Literature-specific definitions

Permanent Revolution by Gail Scott

Conventionally defined as “the action of converting from one language to another” 1 1 “Translation.” Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 2019, and “the action of transferring or moving a person or thing from one place, position, etc., to another,” 2 2 “Translation.” Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 2019, Scott uses the word with an extended meaning to discuss how a person’s identity—shaped through unique experiences and contexts—affects their language. In this sense, translation also occurs within one language, with “words sitting differently in language” 3 3 Permanent Revolution. p. 55. depending on who is speaking (and who is hearing). For Scott, to translate means to interpret a speaker’s language while taking into account their context (as well as one’s own) and considering how this context might affect meaning. 4 4 Permanent Revolution. p. 111. Thus, translation is not only transmission across languages and spaces but also across cultures, histories, social classes, and individuals.

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