squat symbols, drawn on the two pillars in front of the building (see bottom part of the picture), also textually mark the anti-regulatory character of the specific landscape. At the same time, the picture was taken by one of our informants in May 2011, a month that was marked by violent attacks against immigrants, anti-racist demonstrations and clashes between the police, anarchists and fascist groups in the centre of Athens and the specific area, in particular. Taking into account, thus, the spatio-temporal context, the message of ‘love is in the air’ is spatially

Figure 17.3 The slogan on the wall of a local squat 288

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and temporally placed against the backdrop of extreme tension, conflict and open critique of the establishment. Moving on to what gets trans-scripted here, we note that the phrase that goes through this process of languaging is the title of a popular song in the 1980s, i.e., ‘Love is in the air’. The use of popular culture references that transcend the borders of local and national cultures is far from new in graffiti practice. For example, the protest song of the American hip hop group N.W.A. (Niggaz Wit Attitudes), ‘Fuck tha Police’, has been a staple of anti-establishment graffiti either in its original version or translated into French (‘Nique la police’, popularized through the soundtrack of the French movie ‘La haine’). What is distinct in Figure 17.3 is the practice of trans-scripting (rather than translating) the original phrase, i.e., respelling each word with Greek alphabetical characters. The respelling orientation is phonetic: the re-spelt forms are put together in a manner that orients to the acoustic quality of the English-related forms, rather than their visual representation. By doing so, the graffiti producers capitalize on the grapheme-sound associations of the local writing system and, thus, achieve to evoke a local accent of English activated, for example, by reading out the text. At the same time, the form έαρ, selected for the respelling of ‘air’, also orients to sociolinguistic indexicalities associated with local registers and styles. Based on previous research (Spilioti 2019), phonetic respellings of ‘air’ could have taken any of the following forms ερ, αιρ and έαρ. Out of these variants, the chosen έαρ is the only one that is a homonym with a Greek word that means ‘spring’ in certain local high registers. Through the process of trans-scripting, the popular song title has two potential meanings: (1) the original, love is in the air, and (2) love is in the spring. For the residents of the area who could smell tear gas and smoke in the air of that violent and highly conflictual spring, there is a parodic effect in this act of bottom-up trans-scripting. In terms of the potential audiences addressed through such public signs, the bottom-up trans-scripting of graffiti in the Athenian landscape has a contrasting effect compared to similar languaging phenomena at the international airport. The respelling of longer sequences, rather than individual graphemes, makes such forms opaque to the non-local audiences who may be familiar with the English forms but unable to participate in this type of scripting that cannot be associated with conventional writing. The play orients to the local ‘knowing’ audiences who can engage with and mobilize simultaneously multiple resources that are not only tied to certain languages and associated writing systems but also, more importantly, to multiple registers (e.g., high/low) and trans-local cultures (e.g., popular culture). Finally, the process of trans-scripting, documented in such graffiti, indicates the creation of a subversive discourse that (re)appropriates globally circulated resources and, consequently, combines them with and re-signifies them through the mobilization of local resources. Rather than simply aligning with global discourses of resistance through using or translating muchquoted slogans, this subversive discourse takes a more ambivalent stance and authenticates local voices of resistance that capitalize on local indexicalities (e.g., high/low registers) and orient to particular voices, such as Greek-accented English. The very act of meshing and mixing resources runs counter with the very strong national ideology of monolingualism and, thus, points to an anti-establishment stance. Yet, the parodic play targets not only the local establishment but also the global forces of late capitalism that make certain forms more mobile than others. Through the respelling of English-related forms, the recognizable global resources become less mobile and, at the same time, potentially opaque to non-locals. This inside joke reminds us of other cases of crossing through jocular and ungrammatical appropriations of particular language features. Like ‘mock Spanish’, for example, that serves to elevate ‘whiteness’ among Anglo-Americans (Hill 1998), the playful reappropriation of English in Athenian graffiti acts as an identity resource for the construction of an anti-institutional position for local 289

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resistance groups (cf. Serafis et al. 2018: 793). The difference with trans-scripting, though, compared to widely researched practices of crossing and (trans)languaging in spoken interaction, is that it makes such identity marking visually and visibly prominent in the LL.

Conclusion and future directions By looking at two distinct spaces in the city of Athens, we have shown how translation and trans-scripting are mobilized in the LL. Framing both phenomena as languaging practices, we have demonstrated how they offer a complementary approach to our understanding of multilingual signs in the city. On the one hand, top-down signs draw on translation practice in its traditional sense: they visually separate languages, together with their associated scripts, and the message is represented in both language A (local) and language B (non-local/global). On the other hand, bottom-up signs draw on and, at the same time, take issue with such representations by mixing and fusing linguistic, graphemic and other semiotic resources through trans-scripting. The contrastive focus on transit and lived-in spaces in the city has also shed light on how formally similar bottom-up linguistic energies, such as the forms of Hellenized English discussed in this chapter, are used as resources for marking different identities depending on their spatio-temporal emplacement, respelling processes, and audiences invoked. In the airport nonplace, for example, Hellenization in the form of individual grapheme respellings becomes a resource for city and national branding by producing and distributing commodified authenticities to tourists and locals alike. In the squat graffiti, though, trans-scripting of longer phrases becomes a resource of subversion in the city as it (re)signifies the English-related forms and construes a discourse that draws on local indexicalities and, thus, authenticates a voice of resistance to local, as well as global, hegemonies. In other words, our work underlines the ambivalence that characterizes trans-scripting practices, as they are based on creative play and resignification. In terms of how translation and trans-scripting can lead to rich cross-fertilizations, we note three important aspects that arise from this chapter. First, translation research benefits from an approach to translation as practice as it opens up to the everyday creativities evident in the mobilization of bottom-up linguistic energies in contemporary cities where languages are used as resources for ma(r)king identity and affect. Second, the study of trans-scripting beyond digital media and in the city broadens the scope of this rapidly developing area. More importantly, it demonstrates how such phenomena are not (only) the result of digital mediation, but they orient to and are placed against a wider range of languaging practices, including translation, that draw on the visual and physical arrangement of language and graphemic resources in space (e.g., on the page, on a public sign). Third, the dual focus on translation and trans-scripting fills a noticeable gap in translanguaging research where the mobilization of graphemic resources for languaging and issues of ‘scripting’, in general, have been largely overlooked (Baynham and Lee 2019). As for further research, our work on these new forms of English that echo and complement previously attested phenomena of ‘weird English’ (Ch’ien 2005) or ‘mock English’ (Pennycook 2007) points to potential links with wider processes of vernacularization and mediatization. For example, intertextual references to popular culture are evident throughout our examples of trans-scripting: in addition to the song reference in the graffiti, the advertising campaign includes the phrase ‘This is Athens’, echoing the now meme phrase ‘This is Sparta’ from the Hollywood film. This realization raises a question about the relevance of trans-scripting and vernacular creativities in writing to the study of language 290

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change in late modernity. Last but not least, trans-scripting illustrates a type of ‘participatory script’ as, particularly in the case of longer phrases, it invokes a knowing audience who needs to decipher the rather opaque text in order to enter the game. Taking this into account, one wonders not only about the indexical potential of such practices but also, more importantly, about the potential subjectivities and affective positions it opens for the engaged and engaging audiences.

Further reading Baynham, Mike and Tong King Lee (2019) Translation and Translanguaging, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. An engaging introduction to translation as practice, bringing together translation and translanguaging research and indicating how they can complement one another Blommaert, Jan (2013) Ethnography, Superdiversity and Linguistic Landscapes. Chronicles of Complexity, Bristol: Multilingual Matters. A compelling linguistic ethnographic account of the author’s own neighbourhood in Antwerp, Belgium, addressing issues of multilingualism in place from the complementary angles of sociolinguistics, complexity theory and linguistic landscapes Spilioti, Tereza (2019) ‘From transliteration to trans-scripting: Creativity and multilingual writing on the internet’, Discourse, Context & Media 29 (Article No. 100294), dcm.2019.03.001. A study of trans-scripting as a process of respelling that is both creative and critical in contexts of digital communication, through the lens of translanguaging research

Acknowledgements We would like to thank Dimitris Kitis for sharing his thoughts and some examples from his graffiti corpus. We also extend our heartfelt thanks to our participants in the Facebook group ‘Διαγλωσσικές Διαδρομές’ and, particularly, to Dimitris Labrinos, who let us use his picture of the squat graffiti (Figure 17.3).

Notes 1 For selected examples of signage across different airports, see airport-signage-photo-inspiration. 2 The use of the Roman alphabet for Greek names or words in shop signs has in some cases attracted strong reactions, as for example in the case of the city of Volos, where lawsuits were filed against shop owners who did not use the Greek alphabet on their shop signs (Moschonas 2004: 189). 3 See official trailer of the campaign on YouTube:

References Agar, Michael (1994) Language Shock: Understanding the Culture of Conversation, New York: William Morrow. Androutsopoulos, Jannis (2008) ‘Potentials and limitations of discourse-centred online ethnography’, Language@Internet 5(2): 185–205. Androutsopoulos, Jannis (2009) ‘ “Greeklish”: Transliteration practice and discourse in a setting of computer-mediated digraphia’, in Alexandra Georgakopoulou and Michael Silk (eds.) Standard Languages and Language Standards: Greek, Past and Present, Farman: Ashgate, 221–249. 291

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Androutsopoulos, Jannis (2014) ‘Computer-mediated communication and linguistic landscapes’, in Janet Holmes and Kirk Hazen (eds.) Research Methods in Sociolinguistics: A Practical Guide, Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons, 74–90. Androutsopoulos, Jannis (2015) ‘Networked multilingualism: Some language practices on Facebook and their implications’, International Journal of Bilingualism 19(2): 185–205. Androutsopoulos, Jannis (2020) ‘Trans-scripting as a multilingual practice: The case of Hellenised English’, International Journal of Multilingualism 17(3): 286–308. Baynham, Mike and Tong King Lee (2019) Translation and Translanguaging, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Ben-Rafael, Eliezer (2006) ‘Linguistic landscape as symbolic construction of the public space: The case of Israel’, International Journal of Multilingualism 3: 7–30. Ben-Rafael, Eliezer, Elana Shohamy and Monica Barni (2010) ‘Introduction: An approach to an “ordered disorder” ’, in Elana Shohamy, Eliezer Ben-Rafael and Monica Barni (eds.) Linguistic Landscape in the City, Bristol, Buffalo, NY and Toronto: Multilingual Matters, xi–xxviii. Blommaert, Jan (2013) Ethnography, Superdiversity and Linguistic Landscapes: Chronicles of Complexity, Bristol, Buffalo, NY and Toronto: Multilingual Matters. Cenoz, Jasone and Durk Gorter (2006) ‘Linguistic landscape and minority languages’, International Journal of Multilingualism 3(1): 67–80. Ch’ien, Evelyn Nien-Ming (2005) Weird English, Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press. Coupland, Nikolas (2012) ‘Bilingualism on display: The framing of Welsh and English in Welsh public spaces’, Language in Society 41: 1–27. Garcia, Ofelia and Li Wei (2014) Translanguaging: Language, Bilingualism and Education, London: Palgrave Macmillan. Greenberg, Robert (2010) ‘Sociolinguistics in the Balkans’, in Martin Ball (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Sociolinguistics around the World, Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 372–385. Heller, Monica (2010) ‘The commodification of language’, Annual Review of Anthropology 39: 101–114. Heller, Monica (2014) ‘The commodification of authenticity’, in Veronique Lacoste, Jakob Leimgruber and Thiemo Breyer (eds.) Indexing Authenticity: Sociolinguistic Perspectives, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 112–136. Hill, Jane (1998) ‘Language, race, and white public space’, American Anthropologist 100(3): 680–689. ImAnAthenian (n.d.) ‘The word on the street is it’s time to be an Athenian’, Webpage, http://imanathenian. com/the-word-on-the-street-is-its-time-to-be-an-athenian/ (accessed 12 March 2020). Jørgensen, Jens, Martha Karrebæk, Lian Madsen and Janus Møller (2011) ‘Polylanguaging in Superdiversity’, Diversities 13(2): 23–37. Kelly-Holmes, Helen (2005) Advertising as Multilingual Communication, London: Palgrave Macmillan. Koutsogiannis,  Dimitris and  Bessie Mitsikopoulou  (2003) ‘Greeklish and Greekness: Trends and discourses of “Glocalness” ’, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 9(1): n.p. Li, Wei (2018) ‘Translanguaging as a practical theory of language’, Applied Linguistics 39(1): 9–30. Li, Wei and Zhu Hua (2019) ‘Tranßcripting: Playful subversion with Chinese characters’, International Journal of Multilingualism 16(2): 145–161. Maragos, Alexandros (2018) ‘City of Athens—A portrait of a changing metropolis’, watch?v=9Dm57Ed-2KU (accessed 12 March 2020). Moschonas, Spiros (2004) ‘Relativism in Language Ideology’, Journal of Modern Greek Studies 22(2): 173–206. Nikolaou, Alexander (2017) ‘Mapping the linguistic landscape of Athens: The case of shop signs’, International Journal of Multilingualism 14(2): 160–182. Pennycook, Alistair (2007) Global Englishes and Transcultural Flows, Abingdon and New York: Routledge. Seargeant, Philip and Korina Giaxoglou (2020) ‘Discourse and the linguistic landscape’, in Anna De Fina and Alexandra Georgakopoulou (eds.) The Cambridge Handbook of Discourse Studies, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 306–326. Sebba, Mark (2013) ‘Multilingualism in written discourse: An approach to the analysis of multilingual texts’, The International Journal of Bilingualism 17(1): 97–118. 292

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Serafis, Dimitris, Dimitris Kitis and Argiris Archakis (2018) ‘Graffiti slogans and the construction of collective identity: Evidence from anti-austerity protests in Greece’, Text & Talk 38(6): 775–797. Spilioti, Tereza (2017) ‘Lost in trans-scripting: Spelling variability and creativity in digital communication’, Paper presented at the 13th International Conference on Greek Linguistics, 7–9 September 2017, University of Westminster. Spilioti, Tereza (2019) ‘From transliteration to trans-scripting: Creativity and multilingual writing on the internet’, Discourse, Context & Media 29 (Article No. 100294), dcm.2019.03.001. Stroud, Christopher and Dmitri Jegels (2014) ‘Semiotic landscapes and mobile narrations of place: Performing the local’, International Journal of the Sociology of Language 228: 179–199. Thurlow, Crispin and Adam Jaworski (2011) ‘Tourism discourse: Languages and banal globalization’, Applied Linguistics Review 2: 285–312. Tseliga, Theodora (2007) ‘ “It’s all Greeklish to me!” Linguistic and sociocultural perspectives on Roman-alphabeted Greek in asynchronous computer-mediated communication’, in Brenda Danet and Susan Herring (eds.) The Multilingual Internet: Language, Culture and Communication Online, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 116–141. Tsiplakou, Stavroula (2017) ‘Urban language landscapes and dialects: Places in Nicosia’ [in Greek], in Despina Papadopoulou and Alexandros Tantos (eds.) Studies in Greek Linguistics 37: Proceedings of the Annual Meetings of the Department of Linguistics, Thessaloniki: Institute of Modern Greek Studies, 727–746. US State Department (2018) ‘Greece 2018 crime  & safety report’, 2 February  2018, Content/Report/61ba1add-d930-4e60-a3cb-15f4ae4b4727 (accessed 12 March 2020). Van Dijk, Teun A. (1998) Ideology: A Multidisciplinary Approach, London: Sage. Van Dijk, Teun A. (2014) Discourse and Knowledge, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Vancouver_apartman (n.d.) ‘A few words about the squat’ [in Greek], Weblog, https://vancouvera (accessed 12 March 2020).


18 Counter-mapping the city in Dakar A de-authorized translation Myriam Suchet and Sarah Mekdjian

Introduction This text mobilizes translation as an exploratory and in-constant-reshaping tool. Rather than the hackneyed and inaccurate bridge metaphor, the image of a strudel will progressively appear rolling as we move from a spatial to a cinematographic standpoint on the act of translating. Rather than referring or escaping to ‘another’ world, ‘another’ space, or ‘other’ edge, our aim is to take seriously into account what is present. Counter-mapping may refer to many heterogeneous practices (Crampton and Krygier 2005; cf. Italiano, this volume). We understand counter-mapping as a way to intensify the sense of what is already here. As far as ‘de-authorization’ is concerned, we (Sarah Mekdjian and Myriam Suchet, cosigning here as collective subject) mean an ongoing attempt of undermining a so-called sovereign authority. Notably (and not exhaustively), de-authorizing means: multiplying points of view from an indisciplinary perspective, performing heterolingual enunciations, re-verifying the equality of intelligences, mentioning our co-dependencies, alliances, partnerships, comforts and discomforts, paying attention to conscious and unconscious power relations, etc. Needless to say, we do not believe any language to be a transparent medium of ‘communication’ and ‘knowledge transfer’! Our departing point will be a golf course located in the immediate suburbs of Dakar, which was moved in the early 2000s due to real estate speculation and rebuilt in the Niayes, a large zone of forests and wetlands in the suburbs of Dakar, a few kilometres from its initial and colonial location. Despite all efforts, the Golf Club has never been profitable. It never really attracted players, as other golf courses integrated into seaside resorts were becoming more and more attractive. The lawn could never grow on salty, too dry or too flooded soils depending on the season. The destruction served the enclosure of the land that was, until then, governed by the common uses of people living around the Niayes and people from other regions of Senegal who came to cultivate and harvest the soil. We are writing this text from France after Sarah Mekdjian spent seven months in Dakar, where she worked together with Kader Ndong, a friend and an inhabitant directly hit by the destruction of the Niayes. They worked on a film, still under construction, that deals with the spatio-temporal folds linked to the destruction of the Niayes. Myriam Suchet joined them for a brief stay. Translation, both as practice and theoretical framework, is Myriam’s main 294

Counter-mapping the city in Dakar

contribution to Sarah and Kader’s ongoing reflection. The chapter we are presenting here, as a continuation and transformation of the filmic experience, is a way of intensifying the sense of our co-dependencies and cooperations. Gestures such as de-authorizing, de-expertifying maps and testing them with co-dependencies establish what we value right here and right now: desirable and reciprocal alliances that can make our lives livable.

Landing in the Golf Club: what an uncanny place to be! Histories: the Niayes, the Golf Club and our walks During a six-month stay in Dakar in 2018 and 2019 as part of university leave, I (Sarah) spent a lot of time with Kader Ndong, a friend of mine and my family who lives in the suburban department of Guédiawaye, and more precisely in the municipality called Golf Sud, overlooking the Niayes and a ruined Golf Club. As of the 2013 Census of Population, the metropolitan region of Dakar had a population of 3.1 million, more than double that of the previous census (1.3 million in 1988) (Diaz Olvera et al. 2020). The rate of population growth is high (+3% annually), especially in the two main suburban departments: Pikine and Guédiawaye, although it has been declining since the 2000s (ibid.). ‘Niayes’ is the Wolof term used to refer to a vast 180-kilometre coastal strip of wetlands and forests that stretches from the suburbs of Dakar, 15 kilometres northeast of the hypercentre of the capital, to the Senegal River valley in the north of the country. These wetlands are protected from the coast by dune barriers, and therefore are called ‘interdunal depressions’. In Pikine and Guédiawaye, the fast-growing suburbs of Dakar, the Niayes cover 4,800 hectares. In a study on the dynamics of land uses in the Niayes of Dakar from 1942 to 2014, a collective of hydrologists, geographers, naturalists and environmentalists noted a decrease in the Niayes’ water areas in favour of urbanization, property speculation and the expansion of the road network (Diop et al. 2018). Speaking in terms of areas—water, bare, urbanized areas, etc.—is both a process that allows us to qualify certain attributes of these lands but also contributes to reducing all the gradient effects, which organize the interdependence of these spatio-temporal relations. In an interface position, the wetlands are neither terrestrial nor aquatic environments. They are in differential continuity with more terrestrial and more aquatic environments, distinguished by hydromorphic or non-evolved soils, and/or a dominant vegetation composed of hydrophilic plants for at least part of the year. Urban agriculture is the most widespread use in the Niayes, which are also paradoxically used in many places as an open landfill, in a context of a lack of sanitation infrastructure and rapidly increasing urban densities. Through their biogeographic and seasonal instability, the Niayes resist any classical mapping that would assign a surface with a qualifier or a unique use. The development of a failed golf course in the early 2000s on 108 hectares of land in the Niayes left a huge ruin, which can be understood as a failure but also, on the contrary, as a necessary and successful step in the strategy of dispossessing the inhabitants of this area, its desertification as a preparation for being controlled, regulated and developed by property developers. We are confronted with a speculative privatization that parcelled out the land. In our long and frequent talks in Golf Sud, Kader expressed several interrelated problems about the Niayes and the neighbourhood: •

The lack of running water in the district while water is present in the abandoned golf course in pipes in a water tower built under the French colonization, overlooking the district and serving the rest of the city of Dakar 295

Myriam Suchet and Sarah Mekdjian

• •

The lack of care of the ruined and privatized Niayes after the bankruptcy of the golf course The dispossession of the common uses of the Niayes by the past uses of the golf course and the actual uses of land developers, in particular the destruction and dispossession of resources that were—at least partly—taken care of as commons (e.g., water, medicinal plants, wildlife that allowed hunting uses, landscapes) The lack of care of the cornice between the Niayes and the commune, largely occupied by an open dump

A domesticating mode of translation Invited by Sarah to join her in Dakar in December 2018, I (Myriam) experienced walking in the Niayes with them. The paradoxes formulated by Kader struck me strongly. The experience of the Golf Club was even more unsettling than I had expected: the building stands like a spaceship, or a mirage (Figure 18.1). It seems absurd, displaced—and I feel myself out of space, floating. As far as the Niayes are concerned, the colonial hegemony is very tangible: the Golf Club inscribes an exogenous imaginary that violently obliterates the coordinates of the location where it takes place. Such an obliteration recalls the all-too-common domesticating mode of translation, whereby terms and realia considered as ‘foreign’ disappear by erasure or adaptation in the ‘target language’. The Golf Club thus appears to materialize the act of translating the actual land (a coastal strip of vivid and inhabited wetlands) into a colonial imaginary (a sports facility). Or is it the other way around: translating the imperialist perspective upon

Figure 18.1 The building standing like a spaceship or a mirage (Credit: Myriam Suchet) 296

Counter-mapping the city in Dakar

the colonized territory? Either way, a forced and immobile displacement has taken place on the very location where we stand.

The movie in the making and the issue of time A de-authorized gesture for research While we frequently talked with Kader about the paradoxes and violence of the situation in Golf Sud and the Niayes, Kader asked me (Sarah) to use my academic authority, also as a French woman, to obtain meetings with persons considered as local authorities and experts, and try to challenge their authorities as well as mine. With Kader, we went together to the offices of hydrologists and geographers; we met the members of the naturalist association Nature Communauté Développement (NCD), which is involved in ornithology in the Niayes and rents its premises in the former disused Golf Clubhouse. We met members of local public authorities, representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) specialized in urban sanitation and drinking water supply. A survey began to develop with a lot of discomfort, dissatisfaction and feelings of powerlessness. We have drawn maps of the commune of Golf Sud and the Niayes in the present (Figure 18.2), figuring conflicts (e.g., the existence of the water tower that dominates the district and the lack of water, the existence of the ruins of the golf course, the waste thrown into the Niayes and the absence of garbage collection). Drawing these maps allowed us to affirm a first form of presence, a way of acting in connection with the Niayes. We wanted to intensify it by walking in the Niayes (Figure 18.3), tracing routes with our bodies and talking about the place from these very places. After long discussions, Kader and I (Sarah) decided to co-direct a documentary on this violent situation of domestication. The introduction of the camera meant the presence of an

Figure 18.2 Counter-mapping the Niayes in Dakar (Image capture in Hanter, tracer. Haunting, tracing, 2019, film under construction. Credit: Sarah Mekdjian and Kader Ndong) 297

Myriam Suchet and Sarah Mekdjian

Figure 18.3 Walking (Image capture in Hanter, tracer. Haunting, tracing, 2019, film under construction. Credit: Sarah Mekdjian and Kader Ndong)

unknown audience, which helped us to formulate and clarify our intentions. With the film, which implied for us a physical presence in the Niayes, we worked on a way of being present in the situation that would intensify our questionings and uncomfortable feelings. Sarah is an institutionalized geographer so the movie shows maps, but the maps are not filmed to introduce an expert point of view on the situation. They are co-designed by Sarah and Kader and look like work tools that are part of their creative process. In the film, the maps appear relatively late, after plunging in the landscape and they keep modifying and changing perspective, for instance when Kader draws a map with water and feathers in the sand (Figure 18.4). As you can see in Figure 18.4, translation takes place in the subtitles and seems to operate a double function: first, rendering in French what Kader is uttering in Wolof (with occasional words of French, including non-standard or idolectic sayings, such as ‘en-avant’); second, articulating a voice that stems neither from the searcher’s overhang nor from the informant’s posture. Indeed, it is neither Sarah nor Kader who speaks in the subtitles, but a hybrid actor that might correspond to Yves Bonny’s description of a ‘research-action cooperation’, where the categories of ‘searcher’ and ‘practitioner’ unravel without confusing the respective identities, roles and contributions (Bonny 2015: 37). In the movie, Kader is less an informant, an expert or a co-researcher than a partner with whom each of these polarities might be re-defined. The main articulation seems to be the one of gestures. Most of their former purposes have vanished: why fish in a lake with no fishes or set a trap for long-gone birds? Watching Kader moving in the Niayes reveals what extinction really means: not only the disappearance of this or that species—and its inevitable impact on other species—but also the very concrete disappearance of certain ways of standing, walking and inhabiting the world in configuration with all that is around, outside and within. As Alexis Zimmer puts it (2018: 179), extinction probably means less ‘the vanishing of certain isolated species, their eviction of the classifications’ grids, but rather the vanishing of entire worlds, fragile and contingent arrangements 298

Counter-mapping the city in Dakar

Figure 18.4 Counter-mapping the Niayes in the sand (Image capture in Hanter, tracer. Haunting, tracing, 2019, film under construction. Credit: Sarah Mekdjian and Kader Ndong)

that required, for some, millions of years to stabilize’. Holding the camera becomes a gesture in response, whereby research resonates with past and current possibilities to move and act.

Future anterior (not so perfect): dealing with catastrophic time is/in the present While accompanying Sarah and Kader filming, Kader’s use of ‘en-avant’ struck me (Myriam). Although obviously referring to the past (‘previously’), Kader’s ‘en-avant’ indicates a movement occurring in the present (‘let’s go’). In the film, Kader does not only show previous gestures (the one he used to accomplish in his childhood, such as fishing or making his way through a deep bush), but also performs them anew. The camera is an occasion for remembrance, but also gives the opportunity to invent unprecedented destinations for each gesture. Various attempts are made, recently, to decipher possible ways and forms of living in the ruins (Scott 2019; Tsing Lowenhaupt 2015). According to Josep Rafanell i Orra (2018: 37), ‘what is at stakes is not to learn how to live in the ruins but how to ruin the project of totalizing the world’. We experience here a telescoping of times. As a matter of fact, the Golf Club as futuristic installation will have been (in the past) and already no longer exists (now), in a crazy succession of times. Here again, translation appears fruitful to better grasp what is at stake. In his 1921 introduction to the translation of Baudelaire’s T