Dialogical and Transversal Translation: Trespassing Cultural Boundaries and Making the Self through Language

Mastoureh Fathi


This paper draws on two points about the difficulties of conducting research between two languages and cultures which are scant in social science research: one is reflecting on the notion of “making sense” and how prevalent it has become to make sense for a western audience. This process is complicated and leads to more meanings lost in translation, so it is important to unpack it specifically during the research process. The second point I discuss in this paper is the notion of “situated auto/biography” that is not specific to an author or a researcher, but deals with all parties involved in the process of knowledge production. I argue that translation acts as a creative space for thinking and not just conveying meanings, but that through a dialogical and transversal act, it can help in creating new meanings.

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