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The representation of the interpreter in intractable conflicts

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Presented at IATIS International Conference, Translation and Cultural Mobility. Hong Kong Baptist University - 3-6 July - . 2018
Abstract Focusing on Y al final, la Guerra (Silva and Francisco, 2014), Aunque caminen por el valle de la muerte (Colomer, 2017), two novels based on interviews to Spanish soldiers that describe the Spanish military intervention in the Battle of Najaf (2004), and Zona hostil (Martínez, 2017), a film based on actual events on the Spanish military intervention in Afghanistan, the presentation will discuss the results of a qualitative study that investigates the representation of interpreters in Spanish war literature and film. The premise of the study is that interpreters in the escalation stages of a conflict tend to be ordinary citizens who have been directly confronted with the conflict events and who have developed a certain ideology that constitutes a basis for the perception and interpretation of reality. This in turn has a direct influence on the interpreter’s positionality. The study considers the literary works as a compendium of ontological narratives and the film as a fictional narrative, and identifies and explores the passages describing the interpreter. The findings show that interpreters are depicted as common individuals embedded in the conflict whose previous experiences have shaped their understanding of the war. Interpreters are considered as outsiders not only by the military personnel, who show a certain level of mistrust towards the interpreters, but also by the local citizens who are against their new role of interpreters for the “invaders”. The analysis raises other relevant issues such as the importance of the interpreter on the front line and the interpreter’s protection.
Keywords InterpreterConflictIraqAfghanistanWar literatureWar film
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RUIZ ROSENDO, Lucia. The representation of the interpreter in intractable conflicts. In: IATIS International Conference, Translation and Cultural Mobility. Hong Kong Baptist University. 2018. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:123731

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Deposited on : 2019-10-01

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