The Linguist

The Linguist 56,3 – June/July 2017

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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Page 26 of 35 JUNE/JULY 2017 The Linguist 27 OPINION & COMMENT Polish speakers in the UK are not aware of traditional Polish sayings, such as Idzie luty, podkuj buty! ('February approaches: make sure you have something warm to wear!'). Striking English loan words from Polish would be impossible. The renowned Polish linguist Jan Miodek 3 acknowledged the importance of borrowings, stating "There are no words that the language would not need". Languages are flexible and expand in their natural course, so Polish is developing by incorporating parts of English speech, but it is up to Polish people to retain control over which words and phrases we adopt. Notes 1 See, for example, Fisiak, J (1986) 'The World- Formation of English Loanwords in Polish'. In Viereck, W and Wolf-Dietrich, B (eds) English in Contact with Other Languages. Akademiai Kiado. Budapest, 253-263; Otwinowska-Kasztelaniec, A (2000) A Study of the Lexico-Semantic and Grammatical Influence of English on Polish of the Younger Generation of Poles. Wydawnictwo Akademicie DIALOG, Warschawa; Walczak, B (2001) Zarys dziejów języka polskiego. Uniwersytet Wrocławski 2 Mańczak-Wohlfeld, E (2012) 'The Assimilation of English Loanwords in Polish and German on the Semantic Level'. In Olpińska-Szkiełko, M, Grucza, S, Berdychowska, Z, Żmudzki, J (eds) Der Mensch und seine Sprache. Frankfurt am Main, 2012b: 428-435 3 Miodek, J (2007) 'Interview with Prof. Miodek'. In Gazeta Wrocławska, 24/2/07 words and in the UK? Joanna Biernat-Sowka MCIL is a Services Manager in Consulting Services at Qlik and a German tutor. TL At the time of writing, there's just one month of my degree to go, which I can't quite believe. The final semester has been a chance to immerse myself in one translation project: a short story collection whose source culture, Morocco, has not always been in dialogue with its source language, (mostly) French. This study has revealed to me the many challenges of expressing cultural specificity, one being the tendency of any given language to resist articulating the phenomena that exist outside of it (as examined by Venuti in The Translator's Invisibility). This constraint is amplified when translating a source text that already navigates between two languages, as in my chosen text. Given that language is a cultural artefact, its cultural limitations may be no big news, particularly to readers of The Linguist. Nevertheless, these limitations seem increasingly salient in this era of change, which pits peoples and ideologies against each other. I'm thinking about the 'us-and- them' rhetoric of the EU debate; the undeniable confusion surrounding Muslim identities in the West; anything related to the US president. Now more than ever, our media and public discussions seem able (or willing) to express and sensationalise difference more readily than similarity. Translation sometimes feels to me like a microcosm of this wider social trend; in this project I am more aware of what I cannot say than what I can, of that which cannot be incorporated easily from other languages into my target language. Perhaps the inability to express certain cultural differences is more connected to our society's The final MA project gives Hannah Embleton- Smith cause for reflection on the role of translation in a disparate world Master in the making TL rhetoric of fear than we might care to admit. The cultural limits of language could be considered an unhelpful leftover of a pre- globalised world which, at present, can only lead to intercultural miscommunications. This idea generates questions about the direction of languages after this period of upheaval – particularly languages like English which play a central role in the globalisation process. Again, translation is relevant to these questions. If we as translators choose 'foreignising' strategies we might open new pathways which, over time, ease the strain of expressing cultural difference. Socio-political awareness in translation feels increasingly central to my project and to our globalised situation. As the MA reaches its end, this awareness constitutes one of many enduring lessons. Hannah Embleton-Smith is an MA Translation student at Bristol.

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