SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Coetzee, Carli (2013) 'To Refuse Containment, to Resist Translation.' Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, 15 (3). pp. 383-401.

Full text not available from this repository.


This essay is concerned with translation in situations of linguistic or social inequality. Its focus is South African English and it relationship to the other South African languages. Its argument is that much of the translation work done in South Africa serves to extend and confirm monolingual privilege. Translation in official contexts in South Africa tends to happen into English, out of other South African languages, and the labour of translation is performed by heteroglots for the benefit of monolingual English-speakers, who are able to remain monoglot since the work is performed by someone else. A further inequality of this situation is the fact that monolingual South Africans tend to be English-speakers, and tend to be the beneficiaries of racially and linguistically determined privileges. When translation takes place out of other South African languages into South African English, this monolingual privilege can be confirmed and extended. The essay concludes that a refusal to translate out of African languages into South African English may be necessary in order to destabilize the hegemony of English.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of Africa
ISSN: 1369801X
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2014 12:14

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item