This paper argues that the hybrid text is a product of a voluntarily incomplete translation process. Hybrid texts are produced by writers who want to highlight their position between cultures, creating a new site of individual and collective expression. Hybrid texts are defined as those texts which use „translation effects” to question the borders of identity. These works, which arise out of hybrid sites of belonging, involve acts of interlingual creation. Three kinds of textual hybridisation which arise out of a number of contexts of cultural and linguistic contact are investigated on the basis of literary texts.
Professional non-literary translation in contemporary Europe may be understood as a coherent alternative to interlocutors using languages in which they have deficient or non-natural competence. Such translation can thus be seen as inscribing an ideology of non-hybridity. This is because macrostructural translated texts mark out lines between at last two languages and cultures; they thus posit the separation and possible purity of both; this in turn supports the ideal of pure or natural language use. If such imagined purity is some kind of opposite of hybrids, then translations might help rather than hinder it. This general argument can be unsheathed from a picture in a twelfthcentury translation of the Qur'an, a close reading of Horace, a wink at Schleiermacher, and twinkling Euro-English from an EU meeting on business statistics regulations.
The notion of hybridity in light of the French concept of métissage opens a third way between the reefs of totality (fusion, homogeneity) and differentialism (fragmentation, heterogeneity). In an hybrid composition, the components are still visible and it is the tension between them, not the resolution, which gives its full value and its character to the alloying. In that approach, hybridity loses its negativity and becomes an ontological category which should be not dependent on cultural and sociohistorical factors. There is no such thing as original purity (for texts or anything else) which becomes modified and yields to impurity (hybridity being one example). As long as any being is subject to time – which is the primary condition for being – its essence and existence become a succession of altered states. This paper, drawing from contemporary translation studies as well as Nietzsche and Deleuze, explores the applications of such a theorisation to translation as a model of hybrid textuality and defines a „translative text” functioning as a bridge between the socalled source and target texts which are only two sequential moments of textuality and two modes of saying.
The contribution discusses the concept of the hybrid text familiar in postcolonial literature as a text written by the ex-colonised in the language of the excoloniser, hence creating a ‘new language' and occupying a space ‘in between'. It is therefore not identical with the concept of the hybrid text discussed in Schäffner and Adab (1997) as the result of an interlingual translation process, although there are many similarities, from the ‘strange, unusual' features to the phenomenon of ‘contact as con-flict'. For the translator, the postcolonial hybrid text – due to its ‘new language' in-volving elements ranging from lexical and grammatical innovation to culture-bound items – presents many problems. These emerge clearly from the examples discussed here, which are taken from India (Rushdie and Roy) and from the Philippines (the tradi-tional form of the short story known as the sugilanon). It is seen that the hybrid, innovative nature of the language is often actually reduced by the interlingual translation process, and – in contrast to the foreignising process of artificially ‘bending back' the lan-guage – a case is made for a holistic, ‘scenes-and-frames' approach and for strategies that maximise the creative potential of the text for the target culture.
Hybridness is an important but by no means the defining feature of a translation. Affecting passages or whole texts it is functionally related to a spectrum of causes varying from individual to historical and social motivations (e.g., „resistant translation” vs. pragmatic enculturation). It is also bound up with the formative role translations have always played in the life of different communicative communities, serving as a diagnostic byproduct of the influences wielded by translations on target discourse (six factors of influence). The historical variability and the multiple uses of translation have continually revalued the strategies which translators have applied to produce target texts on a scale ranging from hybridness, often regarded as a deficiency, to originality and creativity lending the target version a new life of its own in a new cultural context. The concept of hybridness could serve its purpose if it were taken as just one option in a new research paradigm that looks at the uses and shapes of translation in history. It studies translation events as they arise in a particular time and place and function as agents in the course of history.
This article begins by considering various aspects of hybridity – linguistic, generic and cultural – and then singles out hybridity as a defining feature of translated texts, as it is of many postmodern texts. Unlike the case of original works, hybridisation in translations must, however, be viewed in connection with the strategies of naturalisation (or acculturation) and foreignisation (or exoticisation) as deployed by translators. In fact, the greater the attempt at naturalisation, the more hybrid the text becomes. Key concepts in D. H. Lawrence's „private religion”, as used in his major novels likeSons and Lovers, The RainbowandLady Chatterley's Lover, are then submitted to analysis, which is followed by a discussion of the problems they generate in translation. Among those terms used by Lawrence, many (like „soul”, „the Lord”, and „the Unseen”) have clearly been translated into Chinese with attendant Buddhist or folk religious connotations. The article ends by engaging itself with the reactions of readers to the „Babelic dissonance” in translations – that is, with the question of how they can make coherent sense of translated texts that are incurably hybrid.
Intercultural communication gives rise to the development of new text types and genres. Particular stages of this development can be described as hybridisa-tion. These are the stages at which the new text types and genres are not yet fully established themselves as forms of communication in a socio-cultural setting: they manifest linguistic and rhetorical features which are felt to be foreign. Hybridisation can be seen as a process comparable to pidginisation: while pidginisation in the course of time may result in the emergence of new languages, i.e., creoles, hybridisation may result in the emergence of new domestic text types and genres. Thus the hybrid condition is transitory by definition. The paper will illustrate this process with reference to EU grant applications.
Our assessment of the use of the concept of hybrid texts in analysing translations of social and political discourse shows that the „deliberate and conscious” deployment of „strange” features can serve to heighten or to create an awareness of real, putative or contrived differences in assumptions between linguistic cultures. In their alien context, certain terms can spin off unforeseen paradigms and perspectives, as is evidenced in the crosscultural reception of the works of Locke, Hegel, Marx, Mill, Dilthey, Freud and Max Weber.