Translating the village
Translation as part of the everyday lives of asylum seekers in Italy
This article explores translation in the lives of asylum seekers from various African countries living in state-provided accommodation in the region of Umbria, Italy. While (semi) professional translators and interpreters play a crucial part in interactions between institutions and asylum seekers, translation invests the totality of the asylum experience. Translation is a vital skill for asylum seekers, and their interactions with the landscape of Italian villages involve the transfer of meaning across different languages and semiotic systems (such as body language, social norms, and cultural practices). Building on recent semiotic and spatial approaches to translation, this article examines the experience of translation that emerged from conversations with asylum seekers, providing an overview of a complex ecosystem of translation and shedding light on the everyday reality of refugee integration.
Keywords: translation, asylum, integration, Italy, intersemiotic translation
Available under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0 license.
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Published online: 27 October 2020
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