Ideology and Lexical Choices: An Analysis of the Urdu Translation of Culture and Imperialism

An Analysis of the Urdu Translation of Culture and Imperialism


  • Aftab Akram National University of Modern Languages Islamabad
  • Dr.Jamil Asghar Jami NUML Islamabad



The current study aims at identifying the ideological lacunae and tensions between Edward Said’s book Culture and Imperialism (1993) and its Urdu translation Saqafat aur Samraj(2009) by Yasir Jawad with respect to the translator’s lexical choices. In a text, according to Gayatri Spivak (1993/2000), the selection of vocabulary and textual items reflect ideology that is why the study of lexical choices in translation studies has become of the utmost importance to uncover the ideological dislocations in a text. Therefore, in this study, the lexical choices of Saqafat aur Samraj, the Urdu translation of Culture and Imperialism were analyzed to find out these ideological dislocations by applying Gayatri Spivak’s three-tiered notion of language, i.e., rhetoric, logic and silence. She presented this notion in her renowned essay “The Politics of Translation” that highlights the role of language and ideology in the process of translation. In this qualitative study, textual analysis was carried out to find out the ideological dislocations and their sociocultural and power-oriented implications in translation. The result shows that the translator’s selection of lexical items remarkably changes the ideology of the source text that may mislead the readers in their understanding of the text. This may potentially lead to a widening of the communication gap between the source and target cultures instead of minimizing it. The results of the present study hoped to benefit the translators in dealing with ideology faithfully in the process of translation and the translation evaluators to gauge the ideological differences effectively.

Keywords: Culture and Imperialism, Ideology, Lexical Items, Politics, Urdu Translation.