Indigenous Cultural Translation: A Thick Description of Seediq Bale, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Indigenous Cultural Translation

A Thick Description of Seediq Bale, 1st Edition

By Darryl Sterk


232 pages | 9 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367198558
pub: 2020-05-13
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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.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Indigenous Modernity and the Translation of Seediq Bale

1. Resistance, Critique, Compromise: Critical Women in the Mandarin Version

2. Refining the Ore: From Foreignization and Domestication to Fluency

3. The Game of Telephone: Cultural Translation as Adaptation

4. Pacifying the Pine: How to Demilitarize Headhunting Songs

5. The Dialectic of Dmahun: The Thicker Backtranslation of Cultural Keywords

6. From Hako Utux to Rainbow Bridge: Into the Middle Ground

7. Translating Colonial Modernity: Adapting Terminologically

Conclusion: The Thick Description of Indigenous Cultural Translation

About the Author

Darryl Sterk is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Translation at Lingnan University, Hong Kong. He gained his PhD in East Asian Studies at the University of Toronto in 2009. He is an experienced literary translator as well as an academic researcher.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Translation and Interpreting Studies

This series is our home for innovative research in the field of translation studies. It includes monographs and targeted edited collections that provide new insights into this important and evolving subject area.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Translating & Interpreting
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / Screenwriting