Reframing Conflict in Translation
Social Semiotics 17(1), 2007
This article draws on narrative theory and the notion of framing, the latter as developed in the literature on social movements, to explore various ways in which translators and interpreters accentuate, undermine or modify contested aspects of the narrative(s) encoded in the source text or utterance. Starting with an outline of the assumptions and strengths of a narrative framework compared to existing theories of translation, the article goes on to define the concept of framing in the context of activist discourse. It then outlines some of the sites – or points in and around the text – at which (re)framing may be achieved and offers various examples of framing strategies used in written and screen translation. The examples are drawn from translations between English and Arabic in the context of the Middle East conflict and the so-called War on Terror, but the theoretical issues outlined are not language- or context-specific.