Multilingual Identities in Translation

Beate Steinhauser


My PhD project seeks to explore the complex relations of multilingualism and translation in selected fictionalised autobiographies about growing up with two or more languages in bicultural homes. This exploration is located at the intersection of an intra-textual and a cross-textual axis of analysis. 1) Multilingualism as translation: how can the narrated and narrating selves’ linguistic and cultural identity negotiation be analysed in terms of translational paradigms? What can be gained from such an analysis of multilingualism as a translational process? How can it account for the challenges faced by anybody trying to transpose such an already ‘translated’ text into a further language? 2) Multilingualism in translation: how can the shortcomings of a single translator’s attempt at rendering such a ‘multilingual’ text into one main target language be overcome by comparing multiple translations of the source text(s) into several different languages? What new light can such a cross-textual multilingual prism shed on the entangled web of multiple meanings that results from intertwining several languages in the source text? 

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