Arundhati Roy in Thai : compromising the linguistic hybridity in translation

Title: Arundhati Roy in Thai : compromising the linguistic hybridity in translation
Source document: Brno studies in English. 2023, vol. 49, iss. 1, pp. 55-75
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
Rights access
open access

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The article examines the Thai translations of Arundhati Roy's novels, The God of Small Things and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, which feature linguistic hybridity that addresses the complex, intermingling realities of the former colonized space. Using Klinger's (2015) concepts of symbolic and iconic hybridity to explain the motivation behind the use of non-standard language in Roy's postcolonial novels and their Thai translations, this article argues that the Thai versions fell short of retaining a reasonable degree of linguistic hybridity because the translator chose a compromising method of making Roy's novels more understandable to Thai readers. By compromising, the translator used a specific method of transliterating Pali-Sanskrit etymological terms, a cushioning strategy, and footnotes. The translations appear to contradict the author's viewpoint on the dynamics of core and periphery languages. Multicultural expressions that are meant to symbolically represent different levels of power in the real world are ignored, thereby failing to convey Roy's intention of defying former colonial monolingual practice and breaking free from such a legacy.
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