More than just translation: challenges and opportunities in translingual research
05 Oct 2009
1Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Winter Street, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK
2Department of Town and Regional Planning, University of Sheffield, Winter Street, Sheffield, S3 7ND, UK
Abstract. With research in multilingual and intercultural settings becoming more and more common, issues around "translation" have attracted increasing attention in the social sciences. Drawing on their first-hand experiences of doing research in multilingual settings, the authors suggest that processes of translation create moments of friction and hesitation that, in turn, allow for the production of new and hybrid spaces of understanding that cut across linguistic and cultural borders. It is argued that the act of translation gives space for increased critical reflexiveness regarding methodological issues, such as working with a translator, positionality, and the communication of academic terms, which are explored here. In particular, the article relates these issues to wider concerns which may be relevant to social science research more generally, but are often all too easily overlooked.