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Theatrical multilingualism and the translation of culture Open Access


Other title
Theatre Translation
Ne blamez jamais les bedouins
Multilingual Theatre
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Silver, Cassandra Leona
Supervisor and department
Mounsef, Donia (Drama)
Examining committee member and department
Ladouceur, Louise (Faculte St Jean)
Defraeye, Piet (Drama)
Department of Drama

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Arts
Degree level
Multilingual theatre offers aesthetic and socio-political outlets for theatre-makers to interrogate linguistic conventions in performance as well as to challenge social identity constructions based on language. However, a polyglossic play text poses particular challenges to translators whose goal exceeds the literary exchange of words in one language for those in another. In performance, the semantic value of speaking in an "other" language is carried in language itself; this is a translation problem if the target culture does not understand the socio-political conditions that determine the value of a speaker's language choice. This subject is here addressed via an interrogation of the meaning of language itself. An analysis of code-switching theory, paired with an examination of post-colonial and theatrical translation theories, provide the necessary framework for an analysis of how Martin Kevan translated Ne blâmez jamais les Bédouins in an effort which is sensitive to the cultural context of its performance.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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