M2: Unit 3 – Q8.2 Answer

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Baker recognises that some translators and interpreters are forced to take on assignments which go against their ethical beliefs for financial reasons, as in the case of some Iraqi civilian interpreters working for US forces in Baghdad, who can find no other way to make a living. In this situation, she argues, translators and interpreters would be perfectly entitled to subvert the text or utterance for ethical reasons. As Cronin (2002:58-59) writes, ‘If you or your people are seriously disadvantaged by the hierarchy, the most ethical position can be to be utterly ‘unfaithful’ in interpreting in the name of another fidelity, a fidelity of resistance’. This may involve intervening in the text or utterance, or translating the text whilst using devices to distance oneself from the author’s ideas altogether. Devices for subverting texts or utterances will be explored in more detail in Chapter 9.