The Need for a 'National Translation Theory' in the Pakistani Academic Discourse

Muhammad Saleh Habib

  • Muhammad Saleh Habib Lahore Garrison University, Lahore Pakistan
Keywords: Pakistan Academia, Post-Colonial Identity, Globalization, Translation Theory, Cultural Knowledge


Dr. Nighat Shakur's statistical research in the 2014 issue of Pakistan Journal of Language and Translation Studies (PJLTS) highlights a major concern of the depletion of regional/local languages of Pakistan. The reason for the depletion is due to the world (including Pakistani academic discourse) moving forward with globalization and adopting English as the lingua franca. With this concern in mind, a lingual-literary theory is required that provides practical solutions towards keeping the Pakistani (national) and its regional cultural richness intact. This can be helpful in order to keep pace with the 'globalizing' world – that is our only option. But we need to hold on to our roots and pride as an independent Pakistani identity and we need to move beyond the 200-year colonial legacy. The paper explores the need for a 'National Translation Theory' which provides an overview of how regional/local languages, literature/s, and cultural knowledge/s need to be disseminated in other languages (particularly English as lingua franca) while keeping the sense and essence of nationalistic pride intact. Inversely, other languages, literature/s, and cultural knowledge/s need to be translated into the local/regional languages of Pakistan to promote the positive globalization from a transcultural perspective. Both these attempts then need to be practiced in the academic discourse to promote its practicality. The key research questions for this study include: How are we still suffering from the colonial identity crisis? What are the good literary and translation examples that could serve as a precursor for developing such a theory? What should be the policies/steps (monetary, challenges, government support etc.) that can frame such a theory?