Foreignisation and resistance: Lawrence Venuti and his critics

Kjetil Myskja


This article evaluates whether Lawrence Venuti’s translation approach of “foreignisation” is likely to achieve his stated goal: translations that can resist cultural dominance. This is assessed in light of criticism of his approach from other translation scholars also concerned with cultural encounters and power relations: Maria Tymoczko, Mona Baker, Tarek Shamma and Michael Cronin. The article concludes that it is problematic to identify foreignisation and predict its effect. In spite of this, Venuti’s focus on the dangers of a one-sided privileging of fluent translation strategies is important and valuable, not least in the perspective of the internal cultural and linguistic struggles that will take place within the target culture.

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