RUSS/INTL 265: TRANSLATION AS CROSS-CULTURAL COMMUNICATION
Fall 2011, M-W-F 10:50-11:50, H228
Gitta Hammarberg

SCHEDULE
(Will be adjusted as need arises during the semester--it's up to you to keep current)

CODE:
RES=hard copy on reserve in the library--ask by course number and instructor's name.
MR= Some readings are linked to the Readings folder on Moodle
TL=Lefevre, André, Translating Literature. . .
TSR = Venuti, Lawrence, Translation Studies Reader

IN CLASS: HOMEWORK FOR NEXT CLASS:

Wed 9/7
Introduction to translation studies.

get aquainted, class organization, and explanations of our web page.
Warm-up topics sampler: ad hoc student commentary on a poem, a conversation, and statements authors have made about mis/translation (and its consequences), translations vs originals, and translations of books to film.

For Fri 9/9
Read:

* Susan Sontag, "The World as India," TLS 6/13, 2003, MR
* Eco, Umberto, "A Rose by Any Other Name," The Washington Post 1/16-94, MR

Read if you want:
Chotiner, Isaac, "Globish for Beginners: If the wWhole World Speaks English, will it still be English?" The New Yorker (May 2010): 76-78 MR

World languages (map) from Tschan, Judith, Review of Nettle, Daniel and Suzanne Romaine, Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World's Languages, Oxford UP, 2002 in Ruminator Review (Fall 2002) MR

Start looking for: a short piece of prose fiction and a poem in your second language. Aim not for ease of translation, but for the potential challenges you see--the harder the better! You'll then be working on these translation during the semester, starting as soon as possible, to result in projects 2 and 3 (drafts; due Mon 9/23 and Wed 9/28) and project 7 (due Fri 12/2). Feel free to consult with me before you embark on translating.
Start looking for
Alice in Wonderland translated into your second language. We'll translate a passage back into English--at the very end of semester--and compare the different renditions (Project 8, due Wed 12/7).

Fri 9/9
We discuss the facets of translation Sontag and Eco present.


For Mon 9/12
Read:

* TL: 1-14
* Hofstadter, Douglas, Le Ton beau de Marot, Ch 1 (including Poems I), MR

Writing project 1(due Fri 9/16): Choose one translation of the get-well poem by Marot in Hofstadter (hard copy RES) from any chapter after the first. Write your own evaluation of the poem: what stylistic goals has the translator chosen to pursue? How successful is s/he? (about 1-2 typed pages using font size 12 and double spacing--use this format for all written projects, please).
Mon 9/12
Practical issues in translation
Discussion of TL and Hofstadter


For Wed 9/14
Read:
*Venuti, Lawrence, "Introduction," to Rethinking Translation, London & NY, Routledge, 1992, pp.1-13, MR
* Wechsler, Robert, "The Intimacy of Submission," in his Performing Without a Stage, North Haven, CT, Catbird Press, pp.32-50, MR

Wed 9/14
Discuss Venuti & Wechsler: translator/author, cultural difference, translating and power hierarchies.

 

For Fri 9/16
Read:
*TL 15-84

Fri 9/16
Discuss TL 15-84: specific translation challenges

For Mon 9/19
Continue pondering TL translation challenges!
Read:
* Wechsler, Robert, "Lost and Found," in Performing Without a Stage, pp. 51-64, MR

Writing project (Marot poem) 1 due Writing project 2 (due Fri 9/23): Translate the poem you selected. You may choose to use this project as a first draft for Project 7 (below) and, if so, will be amending it during the course of the semester.

Mon 9/19
Discuss TL 15-84 (as needed)
Discuss Wechsler article

For Wed 9/21
Read:

*Weinberger and Paz,Nineteen Ways of Looking at Wang Wei: How a Chinese Poem is Translated, Kingston, Moyer Bell, 1987
* TSR, Nabokov piece, pp.115-27
Writing project 3 (due Wed 9/28): Translate the prose segment you selected. You may choose to turn it into a first draft for Project 7 (below) and, if so, will be amending it during the course of the semester.

Wed 9/21
Translating poetry
Weinberger & Paz Chinese poetry & Nabokov on Pushkin in TRS

What is translation? On a platter
A poet's pale and glaring head.
A parrot's screech, a monkey's chatter,
And profanation of the dead.
(Nabokov, tr of Evgenii Onegin xiii)

For Fri 9/23
Read:
*Thomas E. Burman, "Tafsir and Translation: Traditional Arabic Quran Exegesis and the Latin Qurans of Robert Ketton and Mark of Toledo" Speculum 73, 3 (July 1998): 703-32

 

Read if you have time a couple of interesting recent items, one on translating the Quran:
and one on the danger (physical danger!) of translators in Iraq
For Mon 9/26

Read:
*Fox, Everett et al. "In the beginning was the Word--and They've Been Arguing About it Ever since," NY Times Magazine 10/22, 1995, MR
*Fox, Everett, "On the Name of God and its Translation" MR
*Fox, Everett, tr. "Preface to the Paperback Edition, Genesis and Exodus. A New English Rendition, New York : Schocken Books, 1990.pp. xiii-xxx MR
*Five Bible Translations MR

Recent Graphic Bibles (See me if interested):
The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb
TheManga Bible: From Genesis to Revelation

Discussion themes:
Compare the five Bible translations. What clues do the texts offer as to:
a) what are the translators trying to do?
b) at what audience do they aim?
c) how do the translators defer to or assert authority?

Another recommended resource:
Nicolson, Adam, God's Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible, HarperCollins, 2003

 

Fri 9/23
Historical issues and issues of authority in translation I.
Discussion of the history of Quran translation based on the Burman article
Writing project 4 (due Mon 10/10): Compare two Bible translations, at least one of which is not in the handout materials. Compare the same four passages that we did in class. Are the translators more concerned with the original or with the new audience? In what ways might differences in translation cause differences in religious practice or belief? Which translation resonates most with you and why? (2-3 pages)
Project 2 (poem of choice) due

Mon 9/26
Historical issues and issues of authority in translation II.
We begin discussion of Bible translations.



For Wed 9/28
Make sure you've read the Bible translation texts (above)



Wed 9/28
Discussion of Bible translation

 

For Fri 9/30
Now for something completely different: a smattering of subtitling
Read:
*"Subtitling" in Shuttleworth, Mark and Moira Cowie, Dictionary of Translation Studies, Manchester, UK, St. Jerome, 1997.161-62, MR
*Hatim, Basil & Ian Mason, "Politeness in Screen Translating" (TSR, older ed., MR
*Mark Nornes Abé, "For an Abusive Subtitling," in TSR, 447-69

Write: Work on project 4


Writing project 3 (Prose of choice) due

Fri 9/30

Intermedia translation: subtitling films.
What information do we get without translation?

Film screening:
Alexander Rogozhkin, "The Cuckoo" (2002, 100 mins)--the Russian original without English subtitles. Take notes about:
a) what happens and
b) what the characters say to each other--the languages spoken are Russian, Finnish, and Sami (the language spoken by the indigenous population in Northern Scandinavia).
c) what sorts of clues you are looking for?
d) what sorts of cultural signals you are getting/not getting?

 

 

For Mon 10/3
Organize your film notes


Mon 10/3
Film screening:
Alexander Rogozhkin, "The Cuckoo" continued--continue take notes as above
Discussion of non-linguistic signals: body language, clothing, setting, props, etc. What did you NOT understand?

 


For Wed 10/5
Organize your film notes and be prepared to discuss them.
Read: A Elizabeth Randa's (Carleton student's paper on this film)
Wed 10/5
Concluding discussion of "The Cuckoo" and Randa's paper
For Fri 10/7
Think about what possible subtitling questions for our guest!




Fri 10/7
Guest speaker Diane Nemec-Ignashev:
"Various kinds of translation/subtitling: the real life of a translator"


For Mon 10/10
*
NPR commentary on Sofia Coppola's "Lost in Translation", MR
*"Translation" translated--key to passages left untranslated in "Lost in Translation, MR"




Mon 10/10
Film screening:
Sofia Coppola "Lost in Translation"--clips and discussion

In what sense are the characters "lost"? What characters are "lost"--Japanese and/or American? Are the viewers "lost"? What's meant here by "translation"? Linguistic and/or extra-linguistic "translation"?



For Wed 10/12

Work on projects!

Writing Project 4 (Bible transl.) due

Writing project 5 (new due date: Mon 10/24):
Choose a short but challenging and difficult segment (1-2 mins) of a film in a foreign language you know that is subtitled in English. make a tanscription of the spoken dialogue and of the subtitles for that segment. Write a brief (1-2 page) analysis of the subtitles in this film, according to the parameters laid out in the Abé and Hatim and Mason articles, the NPR commentary, and your own findings from your "The Cuckoo" experience..

Wed 10/12


For Fri 10/14
Read:
*
Jacquemond, Richard, "Translation and Cultural Hegemony: The Case of French-Arabic Transaltion," In Venuti, Rethinking Translation, pp.139-58, MR

Fri 10/14
Translation and power hegemonies.
Discussion of Jacquemond piece.

For Mon 10/17 and Wed 10/19
Read:
*May, Rachel, "Translation Culture," The Translator in the Text, Evanston, IL, Northwestern U press, 1994, pp. 11-55--focus on her substantive points and skip the examples, MR




Mon 10/17
Discussion of May piece


Wed 10/19
Discussion of May piece



For Fri 10/21
Work on your written projects!
Fri 10/21
I will give a paper at a conference in Bath, England.
No Class: Instead, work on your written projects!



For Mon 10/24
Read:
*Remnik, David, "Translation Wars" on the new War and Peace translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokohonsky. The full text is at:

Mon 10/24
Translation history, conclusions:

Discussion of Pevear and Volokhonsky's War and Peace.


Theoretical and artistic issues in translation. Student presentations/class discussions for the(see below). I have paired up students alphabetically to present articles to the class and lead our discussions of them (you can juggle the pairing if you wish but let the rest of us know). You work out who does what in the presentation/discussion, but try to share the work equitably. The main thing is to report on the article, and add to it whatever you feel might benefit our understanding of it (background on the author, research on sources mentioned in the article, references to other readings on the same topic, visuals, handouts, interactive class activities, etc.). Summarize the salient points of the article and and add your criticism of it! Each presentation should be about 15-20 minutes + 10 minutes discussion. The rest of the class should read all the pieces as well--at least skim them to be able to participate in discussion.
Some general questions for discussion:

How does the author assess the possibility of translation?
What is the translator's role vis-à-vis the original?
What is the translator's role vis-à-vis the target culture?
Is it better to make a translation fit the target culture, or to preserve a sense of foreignness?
What kind of power does the translator have?
In what ways is the translator made powerless?




While reading these articles, you should also be thinking about and working on:
Writing project 6 due (Mon 11/21): Research paper on a cultural or linguistic issue in translation (10-15 pp). See Possible topics list!
Writing project 5 (Subtitling) due

For Wed 10/26
Follow the directions our guest, Anna Brailovsky gave on an e-mail and the two translations (all handed out on Monday). I will also try to post all three of them on Moodle in a separate Guests: Brailovsky folder. Please come with questions/comments to our guest!!

Wed 10/26
Guest speaker: Anna Brailovsky
(formerly Mac English Dept.): "Translating for young adults" based on her professional experience translating three books by the German author Julia Richter--one of which won an award for best translation of children's lit.

Editorial messing with copy--See

Coren Giles, "The Joke is Gone" Harpers Magazine (October 2008): 24-25--a copy is in the Brailovsky Moodle folder.






For Mon 10/31
Student presentations/discussion pieces 1 and 2:
*Schleiermacher, Friedrich, "On the Different Methods of Translating," TSR 43-63 (Alessandra Affinito & Lucy Andrews)
*Benjamin, Walter, "The Task of the Translator" in TSR, 75-85 (Zakia Babb & Cecylia Bocovich)


FALL BREAK THURS 10/27--SUN 10/30

Mon 10/31
Theoretical issues in translation: student presentations
.
Student presentation/Discussion pieces 1 & 2--other foundational statements:

*Schleiermacher, Friedrich, "On the Different Mathods of Translating," TSR 43-63 (Alessandra & Lucy)
*Benjamin, Walter, "The Task of the Translator" in TSR, 75-85 (Zakia & Cecylia)


For Wed 11/2
Discussion pieces 3 & 4:
* Borges, Jorge Luis, "The Translators of the Thousand and One Nights," TSR, 94-108 (Lindsay Daniels & Ruxi Zhang)
*Jean-Paul Vinay and Jean Darbelnet, "A Methodology for Translation," TSR 128-37 (Christina Getaz & Salman Haji)

Wed 11/2
Student presentation/Discussion pieces 3 & 4:

* Borges, Jorge Luis, "The Translators of the Thousand and One Nights," TSR, 94-108 (Linsay & Amelia)
* (Jean-Paul Vinay and Jean Darbelnet, "A Methodology for Translation," TSR 128-37 (Christina & Salman)

For Fri 11/4
Discussion pieces 5 & 6:
* Lefevere, André, "Mother Courage's Cucumbers: text, System and Refraction in a Theory of Literature" TSR 239-55 (Louis Hendrix & Anne Huber)
*Chamberlain, Lori, "Gender and the Metaphorics of Translation," TSR, 306-21 (Camille Kasavan & Ceren Kaysadi)

Fri 11/4
Student presentation/Discussion pieces 5 & 6:

* Lefevere, André, "Mother Courage's Cucumbers: text, System and Refraction in a Theory of Literature" TSR 239-55 (Louis & Anne)
*Chamberlain, Lori, "Gender and the Metaphorics of Translation," TSR, 306-21 (Camille & Ceren)


For Mon 11/7
Discussion pieces 7 & 8:
*Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty, "The Politics of Translation," TSR, 369-88, (Sarah Lansky & Katherine Monnin)
*Appiah, Kwame Anthony, "Thick Translation," TSR, 389-401 (Susanne Murphy & Nadejda Orlowski)

Mon 11/7
Student presentation/Discussion pieces 7 & 8:

*Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty, "The Politics of Translation," TSR, 369-88, (Sarah & Katherine)
*Appiah, Kwame Anthony, "Thick Translation," TSR, 389-401 (Susanne & Nadejda)



For Wed 11/9
Discussion piece 9 & 10:
*Harvey, Keith, "Translating Camp Talk: Gay Identities and Cultural Transfer," TSR, 402-22 (Xin Pan & Imogen Pursch)
*Brisset, Anne, "The Search for a Native Language: Translation and Cultural Identity," TSR, 337-68 (Olivia Sarkie & Aziz Tyuryaev)

Wed 11/9
Student presentation/Discussion piece 9 & 10:

*Harvey, Keith, "Translating Camp Talk: Gay Identities and Cultural Transfer," TSR, 402-22 (Xin & Imogen)
*Brisset, Anne, "The Search for a Native Language: Translation and Cultural Identity," TSR, 337-68 (Olivia Aziz)

 


For Fri 11/11
Read:
*Itamar Even-Zohar, "The Position of Translated Literature within the Literary System," TSR 199-205 (Yaquin Wen & Noah Westreich)

*Garfinkle, Deborah, Karel Capek's 'Pasmo' and the Construction of Literary Modernity Through the Art of Translation," SEEJ, 47, 3 (2003): 345-66 (Ursula Wood & Amelia Fedo), MR

Writing project 7 (due Fri 12/2): Keep working on your poem or prose translations . The final version should be a translation with annotations about your goals and specific difficulties as well as your rationale for your solutions.

Fri 11/11
*Itamar Even-Zohar, "The Position of Translated Literature within the Literary System," TSR 199-205 (Yaquin & Noah )

*Garfinkle, Deborah, Karel Capek's 'Pasmo' and the Construction of Literary Modernity Through the Art of Translation," SEEJ, 47, 3 (2003): 345-66 (Ursula & Ruxi), MR



For Mon 11/14
Keep consulting/working on your research and/or access some information about Ming-dynasty China!

Mon 11/14
Guest Speaker: Frederik Green (who teaches another translation course in Asian Languages and Cultures) on the topic (to be confirmed): "The World in Chinese: Matteo Ricci and the Jesuit Project of Accommodation in Ming-Dynasty China." He will address Jesuit translation of Chinese classics into Latin and French, and their own translations into Chinese, with a focus on Matteo Ricci and his amazing map of the world in Chinese.

For Wed 11/16
Finish working on your research

Wed 11/16
General discussion of the problems you encountered in your translations and/or research--be prepared to share your findings with the class.

 

For Fri 11/18
Work on your research!

Fri 11/18
I will be at the national conference of ASEES

NO CLASS!!

For Mon 11/21
Think about questions you might have for our speaker concerning translation and sexism--perhaps you ran into some in your projects?
Writing project 6 (Research paper) due For Wed 11/23
General discussion of the problems you encountered in your translations and/or research--be prepared to share your findings with the class--think about particularly vexing problems
Wed 11/23
General discussion of the problems you encountered in your translations and/or research--be prepared to share your findings with the class.

For Mon 11/28
General discussion of the problems you encountered in your translations and /or research--be prepared to share your findings with the class--think about particularly vexing problems.
THURS 11/24--Sun 11/27: THANKSGIVING BREAK
Mon 11/28
General discussion of the problems you encountered in your translations and/or research--be prepared to share your findings with the class.

For Wed 11/30
Read for fun about what's been done with drama classics:
Jason Zinoman, "Sampling 'The Seagull'," NY Times February 1, 2004, MR
English-English translation: Shakespeare Lite or "Translations of the Bard: Perorations Devoutly to be Missed," MR

Writing project 8 (due Wed 11/26):

Translate (a fast, non-polished translation, perhaps just in your mind) Chapter 3 of Alice in Wonderland from your second language translation back into English. I will hand out copies of the original English text so that you can compare your re-translation with the original (as you go). As soon as you come across some interesting deviation from English, make a note of it (mark it on your copy, attach a stickie, jot it down on a separate sheet--whatever works best for you). When you've made it through the chapter, decide which discrepancies are most interesting from a translational-cultural point of view and write about them (a few pages, max 5), to be handed in on 11/26. We will then discuss these discrepancies in class on 11/26, 12/1, and 12/3 and see how different translators into different languages have handled Lewis Carroll's text and the underlying cultural differences.


Wed 11/30

Final research presentations

Discussion of Shakespeare Lite.

For Fri 12/2
Read:
Garry Trudeau, "I'm a Tip-Top Starlet,"--comments made by Madonna to the Hungarian paper Blikk and back again into English, MR

Fri 12/2

Continue: Shakespeare lite
Discussion of what was lost and what was gained in the Madonna interview; Afro-American Chekhov



 

For Mon 12/5
Contemplate "English as she is spoke" and be prepared to tell us what you found amusing, sad, good, etc., MR
Writing project 7 due: (Annotated poem/prose translation)

Mon 12/5

English as She is Spoke--humor unintentionally gained in Portuguese-English translation


For Wed 12/7
Be prepared to discuss what was lost and gained in your re-translation of Alice
Wed 12/7
Different Alices: Class discussion

For Fri 12/9
Be prepared to discuss what was lost and gained in your re-translation of Alice
Project 8 (Alice) due

Fri 12/9
Losses and gains in translation & in Alice.

For Mon 12/12
Be prepared to discuss what was lost and gained in your re-translation of Alice

 

Mon 12/12
Conclusions about losses and gains in translation & in Alice.

Recommended post-course reading:
"Translatese" as literary style: Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated--sample

For whenever. . .

Take a look at the sample of Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated. His style could be called "translatese"--why? find specific examples. MR

No Final Exam

Last updated 11/11, 2011

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