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In Babel's ShadowMultilingual Literatures, Monolingual States$
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Brian Lennon

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816665013

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816665013.001.0001

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The Other Other Literature

The Other Other Literature

(p.141) 5 The Other Other Literature
In Babel's Shadow

Brian Lennon

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter presents a reading of Eva Hoffman’s narrative Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language to discuss the challenges of translating foreign words for the monolingual reader. The issue in this narrative is centered on the Polish word tęsknota, which means longing but it is defined as “lost” in the narrative. The deliberate mistranslation of the word reflects the linguistic crisis of pluralingualism and the inaccuracy of language acquisition. The translation of tęsknota also indicates the inability of language to contain other languages and the difficulty of re-identifying words in line with standard English.

Keywords:   Eva Hoffman, Lost in Translation, tęsknota, pluralingualism, language

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