Translation and cultural diplomacy

Authored by: Luise von Flotow

The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Politics

Print publication date:  April  2018
Online publication date:  April  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138657564
eBook ISBN: 9781315621289
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315621289-13

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Abstract

Cultural diplomacy is a rather broad term that refers to activities often considered part of a government’s public diplomacy or international outreach program; a program that varies from country to country and is usually dependent on political motivations, intentions, and histories, as well as conditions in the receiving culture. Cultural diplomacy is not a hard science – as every writer on the topic admits. And while language must be a crucial aspect of any form of diplomacy, rarely do these writers evoke the question of language contact and exchange, or the fact that translation must play a vital role in international affairs. This chapter will examine contemporary work on cultural diplomacy, provide examples of how culture has been used in politics, add some more commercial ideas on ‘nation branding’ that play into the question, and then focus specifically on translation in this area of international affairs: how has translation been deployed, viewed and studied in the area of cultural diplomacy, and what more might be expected or possible?

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