M2: Unit 3 – Q8.1 Answer

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A narrative approach to translation and interpreting studies leaves no room for the concept of translators or interpreters as ‘invisible’, or for seeing them as ‘a bridge’ or ‘a mirror’ or any other neutral term. Scholars using narrative theory as a framework reject the idea that translators and interpreters somehow inhabit a neutral zone between cultures. After all, if everything is narrative, how can people stand outside of it? Translators and interpreters, like everybody else, act from within a particular narrative location, and this will affect their choices. As Baker argues (2009:223), ‘Narrating ourselves as outside or between cultures…allows us to downplay commitment to real people caught up in real contemporary conflicts, and to avoid the responsibility of using language and translation as a tool for political change’.