Indigenous Cultural Translation: A Thick Description of Seediq Bale

1st Edition

Darryl Sterk

May 13, 2020 Forthcoming
Reference - 232 Pages - 9 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780367198558 - CAT# K418183
Series: Routledge Advances in Translation and Interpreting Studies

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Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner and even Dances With Wolves are known for their use of dialogue in endangered indigenous languages, but the Taiwanese blockbuster Seediq Bale, which contains more more dialogue in an indigenous language than any other film before or since, has not received the recognition it deserves. Seediq Bale celebrates the warriors who rebelled against or collaborated with the Japanese in the hills around the central Taiwanese town of Musha in 1930; this book celebrates the grandchildren of the rebels and the collaborators, who made the film possible by translating the dialogue in the Mandarin-language screenplay into Seediq.

This book is a thick description of the translation of the screenplay. It describes in detail how Wei Te-sheng included Mandarin translations of Seediq oral texts into his screenplay, and then how the Seediq translators "back-translated" the screenplay into Seediq. It shows how the Seediq translators supplemented the screenplay with their own interpretation of the Wushe Incident and of Seediq culture in their translation, an interpretation that is informed by their modernity. The Seediq translators’ indigenous cultural translation suggests how translation might be part of language and culture revitalization projects that articulate alternative indigenous modernities in settler states around the world.

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