Translation and Immigration

Translation and immigration are reciprocal phenomena. This reciprocal relationship is a topical research field due to the centrality of both in today’s global world. By default, immigrants come into contact with translation, whether when translating for themselves or when consuming translation; translation is therefore an inevitable part of the entirety of the absorbing community and the life of the immigrants. With the “translational” shift in humanities and social sciences, paired with a cultural and sociological shift in translation studies, some researchers study immigration as a form of translation—or, more precisely, as cultural translation, a concept indicating the transformation experienced by individuals and groups during times of interaction in the context of asymmetric balance of power an information processing passed across geographical spheres. This type of research often uses the term “translation” metaphorically, conceptualizing the very act of immigration as a form of translation and immigrants as translated entities. Together with the trend of researching reciprocal relationships between translation and immigration as theoretical and metaphorical terms, new literature is forming—literature that explores translation and immigration themselves as a point of origin. This literature, which among other issues focuses on immigrant-interpreters who are involved in both translation and cultural translation, can shed light on the metaphors involve in translation-as-immigration or immigration-as-translation and serve as a more stable foundation for them.