Traduction et traduction culturelle

Joana Masó


This paper discusses the difference between translation and cultural translation. Boris Buden, after Homi Bhabha and Judith Butler, explores the notion of cultural translation as “the process by which the excluded within the universality is readmitted into the term [...]. Cultural translation—as a ‘return of the excluded’—is the only promoter of today’s democracy.” In the discussion of the democratic understanding of cultural translation, whereby subjects problematize forms of (in)equality, we should ask ourselves to what extent cultural translation differs from what we have traditionally understood as translation. Following Pascale Casanova, the classical logic of translation can be understood as a logic of value whereby the struggle for the accumulation or annexation of cultural capital—from one nation or language to another—takes place. The history of the process of translation-accumulation, of the translation of value between cultures, cannot be confused with what we have called cultural translation. As cultural translation allows us to establish a distance from, on the one hand, ‘ethical discourses’ of translation (Tiphaine Samoyault) and, on the other, from the legacy of the national paradigm (Pascale Casanova), we may be able to imagine new genealogies of translation which draw on the performative paradoxes of feminist lives and voices instead of drawing on the legacy of national logics.

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