Translating eyewitness accounts Personal narratives from Beslan, September 2004

Sue Ann Harding*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper uses concepts from socio-narrative theory, particularly the notions of 'narrator' and 'temporary narrator', and a revised typology of narrative to examine how eyewitness accounts of the Beslan hostage-taking were incorporated into some of the news narratives constructed in response to the event. Using online articles published in both Russian and English by three different websites, the study considers the few eyewitnesses who are selected to narrate, and ways in which each website controls the sometimes contradictory, multivalent narratives of its eyewitnesses so that they reinforce, rather than challenge or undermine, its overall narrative position. It also considers the impact of translation on these processes and concludes that in translation, the contribution of these eyewitness accounts is further diminished and even removed altogether.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-249
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Language and Politics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Beslan
  • Eyewitnesses
  • Narrative
  • News reporting
  • Russia
  • Terrorism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language


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