CALL FOR PAPERS: Translation and Truth -- Issue 10.1

The final report of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission asks Canadians to “honour the truth,” as they seek to address a still inadequately acknowledged history of colonialism and the attempted genocide of Indigenous peoples. Such acknowlegment, however, cannot truly happen without also initiating concerted efforts on the part of non-Indigenous people, or settlers, to increase their knowledge and understanding of this history and to reflect on its lasting consequences, particularly in the realm of language and translation. Indeed, there is a real need to consider issues of language revitalization and the role of translation while acknowledging how problematic it may be to discuss this history only in the colonial languages of English or French.
While translators are typically enjoined to certify that their work is a “true and accurate” translation, and indeed this sort of language is enshrined in many codes of ethics as they seek to establish the necessary relationships of trust between translator and client, it is never that simple. How does one determine truth? Which truth? Whose truth? We are all familiar with expressions such as “traduttore, traditore”—implying that all translators are traitors—or “les belles infidèles”—implying that translations need to appear beautiful, as if written in the target language, and betray the source text as a result.
This isse will explore the relationship between translation/interpretation and truth. The editors are especially interested in papers dealing with any aspect of translating from and into Indigenous languages in Canada or anywhere in the world. Possible research questions may include: How can translation activities bring Canadians or other settler communities closer to understanding the truth of Indigenous cultures in all their long history and diversity? What kinds of strategies could be used or developed by translators to avoid repeating the epistemic violence typical in past colonial translation while seeking to honour the truth? Do translations of Indigenous texts require a special code of ethics or other formal protocols? Other topics dealing more generally with how translators and interpreters see their role in relation to truth-telling are welcome.
Please post yours articles directly in the authors' rubric on the website or forward them to Anne Malena ( by December 15, 2017. Include a short bio and an abstract.