Lingua, traduzione e conflitto Translations di Brian Friel

Fiorenzo Fantaccini


The essay analyses the relationship between ideology and translation in Brian Friel’s play Translations (1981). In order to do so, dynamics of power and resistance that are at play in the process of translation, and the ways in which they were enacted in Irish culture are discussed. Friel’s play is a dramatization of the “conflict” between two linguistic cultures: the Gaelic and the English. The conflict was triggered by the Ordnance Survey of 1833 which imposed the translation of all Irish toponyms into English. This colonial practice of naming/taming is the representation of a type of power that achieves its maximum fulfilment through the obliteration of the linguistic culture of the colonized. The aim of the essay is to show how Friel re-reads the his- tory of Ireland taking into account the socio-political causes of the colonization, and designates the moment in which the Irish people had to abandon their language as the source of their identitarian crisis.


Brian Friel; Translations; conflict; translation; Ireland

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