A Postbilingual Zone? Language and Translation Policy in Toronto

  • Lyse Hébert
Keywords: translation policy, language policy, Toronto, official bilingualism, post-bilingualism

Abstract

In Canada, translation has been conceptualized within multi-layered and interwoven historical and political processes of nation building. One strand of these processes is the country’s language policy, known as “official bilingualism”. This national construct is so entrenched that the Federal government has not perceived a need to pair Canada’s language laws with any legislation on translation. Despite this void, or perhaps because of it, the professional translation market first emerged as a corollary of official bilingualism, and it remains inflected by its a priori, which have also driven the design of university translator training programs. In giving English and French preferred status over all other “minority” languages that once were (i.e. Indigenous languages) and/or might become (i.e. Ukrainian, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Urdu, etc.) vehicular languages in certain regions or cities, public policy, which includes content and funding of university programs, has also restricted translator training to “official languages”. This paper presents some preliminary data from a project aimed at proposing models for “post-bilingual” language and translation policies. More precisely, it focuses on one of Canada’s most linguistically heterogeneous spaces–Toronto–and its multilingual translation policy. Drawing on González Núñez’ adaptation of Spolsky’s language planning model, I argue in favour of a new set of language and translation policies that countenance disparate and, at times, contradictory linguistic realities across and within Canada’s post-bilingual zones, foregrounding elements that might inform evidence-based policies. Also informed by language rights research (e.g. De Schutter), this paper also serves as a preliminary discussion of language and translation policies that might be the springboard for new models of translator training that would ensure equal access to translation services for speakers of minority languages.

References

Anderson, M. Joan. Staff Report – Annual Report: Multilingual Services. City of Toronto, 15 May 2003. http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/2003/agendas/committees/adm/adm030603/it020.pdf.

Appiah, Anthony Kwame. In my Father’s House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture. Oxford University Press, 1992.

Baker, Mona. Translation and Conflict: A Narrative Account. Routledge, 2006. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203099919

Baker, Mona. “Interpreters and Translators in the War Zone: Narrated and Narrators.” The Translator, vol. 16 no. 2, 2010, pp. 197-222. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13556509.2010.10799469

Beukes, Anne-Marie. 2006. “Translation in South Africa: The Politics of Transmission”. Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, vol. 24 no. 1, 2006, pp.1–6.

Bielsa, Esperança, and Susan Bassnett. Translation in Global News. Routledge, 2008. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203890011

Canada. Translation Bureau Regulations, C.R.C., c. 1561, http://lawslois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/C.R.C.,_c._1561/page-1.html#h-3. Accessed 15 Oct. 2017.

Cheyfitz, Eric. The Poetics of Imperialism: Translation and Colonization from The Tempest to Tarzan. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997.

Cronin, Michael. Translation and Identity. Routledge, 2006. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203015698

De Schutter, Helder “The Linguistic Territoriality Principle – A Critique.” Journal of Applied Philosophy, Vol. 25, No. 2, 2008, pp. 105-120. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5930.2008.00397.x

Diaz Fouces, Oscar. “From Language Planning to Translation Policy: Looking for a Conceptual Framework.” Translation and Public Policy: Interdisciplinary Perspectives and Case Studies. Routledge, 2017, pp. 58-82.

Freeland, Jane and Donna Patrick. Language Rights and Language Survival. St. Jerome, 2004.

González Núñez, Gabriel. “On Translation Policy.” Target, vol. 28 no. 1, 2016, pp. 87-109. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/target.28.1.04gon

Hall, Stuart. “When Was ‘the Post-Colonial’? Thinking at the Limit.” The Post-Colonial Question: Common Skies, Divided Horizons, edited by Iain Chambers and Lidia Curti, Routledge, 1996, pp. 242-260.

Hudon, Marie-Ève. “Language Regimes in the Provinces and Territories, Background Paper No. 2011-66-E.” Library of Parliament. Canadian Library of Parliament, 20 Jul. 2011, https://lop.parl.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2011-66-e.htm. Accessed 15 Nov. 2017.

Inghilleri, Moira. Translation and Migration. Taylor & Francis, 2016. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315399829

Jenkins, Richard. “The Meaning of Policy/Policy as Meaning.” Policy Reconsidered: Meanings, Politics and Practices, edited by Susan M. Hodgson and Zoë Irving, Policy Press, 2007, pp. 21–36. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctt9qgv6w.7

Kaplan, Robert B. and Richard B. Baldauf. Language Planning from Practice to Theory. Multilingual Matters, 1997.

Meylaerts, Reine. “Conceptualizing the Translator as a Historical Subject in Multilingual Environments: A Challenge for Descriptive Translation Studies?” Charting the Future of Translation History. Les Presses de l’Université d’Ottawa, 2006, pp. 59-79. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctt1ckpfkh.7

Meylaerts, Reine. "Translational Justice in a Multilingual World: An Overview of Translational Regimes." Meta, vol. 56, no. 4, 2011, pp. 743-57, https://www.erudit.org/fr/revues/meta/2011-v56-n4-meta0154/1011250ar/. Accessed 15 Oct. 2016. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7202/1011250ar

Meylaerts, Reine and Gabriel González Núñez, editors. Translation and Public Policy: Interdisciplinary Perspectives and Case Studies. Routledge, 2017. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315521770-1

Multilingual Services Policy. City of Toronto, 15 Feb. 2002, http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/2002/agendas/council/cc020213/adm2rpt/cl004.pdf.

“Other Languages.” Ontario Ministry of Labour, https://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/multi/index.php. Accessed 15 Nov. 2017.

Polezzi, Loredana. “Translation and Migration.” Translation Studies, vol. 5, no. 3, 2012, pp. 345-356. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14781700.2012.701943

Pratt, Mary Louise (2007). Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation. 2nd ed., Routledge, 2007. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203932933

Rafael, Vicente. Contracting Colonialism: Translation and Christian Conversion in Tagalog Society Under Early Spanish Rule. Duke University Press, 1992. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1215/9780822396437

Rafael, Vicente. The Promise of the Foreign: Nationalism and the Technics of Translation in the Spanish Philippines. Duke University Press, 2005. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1215/9780822387411

Site for Language Management in Canada (SLMC). University of Ottawa, https://slmc.uottawa.ca/. Accessed 15 Nov. 2017.

Spolsky, Bernard. Language Management. Cambridge University Press, 2009. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511626470

Spolsky, Bernard, editor. The Cambridge Handbook of Language Policy. Cambridge University Press, 2012. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511979026

Statistics Canada. Language Highlight Tables, 2011 Census. http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/dp-pd/hlt-fst/lang/indexeng.cfm?Lang=E. Accessed 12 April 2017.

Toronto Website. City of Toronto. https://web.toronto.ca/. Accessed 15 Nov. 2017.

Tymoczko, Maria. Enlarging Translation, Empowering Translators. St. Jerome, 2004.

“Understanding Health Care in Ontario: Fact Sheets.” Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Service Ontario. http://health.gov.on.ca/en/common/system/languages.aspx. Accessed 15 Nov. 2017.

Walsh, John. Contests and Contexts: The Irish language and Ireland’s Socio-economic Development. Peter Lang, 2010.

Williams, Colin H. “Language Policy, Territorialism and Regional Autonomy.” The Cambridge Handbook of Language Policy, edited by Bernard Spolsky. Cambridge University Press, 2012.

Section
Articles