Scholarly article on topic 'Translation and Ideology: A Critical Reading'

Translation and Ideology: A Critical Reading Academic research paper on "Languages and literature"

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Abstract of research paper on Languages and literature, author of scientific article — Anna Valerio

Abstract The recent interest in the relation between translation and ideology led to the following project based on a comparative analysis among the Italian short novel for children Pinocchio and its three translations (English, Russian and Turkish) to highlight how the translation choices are determined by a specific cultural background and ruling power.If external influences cannot be avoided, a translation should respect its main scope of being the source for a cultural change. Therefore, the two questions that have eventually to be answered are how does the critics of translation relate to the ethics of translation and how can the common reader be protected from unconscious manipulation. Reasoning about the translator's position and the importance of critical reading and foreign language classes will serve the purpose.

Academic research paper on topic "Translation and Ideology: A Critical Reading"

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Procedía - Social and Behavioral Sciences 70 (2013) 986 - 996

Akdeniz Language Studies Conference

Translation and ideology: a critical reading

Anna Valerio1

Frelamce researcher,Iistanbul, Turkey


The recent interest in the relation between translation and ideology led to the following project based on a comparative analysis among the Italian short novel for children Pinocchio and its three translations (English, Russian and Turkish) to highlight how the translation choices are determined by a specific cultural background and ruling power.

If external influences cannot be avoided, a translation should respect its main scope of being the source for a cultural change. Therefore, the two questions that have eventually to be answered are how does the critics of translation relate to the ethics of translation and how can the common reader be protected from unconscious manipulation. Reasoning about the translator's position and the importance of critical reading and foreign language classes will serve the purpose.

© 22012 The Authors . Published b y Elsevier Ltd. Selection and peer-review under responsibility of ALSC 2012

Keywords : Translation; ideology;critical reading; language learning; cognitive model.


This paper takes its starting point from a 2005 event when the Turkish Ministry of Education issued a list called the "100 Essential Readings" containing Turkish and foreign famous novels to be read by primary and secondary school children; among these, there was the Italian story for children Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, and it is the dispute about the translation of it, as well as of some other works, that interested me most.

The research explores the practice of translation of the original Pinocchio in different socio-cultural contexts determined by a different language, a different historical background as well as by a different political surrounding. In the analysis three translations (English, Russian and Turkish) and four versions are compared to the original. For the Turkish translation I availed myself of both the translation included in the list and of one from an independent publishing house, The practice of inserting and imbedding

1 Corresponding author. Tel: +00 000 000 0000; fax: +00 000 000 0000 E-mail address:

1877-0428 © 2012 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and peer-review under responsibility of ALSC 2012 doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.01.149

translated texts with ideology, values and cultural meanings is a practice that has been performed since the old times, however only from the 1990s has been considered as a new object of study according to which, in the translation process the culture both of the source and target text could no more be eluded. As a result, the comparison has answered the first purpose of this paper and has drowned attention to the importance of socio-cultural factors in determining the choices of the translator during the translation process. Different perspectives have been presented, ranging from norms studies to Van Dijk's socio-cognitive model and the most recent critics about the position of the translator.

The second purpose of the research has been developed in the second and third part of the paper. It addresses more practical questions and issues such as the safeguard of readers from unconscious manipulation, and the providing of tools to raise awareness in a readership which can become an active participant of a more conscious consumption.

1. A case study : Pinocchio, its background and social values

Pinocchio was originally a series published on the «Giornale per i bambini» from 1881 to 1883. Its complete and definitive version appeared only in 1893 in an illustrated book. The historical and social background of the work is the nineteenth century Italy, a country, which had recently achieved its independence and more important its political unity in 1861. The most urgent need for Italy in those years was that of creating a national identity together with an ideological common system. In accordance with that, a pedagogical project had been arranged according to all the different regional and social realities, which coexisted at that time on the same ground; the purpose was to form a structured and productive working class, which together with the new middle bourgeois class would have brought the country towards the growth and the modernization (Righi, 2011). Pinocchio is not only a fairy tale for children; it is also a novel of education, whose main feature is the child's disruptive behaviour. As a metaphor of contemporary society the book Pinocchio encloses a feeling of discontent and revolt. Pinocchio with his behaviour is against the Italian post independence morality, the authoritarian imposing of a national identity; however it is in favour of the common idea of creating a new society. As a result the whole story is a sort of metamorphosis tale, which sees the transformation of the puppet both on a physical and spiritual plane. Perella (1986) one of the English translators of Pinocchio, regarding to this, has asserted that, "it is not Pinocchio's social status that changes. The puppet's transformation is the result of his unalterable acceptance of a rigid work ethic within a social structure that goes unquestioned."

In conclusion, the social and historical elements which compose the background of Pinoccho's writing should be taken into consideration while analyzing its translations, because the original story and language may reflect all this. At this point it is interesting to explore and investigate the way it has been perceived, manipulated and adapted under different circumstances.

2. The three translations of Pinocchio

Pinocchio has always been a very popular fairy tale among children as well as among adults. Its circulation around the world and its subsequent translations have influenced the readers' reception of the story, thus giving the impression that the characters themselves and the plot are different from the original version and from time to time adapted to the receiving context and cultural background. Pinocchio has reached such a popularity that has undergone a process of reinterpretation through various applications, from the literary ones to the cinema and the theatre. The three versions analyzed for this study are all in the literary form and are translations of the original Italian text. The important fact is that those translations were all commissioned and conceived in a particular political and historical context. As far as

the English/American version Pinocchio, the story of a marionette is concerned a translation of the 1920s has been chosen; for the comparison with Russian language the most popular Russian version Priiiluchenie Buratino I zolotoi kliuchik by the soviet writer Aleksei Tolstoi published in 1936 has been considered; finally the most recent Turkish translation Pinokyo, published by Zambak in 2011 has served the purpose of this research; in addition, a second Turkish version published by the independent publishing house Kabalci has been analyzed in the comparison process. The choice of having two Turkish translations is the evidence that in spite of the influence external factors may have on translation, is the translator's role which becomes crucial in the resulting text.

2.1. Pinocchio the Story of a Marionette and its publishing adventures.

The English audience first met the fairy tale in 1891 thanks to the successful and literal Murray's translation in London. In 1892 Pinocchio arrived in the United States and it had to pass through various vicissitudes before reaching a steady position. As Wunderlich (1992) affirms, the American knowledge of Pinocchio has little or nothing to do with the original Italian version, due to various manipulations the text had passed through. In contrast with the general feeling of sympathy felt towards Pinocchio, to the American eyes of the last century the puppet is an annoyance. In 1904 a translation appeared and it was commissioned by experts in the field of primary school education. The purpose of this translation was to act in response of all the changing that the country was going through, such as industrialization, which had inevitably opened the country up to an increasing speculation and immigration. Those were years of violence, national strikes and revolts. As a consequence new values like self-discipline, self-denial, industriousness, and respect for authority arose. The 1904 Pinocchio's translation was done in order to adapt to the new social order and to provide schools with a text on a national scale; however some schools boards rejected it because considered it not suitable. Therefore, many changes were made, including omissions, deletions and additions. According to the new values some themes or episodes dealing with social violence were removed probably as Wunderlich (1992) states, to preserve and protect children, discourage violence and thus maintain the discipline in the classroom. Another kind of revision relates to authority, which consisted of removing all the parts were adults are mocked and disrespectfully treated by children. These behaviors might have been ill-judged for an education based on authority and discipline and for this reason were removed from the American version. These mistranslations persisted to the mid-1920s, and in the one analyzed for this project as well many are the omissions, although it is difficult to trace a line among the alterations and omissions because the translator's choices don't follow a traced path.

The most popular translations remained those based on Murray s one, which reached their peak during the 1930s. All the new translations rejected the old moralistic inclination and brought the puppet and its story to success promoting new productions such as a film, a ballet, radio broadcasts, operettas and theatre performances.

After 1937 again the story underwent a transformation in the main character of Pinocchio. The United States had had the traumatizing experience of the Depression, which showed them their vulnerability. In the translations of these years the child is a good boy, sweet and incapable of hurting and provoking any damage. The main focus in these later editions is to celebrate the family and the unity. It is claimed that Pinocchio has a new message to convey related to the importance of the family and children, both seen as a power and a resource of energy. It's not a coincidence that in these years the Walt Disney film production was released. Whereas the original version and the early 1930s translations availed themselves of Pinocchio to depict a negative and satirical behavior towards the state, the latest versions suggest a more positive message. In less then a century a short novel has gone through so many manipulations as

were the different social and historical backgrounds which the United States experienced. Wunderlich's social forces, as he himself argues in his study, affected Pinocchio's transformation and thus Collodi's original has lost its main qualities.

2.2. Zolotoi kliuchik ili Prikliuchenie Buratino

During the Soviet time the fairy tale had a twofold role; it was at the same time both the place which fostered the possibility of expressing ideas free form any ideology and the place for strong political battles (Balina, 2007). Fairy tales occupy a central role in the history of Russia; however as far as the Soviet literature is concerned the question becomes more complicated. Soviet propaganda did not need to spread ideas of a better world or a better life, like the ones depicted in fairy tales since it was believed that a better status had already been achieved after the October Revolution, hence it was not necessary to promote an imaginary life in which people could have found their comfort. The major issue concerning the fairy tale was in the context of children education. Literature, during the soviet era the role of creating a class-oriented education; however for the fairy tales the question was how the common themes like princes and princesses, wealth and power could be part of the Soviet educational system. Therefore, for years fairytales were excluded from schools and private reading because they as Dobrenko (1997) states, "badly influenced the yet-to-be developed conscience of children (and destroyed) their ability to comprehend materialistic images of the world/'

The reevaluation of the fairy tale in the Soviet literature was brought to light by Maksim Gorkii, the father of socialist realism. His first step towards it was to promote folk tales, especially traditional Russian folk tales because of the importance of the message contained in them about optimism and the struggle for the "renovation of life" (Balina, 2007). Gradually it was given attention to this issue and other writers spoke about fairy tales and the possibility for the Soviet People to have their own new children's literature, made of fairy tales. As a result, many Soviet writers started to write fairy tales and helped the genre to be accepted in the Soviet literary canons thanks to some ideological foundations for the new reader of the 1930s. In those years a new reader together with a new concept had dawned: the rural reader and the concept of populism; as a result, the set of the fairy tale had to be realistic and the characters wiser more experienced and more appreciative of the Soviet reality in which they lived. (Balina, 2007). One example of the fairy tale written in this new context is the translation/rewriting of Collodi's Pinocchio, with the new title of The golden Key or the Adventures of Buratino written by Aleksei N. Tolstoi in 1935. While the original Italian book was well known among the pre-revolutionary readers, Aleksei Tolstoi's version became the beloved story of the post revolutionary children, with the image of Buratino represented everywhere, from pins to plates and even on Soviet soft drinks labels. In this version the name of the hero has changed and the plot itself has undergone some changes to adapt itself to the surrounding reality. The reader is told about the protagonists, Buratino and the other puppets, and their adventures in search of a secret, represented by a door, whose lock can be opened only with the golden key. The doors open to another world, an ideal world of joy that in the following theatrical version, becomes the country "where old people live in prosperity and comfort" (Tolstoi, 314). It is a dream land where wishes of peace and serenity where the key is the metaphor for happiness. As Balina (2007) states in her article, in Tolstoi's story a new world, similar to the real Soviet one, is represented; it is a world in which people are aware of the stratification of classes and for this reason many different characters can be find, such as the villain who has become rich by exploiting other puppets, the poor Papa Carlo and the greedy cat and fox. In the Soviet perception of life individuality is not admitted; every action is the result of a collective struggle and effort. A leader is thus necessary in the story as well; someone who will inspire everybody and give them a chance: he is Buratino. Moreover, he keeps a secret that is the crux of the story and that will make of Buratino a real leader able to guide the others. In spite of everything,

Buratino is a real character and not a super hero. He has got his weaknesses: he is a liar, he is lazy, and he sells his spelling book for a theater ticket just because he is a true character and true is his search, which brings the fairy tale closer to its purpose of educating. Apart from the content differences between the original Italian version and the Soviet one, clearly adapted to the communist ideology, some other alterations concern more the philosophy. For example Stelio Cro (2002) states about Collodi's work that Pinocchio is the novel of transformation and Pinocchio itself is the protagonist of a magical metamorphosis that is both physical and spiritual; it is on this latter transformation that Tolstoi focuses his narration while he is not interested at all in the physical one, which sees Collodi's Pinocchio becoming a boy out of a piece of wood. The reason why Buratino does not become human may be because he is already human in his behavior.

Another contrasting element between the original version and the Soviet one could be seen in the protagonist's research of happiness. Whereas Pinocchio's is an individual and self-centered one, Buratino's purpose is to pursue a universal happiness, where the moral transformation is shared with the other puppets for which he is the leader. For the same reason, in the socialist realist narrative there is no place for the blue hairy Fairy, because the strength and the power able to grant the moral evolution are held by the group. On the other hand, in Collodi Pinocchio's growth and metamorphosis into a child is the result of hard work, a principle of the bourgeois work ethic and thus absent in the Soviet version.

2.3. Pinokyo

The most recent version among the ones analyzed in this paper is the Turkish one. As it has already been stated, it calls back to 2004 and 2005 when the Turkish Ministry of Education issued 2 lists named "100 Essential Readings"; the first dedicated to the secondary school children and the second to the primary school readers. In these lists were and are contained the books, so called classics that, according to the Ministry of Education, every child should read. As Sertkan (2007) assumes in his Masters' thesis, the rationale behind the lists was to encourage primary and secondary school children to read as much as possible as well as suggest teachers to integrate them into their syllabi for the courses on Turkish Language (for primary school children) or Turkish Literature (for secondary school children). It was also supposed that reading classic works of literature would cultivate the minds of children and help them expand their horizons. In the list Italian, French, English and American classical authors were mentioned; classic works, especially those of Western origin, have presumably played an important role in Turkish cultural life. They likely constitute the primary intellectual ground for the Western culture, which has always benefited from a superior status in Turkey, enjoyable only through translation. It is likely that this project meant to renew and the relation between Turkey and western culture in order to allow Turkish children and adults as well to increase their acquaintance with Europe and foreign cultures.

The Turkish translation of Pinocchio, as well as the other ones analyzed in other languages, has undergone significant changes both in the form and in the content: changes, which are said to have an ideological, religious connotation. For example throughout the book, which brings the logo of the Ministry, several times the word Allah is used, while in the original there is no trace of it and not even of a religious reference. In Turkish there are two words for God; Allah is a specific word, because it indicates the Islamic God, while Tanri designates the general meaning of a superior creature, in fact a more general God. In 2006 when a journalist from the Turkish newspaper Radikal Daily made the surprising discovery, the Turkish and international institutions devoted to laicism and democracy were shaken. This issue has drawn the attention of people from diverse fields such as education, literature, and translation and also of the international press. A dispute followed, in which all the parties, accused and accusation raised their voices for and against.

Due to this event the book Pinocchio and its Turkish translation released by the publishing house Zambak in 2011 have served the purpose of this paper in presenting a text embedded with ideology. To support some of the stances reported in the analysis, two translations of Pinocchio have been consulted, being one contained in the "100 Essential Readings' list and the other published by an independent publisher Kabalci in 2009. The practice of translation has been explored again as a consequence of changes in the socio-cultural/political context in Turkish society during the last 10 years. As far as the Kabalci translation is concerned, no sentences containing the word Allah are reported. Another significant fact is the Zambak's preface to the book. It presents a brief summary of the story; it is followed by the information which ensures the child readers that a puppet can by no means become animated and what happens in the story is completely at odds with the (Muslim) faith and traditions. Furthermore, children are ensured that only Allah gives the spirit, and no other beings are capable of doing so.

As a result the Turkish version contains a message that is neither mentioned nor supported in Collodi's original Pinocchio whose intent was different and that conveys a deceived idea about the beliefs and values of other cultures.

2.4. The comparison

A comparison has been carried out among the three translations and four versions of the story Pinocchio and some of h most significant elements have been presented in the table below. This will help the readers and the critics have a clearer view of what has been said about the influence of ideology in the process of translation.

Table 1: the comparison among the four versions of Pinocchio.

Italian (1893/2010) English (1923) Russian (1936) Turkish (Zambak, 2011) Turkish (Kabalci)

Polendina Polendina omitted Sari kedi Polendina

Buscarmi un n tozzo di pane e un bicchiere di vino Earn a living Заработаешь на кусок хлеба и стаканчик вина. Ona evladim gibi bakacagim Bir lokma ekmekle bir kadeh sarap alacak kadar para kazanabilirim.

Numi del firmamento Do I drean or am I awake? Глядите, это Буратино! Aman Allah im Gokyuzundeki tanrilar adina

Montone Mutton/sheep целый кролик и два цыплёнка Koyun eti koyun

Felicita Omitted scene Будьте здоровы, синьор Allah sizi korusun Cok yasayin

Aprimi per carita Omitted scene Помогите, помогите, добрые люди!.. Allah askina Ne olur kapiyi ac

Datemi subito il bicchiere per carita Give the medicine Тогда девочка сказала строго, взрослым голосом: — Зажми нос и гляди в потолок... Раз, два, три. Она влила касторку в Allah askina bardagi ver Ne olur acele et

poT BypaTHHO

Questa volta l'ho scampata bella Again I had a lucky escape Secret of the golden key found in a pond. Allah'a sukur Cok guzel kurturdum

Dissero una preghiera Omitted scene Animals which warn burationo not to lose the key Allah'a dua ettiler Bir dua soylediler

Mamma mia Omitted scene Omitted scene Aman allah'im Tanri yardimci olsun

Scusi tanto l'incomodo e mille grazie delle sua garbatezza Good bye, Mr Fish. Excuse the trouble I have given you. Many thanks for your politeness. Omitted scene Allah'a emanet olsun kardes. Size de zahmet verdim beni affedin. Yapmis oldugunuz bu iyilikler icin cok tesekkur ederim. Rahatsiz ettigim icin ozur dilerim ve kibarliginiz icin cok tesekkurler.

Cavolfiore Cabbage with oil and sugar Omitted scene Dolmalar karnibahar

Rimase la incantato, colgi occhi spalancti, colla forchetta per aria e colla bocca piena di pane e di cavolfiore. He stared at her with his eyes and mouth open Omitted scene Aman Allah im Ona bakar bakmaz hayretle ohhh! dedi

Bada Pinocchio! Quei tuoi compagnacci di scuola finiranno prima o poi col farti perdere l'amore allo studio... Take care Pinocchio! Those bad schoolmates of yours are not your friends. They will sure to harm you Omitted scene Dikkatli ol Pinokyo! O kotu arkadaslarin yuzunden sonunda kitaplara olan sevgi bitecek. Insallah o kotu arkadaslarin yuzunden basin derde girmez. Dikkatli ol Pinokyo! O kotu okul arkadaslarin yuzunden eninde sonunda ders calismaktan soguycakasin

Spicciatevi per caritít Be quick for pity's sake Omitted scene Allah'a askina Ne olur acele et

Nel vassio cera un pane, un pollastro arrosto e quattro albicocche mature On the tray was a loaf of bread, a roast chicken and four ripe apricots. Omitted scene Tepside ekmek, kizarmis birtavuk, peynir ve zeytin vardi. Tepside bir somun ekmek, bir kizarmis tavuk ve dort de olgun kaysi vardi

Duegento tazze di caffe e latte e quattrocento panini imburrati di sotto e di Omitted lines Omitted scene Iki yuz bardak sut ve dort yuz tane peynirli borek Ikiyuz fincan sutlu kahveyile cift tarafina tereyagi surulmus dort yuz dilim ekmek

Che cosa pagherei Ometted scene Omitted scene Insallah araba hemen gecer! O arabann simdi gecmesi icin neler vermezdim

Gli venne di grattarsi il capo e si accorse.. .indovinate un po' di cosa? He scratched his head and found that his ears had grown... Omitted scene Kafasini elleriyle yoklamaya basladi. Aman Allah im o da neydi? Uyandiginda kafasini kasimaya baslamis ve kasirken de fark etmisti ki...

Affrettati Pinocchio per caritít Omitted scene Omitted scene Allah Askina Ne olur cabuk ol Pinokyo

Davvero? Is it really so? Omitted scene Allah razi olsun Sahi mi?

Dissero una preghiera Omitted scene Omitted scene Allah'a dua ettiler Bir dua soylediler

The English and Russian versions are the ones that present most changes at the content level. The story has been abridged, like in the case of the English version or completely revisited as is the case of the Soviet Buratino. As far as the two Turkish translations are concerned, the results show clearly that a source culture oriented translation was possible and thus that the choices on hand during the translation process are various and different and it is the translator's duty to find the more suitable ones.

The accused publishing houses tried to defend themselves claiming that their choices in translation were completely free from any ideological pressure or stance and that these words are daily used in Turkish language by everyone; the fact is that a translation choice is not generally a result of causality, but on the contrary of a precise and long meditated awareness. Some of the differences considered are determined and based by and on a religious ground, while some others are adjusted more on the cultural level, as the examples about food provided demonstrate. In both cases if the purpose of reading foreign literature is that of expanding readers' horizons the translation should be performed in respect of the source culture and language to form, thus, minds aware of the diversities of the people living our world.

3. The translation criticism and the translator's role.

Translation is a process which involves a transposition of a culture into another language, thus the resulting text will inevitably carry some meanings and values which do not pertain only to the language. The question here is if the translation process is influenced by other external influences or if it is performed in the respect of the source culture and text. When ideology is concerned it is difficult to trace borders and define what is ideology or ideologically written and what is not. To this regard the Dutch linguist Koller (2005) states that: "certainly researchers should be aware of the fact that. .all writing on ideology is ideologically vested' meaning that also the critics about translation could to a certain extent be permeated with ideology as well. Koller's words are particularly interesting because shed light, in fact, on the delicate role of the translation and consequently the translator. If ideology cannot be avoided in translated text then is necessary to find a way to preserve the ethics of translation. During the last decades translation criticism has focused on the role of the translator and his position, both physical and ideological. A position of "in between' has been long advocated, however lately has been rejected by some scholars in favor of other theories. Translation and translator as well should be imagined involved in a movement and not in a static position; in fact the translator is neither in the source culture nor in the target culture, however he/she is both in the source culture and in the target culture. His/her position is rather fluctuant at the interconnection of the cultures. Hence Pym's model of interculturality seems to be of certain validity. The term "interculture" is used by Pym (1998) himself to "refer to beliefs and practices found in intersections or overlaps of cultures, where people combine something of two or more cultures at once". The intersection between culture 1 and culture 2 is the overlapped space where, according to Pym, the translator and the translation are located. As a consequence translation and translators are moving, because when the translator goes exploring the other he/she will certainly retain something of him/herself and when coming back he/she will bring something of the other and finally in the intersection and shared space among the cultures the translations is performed. The only concern about the movement is that the translator does not move alone, as a single individual, but rather as an agent or a performer of a collective: hence the influence of ideology, external values and power relations are inevitable.

Translators should not be expected to be neutral; however one of their main concerns should be that of be trustful. The good translation, using Bermrni's words is not necessarily the faithful one, but the one that has got the right balance between maintaining the existing social values and bringing changes and fulfilling its main scope of being a source for a cultural change. This could be possible considering the

cognitive factor, which is a characteristic component of each and all individuals. If like Van Dijk's (1998) affirms in representing his socio-cognitive model a direct relation between the discourse and the society is possible only if mediated by the cognitive element, then this could be considered and applied in the analysis of the (internal) factors which determine the translator's solutions in the translation process.

4. Educate the reader. Critical reading and the importance of learning a foreign language

Ideology in translated texts cannot be avoided; however to a certain extent it can be rationalized. It is the translator with his/her personal choices that can determine the resulting translated text. It urges now to discuss the possibility for the common reader to be preserved from unconscious manipulation. By common reader I mean the non-reader educated one among which can be found people interested in reading mostly for pleasure, in their free time, generally to find a rest from daily, real life rather then to face it in books. It is in this state of mind that it is easier to be manipulated and to keep away from questions such as why has something been written in a certain way and how it has been written or said. In order to educate readers to be independent consumers it is necessary to promote awareness, because as Fairclough (1989) said: "awareness is the first step to emancipation'. The two ways to raise and lead readers to a more conscious thinking are to me the implementation of critical reading and foreign language teaching.

The essential difference between conventional reading and critical reading can be outlined by giving the main characteristics of the critical reading as suggested by Wallace (2003); furthermore the scholar emphasizes the value of this practice if applied to non English native speakers' classes and, thus, for extension to students learning a foreign language and dealing with translation studies.

• Critical reading involves the critics of the ideological hidden assumptions behind the logic, arguments or sentiments of the text. For this purpose the reader has to investigate the use of words and expressions.

• One of the main results of critical reading related to texts in relation with the target context of the target culture is to answer the question why something has been written thus. The answers to this question will inevitably imply a link between translation and ideology (Isbuga-Erel, 2007)

• Critical reading can be performed by native speakers as well as by language learners, both on original and translated texts. The main purpose is to raise effect and effect not on an individual basis.

• Critical reading fulfills purposes both at the linguistic and the cultural level. At the linguistic level the reader is supposed to answer and question how the language is used and is changing socially and historically. At the cultural level critical reading allows share different cultures, promote insights and differences.

The critical study of language use in text should be connected both to the historically changing social conditions and to the cognitive accounts of the role of the writer in producing texts, and of the reader in comprehending, reacting and interpreting them. Therefore, paraphrasing what Fairclough (2001) had said, the critic should approach texts, their interpretation and the analysis of their production, considering how the cognitive processes are socially determined and historically changed.

When we come to consider the cultural implications of a critical reading orientation foreign language learning is certainly the best foundation for it. Learning a foreign language implies the consciousness of other cultures and the way people belonging to that culture express themselves. Learning a foreign language helps the individual have a broader view and perspective and thus achieve consistency and awareness.

5. Conclusion

The starting point of this paper has been the comparison of the original Italian book for children and its three translations and four versions to highlight the impact of ideology, external values and meanings in the process of translation and finally in the resulting translator's choices. Ideology cannot be avoided and translated texts are embedded with it, however it is possible to rationalize it if the position of translator is considered a fluctuant one which takes place at the intersection of the cultures in questions, source culture and target culture. Pym has called this particular position interculturality not to be confused with cross-cultural approaches or multiculturalism. In addition another approach, form the cognitive studies, has been taken into consideration. If the only factor that can relate the society and the discourse is the cognitive element, then this could be considered and applied in the analysis of the translation processes and choices as determined by (internal) factors.

The two questions about the possibility and the way to preserve the ethics of the translation and the reader from unconscious manipulation find a common ground in what has been called the education of the reader, through critical reading and foreign language teaching. Teachers should provide the right tools to form young minds, which can be set free and independent from external influences. If this, as Lefevere said, will not change the world, at least will create a space for a more conscious literary (and not only) consumption.


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