Translation, hospitality and conflict: Language mediators as an activist community of practice across the Mediterranean

Annarita Taronna

Abstract


This article reports on a research project that involved conducting interviews with a group of language mediators who assisted the newlyarrived migrants in Southern Italy by not only interpreting for them, but also advising and helping the “boat people” to claim and negotiate their rights in the hosting country. Interview questions addressed a range of urgent issues, many of which demonstrate how the practice of language mediation is particularly relevant in today’s context of migration emergency.  Indeed, it profoundly shapes how we think about terms such as language, negotiation, contact, conflict, hospitality and community, and how we consider the roles of the mediators in building effective cross-border solidarity networks in real time.  However, the interview answers do not provide an idealistic and idealized vision of welcoming the other. Rather, they outline a geography of proximity marked by the ancient hospes–hostis dichotomy that connotes the complexity, the ambiguity, the uncertainty, the unpredictability and the contingency  characteristic of relations with the other.


Keywords


translation; language mediation; hospitality; activism; EFL

Full Text:

PDF

References


Agamben, G. (2003). Stato di eccezione. Torino: Bollati Boringheri [English translation: State of exception. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008].

Appadurai, A. (1996). Modernity at large: Cultural dimensions of globalization. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Baker, M. (2006). Translation and activism: Emerging patterns of narrative community. The Massachusetts Review, 47(3), 462–484.

Baker, M. (2008). Ethics of Renarration – Mona Baker is Interviewed by Andrew Chesterman, Cultus 1:1, 10-33., available at http://www.monabaker.com/documents/CULTUSInterviewFinal.pdf

Baker, M. (2013). Translation as an alternative space for political action. Social Movement Studies: Journal of Social, Cultural and Political Protest, 12(1), 23–47.

Canajarajah, S. (2013). Translingual practice. Global Englishes and cosmopolitan relations. London: Routledge.

Cohen, R. (2001). Language and conflict resolution: The limits of English 
author(s). International Studies Review, 3(1) 25–51.

Derrida, J. (2000). Hostipitality. In Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, Vol. 5, Num. 3, December 2000.

Firth, A. (1996). The discursive accomplishment of normality: On ‘lingua franca’ English and conversation analysis. Journal of Pragmatics, 26, 237–259.

Gavioli, L. (2014). La mediazione linguistico-culturale: Una prospettiva interazionista. Guerra edizioni: Perugia.

Gramigna, V. (ed.) (2007). Interview with Antonio Prete. In Tradurre. Voci dagli « altri ». Bari: Edizioni B.A. Graphis, 123-130.

Guido, M. (2008). English as a lingua franca in cross-cultural immigration domains. Bern: Peter Lang.

Gumperz, J. (1982). Discourse strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Italian Red Cross, (n.d.). (ANSA) Volontario egiziano, a Lampedusa 70 ore senza dormire. Mediatore culturale della CRI, "tranquillizzo parlando in arabo". Retrieved from http://www.cri.it/flex/cm/pages/ServeBLOB.php/L/IT/IDPagina/7825.

Kachru, B. (1990). The alchemy of English. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press.

Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Määttä, S. (2015) Interpreting the discourse of reporting: The case of screening interviews with asylum seekers and police interviews in Finland. The International Journal of Translation and Interpreting Research, 7(3), 21–35.

Mauranen, A. (2007). Hybrid voices: English as the lingua franca of academics. In K. Føttum (Ed.), Language and discipline perspectives on academic discourse (pp. 243–259). Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars.

Meierkord, C. (2004). Syntactic variation in interactions across international Englishes. English worldwide, 25(1), 109–132.

Merlini, R. (2009). Seeking asylum and seeking identity in a mediated encounter. Interpreting, 18(1), 57–92.

Pennycook, A. (1994). Cultural politics of English as an international language. London: Longman.

Ponzio, G. & Quarta, Elisabetta (2012). Cap III Il non luogo dell’“accoglienza”: il CAI di Manduria In A. Ciniero, E. Quarta & M.Tritto (Ed.), Le pratiche locali dell’accoglienza. Le politiche pubbliche locali e l'atteggiamento delle comunità locali di fronte al fenomeno immigratorio in provincia di Brindisi: le possibili vie del dialogo (pp. 66–97). Lecce: International Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies on Migration and University of Salento Press.

Pratt, M. L. (1987). Linguistic utopia. In N. Fabb, D. Attridge, A. Durant, & C. MacCabe (Eds.), The linguistics of writing: Arguments between language and literature (pp. 48–66). Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Prete, A. (2011). All’ombra dell’altra lingua: Per una poetica della traduzione. Torino: Bollati Boringhieri.

Renzetti, R., & Luatti, L. (2001). Facilitare l’incontro: Il ruolo e le funzioni del mediatore linguistico-culturale. Rome: Jacaranda.

Robinson, D. (1991), The translator’s turn. Baltimore, MD: The John Hopkins University.

Rudvin, M., & Spinzi, C. (2013). Mediazione linguistica e interpretariato: Bologna: Clueb.

Tsuda, Y. (2008). The hegemony of English and strategies for linguistic pluralism: Proposing the ecology of language paradigm. In M. K. Asante, Y. Miike, & J. Yin (Eds.), The global intercultural communication reader (pp. 167–178). London: Routledge. http://miresperanto.com/en/english_as_intern/hegemony_of_english.htm

Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Zaccaria, P. (2013). The art and poetics of translation as hospitality. In T. Claviez (Ed.), The conditions of hospitality, ethics, politics, and aesthetics on the threshold of the possible (pp. 168–184). New York, NY: Fordham University Press.