Writing translation: On the question of ‘Writing Back’ in post-colonial translation




colonizer, cultural translation, hegemony, language, post-colonial


Languages have many functional roles with regard to their social and cultural position. Hence, unless the contextualization of linguistic constructions is successfully processed, the cultural features of any community will remain inaccessible. Accordingly, many Indian and African writers have chosen the language of the colonizer as a medium of expression, for they wanted their voice to be heard outside the borders of their country and even because they are not competent enough to use their mother tongue in their writings. On this basis, their use of the colonial language is not considered as a manifestation of the French or English assimilation process which by definition stresses the superiority of the colonizer and his culture over the colonized.  The purpose of this study is to show the extent to which the usage of the colonizer’s language reflects an act of translation, as it strives to make the experience of the local people known and readable for the colonizer.  Said’s theory of orientalism allowed to explore the different mechanisms deployed by the colonizer to implant the idea of subordination in the minds of colonized people, especially through the imposition of his language.


Download data is not yet available.

Achebe, C. (1989). [1966] A Man of the People, New York: Doubleday.

Achebe, C. (1994). The African Writer and the English Language. In P. Williams, & L. Chrisman, Colonial Discourse and Post-colonial Theory - A Reader (pp. 428-434). New York: Columbia University Press.

Achebe, C. (1992). Things fall apart. New York: Knopf.

Bhabha, H. K. (2000). DissemiNation: Time, Narrative, and the Margins of the Modern Nation. In D. Brydon, Postcolonialism: Critical Concepts in literary and cultural studies (pp. 610-644). London: Routledge.

Ben, J.T. (2004). Suis-je un écrivain arabe. Chroniques. Site officiel de Tahar Ben. Jelloun. www.taharbenjelloun.org, http://www.taharbenjelloun.org/index.php ?id=48&L=&tx_

ttnews[tt_news]=169&cHash=9f0ab3da00bc641595ecf0475869d6d2 (consulté : le 15 06 2015).

Ben, J. T. (1999). Racism explained to my daughter. New York: New Press.

Bassnett, S., & Trivedi, H. (1999). Post-colonial translation: Theory and practice. London: Routledge.

Fanon, F. (1968). The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove Press.

Gandhi, L. (1998). Postcolonial Theory: A Crtical Introduction. New York: Columbia University Press.

Hamadi, L. (2014). EDWARD SAID: THE POSTCOLONIAL THEORY AND THE LITERATURE OF DECOLONIZATION. European Scientific Journal, ESJ, 10(10). https://doi.org/10.19044/esj.2014.v10n10p%p

Kachru, B. (1983). The Indianization of English: The English Language in India, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Mehrez, S. (1992). ‘Translation and the postcolonial experience: the francophone North African text’, in L. Venuti ed., Rethinking Translation: Discourse, Subjectivity, Ideology, London: Routledge.

Mukherjee, M. (1971). The Twice Born Fiction, New Delhi: Heinemann.

Phillipson, R. (1992). Linguistic imperialism. New York; Oxford [England]: Oxford University Press.

Ramone, J. (2011). Postcolonial Theories. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Rao, R.R. (1971). Kanthapura [1938] New Delhi: Orient.

Rose, H., & Galloway, N. (2015). Global Englishes for language

Teaching. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Said, E. (1978). Orientalism. New York: Pantheon Books.

Tymoczko, M. (1994). The Irish ‘Ulysses’, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Viswanathan. G. (1989). Masks of conquest: literary study and British rule in India. New York: Columbia University Press.

Wa Thiong'o, N. (1986). Decolonising the Mind - The Politics of Language in African Literature. Nairobi: Heinemann Kenya.

Wa Thiong'o, N. (1994). The Language of African Literature. In P. Williams, & L. Chrisman, Colonial Discourse and Post-colonial Theory - A Reader (pp. 435-456). New York: Columbia University Press.

Wa Thiong'o, N. (1967). A grain of wheat. London: Heinemann.

Young, R.J.C. (2004). White Mythologies. Routledge.



How to Cite

Aich, Y. (2022). Writing translation: On the question of ‘Writing Back’ in post-colonial translation. Hybrid Journal of Literary and Cultural Studies, 4(2). https://doi.org/10.58256/hjlcs.v4i2.840