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Globalisation as Translation: An Approximation to the Key but Invisible Role of Translation

Esperanca Bielsa

CSGR Working Paper No 163/05

Two fundamental features of globalisation are the overcoming of spatial barriers and the centrality of knowledge and information. These developments, which result in the increased mobility of people and objects and a heightened contact between different linguistic communities (mass tourism, migration, information and media flows) signal, in spite of the predominance of English as a global lingua franca, an exponential growth in the significance of translation, which becomes a key mediator of global communication. Yet language and translation have been systematically neglected in the current literature on globalisation. This article critically examines current theories of globalisation and interrogates their lack of attention towards translation. It formulates an attempt to understand the significance of translation in a global context, conceptualising its analytical place in globalisation theory and its key role in the articulation of the global and the local.

Keywords: globalisation, news, translation.