Fall 2011 - Graduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
The Translation Workshop introduces students to the craft and theory of translation and how the practice of translation refines and revitalizes the act of reading, writing, and interpretation and promotes interdisciplinary thinking. Before any translation of a text can take place, the following question will have to be addressed: “What kind of research do I have to pursue in order to do justice to the text?” Thus, emphasis will be placed on what specific methods have to be developed to approach a verbal text. At all times, the translator, whether translating within the same language or from a foreign language into English, will have to establish a bridge between two different cultural situations. Seminar sessions will include discussions about the delicate aspects of verbal and non-verbal communication between cultures and how the digital age will enlarge the field of translation studies.
At the beginning of the Workshop, students will be introduced to some of the basic translation research skills by translating texts from English to English to show how translation thinking refines the act of interpretation and cultural understanding.
Our 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 ongoing problems of fidelity, literalness, freedom, imitation, analogy; and what, if anything, is "betrayed" in translation, which poses a number of ethical problems.
The Translation Workshop should be of particular interest to students in creative writing.
The instructor has designed several exercises to demonstrate the diverse activities of translation practices. The majority of the texts will be provided by the instructor.
Texts to be considered in the Workshop include poetic, dramatic, fictional, and essayistic works. Since the Center for Translation Studies at UTD also publishes Translation Review, students are encouraged to practice the reviewing of recently published translations.
Furthermore, students should expect to be introduced to some of the major contemporary international writers and the current scene of literary translations in the United States.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Students will actively participate in the discussions of each seminar meeting, prepare drafts of their own translations, report on the assigned critical texts, and design a translation or research project.