Translators Producing Knowledge: Where There Is No Doctor in Tamil

Engaging Science, Technology, and Society

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Field Value
Title Translators Producing Knowledge: Where There Is No Doctor in Tamil
Creator Walkover, Lillian
Subject sociology, science and technology studies (STS), sociology of translation, postcolonial STS
postcolonial translation studies; postcolonial STS; sociology of knowledge; critical global health
Description Where There Is No Doctor is one of the most widely used community health books in the world and has been translated into over 80 languages. This paper traces four aspects of translation in Tamil-language editions of the text, including Doctor Illaadha Idaththil and related books. First, translators choose and create language to produce a colloquial text related to, but different from, the original. Second, the translated text, as part of a genre of health writing, is edited to motivate readers to take new and different actions related to their bodies and wellbeing. Third, the success of this work is assessed by asking future readers to respond to the draft. Finally, the finished translation circulates to new arenas, influencing popular writing on health and ways of understanding the body. Analyzing the translation of a health text through the lens of postcolonial translation studies, this paper argues that the translation and adaptation of Where There Is No Doctor and the books it inspired engage translators, clinicians, and future readers in a transnational knowledge production process.
Publisher The Society for Social Studies of Science
Contributor National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellows Program (GRFP), and NSF Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) with USAID Research Innovation Fellowship
Date 2019-03-23
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Peer-reviewed Article
qualitative methods, grounded theory, situational analysis
Format application/pdf
Source Engaging Science, Technology, and Society; Vol 5 (2019); 21-39
Language eng
Coverage India, US, Mexico
1970s - present
59 interviews with participants involved in the translation, adaptation, distribution, and use of books published by Hesperian Health Guides, most notably the book 'Where There Is No Doctor', into Tamil, Kannada, Hindi, and English, for use in India (demo
Rights Copyright (c) 2019 Lillian Walkover

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