The Same but Different—Researching Language and Culture in the Lives of Polish People in England

Bogusia Temple, Katarzyna Koterba


This article is concerned with issues of representation within cross language research. We examine research that suggests people may present themselves differently in different languages. Moreover, it has been argued that translators/researchers produce accounts of people's lives rather than just describe them within their translations. These representational moves by both research participants and researchers across languages have consequences for research findings. We illustrate our arguments in relation to research with Polish speakers in Greater Manchester, England and argue for issues of interpretation and translation within narrative research to move out of methodological notes to become central concerns within research processes. We argue particularly against the treatment of language as an undifferentiated medium and the view that anyone who can speak a language can unproblematically represent all speakers of that language. All languages are internally differentiated and who translates influences the findings.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0901319


translation; narrative; representation; culture; language; cross-cultural research

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Copyright (c) 2009 Bogusia Temple, Katarzyna Koterba

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