Sneak Peek 34: Joyce Akl

A Comparative Study: the Integration of Arab Immigrants (Muslims & Christians) into the Canadian Society through a Translational Perspective

Joyce Akl

University of Ottawa

Abstract: Research on translation has expanded rhythmically by embracing frames from other disciplines to promote new ways of looking at translation. For instance, Renn translates the term “translation” into sociology. Based on Renn’s understanding of social translation which entails “comparing two or more individual social acts”, my research will focus mainly on a comparative study of the integration of Arab Muslim immigrants and Arab Christian immigrants into the Canadian society through what is called “social translation”. How the integration of these two ethnic groups in the Canadian society is possible despite all the differences and differentiations which bring up presence today? How immigrants of different religious but of similar linguistic cultural backgrounds “translate” in Canada? Only when these two groups are found somehow compatible or commensurate with the Canadian society than one can say that a translational process has been accomplished.  An inclusive translation of the evaluation of one act onto another can contribute in identifying the two as belonging to their new Canadian context. This, in turn, involves a phenomenon, highlighting the comparison, the closest translation equivalent of which seems to be theorization of translation.

Bio: Joyce Akl is a Ph.D candidate in Translation Studies & Canadian Studies at University of Ottawa. She is originally from Lebanon. She is deeply interested in immigration and intercultural studies.  She has worked as an ESL instructor and translator for several years. She is currently interested in the Arab community and its integration into the Canadian society through a translational perspective.  Her deep concern about immigration and immigrants comes from her personal memories about the civil war in Lebanon.