Translation and Trans-scripting: Languaging Practices in the City of Aθens

Spilioti, Tereza and Giaxoglou, Korina (2020). Translation and Trans-scripting: Languaging Practices in the City of Aθens. In: Lee, Tong King ed. The Routledge Handbook of Translation and the City. Abingdon: Routledge, (In press).


Translation and translanguaging can be said to represent distinct phenomena in terms of directionality: translation tends to keep languages apart while translanguaging fuses them together; yet, they can be complementary practices and, at times, mutually embedded in multilingual environments. In this chapter we are concerned with practices of translation and/as translanguaging in the city and the tensions that these raise in the urban landscape of Athens (Greece). We use translation and translanguaging as complementary angles in order to investigate the different ways of mobilizing multilingualism in late capitalism. As we argue, recent developments in research on digitally-mediated communication and multilingual practices, as well as linguistic landscape research, are also key in developing a cross-context approach to translanguaging phenomena. We focus, more specifically, on phenomena of translanguaging that emerge from the mobilization of primarily graphemic resources, also known as trans-scripting. We pay particular attention to the vernacular respelling of English-related forms in (local) scripts, e.g. words typically identified as English that are not translated but rather appear scripted with non-Roman letters or characters. Our analysis points to the indexical potential of such practices, as well as the potential affective positions they open up.

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