Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

The Question of Language: postcolonial translation in the bilingual collections of Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Paul Muldoon

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Laura Kirkley



The Irish-language poetry of Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill simultaneously defends Irish as a signifier of cultural authenticity and celebrates its fruitful cross-fertilization with other languages and their cultural cargo. Focusing on Paul Muldoon's translations of Ní Dhomhnaill, I treat the resulting bilingual collections as a case study for the ethical implications of translation in a postcolonial context where Irish is under threat. I consider the case of Irish-English translation in relation to models of postcolonial translation that advocate “foreignizing” Standard English by subjecting it to the structures of source languages. I suggest that Irish-English translators remain alert to the risk of “colonizing” Irish, employing “subversive literalism” to produce bilingual editions that promote a fruitful symbiosis of the colonizing and indigenous languages.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kirkley L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Translation Studies

Year: 2013

Volume: 6

Issue: 3

Pages: 277-292

Print publication date: 31/01/2013

Date deposited: 11/09/2013

ISSN (print): 1478-1700

ISSN (electronic): 1751-2921

Publisher: Taylor & Francis


DOI: 10.1080/14781700.2012.756214


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric