Introduction: self-translating, from minorisation to empowerment

Olga Castro, Sergi Mainer, Svetlana Page

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This introductory chapter discusses the implications of self-translation in multilingual contexts in Europe, aiming at mapping out innovative perspectives to the study of power and, by so doing, empowering self-translation. We start by critically engaging with the ‘cultural’ and ‘power turns’ in translation studies, as a way of delineating what the particularities of self-translation are when practised by author-translators in multilingual spaces. Focusing on the European milieu, defined broadly in terms of its geographies, we then discuss multilingualism, cultural awareness and ethnic diversity as staple terms in both academic and political ideologies across Europe, emphasising that one of the aspects of multilingualism is precisely the power differentials between languages and cultures. We explore these unequal power relations and centre–periphery dichotomies of Europe’s ‘minorised’ languages, literatures and cultures, suggesting the usage of ‘minorised’ in preference to the others discussed, inasmuch as it highlights both hegemonic power hierarchies and also the continual resistance to them. This is followed by a brief overview of the emerging debates in the subdiscipline of self-translation in recent times. It is within them that we situate our contribution, arguing that the self-translators’ double affiliation as authors and translators turns them into powerful cultural and ideological mediators and places them in a privileged position to challenge (or submit to) power. Here another term, ‘self-censorship,’ is suggested as invaluable to self-translation studies where self-editing often occurs before translation is begun. Finally, the introduction presents the organisation of the book and the main ideas discussed by the 11 authors in their individual chapters.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSelf-translation and power: negotiating identities in multilingual Europe
EditorsOlga Castro, Sergi Mainer, Svetlana Page
Place of PublicationBasingstoke (UK)
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-50781-5
ISBN (Print)978-1-137-50780-8
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2017

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in Translating and Interpreting

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2017. Castro, O., Mainer, S., & Page, S., Introduction: self-translating, from minorisation to empowerment. In O. Castro, S. Mainer, & S. Page (Eds.), Self-translation and power: negotiating identities in multilingual Europe, 2017, Palgrave Macmillan, reproduced with permission of Palgrave Macmillan'. This extract is taken from the author's original manuscript and has not been edited. The definitive, published, version of record is available here:


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