Language practice as games: Implications for sociology of translation in development contexts in Africa

  • Munene Mwaniki


Drawing from Game Theory, the article conceptualises language practice as games, that is convergences of strategic interaction, and explores the implications of such a conceptualisation for sociology of translation (la sociologie de la traduction – Michel Callon) in development contexts in Africa. The discussion posits that a conceptualisation of language practice as games further enriches research into the sociology of translation in development contexts in Africa in several ways. First, it enables the delineation and specification of language permutations that characterise the hybridity of networks, which in turn defines sociology of translation in development contexts, which are defined and populated by a multiplicity of entities. Second, it allows for a conceptualisation, interrogation and exploration of optimal strategies for network establishment, sustenance and reproduction in the course of development processes, and of the role of language in these processes. Third, it locates sociology of translation at the core of the development process by highlighting its strategic value in the production of socially acceptable language goods and services.

Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 2013, 31(4): 481–493

Author Biography

Munene Mwaniki
Linguistics and Language Practice, PO Box 339, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein 9300, South Africa

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9461
print ISSN: 1607-3614