Translating strangers

Esperança Bielsa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in BookChapterResearchpeer-review


It has been argued that traditional notions of the stranger, as put forward in classical accounts by Simmel, Schütz and others, need to be re-examined in the light of widespread social developments that challenge the divisions between the self and the other that were once taken for granted. This chapter addresses the significance of the cosmopolitan stranger, whose skills are especially important under conditions of generalised societal strangeness. A consideration of the interrelated notions of distance and strangeness in the social experience of the stranger is offered and the specific features of the cosmopolitan stranger examined. After that, the cases of two cosmopolitan strangers ("dog whisperer"Cesar Millan and 9/11 impostor survivor Tania Head) who have played a prominent social role in societies that were not initially their own are discussed. A concluding section returns to the notions of distance and strangeness in order to generalise from these particular cases by relating them to different strategies for translating the foreign.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTranslating Asymmetry � Rewriting Power
EditorsOvidi Carbonell i Cortes, Esther Monzo-Nebot
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9789027259721
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameBenjamins Translation Library
ISSN (Print)0929-7316


  • Cesar Millan
  • Cosmopolitan stranger
  • Cosmopolitanism
  • Distance
  • Otherness
  • Strangeness
  • Tania Head


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