Translation in/of Cultural Sustainability: Thoughts and Experiences from a Collaboration in Tibet


Timothy O'Connor Thurston (University of Leeds)

How might we translate folkloristic concepts into Tibetan? What gets carried across when choosing different translations and what gets lost? How do translations reflect and shape the expectations of Tibetan stakeholders? To address these questions, I examine discussions with Tibetan stakeholders about translating ‘cultural sustainability’ as part of the Tibetan Sustainable Heritage Initiative. These discussions provide valuable insight into local concerns about cultural change and loss, popular attitudes toward translation and language purity, views on education, and approaches to the protection and transmission of expressive cultural practices. They also illustrate the importance of careful translation in collaborative research.

Part of 04-01 Translation in/of Folklore Studies: Perspectives from China [hybrid], Friday, October 14, 8:30 am–10:00 am