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From Romanian "Soul" to English "Heart": Dilemmas of Cultural and Gender Representation in Translating Qualitative Data
Oxford Brookes University.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9420-3359
2018 (English)In: Forum qualitative Sozialforschung, E-ISSN 1438-5627, Vol. 19, no 2, article id 12Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article I argue that translation in cross-cultural research leads to the construction of a certain linguistic hierarchy, wherein the English language subordinates the Romanian language. I illustrate my arguments with examples from 47 qualitative interviews with Scottish and Romanian fathers on the topic of love. To situate this argument, I describe how in my role as an Anglo-Romanian bilingual interpreter I inadvertently contributed to the creation of this hierarchy. This happened through translation as I was fitting Romanian into English to disseminate the meanings, values and emotions of Romanian fathers to a primarily English-speaking audience. At the same time by employing emotional reflexivity and focusing on gender matters in the context of shared responsibility of constructing knowledge, I resolved some linguistic tensions. Paradoxically, by carrying emotional meanings across into another language, there is the main positive consequence of moving the focus in research from the center to the margins, as it increases the visibility of a usually overlooked sample of people from a specific cultural background.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 19, no 2, article id 12
Keywords [en]
translation; emotions; culture; gender; qualitative interviews; emotional reflexivity
National Category
Sociology Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-394090DOI: 10.17169/fqs-19.2.3002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-394090DiVA, id: diva2:1357030
Available from: 2019-10-02 Created: 2019-10-02 Last updated: 2019-10-30Bibliographically approved

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