The role of euphemisation in interpreting the testimonies of the 1994 Tutsi genocide in Rwanda

Publisher:
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Publication Type:
Chapter
Citation:
Proceedings of the "Synergise!" Biennial National Conference of the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators : AUSIT 2010, 2011, pp. 212 - 225
Issue Date:
2011
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Since the beginning of last year I have been conducting research into the 1994 Tutsi genocide in Rwanda. As a professional French-English translator as well as an academic, my particular interest lies in how the genocide has been ‘translated’ for the rest of the world. By ‘translation’ I mean firstly of course on a linguistic level: how verbal testimonies and documents have been interpreted and translated from the national language Kinyarwanda into primarily French and English. But on a broader conceptual level I am also interested in how the events of the genocide have been represented and interpreted, in the most general sense of that term, outside of Rwanda. Today I will be examining some very specific questions in a very specific context: firstly, when genocide survivors tell their story, how do they put into words the experiences they have been through, when these events truly deserve to be called ‘unspeakable’. Secondly, how do interpreters render this information into the target language, and what are the particular challenges they face?
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