Translation as deconstruction: the case of the national cohesion and integration commission on coded language
The study set out to investigate translation as deconstruction with special reference to the NCIC on the use of coded language. The general claim of the study is that translation has the capacity to decode, decontextualize and demystify coded language. This can be made possible through explanatory, definitional and in paraphrase manner. This study was guided by the following objectives. To investigate translation as deconstruction for the purpose of decoding, decontextualizing and demystifying coded language. To analyze meaning in coded language, with intended meaning in literal translation. To identify the strategies used in the creation of coded language and the strategies, that can be used to deconstruct coded language and finally to discuss the challenges encountered in the process of deconstruction. The study used the theory on communicative translation where various aspects of this theory were related to the study. Literature review based on the works of translation by various theorists was exhaustively discussed. A myriad of coded words and phrases published by the NCIC were analyzed. A number of language manipulation strategies were then identified key among them including; antonymous Wenye nchi (Swahili for country owners) vs wananchi (Swahili for citizens) a pattern linked to a particular world view are instantiated in a communicated act or series of acts for example Kapenguria 6; use of legitimizing and delegitimizing language for example water melon: and coinage which includes joining words and numbers for example the Ocampo 6; code mixing lexical borrowing, for example maombi meetings as well as the use of acronyms and word order substitutions. Challenges faced in translation were found to include: gaining conceptual equivalence, distortion of meanings through literal translation accuracy and ambiguity. We hypothesized that translation has the capacity to deconstruct for the purpose of decoding, decontexualizing or demistifying coded language. This was confirmed and it was done through explanations, definitions and paraphrasing various coded languages. We gave our conclusion by stating that the use of coded language in Kenya is well grounded, built on a set of criteria, developed subconsciously and created from everyday happenings and events in the public discourse and propagated by the media. That behind these coded words and expressions lies meanings which are sensitive and segregating to warrant their articulation in a coded fashion while some are nationalistic carrying with them memories that create a sense of patriotism and unity. Finally we gave recommendations that this research focused on a very small area of coded language. More research is required on the use of coded language in other set ups and concerning the challenges there are many different types of translation techniques that can be applied to deconstruct coded languages.