e problem
This research makes use of a method based on Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to investigate the effects of the process of translation on representation of source texts and their authors’ ideological position. The present study takes two political works into consideration. The first book under scrutiny is William Blum’s Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions since World War ΙΙ (۲۰۰۳) which is a history book on covert CIA operations and U.S. military interference during the second half of the 20th century. This controversial book is translated by Hushang Mahdavi entitled .”سرکوب امید” This research endeavors to have a microscopic analysis of Blum’s critical vantage points presented in the translated text. In fact, it tries to probe the delineation of his ideas and trace his ideological stands transmitted via language in the present translation. The second part revolves around the close analysis of Stephen Kinzer’s All the Shah’s Men: an American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror (2003). Kinzer, an American journalist, discusses the 1953 Iranian coup d’état backed by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in which Mohammed Mossadegh, Iran’s prime minister was overthrown. This book translated by Shahryar Khavajian being given the title of .”همه مردان شاه” Setting up these political works as the established corpus of the present study, the researcher uses CDA to investigate the ideological impacts of the process of translation. With recourse to this critical translation approach, the researcher tries to find out how translation changes or modifies the ideological status of translated texts and consequently represents the source texts’ authors and cultures differently.
۱.۳ Theoretical Framework of the Study
This study employed Farahzad’s CDA model as its theoretical framework. According to Hodge & Kress, “the signs of syntax always ideologically inflected social meanings” (1993: 208). Selection of one linguistic element and preferring it to another option may reveal the ideological position of translators as it has already disclosed its author’s status. Hodge & Kress (1993: 15) recognize selections as ideologically loaded practices, which determine the representation of reality. Fairclough (1995) believes scholars with various backgrounds can use Critical Discourse Analysis, as an interdisciplinary tool. Therefore, Farahzad’s model of CDA (2007) which is based on Fairclough’s theoretical foundation of CDA was selected as a framework to explore the probable ideological effects of the modifications made in the translated text and reveal their impact on representation of reality. However, due to the fact that CDA encompasses numerous fields, this research only focuses on the cultural and ideological standpoints and will be given full consideration.
۱.۴ Research Questions
This research tries to answer the following questions in the forthcoming chapters:
۱. To what extent does the translator change the ideological position of Blum’s “Killing Hope” with recourse to Farahzad’s Translation Criticism Model?
۲. To what extent does the translator change the ideological position of Kinzer’s “All the Shah’s Men” with recourse to Farahzad’s Translation Criticism Model?
۱.۵ Research Hypotheses
As ”there always exist some elements of untranslatability which provides room for various modifications of the source text according to the structure of representation of the target language or culture” (Carbonell 1996: 81) translation may result in some ideological changes in the TTs. Whether these modifications are optional or obligatory, the changes imposed on the translated texts change the image of authors and the ideology behind their texts in the target language/ culture. In short translation is an act which may change the ideological image of the source author/ culture in favor of the ideological positioning of the target language culture.
The present study hypothesizes these points with the hope of confirmation through the process of this research. The translated texts especially political ones undergo some subtle alterations like implied ideological and cultural changes during the process of translation. Farahzad’s Translation Criticism model can be an accommodating tool for perceiving and extracting the afore-mentioned changes.
۱.۶ Significance of the Study
When Norman Fairclough (1995: 13) discusses the “discourse practice” dimension of his analysis framework, he states that his dimension is concerned with text production consumption and distribution and defines distribution as “how texts circulate within orders of discourse”. He mentions that the issue of distribution of texts merits more attention. This research follows this line which is depicted in Farahzad’s model of translation criticism and tries to pay attention to translation as a way of text distribution. This purpose was carried out within Farahzad’s framework of CDA. According to Bennet (cited in Duarte J.F. et al, 2006:111), translators working with academic texts need a critical distance with regard to the discourse they use. When a translator becomes familiar with critical approaches to texts, s/he, in fact, recognizes the traces of power in text production, distribution and consumption. This conscious awareness, or in Faircough’s words (1995:18) ”critical language awareness” is the milestone for “resistance” and eventually “emancipation” in this course. This means that translators are no longer the unconscious slaves of power relations. These matters can be traced in Hooshang Mahdavi’s translation of Blum’s Killing Hope (2003) and also in Khavvajian’s rendering of All the Shah’s Men (2003). Blum as a renowned critic of U.S. foreign policy probes his country’s interminable intervention in political affairs of over fifty countries worldwide. He scrutinizes and investigates these political issues to the extent that the book pages allow. He allocates each country some pages including Iran. Seemingly, the amount of emphasis put o Iran is not Satisfactory for the translator because he believes that Iran and the harm done to it deserves more mention and attention thus accordingly, accentuates the matter more. The mentioned reasons can be appointed to the translation of All the Shah’s Men, as well.
Moreover, translation studies (TS) scholars have recognized the dichotomy of linguistic and cultural approach in recent years. The linguistic approach applies descriptive studies focusing on textual forms and fails to address ideological issues. Cultural approach, for its part, targets these issues but has no methodical formal framework of analysis. Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), and especially Farahzad’s model thereof, can play this role for a systematic analysis because of its interdisciplinary tools and common theoretical background.
The act of translation is not a purely linguistic activity; translators must attend to political, social, and ideological backgrounds of writers to be able to render a message from source to target language. Due to the fact that translation encompasses the close links between language and culture, CDA researches carried on in Translation Studies aim at analyzing the translated texts to realize how much the ideology of writers is visible in the translated texts, and to what extent ideological standing of the translators affect the process of translation and renditions (Venuti, 1998). Considering these issues, the translator does not overlook Blum’s being an American despite his being an outspoken critic of U.S. foreign affairs. These points will be fully discussed in the forthcoming chapters.
In Blum’s work: “Killing Hope, US Military & CIA Interventions since World War II”, the term USA and all words associated with it like CIA, American, America, the States, etc. were put under scrutiny. The reason behind the mentioned words being chosen as the key term in the investigation was that the author put emphasis on USA by bringing it on the cover page. Th
e title of Blum’s work manifests vividly that the content thereof revolves around the pivot of the US and its interventions in a multitude of countries around the globe.
The key terms opted for the second book, kinzer’s “All the Shah’s Men, an American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror” were USA and the words pertinent to it as well as Britain and its related words like England, British, MI6, etc. Since, in the title of the book, Kinzer mentioned “an American Coup”, it became clear that U.S plays a pivotal role in the Coup; moreover, the content of the book vividly manifests Britain’s position toward this the Coup in Iran.
۱.۷ Limitations of the Study
Analyzing the representations of meaning within discourse provides insight to how language is utilized as part of methodology to achieve specific ends for reproduction and legitimations of power. However, making sense of the methods used and the patterns employed is dependent upon the not only the grammatical and semantic knowledge of each individual analyst, but also the social contexts through which the discourse and the language are shaped via outside texts and reference. In analyzing the two books, “Killing Hope” and “All the Shah’s Men” I have strived to be as objective and knowledgeable as possible. I have attempted to analyze the sociosemantic features of the mentioned books and their corresponding translations. One of the limitations of such an analysis of representations is that while I have been able to discuss what I believe to be some of the key representations within the texts; another analyst may find features or patterns that they consider to be more significant. Although the researcher has done his best to analyze the texts as objectively as possible, there may be some different vantage points in interpreting the way both the writer and the translator represented their ideas.
The reason I hose the aforementioned books was that CDA mostly was applied on political texts so I had to narrow down my options to political ones and since the USA was considered to be as the big enemy for Iran again I narrowed the works down to the ones with direct interference of the USA.
Regarding Blum’s “Killing Hope”, since the translator was part of the Iranian community and the translation was asked to be done by an Iranian governmental organization, only the parts of the book considered being in a close relationship with the Iranian government-Asian and Islamic countries-were selected.
Since the writers themselves were among the outspoken critics of the USA’s policy, it was really difficult finding strategies which tried to darken even more the face of USA.
۱.۸ Definition of Key Terms
Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA): CDA is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of discourse, which views ”language as a form of social practice” (Fairclough, 1998: 20) and tries ”to read the traces and effects of power in language and discourse, in text and syntax” (Hodge & Kress, 1993: 153).
Ideology: Ideology ”a systematic body of

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