EU: Translation Paradoxes Misunderstandings

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Thu Oct 2 15:33:04 UTC 2008

4th project series
translation paradoxes and misunderstandings

Globally there are some 6000 languages, and it is generally assumed
that around 90% of the languages still in use will have become extinct
by the end of the present century.

2008 has been declared the International Year of Languages by the
United Nations. The declared objective of European Union language
policy is to strengthen the multilingualism of European citizens:
multilingualism fosters the personal development of the individual, it
improves vocational mobility and competitiveness (Lisbon strategy),
enhances understanding of other cultures (intercultural dialogue), and
generates a "real sense of union citizenship".

But which languages benefit from translation? Colonialist practices
have shown – and continue to do so even today – that one official
language comes to dominate a diversity of languages and linguistic

Artists and commentaries by authors

SHEDALLE.CH have asked the participating artists to invite a writer,
theorist or person researching in this contextual field to compose,
from their own perspective and in their native language, a short text
on the respective work or the issues the work discusses. These texts
are integrated into the exhibition on a commentary level of
interpretation and presented here in German translation. In this way,
we can speak of a double translation movement already on this level: a
translation of artistic work into a textual medium takes place while
simultaneously the texts were translated into German.

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