Translation: An Interview with Vicente Rafael

In May 2013 Siri Nergaard interviewed Vicente Rafael at the Nida School of Translation Studies (NSTS) in Misano Adriatico, Italy, where Rafael gave a lecture entitled "The War of Translation: Colonial Education, American English and Tagalog Slang, 1920s -1970s."

"Rafael explains how he, as a historian, became interested in translation and how he discovered the deep connection between translation, colonisation and conversion in his study of colonisation of the Philippines. He sees language as a historical agent of colonisation and explains the role played by translation. 'Translation is always at war,' Rafael says, reminding us that translation has very much to do with a struggle to maintain control over linguistic plurality. But on the other hand, translation also means playing with the potential of undoing and reconfiguring as an emancipatory project. The conversation ends with considerations on translation in connection to colonial language education and the persistence of accents; accents reveal the existence of another language, accents mark identity." [Source: Translation: A Transdisciplinary Journal]

Watch the video of the interview here.

History Department Member: