Translation, colonialism, and the rise of English

    Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


    The introduction of English has been seen as "an embattled response to historical and political pressures: to tensions between the English parliament and the East India Company, between parliament and the missionaries, between the East India Company and the native elite classes". Extending this argument, the author suggests that the specific resolution of these tensions through the introduction of English education is enabled discursively by the colonial practice of translation. European translations of Indian texts prepared for a western audience provided to the 'educated' Indian a whole range of Orientalist images. Even when the anglicised Indian spoke a language other than English, he would have preferred, because of the symbolic power attached to Englsh, to gain access to his own past through the translations and histories circulated through colonial discourse English education also familiarised the Indian with ways of seeing, techniques of translation, or modes of representation that came to be accepted as 'natural'.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)773-779
    Number of pages7
    JournalEconomic and Political Weekly
    Issue number15
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 1990

    Bibliographical note

    This article also published in S. Joshi (Ed.) (1991), Rethinking English: Essays in literature, language, history (pp. 124-145). New Delhi: Trianka.


    Dive into the research topics of 'Translation, colonialism, and the rise of English'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this