Article (Scientific journals)
Interpreting ‘grief’ in Senegal: language, emotions and cross-cultural translation in a francophone African context
Ruth, Evans; Jane; Fatou, Kebe et al.
2017In Mortality
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Keywords :
Grief; bereavement; mourning; widowhood; translation & interpretation; language & emotions
Abstract :
[en] This article reflects on the profound complexities of translating and interpreting ‘grief’, and emotions and responses to death more broadly, in multilingual, cross-cultural contexts. Drawing on qualitative research conducted in urban Senegal, West Africa, we discuss the exchange of meanings surrounding grief and death through language, including the process of translation, in its broadest sense, between multiple languages (Wolof, French, English). Our experiences demonstrate the crucial importance of involving interpreters and field researchers throughout the research process, to gain fundamental insight into the cultural nuances of indigenous languages and how these are translated and potentially re-framed in the process. We reflect on our iterative process of discussing emerging interpretations with participants in follow-up workshops and with our interpreter. This approach helped shed light on language use surrounding ‘grief’ and how this is bound up with wider socio-cultural norms which make particular emotions surrounding death and experiences/meanings of death and bereavement possible and ‘speak-able’. Our research calls for greater recognition in death and bereavement studies of the cultural specificity of conceptual frameworks developed in minority European socio-linguistic contexts and demonstrates the need for greater engagement with theoretical, empirical and methodological insights gained in diverse cultural contexts in the Majority world.
Disciplines :
Human geography & demography
Author, co-author :
Ruth, Evans
Fatou, Kebe
Wouango, Joséphine  ;  Université de Liège > Faculté des sciences sociales > Sociologie du développement
Language :
Title :
Interpreting ‘grief’ in Senegal: language, emotions and cross-cultural translation in a francophone African context
Publication date :
Journal title :
Publisher :
Special issue title :
'Researching Death, Dying and Bereavement'
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
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since 07 March 2017


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