Panel Discussion on the Role of Translation in Language Study, February 6, 2004

Panel Discussion: The Role of Translation in Language Study

Naturalization of Estrangement: Options in Translation
Anna Livia Brawn, (French) French Department
Faced with culturally specific terms, and terms which have highly emotional or symbolic meaning, translators have at their disposal a range of options; we can transfer the term to a context which is more familiar in the target language (naturalization); we can keep the term in the form it takes in the source language (estrangement); we can provide glosses either on the page, in parenthesis, or at the end in a glossary.  Contemporary bilingual authors have made use of all these strategies.  In this paper, I will look at the effects created by the different strategies and the political choices they imply.

Teaching Language Students to Translate Literature
Susan Kepner, (Thai) South and Southeast Asian Studies Department
For three years, I have given students compleing the second year of Thai a choice; take the final exam, or translate a contemporary Thai short story. All of them have chosen the translation alternative – some, in the belief that this will be a lot easier.  I am going to talk about their experiences, and their translations; and about the process of teaching language while guiding students through their first experience of literary translation.

Issues in Folkloristic Translation
Ibrahim Muhawi, (Arabic) Near Eastern Studies
This talk will address a number of issues in the translation of folklore from Arabic to English. I will discuss linguistic, literary, rhetorical, cultural, and translation studies perspectives that taken together are what I term “folkloristic translation.”

Translation: Transliteration to Biliteracy
Kay Richards, (Korean) East Asian Languages and Cultures Department
The narrow view of translation, which is close to transliteration, in the traditional language pedagogy might have been limiting in ways that it failed to encourage learners to be creative.  But if translation is taken to mean a more global activity, it should reflect a deeper understanding and appreciation of the source and target languages.  Ultimately, the goal of a language study should include biliteracy.  In this respect, translation has a definite place in the acquisition process of language study as well as its evaluation and pedagogy.  Finally, I will share some of my own experiences in translating Korean poetry into English.

Enhancement of Sensitivity to Language through Translation: Something Gained
Bac Tran, (Vietnamese) South and Southeast Asian Studies Department
In my presentation I’d like to discuss the enhancement of sensitivity to language through translation.  I will use examples in English and Vietnamese to revisit the idea that the translation process makes one keenly aware of how close or how radically different the source language (SL) and the target language (TL) are in the key areas of syntax, lexis, and style.  I will also look briefly at the issue of lass and gain that may transpire during the process of making sense of a textual occurrence in the SL and rendering it into the TL.

Moderator: Winfried Kudszus, German Department

Friday, Febraury 6, 2004
3:00-5:00pm, B4 Dwinelle Hall