In Defence of the Cultural Other: Foreignisation or Mindful Essentialism?

  • David KatanEmail author
Part of the Second Language Learning and Teaching book series (SLLT)


This paper looks at the mediation of difference in translation and how this can affect tolerance and relations with the intercultural other. It begins with a discussion of the ideas regarding ‘difference’ and intercultural tolerance, taking account of the ideal or model reader’s point of view. Translation has often been seen as the key to bridging cultures and to the spreading of ideas and understanding. Yet, at the same time it has also been perceived as fostering violence, as a barrier to integration and also as a means of increasing the hegemonic power of ruling powers (such as Western capitalism). It will be argued here that it is not the type of translation itself that automatically improves or reduces ethnocentricism, but whether it is carried out mindfully or mindlessly; and it will be suggested that mindful essentialism is the key to an effective translation.


Mindfulness Translation Difference Ethnocentricism  Foreignisation Strategic essentialism 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HumanitiesUniversity of SalentoLecceItaly
  2. 2.University of South AfricaPretoriaSouth Africa

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