Babel in Translation.
Tan, Galen Chern Ming.
- Pioneers of artificial languages, in particular, often employ the figure of Babel in their rhetoric to justify their new language. Jacques Derrida's reading of the Babel myth in relation to the act of translation challenges the latent assumptions that these pioneers make in using the myth of Babel, and thus challenges the motivations behind creating artificial languages. The thesis is divided into... read morethree parts. The first part consists of a review of the figure of Babel, briefly sketching out the history of Babel in its classical roots, before examining in greater depth the issues laid out by George Steiner's After Babel. The second part extends on the historic debate, consisting of a review of Babel in Derrida's critiques. The third part examines historical efforts to break out of the perceived curse of Babel, in the form of the artificial language movement and of I. A. Richards and C. K. Ogden's Basic International English. The metaphor of translation, and consequently Babel which represents the necessity of translation, is ever part of the movement for globalization. However, this metaphor is made problematic through the analysis of these trends through the lens of Derridian criticism.read less