Fall 2010 - Graduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
“If one denies the concept of translation, one must give up the concept of a language community.” (Karl Vossler)
“Translation Matters because it is an expression and extension of our humanity”
The study and the practice of translation respond to the needs of a globalized world in the 21st century. The Translation Workshop is an ideal place for students to learn how we initiate inter-cultural communication, how we learn to see the world through the eyes of another language, how we refine our sensibility to the otherness of foreign literatures, and how we intensify the act of interpretation of works written BOTH in English and in a foreign language. Students who are interested in refining their interpretive and writing skills should enroll in the Translation Workshop, since the paradigm of translation refines and changes the traditional study of literature and the humanities and makes the literary text once again an experience.
To enter the world of translation, students will translate a text from English to English to learn the basic tools of how to approach, interpret, and transplant a text from a foreign language into English. It can be said that translation charts innovative ways to study the reading of verbal, visual, and musical texts. Translation fosters associative thinking, which erases the borders between disciplines and fosters interdisciplinary thinking and research.
The focus is the actual process of translating–what the translator does, and why. Special attention is paid to the structural differences between English and the foreign language; the significance of tone and style; the author’s "voice” and the translator's “ear”; the on-going problems of fidelity, literalness, freedom, imitation, analogy; and what, if anything, is “betrayed” in translation. How can a successful transfer of culture take place?
In the verbal area, students will study the specific problems inherent in translating a poetic, fictional, essayistic, and dramatic text. Students should have a working knowledge of a foreign language. However, the important part of the workshop is for students to understand that translation brings a new way to the art of reading and interpretation.
In addition, students will be introduced to the scene of contemporary international writing in English translation to be supplemented by interviews with translators and articles about the reviewing of translations. Background material will be provided through a web-based Translation Handbook.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Weekly exercises; reading of essays and interviews provided by the instructor; writing a review of a translation, designing a translation project of a contemporary author, and active participation in the discussion of each workshop.