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Conference interpreter training in Africa - Leveraging new technologies and pedagogical innovation for regional cooperation
Barbara Moser-Mercer, Manuela Motta and Carmen Delgado Luchner
University of Geneva

Africa and in particular sub-Saharan Africa is one of the most under-represented continents in the field of translation and interpreting studies. While a decade ago only a small number of universities offered training in these two disciplines, a number of new Master's programmes in Conference interpreting and Translation has been created during the past years, as the United Nations and other stakeholders have identified a growing need for trained language professionals, namely translators, public service interpreters and conference interpreters in Africa. Regional groups such as ECOWAS or SADC are working towards economic and political integration using English, French and Portuguese as official languages, relying on interpreters and translators to ensure communication between their member states.

Since 2010, three Universities in sub-Saharan Africa, the University of Nairobi (Kenya), Legon University (Accra, Ghana) and the Universidade Pedagogica (Maputo, Mozambique), have started to train Conference interpreters at Master's level, using English, French, Portuguese and Swahili as main languages for training.

This panel will focus on Interpreter training in sub-Saharan Africa, its history and wider context and the importance of new technologies and pedagogical innovation for regional cooperation between universities training conference interpreters. In an environment where qualified trainers, state of the art infrastructure and financial resources are not easy to come by, pooling resources across institutions is a key factor for the sustainability of training programmes. However, the current level of regional political integration and the socio-economic situation on the continent makes traditional staff and student exchanges across African regions difficult and qualified trainers with the needed languages in their combination are required to be "in two places at the same time", virtual mobility of trainers and students therefore emerges as a promising avenue for training and research.

Socio-constructivist, collaborative, student-centred virtual learning environments have generally been recognized as powerful learning spaces for knowledge acquisition. Conference interpreter training needs to rely both on knowledge and skill acquisition and for learning environments to support this process, additional tools and pedagogical strategies are needed, including peer collaboration at all levels.

The participants of this panel have collaborated closely since 2013 in order to set up a Virtual Network for Interpreter Training in Africa, enabling peer-to-peer collaboration between students and trainers in different African universities in collaboration with the Interpreting Department at the University of Geneva.

For informal enquiries: [carmenDOTdelgadoATunigeDOTch]

 

IATIS2015 Photo BarbaraMoserMercer

Barbara Moser-Mercer is Professor of conference interpreting and Director of InZone at the Faculté de traduction et d'interprétation, University of Geneva. Her research focuses on cognitive and cognitive neuro-science aspects of the interpreting process and on the human performance dimension of skill development. She has co-developed the Virtualinstitute©, the first fully integrated virtual learning environment for interpreters, which she also leverages in partnership with ICRC, ILO, UNHCR, UN- OCHA, UN-WFP, and UNAMA for training interpreters working in conflict zones both on-site in the field and virtually. She was a member of the High Level Group on Multilingualism of EU Commissioner for Multilingualism, Leonard Orban, and coordinated the European Masters in Conference Interpreting. She is also an active conference interpreter, member of AIIC.



IATIS2015 Photo ManuelaMottaManuela Motta is a conference interpreter and trainer at the FTI, University of Geneva. Her PhD dissertation (2013) focused on a blended tutoring program for the implementation of the theory of expertise and deliberate practice to facilitate the acquisition of interpreting skills. At the Critical Link conference 2013 she discussed, together with Rachel Herring, the pertinence of transposing the theory of expertise and deliberate practice from conference interpreter to community interpreter training and the limits of this approach. At the didTRAD Conference 2014, she will discuss the role of scaffolding and meta-cognition in a blended learning environment for conference interpreter training. Since 2005, she has been involved in a number of projects featuring new technologies and virtual learning environments in conference interpreter training, and the cooperation project with the African Universities in Nairobi and Accra to establish a virtual network of both students and teachers is one of these projects.




IATIS2015 Photo CarmenDelgado

Carmen Delgado Luchner is a trained translator and EU-accredited interpreter. She has been a teaching and doctoral assistant at the Faculté de traduction et d'interprétation at the University of Geneva since 2009, first in the Interpreting Department and, from 2011 for InZone. Her PhD thesis focuses on the challenges of setting up conference interpreter training programmes on the African continent and cooperation between universities in Europe and Africa. Her research interests include multilingualism in Europe and Africa, language classification in interpreting, the creation of university networks in Africa as well as the cultural aspects of interpreter training. She has been involved in the design and implementation of the African Virtual Network project involving the Universities of Geneva, Nairobi and Legon (Accra). In 2012 she presented a pilot project of virtual training for interpreting students in Africa at the IATIS conference in Belfast together with Manuela Motta.

 

 

 SESSION PLAN

SESSION 1:

MULTILINGUALISM AND INTERPRETER TRAINING IN AFRICA: HISTORY AND CONTEXT

PAPER 1:

Title: Multilingualism in Africa: Talking to the heart and to the head of Africans...

Speaker: Moss Lenga, Coordinator of the PAMCIT (Pan-African Master's Consortium in Interpreting and Translation

Abstract:

More than 2,000 of the 6,000 languages spoken in the world are natively used by Africans, either as a first or a second language, making the continent home to one of the greatest concentrations of linguistic diversity. Because of this, Africa is often perceived as the prime example of the Tower of Babel where Africans cannot share or work in their own languages. The colonial division of many ethnic groups and communities in the late 19th Century, through the creation of artificial state borders, imposed not only foreign languages like English, French, Portuguese and Spanish (to a lesser extent) but also a forced coexistence of colonial and African languages. How do Africans communicate and speak to each other and try to cope with this linguistic balkanization and its political and social consequences?

This presentation intends to analyze this interaction through the unique experience of the building up of the Pan African Master Consortium in Interpretation and Translation (PAMCIT) as a case study. Inspired by the European model for the training of interpreters, the African project developed in partnership with international organizations and European universities, on the basis of the referred to foreign languages but also Kiswahili and Arabic. As such, it had to deal with the particular conditions and situation of the African multicultural context while having to take into account different cultural realities and perceptions.

The presentation will also deal with the value and the strategic significance of the African countries' unique linguistic inheritance and how the choice of a language policy is a crucial issue at the national and continental levels, as it impacts the internal and international communication and the fulfillment of economic and development objectives. It will analyze the often conflictual relationship between the adopted foreign official languages often mastered only by the educated elite, and the local indigenous languages widely used by tens of millions of people in and across different countries. In conclusion, it will attempt to prove that if it is a vital priority to train language specialists (translators and interpreters) for conferences and meetings it is even more so to train them from and into African languages as the best solution to establish an improved communication paradigm for communities where too often a social and cultural gap has been created and needs to be bridged.

Author's Bionote:

Mr. Moss LENGA is a conference interpreter (French-English-Spanish-Portuguese-Kiswahili). After working for the United Nations Office in Geneva, he joined the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of states as staff interpreter before holding the positions of Head of conference services, then Assistant Secretary General. From 2011, he worked as a consultant for the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) coordinating the African Project for the training of translators and interpreters. A trainer at the International Criminal Court (ICC) and University of Nairobi, Mr. LENGA is currently the permanent secretary of PAMCIT (the Pan African Master Consortium in Interpretation and Translation).

PAPER 2:

Title: Conference interpreter training: Experiences and lessons learnt. History of interpreter training in Africa

Speaker: Justine Ndongo-Keller, AIIC & University of Nairobi

Abstract:

Most African countries lived under colonial rule for decades, and Africans had to learn the languages of the Colonial masters. These languages were mostly: English, French, Portuguese, German, Spanish and Arabic (Islam). Cameroon is one such country in Central Africa, a country where more than 250 local/endogenous languages are spoken, some call it dialects but for us Cameroonians they are languages. Cameroon is a country that underwent different stages of colonization by different countries: first discovered by Vasco de Gama (Portugal) who called it Rios dos Camaroes, because of the many prawns on the shores of the river Wuri where he arrived in the 16th century, and much later in the 19th century, Germans, French and then British arrived in the coastal area. So interpretation has always been practised in African countries and especially in Cameroon among people of different tribes - during ceremonies (marriages, funerals, children consecration, payment of dowries etc) and between the colonial masters and the indigenous people. And for that reason, there were civil servants whose profession was "Écrivain-Interprète", in English : "Writer-Interpreter", people employed by the government. He was in charge of writing petitions for people, he will listen to them and write what they were saying and appear in court to interpret for parties. People and parties relied on him (and other such workers) to communicate.

This paper is about the history of interpretation in Africa, the evolution from the time briefly described above and the situation today; it will touch on the Cameroon Federation with two languages: French and English, then the Reunification of the two Cameroons on 20 May 1962 when French and English became the 2 official languages of the reunified country. It will describe how and where interpreters were trained before the opening of the first school of translation and interpretation in Africa - ASTI (Advanced of School of Translation and Interpretation) in September 1985, with the establishment of the University of Buea. ASTI was the first school of the kind in the sub-region and was opened to all students in the sub-region. The paper will present the historical dimension of training interpreters in Cameroon, it will describe the challenges and successes of training at ASTI Buea, the problems encountered while designing a course for the specific needs of Cameroon in particular (where to become an interpreter one had to be a translator first) and the sub-region in general (the school was opened to other countries of the sub-region); the necessity for interpreters to have specific skills before they start training; the lessons learned, the implications for training interpreters in Africa in general. I will also briefly present the situation as it is today, with the Master's programs in Conference interpreting and Translation created during the past years, as the UN and other stakeholders identified a growing need for trained language professionals, namely translators, public service interpreters and conference interpreters.

Author's Bionote:

Justine Ndongo-Keller (Cameroonian) is a Translator/Interpreter/Trainer. She holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Conference Interpretation Techniques, a Diplome D'etudes Superieures Specialisees de Traduction and a Doctorat de Troisieme Cycle en Sciences et Techniques de la Traduction et de l'Interpretation. She is Former Deputy Director in Charge of Studies of the ASTI of Buea, Cameroon, Former Chief, Language Services Section of the United Nations Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Translation and Interpretation of the University of Nairobi, Kenya, as well as a Member of the AIIC Training Committee for Africa and an Associate Member of the AIIC Training Committee.

SESSION 2:

CONFERENCE INTERPRETER TRAINING IN AFRICA: EXPERIENCES AND CHALLENGES

PAPER 3:

Title: Re-defining Interpreter and Translator Training: The African Motivation and the Challenge

Speaker: Prof. Jayne Mutiga, University of Nairobi

Abstract:

The United Nations, working in collaboration with the European Commission, the European Parliament, the African Union and other partners, mooted a Pan-African University programme that would train highly qualified translators and interpreters to fulfill sensitive tasks of intercultural and linguistic mediation in political and business settings, aiming at capacity building Africa.

"As a first step, a pilot project for the training of conference interpreters, in the spirit of multilingualism, was put in place at the University of Nairobi, in June 2010, with the support of the European Commission's Directorate General for Interpretation and European Parliament's Directorate-General for Interpretation and Conferences " UNON, 2008 (Declaration No. 8).

Although European training models exist and helped to shape the African training model, it should be taken into account that Africa has specific needs peculiar to its own linguistic terrain and educational structures. One of these peculiarities is a context of high indigenous multilingualism which co-exists with the exogenous languages that are used as official languages of education and work, within the continent.

As an initial stage in the training scheme, language combinations were to be identified and mapped out. In the case of the pilot programme, the languages to be used were; English, French, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese and Kiswahili, and perhaps Chinese.

However, after the inception of the programme, it also became clear that in certain circumstances training will have to be availed in combinations of less-widely spread languages, the local national indigenous languages. For Public Service Interpreting and the translation of documents for example, training needs to be offered from and into these languages as well as from and into widely-used languages including the exogenous languages spoken on the African soil.

Using the experience of setting up the pilot programme for Translation and Interpretation at the University of Nairobi, as a case study, this paper will analyse the need and motivation for this training in Africa. It will also explore the institutional and structural limitations and bottle- necks encountered in the pilot programme. Finally, it will discuss the challenge of determining the A-language and mother tongue of the candidates during the pre-training selection as occasioned by the African multilingualism.

Author's Bionote:

Jayne Mutiga is an Associate Professor of Linguistics and Communication. She holds a PhD in Linguistics and an M.A and B.A in Linguistics and African Languages. She is trained in language and communication with both academic and professional competences in a wide range of language and communication skills. She has an excellent command of written and spoken English, Kiswahili. Kikamba and Gikuyu; and is skilled in the teaching of critical thinking skills, technical writing, presentation skills, writing skills, editing and translation. She is widely published in the areas of: phonetics, phonology, language in education, language policy and planning, multilingual mother tongue education, linguistic human rights and language endangerment. Her Current research interests are in language use in multilingual settings, mother tongue education, and translation and interpreting training.

PAPER 4:

Title: Introducing Interpreter Training in an African University: a SWOT Analysis*

*Originally presented as a conference poster at the International Conference on the Interpreting Profession and Interpreter Education, Newcastle University, UK

Speaker: Dr. Robert Yennah, University of Ghana

Abstract:

This paper seeks to identify the challenges in introducing a professional training programme in an academic institution within an African setting. Data and experiences from the University of Ghana highlight common issues that favour or militate against such an initiative in other African universities such as the University of Nairobi and that of Maputo. We find that introducing a professional interpreter training programme in Africa is fraught with varied challenges: reconciling institutional concerns and priorities with those of the trainers as a group or as individuals; access to resources in a timely manner, attitudes and commitment. From the institutional perspective, the strictly professional character of the training is hardly recognized, given the limited exposure to the realities of the profession. Thus, when placing trainers within the academic system the levels of appointment may not necessarily take cognisance of the expertise and experience of the interpreter trainers as practitioners. Such are the hidden challenges that ambush new interpreter training programmes which this study seeks to reveal. It points to the implications for institutions initiating such programmes and the need for unwavering institutional support and absolute trainer commitment as prerequisites for success. The paper argues that public Universities in Africa have internal strengths which include a strong institutional base and the capacity to attract professional staff and inter-institutional collaboration. They are also exposed to external opportunities, particularly the felt need, among many, for certification, and the multilingual status of the african continent. These universities, however, are not without internal weaknesses, such as the difficult integration of professionals into academia, and the increasing cost of tuition; neither are they exempt from external threats from private initiatives and even from the fact that there are still many individuals who continue to interpret and who are reluctant to enrol for training. Consequently, future initiatives to satisfy the growing need for the institutional training of interpreters in an academic environment while overcoming the attendant problems, must be premised on adequate feasibility studies that take into account the stated challenges.

Author's Bionote:

Robert YENNAH is currently a Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of French, University of Ghana, where he has been teaching French, and particularly 18th Century French literature, since 1992. He holds a PhD from the University of Paris IV, Sorbonne (1991) and has published widely in many international Journals in Europe and Africa. While his main research areas are in Enlightenment literature, particularly Rousseau and Voltaire, he has also been researching into translation and interpreting studies, and has been interpreting conferences since 1994. He is the Coordinator for interpreter training at the University of Ghana.

SESSION 3:

MODELS OF COOPERATION IN INTERPRETER TRAINING

PAPER 5:

Title: PEDAGOGICAL INNOVATION – THE LEGON MODEL OF COLLABORATIVE TEACHING – PROSPECTS FOR THE SUSTAINABILITY OF INTERPRETER TRAINING

Speaker: Jibola Sofolahan, AIIC & University of Ghana

Abstract:

Interpreter training schools in Africa, and indeed, in many parts of the world frequently suffer from a shortage of trainers. Many have closed down for this reason. Several reasons - lack of trainers in sufficient numbers, tension between academia and the profession in terms of remuneration and qualifications – can be adduced for this. Moreover, the few trainers that do exist do not necessarily live in the cities hosting the universities or training institutions, nor do they necessarily have the language combinations to cover those of the students effectively.

In Africa, some universities have only one professional interpreter on staff, others have none at all. The University of Ghana is perhaps the exception. The programme started in August 2012 with 3 interpreters on staff. Two more joined in 2013. None of the five trainers is resident in Accra. Consequently a pedagogical innovation has evolved in the form of a collaborative teaching arrangement across the entire curriculum. Each trainer takes one week and teaches all the courses. Where capacity is inadequate or lacking to cover some language combinations, students are sent to partner universities for one semester. (La Laguna for Spanish, Lisbon for Portuguese and Lebanon for Arabic). The Legon model may best be described as traditional team teaching as defined by Vanderbilt University, but it has some unique characteristics which make it extremely flexible ands therefore adaptable to different scenarios.

Other forms of collaborative teaching exist and are also being used, perhaps more by other PAMCIT universities than by Legon. Given PAMCIT's relationship with the EU SCIC and partner universities, partnership takes the form of pedagogical assistance and virtual classes.

There is a sense in which leveraging new technologies to provide blended and/or distance learning and facilitate trainer mobility across institutions can contribute tremendously to collaborative learning becoming the solution to the incessant problem of shortage of trainers.

Using the Legon model as a case study, this paper will examine the strengths and weaknesses of the various components of collaborative teaching in interpreter training - co-teaching, distance learning, trainer and student mobility (in cases of language combinations for which capacity is not available in the home institution).

The paper will demonstrate its potential for the sustainability of PAMCIT, and highlight the factors that will guarantee successful interpreter training outcomes through team teaching. Naturally, the application of collaborative teaching models as a solution to trainer shortage strengthens the argument in favour of curriculum harmonization across PAMCIT institutions.

Beyond Africa, the model can be adapted in other parts to the world to address the same needs.

Author's Bionote:

Jibola Sofolahan has been teaching conference interpreting at the University of Ghana since 2012. Prior to that she had organized a series of skills upgrade workshops for interpreters. She obtained a MAS in Interpreter Training from the University of Geneva in 2007, and Certificates of Proficiency in Conference interpreting from Georgetown University in 1983.

She is a practicing conference interpreter and an active member of AIIC. She is a member of the AIIC Training Committee. She was the first Coordinator of the AIIC Africa Region Training Group and remains an active member of the group.

PAPER 6:

Title: Promises and challenges of North-South cooperation in Conference Interpreter Training

Speaker: Carmen Delgado Luchner, Université de Genève

Abstract:

Conference interpreter training requires a particularly high level of human, financial and technological resources: student groups are usually small, yet include a variety of language combinations, thus increasing the trainer-to-student ratio; the number of practice necessary in order to acquire the skill often outstrips the statutory number of lessons on a university curriculum; and the quality of training is greatly enhanced by the use of state-of-the-art technology that allows for streaming of audio and video resources and double-track recording of speeches and their interpretation.

Meeting these quality requirements poses obvious challenges in the current public higher education environment in sub-Saharan Africa, where the three types of resources are increasingly scarce due to prevailing trends towards massification, with ever larger numbers of students in search of higher education; and a reduction in public funding, which, at best, allows universities to keep their infrastructure and human resources at a constant level - but more often than not leads to an overall reduction in the number of academic staff.

Despite this difficult environment, several universities in sub-Saharan Africa, namely the University of Nairobi, University of Ghana (Legon, Accra) and the Universidade Pedagogica (Maputo) decided to meet the challenge and launch conference interpreter training programmes. From the inception of its programme in 2010, the University of Nairobi collaborated closely with the Interpreting Department at the University of Geneva, thus forging a type of academic partnership that corresponds to an important current trend in higher education. Indeed, European universities are increasingly keen to collaborate with partners on the African continent in both research and training, furthermore, funding for academic activities is often conditional on cooperation with partners in the global South.

This presentation explores and analyses the bilateral cooperation between the University of Nairobi and the University of Geneva between 2010 and 2014, with a view to improving our understanding of the promises and challenges associated with this type of cooperation in the field of conference interpreting and beyond. We will present the most important steps taken by the two institutions in the framework of this cooperation, their projected outcomes and their effective impact on the ground - thus aiming to contribute to the establishment of best practices in the field of North-South cooperation between institutions of higher learning in general and interpreting departments in particular.

Author's bionote:

Carmen Delgado Luchner is a trained translator and EU-accredited interpreter. She has been a teaching and doctoral assistant at the Faculté de traduction et d'interprétation at the University of Geneva since 2009, first in the Interpreting Department and, from 2011 for InZone. Her PhD thesis focuses on the challenges of setting up conference interpreter training programmes on the African continent and cooperation between universities in Europe and Africa. Her research interests include multilingualism in Europe and Africa, language classification in interpreting, the creation of university networks in Africa as well as the cultural aspects of interpreter training. She has been involved in the design and implementation of the African Virtual Network project involving the Universities of Geneva, Nairobi and Legon (Accra). In 2012 she presented a pilot project of virtual training for interpreting students in Africa at the IATIS conference in Belfast together with Manuela Motta.

SESSION 4:

LEVERAGING NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN INTERPRETER TRAINING

PAPER 7:

Title: A Virtual learning environment for the acquisition of interpreting skills

Speaker: Dr. Manuela Motta, Université de Genève

Abstract:

This presentation will focus on the virtual learning environment that was used for the virtual collaboration among students of the Universities of Geneva, Nairobi and Accra, and on examples of the learning activities that students carried out. Students' opinion on this experience will also be presented.

Interpreting implies the simultaneous listening to and translating of a message, it involves a number of subtasks such as analysing, memorising, language production and monitoring, and it thus relies on both knowledge and skill acquisition. The pedagogical approach to interpreter training adopted at the Interpreting Department of the University of Geneva is based on scientific research carried out on an integrated approach to learning that encompasses (adaptive) expertise, deliberate practice, feedback, metacognition and self-regulation in a blended learning environment. During face-to-face classes and students' group practice sessions, students are made aware of the need to acquire interpreting skills by means of structured and specific exercises aiming at training specific sub-skills, alongside the ability to analyse their own learning process with a view to adapting the training activities to their own specific learning needs. This learning process is supported by the Virtual Institute, a virtual learning environment developed by the Interpreting Department of the University of Geneva that promotes a socio-constructivist approach to learning, where learning is considered as an active process allowing the collaborative construction of knowledge and acquisition of skills on the basis of prior knowledge and under the guidance of trainer and peers who provide formative feedback. Learning thus takes place in the framework of a community of practice based on tools and pedagogical strategies specifically designed for skill acquisition in interpreting.

In the context of the collaboration project among the Universities of Geneva, Nairobi and Accra, based on a needs analysis in the partner universities, different virtual training modules were developed, focusing on specific difficulties students encounter when working in consecutive or simultaneous interpretation. All modules rely on a common feature: students carry out the specific exercise using a set of materials created by trainers, they provide feedback to a peer and record further training material in relation to a specific difficulty for peers to be able to practice. A number of objectives are thus reached with one single activity: students have at their disposal high quality training materials at the right level of performance, they analyse the specific difficulty tackled so as to provide peers with additional training materials, they analyse their own performance and share it with peers, so that peers can provide feedback on their performance. Examples of these activities will be presented and students' opinion will provide a framework for evaluation of their usefulness.

Author's Biotnote:

Manuela Motta is a conference interpreter and trainer at the FTI, University of Geneva. Her PhD dissertation (2013) focused on a blended tutoring program for the implementation of the theory of expertise and deliberate practice to facilitate the acquisition of interpreting skills. At the Critical Link conference 2013 she discussed, together with Rachel Herring, the pertinence of transposing the theory of expertise and deliberate practice from conference interpreter to community interpreter training and the limits of this approach. At the didTRAD Conference 2014, she will discuss the role of scaffolding and meta-cognition in a blended learning environment for conference interpreter training. Since 2005, she has been involved in a number of projects featuring new technologies and virtual learning environments in conference interpreter training, and the cooperation project with the African Universities in Nairobi and Accra to establish a virtual network of both students and teachers is one of these projects.

PAPER 8:

Title: Virtual learning spaces for knowledge and skill acquisition in the African context.

Speaker: Prof. Barbara Moser-Mercer, Université de Genève

Abstract:

While virtual learning in Africa has been characterized often by notions of limited connectivity, the continent continues to provide ample evidence of using available virtual resources creatively, thus extending virtual learning spaces despite connectivity constraints.

There is dynamic development in Africa regarding all forms of e-learning, whether structured as in a school or university setting, or unstructured as in the re-use of open source content and learning materials. Connectivity constraints have produced creative solutions in terms of off-line use of open content, burst connectivity to overcome irregular connectivity, adoption of international content with on-site tutoring, and the development of more local content. Formal integration of e-learning into more standard curricula, such as by the African Virtual University, the University of South Africa or the more recent newcomer, the Open University of Kenya, has been more challenging than the rapid development of informal e-learning, simply because traditional educational structures have been slow to integrate ICT and because even in large, urban universities, connectivity is often patchy.

The vast majority of educational users in Africa have access to laptops (95%), followed by desktop access (85%) and tablet access (46%). This is also reflected in the devices users believe to have the greatest potential for education and training, where laptops lead with 29%, followed by tablets (18%), smart phones (17%) and basic cell phones (16%). This provides a clear indication of the future of mobile learning in Africa, and as education providers we need to develop the right synergies between pedagogical approaches and IT-environments and spaces in which learning will take place.

In terms of skill acquisition in interpreting, where competence, motivation and opportunity are essential to success, creating learning opportunities in Africa will depend on continued creativity in the development of virtual learning spaces that can be leveraged on mobile devices. Interpreter training builds on both knowledge and skill components, with knowledge/content being deliverable in a more static and off-line form, and skill acquisition being supported through more dynamic and on-line, mostly asynchronous forms. Both forms lend themselves to intra-continental and intercontinental collaboration. Understanding the basic building blocks that will support skill acquisition and integrate them into virtual learning environments will ensure that innovation becomes sustainable.

Author's Bionote:

Barbara Moser-Mercer is Professor of conference interpreting and Director of InZone at the Faculté de traduction et d'interprétation, University of Geneva. Her research focuses on cognitive and cognitive neuro-science aspects of the interpreting process and on the human performance dimension of skill development. She has co-developed the Virtualinstitute©, the first fully integrated virtual learning environment for interpreters, which she also leverages in partnership with ICRC, ILO, UNHCR, UN- OCHA, UN-WFP, and UNAMA for training interpreters working in conflict zones both on-site in the field and virtually. She was a member of the High Level Group on Multilingualism of EU Commissioner for Multilingualism, Leonard Orban, and coordinated the European Masters in Conference Interpreting. She is also an active conference interpreter, member of AIIC.

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Last modified on Friday, 16 January 2015 18:38

 

New Trends in the Research on AVT and Accessibility
Vera Lúcia Santiago Araújo, State University of Ceara, Brazil

This panel addresses the current status of the research on Audiovisual translation and accessibility. Different methods and theories have been used since the beginning of AVT research in the nineties, ranging from the description of norms (Descriptive Translation Studies), experimental research (Reception Studies) and case studies (action research). The objective of this panel is to bring together those who are interested in, and concerned about the discussion of the contribution on how different methods and disciplines approach the access of people with sensory impairment (deaf and blind) to audiovisual products by means of subtitling for the deaf and the hard-of-hearing (SDH) and audiodescription (AD). It is composed of twelve papers dealing with the interface of SDH and AD and Corpus Linguistics, Multimodality, Social Semiotics and Text World Theory.

For informal enquiries: [verainnerlightATuolDOTcomDOTbr]

Photo Vera Lucia Santiago Araujo

Vera Lúcia Santiago Araújo Vera Lúcia Santiago Araújo (State University of Ceara) has been working with audiovisual translation and accessibility since the year 2000, mainly with SDH and AD, having developed research, written academic papers and supervised theses and dissertations on the topic. She has organized a lot of panels, workshops and round tables in different Brazilian Conferences. The last one was on the Brazilian Translation Research Conference (ABRAPT) last year in Florianópolis, Brazil.

 

 

 

 

 

SESSION PLAN

SESSION 1: THE RESEARCH ON SUBTITLING AND ITS INTERFACES

Introduction: 5 minutes

PAPER 1:

Title: Sound effects in French subtitling for deaf and hard-of-hearing: a corpus-based study

Speaker: Ana Katarinna Pessoa do Nascimento, USP (Brazil)

PAPER 2:

Title: The Analysis of Multimodal Irony in Film Subtitles

Speaker: Paulina Burczynska, University of Manchester (United Kingdom)

PAPER 3:

Title: A Multimodal Analysis of Chinese Subtitles in Animated Films--A Case Study of Mulan (1998)

Speaker: Yuping Chen and Wei Wang, University of Sydney (Australia).

PAPER 4:

Title: Subtitles as a Manipulated Source for Target Audience's Text-Worlds

Speaker: Zhu Zhu, University of Edinburgh (Scotland).

PAPER 5:

Title: Linguistic Segmentation in the SDH of a Brazilian Soap Opera: a corpus-based study

Speaker: Ítalo Assis, UECE (Brazil)

Discussion: 33 minutes

Wrap-up time: 10 minutes

SESSION 2: THE RESEARCH ON AUDIODESCRIPTION AND ITS INTERFACES

Introduction: 5 minutes

PAPER 6:

Title: A proposal for the audiodescription of children's books

Speaker: Soraya Ferreira Alves, UNB (Brazil)

PAPER 7:

Title: Why not? Arguments in favor of a closer and more effective partnership between sighted describers and consultants

Speaker: Manoela Silva, UFBA (Brazil)

PAPER 8:

Title: The importance of being relevant? The benefits of using pragmatic and cognitive approaches to conceptualise audio description

Speaker: Sabine Braun,

PAPER 9:

Title: Overcoming the interpretion/description dichotomy in AD: an interdisciplinary approach

Speakers: Larissa Costa and Gabriela Baptista, PUC-Rio (Brazil)

PAPER 10:

Title: Brazilian audiodescribed television: a corpus based study of ad screenplays of films and TV series

Speakers: Renata Mascarenhas, Alexandra Seoane, Ana Tássia Silva, Ana Carla Nóbrega, Jéssica Nóbrega and Lindolfo Farias Júnior, UECE (BRAZIL)

PAPER 11:

Title: In search of parameters for the audiodescription of paintings with the support of audiovisual translation, multimodality and social semiotics

Speaker: Maria Nunes, UECE (Brazil)

Discussion: 33 minutes

Wrap-up time: 10 minutes

PAPER TITLES, ABSTRACTS AND BIONOTES

PAPER 1:

Title: Sound effects in French subtitling for deaf and hard-of-hearing: a corpus-based study

Speaker: Ana Katarinna Pessoa do Nascimento, University of São Paulo, USP (Brazil)

Abstract:

In addition to images, audio plays a key role in creating meaning in a movie plot. The sound universe of a movie consists of three basic elements: speech, music and noise, also known as soundtrack. Without the aid of subtitling, deaf or hard of hearing audiences do not have access to those audiovisual productions' features. Therefore, the subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing (SDH) must indicate the speaker and sound effects. The audiovisual accessibility has been discussed in France since 1986 through the "Freedom of Communication" Law. Given the French tradition in SDH, this study sought to examine the translation of sound effects in three French films sold on DVD: Nos jours heureux (2006), Les femmes du sixième étage (2010) and L'écume des jours (2013). These three movies are qualified as comedy. For the analysis, the subtitle files of these movies were extracted in .txt format, so their sound effects and music subtitles could be tagged. They received discursive tags containing the following categories: gap music, screen music, qualified music, non-qualified music, sounds made by man, sounds made by objects, nature sounds, animal sounds and fictional sounds. These tags were created looking upon sound of the cinema theories. The subtitle files were analyzed by means of WordSmith Tools 5.0, using the above-mentioned categories. This way, it was possible to see each sound effect subtitle in context with others of the same category. When it was necessary, the researcher looked through the movie scenes, so one could see if the subtitle corresponded to the sound intended by the director in the movie. The data revealed that the sound effects in the French subtitles were translated taking into account the function of each sound within the movie. This leads to conclude that the French translation of sound effects is a quality translation, meaning that a deaf viewer would be able to understand the sound features of the movie plot without asking for help, which is the point of Audiovisual Translation: accessibility for those who need it.

Bionote:

Katarinna Pessoa is undergraduated from State University of Ceará with a degree in French language(2010), has a Master Degree in Applied Linguistics from the same institution (2013). She is currently a Ph.D. student in Translation Studies from the University of São Paulo. She is involved in Audiovisual Translation Research with emphasis in subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing (SDH) and Corpus Linguistics.

PAPER 2:

Title: The Analysis of Multimodal Irony in Film Subtitles

Speaker: Paulina Burczynska, University of Manchester (United Kingdom)

Abstract:

Research on verbal irony has been attracting growing attention from audiovisual translation scholars. Nevertheless, the number of conducted studies on the combination between verbal and non-verbal components in the analysis, translation, and particularly, reception of irony transfer in audiovisual texts is still very limited. Due to the rapid technological advances, commercial requirements and differentiated viewer's preferences, it is thus crucial to understand how viewers prioritize meaning-making modes embedded in the multimodal text and conveyed via subtitles so that a film could be accessible for a broader audience. The reception analysis of the subtitled films also aims to support screen translators in decision-making processes to produce film translation. My theoretical framework comprises of the echoic theory of irony and multimodal theory. Echoic theory of irony appears to be the most capable framework to support the study of multimodal irony in audiovisual texts as the significant importance of non-verbal semiotic resources in the generation and interpretation of irony has been demonstrated. Multimodal theory, on the other hand, will enable me to examine the role that verbal and non-verbal modes play in the construction of irony on screen. The data set is interrogated using a mixed-methods approach consisting of observational tools, questionnaires and eye-tracking. The observational phase involves multimodal transcriptions of selected fragments in which irony plays a pivotal narrative role to determine what non-verbal modes contribute to the multimodal construal of irony and how irony is relayed in the subtitles translation. The experimental phase will combine the use of eye-tracking technology and questionnaires for the purposes of triangulation. The analysis proceeds in the following way: first the selected excerpts of the film are divided into individual frames in order to identify and analyze what and how non-verbal semiotic resources are intertwined to construe a meaningful whole. The frames are arranged in sequences vertically demonstrating in columns various semiotic modes which contribute to the creation of meaning. Subsequently, subtitles are transcribed and analyzed. In the experimental phase, responders' eye movements will be recorded when watching selected fragments of the films. This will follow up with a questionnaire in order to elucidate how viewers of the subtitled version of the films i.e. Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) are able to retrieve ironic meaning in the original films. The results yielded form the multimodal analysis are expected to indicate how irony is conveyed in the subtitled Polish version of the two films. The experimental phase is expected to report what is the contribution of non-verbal semiotic resources to irony reception and comprehension by Polish viewers and what semiotic resources do Polish viewers prioritize when watching selected film fragments featuring the use of irony. On this basis, I aim to make an assessment of how effective subtitles are in the translation and reception of irony.

Bionote:

Paulina Burczyńska is currently a PhD student in Translation and Intercultural Studies at the University of Manchester, UK. She has an MA in Applied Linguistics from Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz, Poland. As a scholarship recipient Paulina studied at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. Her research interests focus mainly on multimodality, reception, audiovisual translation, pragmatics, non-professional translation as well as SLA via different modes of translation. As a young researcher, Paulina has already presented her research at international conference in Spain, Italy, UK, Belgium, Poland and Costa Rica.

PAPER 3:

Title: A Multimodal Analysis of Chinese Subtitles in Animated Films--A Case Study of Mulan (1998)

Speaker: Yuping Chen and Wei Wang, University of Sydney (Australia).

Abstract:

There is a common call in the field of subtitle translation to improve the quality of subtitles and construct a reliable theoretical framework to direct subtitling. By referring to Systemic Functional Linguistic (SFL) that can equip us with a fundamental research perspective to address subtitle translation and Semiotic Translation that can provide us with a specific angle to analyse subtitle translation, this paper seeks to conduct a SFL-informed and semiotics-guided multimodal analysis of Chinese subtitles in animated films.Subtitle translation is never a pure linguistic meaning transfer process, but involves various semiotic modes. This rationalizes the adoption of multimodality to examine subtitling. Furthermore, due to the fact that audiovisual texts are dynamic-image reigned, the moving feature of these images must be considered in subtitling process. This justifies the employment of SFL-informed multimodal analysis to investigate the meaning-making process by dissecting audiovisual texts into three co-existent metafunctional levels: representational level, interactive level and compositional level. Different from the multimodal analysis of print texts, these three metafunctions are addressed at different social semiotic levels of films. Representational meaning is analysed by addressing the semiotic interplay between participants and contexts in frame/shot, i.e. uncut camera movement. Interactive meaning is examined by investigating how the intersemiotic relation functions in scenes when edited camera movement entails the interaction between viewers and the videoed physical world. Compositional meaning is dealt with by taking the sequence, generic stage, or even the whole audiovisual text into account to highlight how representational meaning and interactive meaning are integrated to realize the holistic cohesion in subtitling. However, since SFL-inspired multimodal analysis is not applicable in explicating the translation practice, Semiotic Translation is ushered in by resorting to its three basic concepts, including abduction, deduction and induction, to address subtitle translation at representational level, interactive level and compositional level respectively. By integrating SFL-based multimodality and Semiotic Translation, a theoretical framework is established. Through analysing the Chinese subtitles of one Disney animated film --- Mulan (1998), it is found that there are seven types of semiotic interplay at three metafunctional levels, shouldering various functions to facilitate the subtitling process and exerting different impacts on linguistic levels in subtitles. In one sentence, this study integrates SFL-based multimodality and Semiotic Translation to construct a theoretical framework guiding the production of high quality subtitles. This would be of great significance to both practical and academic fields of subtitle translation.

Bionote:

Ms. Yuping Chen is a PhD student at the University of Sydney, Australia. She received her M.A. from Guangxi University, China in 2003 and then worked in English Department, China Agricultural University as a lecturer. After her ten-year career as a university teacher, she went to the University of Sydney to start her PhD study in 2013. Her thesis is about the multimodal analysis of subtitle translation. She just successfully completed her probation and won a faculty scholarship to support her trip to attend an international conference held in September, 2013 in Germany.

PAPER 4:

Title: Subtitles as a Manipulated Source for Target Audience's Text-Worlds

Speaker: Zhu Zhu, University of Edinburgh (Scotland).

Abstract:

Cognitive theories generally hold that human beings understand a text by creating and processing mental representations in their minds. Text World Theory shares this belief and calls mental representations 'text-worlds'. Informed by systemic functional grammar and other cognitive, psychological and philosophical approaches, Text World Theory holds that text-worlds are situated by world-building elements (time, location, object and enactor) and propelled by function-advancing propositions (relational, material and mental processes). A film is a polysemiotic text composed of messages produced and received in aural-verbal, aural-nonverbal, visual-verbal and visual-nonverbal channels. Messages in each channel would contribute to the creation and development of the target audience's text-worlds. When a film is subtitled in a foreign language, messages originally carried in the aural-verbal channel are duplicated in the visual-verbal channel. Due to the three-fold translation constraints on subtitling (cross-medium, feedback-effect and technical constraints), it is not possible for the messages duplicated in the subtitles to be identical to those in the original dialogue exchanges in either form or content. This means that compared to the intended audience of the original film, the target audience of the subtitled version would base their text-worlds on manipulated world builders and advancers. The current study looks at what has been manipulated in the process of subtitling Chinese feature films into English and how, and also what impact such manipulation may potentially have on the creation and development of the target audience's text-worlds. Three Chinese films are selected as the case study in this paper: Farewell My Concubine (dir. CHEN Kaige, 1993), Summer Palace (dir. LO Ye, 2006) and Coming Home (dir. ZHANG Yimou, 2014). All the three films contain sections set against the background of political turmoil in modern China: either the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) or the Tiananmen Incident (1989). Detailed comparison between the English subtitles and the original dialogue exchanges is carried out at the sentence level. The entire dialogue exchanges and subtitles of the three films are examined with a focus placed on extralinguistic cultural references (ECRs)

Bionote:

Zhu holds a PhD in Translation Studies from Newcastle University and is working at Asian Studies, University of Edinburgh in the role of Chinese Language Programme Director. She carries out research in the fields of translation studies, Chinese language teaching methodology and second language acquisition. Zhu is also an active translator with extensive professional experience.

PAPER 5:

Title: Linguistic Segmentation in the SDH of a Brazilian Soap Opera: a corpus-based study

Speaker: Ítalo Assis, State University of Ceará, UECE (Brazil)

Abstract:

Since 2002, State University of Ceará has carried out researches about Subtitling for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (SDH) in an attempt to establish parameters that fit the needs that Brazilian deaf people might have. The results of one of these previous studies have suggested that a good segmentation – subtitling feature that is related to the division of the translated speech into text along the subtitle – can guarantee a comfortable subtitle for the deaf community even when the subtitle is based on reading speeds of 160 and 180 words per minute. This work aims at describing and analyzing how ill-segmented subtitles regarding linguistic segmentation – segmentation that is based on syntax and is related to the division of the translated text into subtitles of 2 lines or more – is presented in the closed caption pop-on type of SDH aired on Brazilian TV network. More specifically, in the SDH of one episode of the Brazilian telenovela Amor Eterno Amor, part of the corpus of the CORSEL project (Corpus, Segmentation and Subtitling) and which was extracted automatically with the program CCExctractor. The methodology was based on a descriptive dimension, making use of a quali-quantitative analysis to check the problems related to the linguistic segmentation. It was done by using tools that are proper from Corpus Linguistics, such as annotation and corpus electronic analysis. The so-called segmentation problems were identified by annotation of specific tags to this kind of analysis, created from a Brazilian Portuguese grammar based on a functional aspect. After the annotation process, the corpus could be analyzed with the help of the program Wordsmith Tools 5.0. The results of the research indicated a substantial quantity of linguistic segmentation problems in the corpus, close to 26.8 % from the total amount of subtitles. The problems appeared with more frequency in verbal and noun phrases, as well as in 3-line subtitles with a high speed. I consider this substantial quantity of segmentation problems in the corpus as one of the reflexes of the lack of preoccupation TV Stations in Brazil have got with their subtitle quality. Also, subtitlers' lack of expertise on linguistic segmentation may be one of the causes of so many problems.

Bionote:

Ítalo Alves Pinto de Assis holds a Bachelor's degree in English from State University of Ceará and is currently a Master's student at the Applied Linguistics Graduation Program from the aforementioned university. His research now focuses on the cognitive effect of ill-segmented subtitles on the reception by deaf and hearing viewers. His academic background is rooted in Translations Studies, more specifically in the Audiovisual Translation (AVT) branch aimed at Media Accessibility through Subtitle for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (SDH) and Audio Description for the blind. His areas of research interests include Corpus-based Translation Studies, Experimentation in Translation and Applied Linguistics.

PAPER 6

Title: A proposal for the audiodescription of children's books

Speaker: Soraya Ferreira Alves, University of Brasília, UNB (Brazil)

Abstract:

This paper aims at presenting the results of a research held at University of Brasília – UnB, during the period 2013/2014 and is linked to a research group on audiovisual translation and accessibility. It intended to suggest patterns for the audio description for visually impaired children of illustrated children´s books. In this case, the audio description would consist in the description of the images and their relation to the written text. The audio description is gradually being implanted in Brazil, and there are initiatives of the government in order to establish patterns of audio description of books, as the Nota Técnica Nº 21 / 2012 / MEC / SECADI /DPEE – MECDaisy, published at internet, which expects to regulate such practice with editors. Such document, however, does not include specific proposals for children´s books. Having this observation as basis, and having in mind that the semiotics organization of the book, that is, the relation between text/narration/images/audio description should make sense for the children, it was traced a methodology to verifying if the children´s books published in Brazil with audio description were following the rules of Mecdaisy and if they would fit the necessities of visually impaired children. So, a reception test was held at CEEDV – DF (Centro de Ensino Especial do Deficiente Visual), with 17 children between 5 and 8 years old. At first, all the children listened to a book published with audio description and answered comprehension questions. Then, an activity with the same book was applied at the classes, as a suggestion of the teachers involved, and other questions were made, along with the intervention of the teachers. After the results obtained and discussed with the teachers, the audio description of another book was made, following their observations and suggestions, like the insertion of sound effects. Then, other activities were proposed in order to verifying the comprehension of the children and if they liked to listen the story with audio description. After the test, the teachers answered a questionnaire about the efficacy of the audio descriptions of both books and their suggestions for a model that would satisfy the children. A final proposal of audio description was recorded and given to the school. Our final proposal for the audio description includes the insertions of music and sound effects and a major integration of narrative and audio description.

Bionote:

Dr. Soraya Ferreira Alves is graduated in Translation English/Portuguese at Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo; has received her Master and Doctorate degrees in Communication and Semiotics also by PUC-SP. Developed a post-doctorate research at Universidade Estadual do Ceará under the sponsorship of CAPES. Professor at Universidade de Brasilia – UnB, teaches at the Translation Course and at the Master in Translation Studies acting mainly with literary and audiovisual translation. Has presented papers on literature studies, literary and audiovisual translation both in national and international conferences, and written articles in refereed Brazilian journals. Conducts research on audiovisual accessibility. Is audio descriptor.

PAPER 7:

Title: Why not? Arguments in favor of a closer and more effective partnership between sighted describers and consultants

Speaker: Manoela Silva, Federal University Of Bahia, UFBA (Brazil)

Abstract:

Audio description (AD), a translation mode that aims at making visual information accessible to those who are blind, have low vision or who otherwise have difficulty to grasp visual information, was introduced to the Brazilian public more than a decade ago. Over the past years, the activity has left the shadows and has gained the status of an official occupation, being included in the Brazilian Classification of Professions (Classificação Brasileira de Ocupações - CBO). As a result, the quality of the descriptions being offered and their adequacy to the target audience became even a bigger issue, which led to the emergence of a new professional: the consultant. However, the role of that professional in the AD process might differ a lot depending on the company or team of audio describers. Most of the time, since the consultants are members of the target audience, they act as revisers checking if scripts created by sighted describers are understandable and would suit the needs of visually impaired people. Sometimes, however, they work side by side with their sighted peers and are involved in the writing of the scripts as well. Personally, we favor the second model. The objective of this study, therefore, is to present arguments in favor of a closer and more effective partnership between sighted describers and consultants. The research derives from two other studies. The first one, whose objective was to outline the competencies needed by visually impaired people to act as consultants, was presented in the city of Florianópolis in 2013 at ABRAPT's XI International Congress and the V International Congress of Translators. The second one, whose objective was to describe which elements in a training course were necessary to foster a more collaborative work between prospective describers and future consultants, was presented in the city of Salvador in 2014 as part of UFBA's XII Seminar on Applied Linguistics and VIII Seminar on Translation. After those studies, we offered training courses aligned to the principles outlined in those works to both sighted and non-sighted people. The data collected was then complemented by some practical exercises we undertook in writing scripts together with visually impaired people as well as by interviews we carried out with professional describers and consultants. All those experiences led us to believe in the advantages of a stronger partnership between sighted and non-sighted professionals. We want to make clear, however, that our goal is not to dictate rules, but to demystify "the less travelled road" and help describers make reasoned decisions about the role of the consultant in the AD process.

Bionote:

Manoela Cristina Correia Carvalho da Silva holds a Master in Letters and Linguistics from the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA). She works at the same institution where she teaches English and Translation to undergraduate students, besides working with teacher training as one of the coordinators of the institutional program for proficiency in foreign languages (PROFICI). Author of the first master's degree thesis on audio description (AD) written in Brazil, she is currently the coordinator of TRAMAD (Translation, Media and Audio description), a pioneer Brazilian research group on AD.

PAPER 8:

Title: The importance of being relevant? The benefits of using pragmatic and cognitive approaches to conceptualise audio description

Speaker: Sabine Braun, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)

Abstract: In Audio Description (AD), the translation process starts from a multimodal discourse (based on a film or multimodal performance), of which one or several elements (visual images and some sound effects) are translated into a verbal text (a set of audio descriptions). This text is produced to form part of the multimodal discourse that the visually impaired target audience processes (the audio described version of the film or performance). One of the challenges the audio describer faces is that s/he has control over only some elements of this discourse. Another challenge of AD is the limited time to describe rich visual images and scenes, necessitating specific strategies of information selection, condensation and/or omission. Although not exclusive to AD, these challenges have led to AD (and other modalities of audiovisual translation) being conceptualised as constrained and partial translation (Bogucki 2004; Benecke 2014). Inspired by the belief that pragmatic and cognitive models of communication enable us to re-evaluate these perceptions and offer great potential for the study and practice of AD, this presentation aims to review such models and discuss their contribution to conceptualising especially the three inter-related sub-processes of AD: the comprehension of the multimodal source discourse by the audio describer; the translation of selected elements of this discourse; and the comprehension of the newly formed multimodal discourse by the visually impaired target audience. The focus will be on two models, Relevance Theory (Sperber & Wilson ²1995), which presents the most comprehensive pragmatic model of communication, and Mental Model Theory (Johnson-Laird 1983, 2006), which underlies cognitive models of discourse processing. Although these models have so far mainly been used to explain monomodal verbal discourse, it will be argued, by drawing on the small but growing body of relevant research, that they can be applied to multimodal discourse as such (e.g. Forceville 2014; Yus 2008) and to AD (e.g. Braun 2007, 2011; Kruger 2012; Fresno 2012; Martínez 2010; Vandaele 2011), and that the benefits of their application to AD are wide-ranging. It will be shown, for example, how the chosen theoretical models can raise awareness and create understanding among practitioners and target audiences for the difficulties with lay requests for 'objectivity' and 'describing just what you see'; how the explanations derived from these models provide a fruitful basis for training; and how a pragmatic and cognitive reconceptualization of AD contributes to the empowerment of the audio describer as a linguistically, culturally and socially responsible agent and creative decision maker. The presentation will begin by providing a brief introduction to the two models and explain how apply to multimodal discourse. Then this framework will be used to discuss and question common perceptions of AD as being 'constrained' and 'partial' translation. This will be followed by an outline and illustration of the benefits of adopting the proposed theoretical framework, drawing on a corpus of practical examples of AD and on academic and lay discourses relating to AD. The presentation will conclude with a brief discussion of questions for further research in this framework.

Bionote:

Dr Sabine Braun is Director of the Centre for Translation Studies at the University of Surrey. Her research focuses on new modalities of interpreting and translation, especially videoconference-based and remote interpreting, which is used increasingly to deliver interpreting services in business and public service contexts, and audio description, a growing media access service for blind and partially sighted people and a new modality of intersemiotic translation. Sabine is also interested in learning technologies and their application to interpreter education. She teaches Interpreting Studies and Applied Linguistics, and has developed several MA programmes in interpreting at the University of Surrey.

PAPER 9:

Title: Overcoming the interpretation/description dichotomy in AD: an interdisciplinary approach

Speakers: Larissa Costa and Gabriela Baptista, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio De Janeiro, PUC-Rio (Brazil)

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to produce a theoretical investigation about the relationship between the description and interpretation of visual images in audiovisual translation (AVT) focusing on audio description (AD). AD is defined as the translation of images into words, intended to make visual media accessible for the blind and the visually impaired. Therefore, the main particularity of AD is that the source texts are visual images, in all forms: still or moving, seen live or mediated by a screen etc. The issue of how words and visual images are interpreted is central to the elaboration of guidelines for AD, since "describe what you see" is the field's main general rule. Frequently, both lay people and specialists still conceive describing and interpreting as a dichotomy, and prioritize description, seen as objective, over interpretation, considered as subjective and valuational. In order to examine this issue, we draw on the field of literary criticism, based on the premise that there are interpretative strategies authorised by institutions and shared by groups of individuals, for whom some interpretations are more acceptable than others. Our methodology is based on social semiotics and multimodal research, which emphasise the communicative practices of individuals interacting in social contexts by articulating and interpreting discourses produced through the organisation of semiotic resources called 'modes' (i.e. image, writing, lay out, visual image, speech, gesture, posture, music, moving image, 3D object, soundtrack). All modes and the relations between them offer a potential to produce meanings, which are socially constructed. In other words, the meaning making potential of verbal language (writing and speech) and images (moving and still) and cultural conventions guide their production and interpretation. The main point of our analysis is to deconstruct the interpretation/description dichotomy in AD, since interpretation is always part of all communicative practices. The result we aim at is to develop a theoretical basis by providing analysis tools that can inform the decision making process of audio describers and audiovisual translators

Bionote:

Gabriela Baptista has a degree in Film from UFF and is currently a master's student in Translation Studies at PUC-Rio, researching the theoretical and conceptual approach of visual images in AVT. She is a translator, mostly for voice over and dubbing of TV programs. Larissa Costa has a degree in History from UERJ, a master's degree in Compared History (UFRJ) and a doctorate degree in Translation Studies from PUC-Rio. She is currently an audio describer, mainly for film, working in the following issues: audio description, audiovisual translation and accessibility.

PAPER 10:

Title: Brazilian audiodescribed television: a corpus based study of ad screenplays of films and TV series

Speakers: Renata Mascarenhas, Alexandra Seoane, Ana Tássia Silva, Ana Carla Nóbrega, Jéssica Nóbrega and Lindolfo Farias Júnior, UECE (BRAZIL)

Abstract:

In compliance with the Ordinance No. 188/ 2010, the TV stations that transmit with a digital signal, since July 2011, must broadcast some of its programs with audiodescription (AD), an audiovisual translation modality that aims to translate images into words for the visually impaired audience. Four years after the implementation of AD in the Brazilian television, it is worth investigating how this translation practice is being applied to this media. In this context, the research project CAD_TV (PosLA/ UECE/ BFP-FUNCAP) was created. The purpose of this paper is to present this project that has the objective to build a corpus of audiodescription screenplays of films and TV series broadcast on different Brazilian TV stations in order to map and to describe its translation strategies, while taking into consideration the differences between each program and narrative genre. To this aim, the research is carrying out the following steps: (1) recording the TV programs; (2) transcribing the audiodescriptions, using the software Subtitle Workshop 2.51; (3) manual tagging of the AD screenplays of each program; (4) reviewing the tags, according to narratological parameters and the creation of new tags fulfilling the standard demands by the corpus built in this research; (5) identification of the most frequent translation strategies of the screenplays, using the software WordSmith Tools; and (6) the description and analysis of the most meaningful and frequent strategies. This research is therefore descriptive in nature and corpus based because it proposes a systematic study (based on narratological and discursive patterns) of the AD of films and series broadcast on Brazilian television by way of an electronic analysis of an annotated corpus. In general, the preliminary results demonstrate that the theme of each program and its narrative structure influence the discursive strategy of its AD screenplay. It is also observed that the translation strategies vary according to the TV station and to the narrative genre. We believe this research seems effective in the investigation of the most frequent translation strategies of the screenplays and can be used to identify possible linguistics and narratological problems that can afterwards be evaluated with visually impaired audience and audiodescribers.

Bionotes:

Renata Mascarenhas completed her Masters in Applied Linguistics at the State University of Ceara (Brazil). In 2012, she defended her doctoral thesis on the audiodescription of a Brazilian detective TV mini-series. She has participated in the audiodescription of a dance and a theatre performance and has written and revised screenplays for the audiodescription of several films. She recently taught AVT for a post graduation course at the State University of Ceara and is currently involved in the research of audiodescription carried out at this institution.

PAPER 11:

Title: In search of parameters for the audiodescription of paintings with the support of audiovisual translation, multimodality and social semiotics

Speaker: Maria Nunes, UECE (Brazil)

Abstract:

This article takes into consideration the assumption that the audiodescription (AD) of works of art is still a field that is only beginning to be explored and researched, allowing new studies to be carried out in the attempt to expand its domains. Thus, it is part of a piece of research which is aimed at finding systematic ways of audiodescribing bidimensional works of art so that they may effectively provide the visually impaired with access to aesthetic experiences through the audiodescription, in this case, of paintings. In this process, alternatives for the ressignification of meanings from a visual code to a verbal one are of Paramount importance, in order to really convey the so much sought and expected aesthetic experience that a work of art might provide. The aim is, therefore, to present an audiodescription of a painting by Dutch painter Pieter Brueghel (c.1525-1569), entitled Hunters in the Snow, preceded by an analysis of the painting, using as support elements of audiovisual translation, multimodality and social semiotics studies. More specifically, the analysis is carried out using as a reference mainly O'Toole (2011), whose model of analysis of works of art provides an insightful way of viewing a work of art, thus allowing the audiodescriber to make informed choices when translating the visual aspects verbally. Theoretically, it is also anchored on Holland (2009), and De Coster e Mühleis (2007), works which provide access to considerations on the process of AD of Works of art founded on previous practical experiences of audiodescription in museums. Following the presentation of the audiodescription, a brief discussion and assessment of how the theoretical works and research so far carried out help to outline some parameters for the audiodescription of bidimensional works of art. Although still in an early stage, the research points to some aspects that may be converted into parameters, as more audiodescriptions are developed.

Bionote:

Maria da Salete Nunes teaches Literature and Translation at the State University of Ceará. Currently, she is working on her doctoral dissertation, which is affilliated to a research group coordinated by Vera Lúcia Santiago Araújo, who is also her supervisor.

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Last modified on Friday, 16 January 2015 16:57

Changing the World: Translating Soft and Revolutionary Power
Kathryn Batchelor, University of Nottingham, UK
Sue-Ann Harding, Hamad bin Khalifa University, Doha, Qatar

The writings of revolutionary figures are such that, by definition, they exert significant impact and influence across the globe. Summaries of those effects are often widely cited and reproduced, but are rarely substantiated, and almost invariably ignore the ramifications of the fact that such texts achieve their impact through translation. Similarly, while nations and global organizations seek to increase their leverage and acceptability through the exertion of soft power, academic analyses of soft power are usually situated within the social sciences, and issues of language and translation remain peripheral, or are passed over in silence. Over and over again, however, research carried out within Translation Studies has revealed the inextricable links between translation and power. Translation, both in the narrower sense of inter-lingual transfer and in the broader metaphorical sense of image-building and representation, has been shown to represent not only a means of establishing and maintaining dominance, but also of resisting it and of revealing the power dynamics that hold between states, multinationals, peoples, cultures and languages. While the bulk of TS research that focuses on connections between power and translation has centred on the West, usually taking formerly colonized cultures as the other pole of study, in this panel we seek to foreground studies of translation and intercultural exchange that do not sit comfortably within these existing paradigms, be that because they focus on 'South-South' interactions, because they involve multiple languages and situations, or because they are concerned with voices from dominated cultures but use languages associated with hegemony. In many cases, such studies are likely to be carried out through collaboration, since expertise in multiple non-global languages is rarely the preserve of a single researcher. Our second focus in this panel is therefore the exploration of innovative and collaborative research methodologies, both within and between TS and neighbouring disciplines.

The panel is divided into four sessions. In the first two sessions, Revolutionary power: Frantz Fanon and Revolutionary power continued: Marx and Engels, three members of the team of scholars collaborating on a multi-authored international project exploring the links between the translations of works by Frantz Fanon and their connections to revolutionary movements around the world will present the findings of their research. A further two papers will be presented by scholars working collaboratively to investigate the translation of radical texts, with a focus on the translations of works by Marx and Engels into the English and Greek languages. Both teams will also reflect on the benefits and challenges of working collaboratively across international borders and linguistic limitations in order to move beyond the presentation of isolated case studies and to benefit from a range of methodological approaches and specific expertise. Three other members of the Fanon team will be presenting papers in later sessions of the panel, and will be able to complement the breadth and detail of the first session by contributing to the discussions that follow on from these papers where appropriate. In the third session, Soft power and soft war, two of the papers will explore China's current efforts to develop its soft power programme through translation, the first in general and theoretical terms, the second in relation to the specificities of the 21st century Sino-African relationship. The third paper in this group will present a study of the USA's efforts to exert soft power through its Swahili translation project, Maisha Amerika, Uislamu Amerika (Life in America, Islam in America), in a post 9/11 context, while the final paper will examine the related concept of 'soft war', exploring the Iranian state's efforts to control the translation of children's literature in order to counter the perceived erosion of Islamic values by the West. In the final session, Conveying and (re)defining political ideas and ideologies, the focus will be on translation's role in the communication and interpretation of political ideas and ideologies, exposing the power dynamics that are at stake in the way translations are carried out or reviewed, or enlisted for a range of political and historiographical ends. The papers draw on case studies from a range of understudied linguistic and cultural contexts, the first focussing on historiographical studies in Latin America, the second on collaborative activist online translation in Canada and Brazil, and the third on the construction of solidarity with postcolonial countries in Poland.

For informal enquiries: [KathrynDOTBatchelorATnottinghamDOTacDOTuk]

kathrynbatchelor

Kathryn Batchelor Associate Professor of Translation and Francophone Studies at the University of Nottingham, UK. Her publications include Decolonizing Translation: Francophone African Novels in English Translation (2009); Translating Thought/Traduire la pensée (2010), co-edited with Yves Gilonne; and Intimate Enemies: 'Translation in Francophone Contexts (2013), co-edited with Claire Bisdorff. She is currently leading two major collaborative research projects, Building Images: Exploring 21st Century Sino-African Dynamics Through Cultural Exchange and Translation and Frantz Fanon in and through Translation. She is also Chair of the ARTIS Steering Board (Advancing Research in Translation and Interpreting Studies).

 

 Sue-Ann-HardingSue-Ann Harding is Assistant Professor at the Translation and Interpreting Institute under the auspices of Qatar Foundation. Her research interests are in translation and social-narrative theory, media representations and configurations of violent conflict, and explorations of intralingual and intersemiotic translation with regards to collective memory and issues of state, (national) identity, civil society and social justice. She is the author of Beslan: Six Stories of the Siege (2012) and several articles in leading translation studies journals. She is also a co-editor of Translation Studies Abstracts Online, the Review Editor for The Translator and interim Chair of the IATIS Executive Council.

 

 

 

SESSION PLAN

INTRODUCTION TO WHOLE PANEL (10 minutes): Kathryn Batchelor

SESSION 1: Revolutionary power: Frantz Fanon

PAPER 1:

Title: Fanon in Arabic: tracks and traces

Speaker: Sue-Ann Harding, Hamad bin Khalifa University, Doha, Qatar

PAPER 2:

Title: Fanon in Iran

Speaker: Farzaneh Farahzad, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran

PAPER 3:

Title: Translating Race and Resistance: Re-Reading Fanon in Brazilian Contexts

Speaker: Christopher Larkosh, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, USA

DISCUSSION (30 minutes)

SESSION 2: Revolutionary power continued: Marx and Engels

PAPER 4:

Title: The International Labour Movement Refracted: The Communist Manifesto in English

Speaker: Stefan Baumgarten, Bangor University, Wales

PAPER 5:

Title: Collaborative Translation and the Making of The Selected Works of Marx and Engels

Speaker: Christina Delistathi, Brunel University, London

DISCUSSION (20 minutes)

SESSION 3: Soft power and soft war

PAPER 6:

Title: Translation and Soft Power in a Globalizing World: A Chinese Perspective

Speaker: You Wu, Shanghai University, China

PAPER 7:

Title: Translation, soft power and intercultural power dynamics in the context of 21st century Sino-African power relations

Speaker: Kathryn Batchelor, University of Nottingham, UK

PAPER 8:

Title: Translation Post-9/11: The US Embassy Swahili Project in Kenya

Speaker: Alamin Mazrui, Rutgers University, USA

PAPER 9:

Title: Translators: reinforcing or challenging hegemony? A strucurationist approach to the translation of children's literature in Iran

Speaker: Shabnam Saadat Arkan Najd, University of Manchester, UK

DISCUSSION (40 minutes)

SESSION 4: Conveying and (re)defining political ideas and ideologies

PAPER 10:

Title: Against Ventriloquism: Notes on the Uses and Misuses of the translation of subaltern knowledge in Latin America

Speaker: Daniel Inclan, National University of Mexico

PAPER 11:

Title: Collaborative Activist Translation 2.0 and 'slow politics' in the 21st Century: Changing the World one Semi-Colon at a Time

Speaker: Raúl Ernesto Colón Rodríguez, University of Ottawa, Canada

PAPER 12:

Title: Translation and Solidarity: Postcolonial-Polish Relationships at the end of the 20th Century

Speaker: Dorota Goluch, University of Cardiff, UK

DISCUSSION (30 minutes)

CONCLUSION TO WHOLE PANEL (10 MINUTES): Sue-Ann Harding

PAPER TITLES, ABSTRACTS AND BIONOTES

PAPER 1:

Title: Fanon in Arabic: tracks and traces

Speaker: Sue-Ann Harding, Hamad bin Khalifa University, Doha, Qatar

Abstract:

This paper is part of the research project "Frantz Fanon In and Through Translation", which is based at the University of Nottingham's Department of French and Francophone Studies and partly funded by the British Academy. As stated on the project website, this collaborative investigation seeks to address the gap in scholarship that overlooks the fact that Fanon's texts achieved their widespread impact through translation, and thus explores "the links between the translations of works by Frantz Fanon (1925-1961) and their reception in a range of linguistic and cultural contexts". Of all the languages into which the Francophone Fanon has been translated, Arabic, perhaps, holds a special position, given both the contiguity and separation of the two languages in Fanon's life, work and politics, as shaped by his experience of revolutionary Algeria; Fanon wrote, for example, in French for the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) paper El Moudjahid, its Arabic title shared by both its French and Arabic editions, even though neither was a translation of the other. This paper is a pioneering study of the Arabic translation of Fanon's Les Damnés de la Terre (1961), first published in Beirut by Dar At-tali'aa (Vanguard Press), just two years after the original, and translated by Sami Darubi (1921-1976) and Jamal Al-Atasi (1922-2000), early ideologues and politically active members of the Syrian Baath Party. From its first appearance during the tumultuous post-independence years of frequent coups, pan-Arab nationalism and shifting alliances in the Middle East, to the anniversary edition published by the Algerian government to mark the fiftieth year of the Revolution and Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962), and the most recent edition (2013) published in Cairo after what is known as the Arab Spring, this paper draws on a combination of micro- and macro-level lexical, textual and paratextual analyses never before carried out on this material, and uses social narrative theory to track the changing editions of this Arabic translation, tracing the ways in which Fanon in Arabic has been disseminated, narrated, framed, received and neglected in the Arab world. Furthermore, the paper reflects on the methodological challenges and innovations arising out of a foray beyond the researchers' typical areas of expertise. These include inter-disciplinary engagement in terms of historical studies and biography; networks of collaboration and cooperation; the use of machine translation tools; and the detective work necessary to overcome the challenges of imprecision and accessibility when working with Arabic bibliographical sources.

Bionote: Sue-Ann Harding is Assistant Professor at the Translation and Interpreting Institute under the auspices of Qatar Foundation. Her research interests are in translation and social-narrative theory, media representations and configurations of violent conflict, and explorations of intralingual and intersemiotic translation with regards to collective memory and issues of state, (national) identity, civil society and social justice. She is the author of Beslan: Six Stories of the Siege (2012) and several articles in leading translation studies journals. She is also a co-editor of Translation Studies Abstracts Online, the Review Editor for The Translator and interim Chair of the IATIS Executive Council.

PAPER 2:

Title: Fanon in Iran

Speaker: Farzaneh Farahzad, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran

Abstract:

Fanon's major works were introduced in Iran by political activists who translated in order to give voice to an uprising opposition in the early 1970s. Four major works of Fanon's have been translated into Persian, and retranslated and reprinted, particularly before the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Of these, two stand out. The first is Five years of the Algerian War, translated in 1973 by a leftist activist. The book received additional credit in Post-Revolution Iran for its elaborate discussion of hijab as a means of anti-colonialism. The second is The Wretched of the Earth, translated by Ali Shariati around 1971, an influential figure and activist in the anti-Shah movement who reread and redefined Islam in a pre-revolution context. This translation , which was reprinted several times and in large numbers both before and after the Revolution, is what introduced Fanon to Iranian readers. Shariati was already known and admired in Iran, not only for his activism, but basically for his reinterpretation of Islam which excited the religious elite in the country. His books were reprinted and sold in great numbers. His lectures were recorded, distributed and heard in the opposition circles inside and outside the borders. He was already visible when he translated Fanon and had already gained a voice in the silence of the regime of the time. He used Fanon to add to the credibility of his own voice. It seems that he did not use Fanon to gain a voice, but rather lent his voice to Fanon in order to benefit from its resonance.

Bionote: Farzaneh Farahzad is Associate Professor of translation studies at Allameh Tabataba'i University in Tehran. Her main research interests are in the areas of translation theory and research, translation criticism, and critical approaches in Translation Studies. She is the author of several textbooks for the translator training program in Iran, and has also written many articles in Persian and English in translation studies. She is curriculum developer of translator training programs in Iran, editor-in-chief of the Iranian Translation Studies Journal, freelance translator and simultaneous interpreter.

PAPER 3:

Title: Translating Race and Resistance: Re-Reading Fanon in Brazilian Contexts

Speaker: Christopher Larkosh, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, USA

Abstract:

This talk will focus on the ways that Brazilian intellectuals during the period of military dictatorship (1964-1985) have accessed and interpreted the works of Frantz Fanon, whether juxtaposed alongside that of well-known thinkers such as the Brazilian pedagogical theorist Paulo Freire, the work of artists such as the Cinema Novo director Glauber Rocha, or members of the growing Black student movements of the 1960s and 70s. While Fanon's work was known to intellectuals in the French original as early as 1960 after the visit of Sartre and de Beauvoir to Brazil, and Fanon's best known text, Les damnés de la terre, had appeared in a Brazilian translation as early as 1968, Brazilians during the period of military dictatorship naturally had to contend with censorship as part of the overall atmosphere of political oppression. Many of his works were not necessarily read in Portuguese translation, but were often accessed in other languages such as Spanish and/or English translations or the French original.

What is of most interest to me for the purposes of this talk, however, is how Fanon's work, whether in the original or in translation, informed discussions on race and resistance to the military regime, whether by left-wing political militants or others who became familiar with him later in less explicitly Marxist theoretical contexts such as those proposed by postcolonial theory. Other questions also emerge from such a discussion: for example, did Afro-Brazilian thinkers, writers and activists access and read Fanon differently from their more Europeanized intellectual cohorts, and if so how? How did Brazilians translate, interpret or adapt Fanon's work to the particularities of national culture, racial politics and understandings of ethnic identity, and how do they continue to do so today, in the context of extreme economic, social and political inequality and recurrent instances of popular resistance, ones that cannot be completely understood without taking questions of lingering racial inequality into account? What sorts of limitations have been identified, or dissonance with Brazilian thinkers, especially those of African descent?

Bionote: Christopher Larkosh is Associate Professor of Portuguese at UMass Dartmouth (USA), and Visiting Associate Professor in the Translation and Interpreting Institute at Hamad bin Khalifa University in Doha, Qatar (2013-2014). He has published and lectured widely on numerous global languages and cultures, and is the author of numerous articles in academic translation journals, such as TTR and The Translator. He is the editor of the collected volume Re-Engendering Translation: Transcultural Practice, Gender/Sexuality and the Politics of Alterity (St Jerome, 2011) and is a co-editor of a forthcoming volume entitled KulturConfusão: German-Brazilian Interculturalities (De Gruyter, 2015).

PAPER 4:

Title: The International Labour Movement Refracted: The Communist Manifesto in English

Speaker: Stefan Baumgarten, Bangor University, Wales

Abstract:

This paper attempts to sketch the conceptual representation of the international labour movement, a movement that was spearheaded by the Communist Manifesto. Co-authored by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, this revolutionary text was originally published as a short German-language pamphlet in London in 1848. Designed as an incendiary polemic and aiming to spark a nascent international labour movement, just as most canonical works, the Communist Manifesto went, over the last 150 years or so, through innumerable translational refractions, as well as intra- and intersemiotic interpretations and modifications. By broadly contextualising the English-language versions within their respective historical and socio-economic conditions of production and reception, I will first argue for a more prominent space accorded to economic and associated socio-psychological factors in translation research, factors which are too often ignored or sidelined in mainstream descriptivist, positivist-cognitive, and even culture-oriented translation theories. Especially when English is involved as a language in the translational encounter, it is arguably even more significant to not overlook the critical centrality of the economic factor prior to the need to position the translational objects of investigation in their respective target-literary, psycho-dynamic and ideological environments. Secondly, by considering the Communist Manifesto's immense popularity and continuing centrality for international class struggle, and against the background of a research project in which I investigate the repercussions of both soft and revolutionary power on the translation of radical scholarly texts, this paper aims to sketch the power dynamics pertaining to the English interlingual refractions of this internationally received and extensively refracted work. And finally, by comparing the results of an extensive case study of the text's Greek translations with my own preliminary analysis of some English translations within their respective contextual surroundings, I will attempt to draw some preliminary conclusions about the fate of the international labour movement in the Anglophone hemisphere – a hegemonic sociocultural landscape that remains to be violently enthralled to the reified principles of free market liberalism.

Bionote: Stefan Baumgarten is Lecturer in German and Translation Studies at Bangor University, Wales. His research concentrates on the interrelation of translation, power and ideology. Apart from a theoretical focus on the sociology of translation and on ideology research, he is interested in the role of translation in globalisation processes and specifically in its impact on political and critical philosophical discourse. Additional research interests concern questions of translation historiography and the role of translation in maintaining 'epistemological' diversity.

PAPER 5:

Title: Title: Collaborative Translation and the Making of The Selected Works of Marx and Engels

Speaker: Christina Delistathi, Brunel University, London

Abstract:

Although collaborative translation is an old practice which has been documented as taking place in different contexts and for different purposes (translation of religious texts, feminist translation, crowdsourcing), the history of collaborative practices is a neglected area of research in Translation Studies. This paper aims at furthering our understanding of translation as a collaborative act by recording the process of translating revolutionary political texts from The Selected Works of Marx and Engels into Greek by a counter-hegemonic institution, the Communist Party of Greece in the early 1950s. It addresses the questions of who collaborates with whom, for what purposes, at which points of text production, in what circumstances and whether collaboration in this instance resulted in different ways of translating political texts. Based on unpublished archival material and combining historical research with close reading of the introduction to the publication, the paper examines the organisation of the party's Translation Department (based in Bucharest and staffed by political refugees who had fled Greece in the aftermath of the Civil War (1946-1949)), the political context in which it operated, the workflow and the working and living conditions of the translators and other participants in the translation process. Evidence suggests that translation was a multi-layered and multi-staged process, involving translators, typists, revisers, 'stylists', proof-readers and editors. Translators produced literal versions of TTs, which were then made idiomatic by another group, revised by another and, finally, were approved for publication by the editor, who perhaps used relay translation from the Russian to evaluate the Greek translation. It will be shown that, firstly, despite the professionalization of translation, all references to translators and other participants were effaced from the final publication in favour of the institution, revealing the power dynamics between the institution and the participants in the act of translating; and, secondly, that the organisation of the collaborative process of translation conveys which aspects of the translation process the party considered important. By focusing on translation by a counter-hegemonic institution, the study challenges the 'dominant North' and 'dominated South' dichotomy, and augments our understanding of the diverse ways in which translated literature has been made available at different historical times.

Bionote: Christina Delistathi's research focuses on the translation of political texts by counter-hegemonic institutions and activist networks. She has published on the translations of the Communist Manifesto and their place within the Greek context of political and ideological struggle for the control of Marxist discourse.

PAPER 6:

Title: Translation and Soft Power in a Globalizing World: A Chinese Perspective

Speaker: You Wu, Shanghai University, China

Abstract:

Globalization, characterized as multiculturalism and universalism, brings about an increasingly interconnected world and intensifies linguistic interchange among people living in the "global village". "Hybridity", the conceptual linchpin to interpret this process in the context of global mélange, has gained visibility across many spheres of cultural research, including translation studies, being addressed as the output of dynamic cross-cultural communication. Along with the cultural turn in Translation Studies, the cross-cultural dimension has been highlighted, the function of translation has shifted from mere language transfer to dynamic cultural representation, and translating cultural differences becomes a central issue. Thus, as a bridging means of cross-cultural communication, translation with no doubt plays an important role in resituating and readapting local culture in the global context, which becomes a significant source of a country's defensive and soft power. Translation as revolutionary/defensive power requires translation studies to retain certain problematic political principles to defend cultural alterity and diversity. From the perspective of manipulation and power, translation is a possible vehicle of political engagement and revolutionary agendas. Globalization presents new risks, therefore one of the key issues concerning the connections between culture and globalization relates to cultural security. To ease the tensions triggered by the conflicts of different identities and the cultures behind, translation as both cross-linguistic and cross-cultural practices could play an important role as defensive power. Globalization provides the grounds for the development of soft power, and translation can function as attractive power to promote an understanding of China's ideals, support its economic goals and enhance national security in subtle, wide-ranging, and sustainable ways. The concept of "soft power" derives from a simple dichotomy of defining coercive power as hard power while attractive power as soft power with three parameters, namely, culture, political values and foreign policy. In contrast to its remarkable performance in economy, the cultural influence of China has long been marginalized, which counteracts its international role achieved in the context of global economic integration. In this respect, the soft power strategy, with its emphasis on (re)construction of traditional culture and (re)assertion of cultural identity, becomes crucial in expanding China's international influence, in which translation plays a considerable part. In reviewing existing literatures and analyzing statistical data, this paper argues that globalization presents both opportunities and challenges for translation as soft power. The role of translation has been strengthened in the age of globalization, which in turn leads to its even greater prominence in political arena. Translation is ideology-loaded and political-minded, instead of being an innocent act of disinterested mediation, translation is an important means of constructing identities and configuring the shape of intercultural encounters, which makes it possible as the defensive/revolutionary power vis-à-vis the arising fears regarding a crisis of identities intensified by globalization. Under the guidance of soft-power-oriented policies, translation not only serves as a "charm" tool for public diplomacy and nation branding, but also contributes to export Chinese cultural values. In this respect, promoting translation activities and ensuring sustainable development of translation industry is an essential issue in the long run.

Bionote: WU You is assistant Professor in the School of Foreign Studies, Shanghai University, China, where she is also a research fellow at the Center for Global Studies. She received a Ph. D. in European Civilisation and Society from Université Paris Diderot-Paris VII, France, in 2011. Before joining Shanghai University in 2012, she was international coordinator in Gras Savoye and translator/interpreter in AMARE, France (2010-2011). She is the author of Un siècle de révolution (2013) and a dozen papers in Chinese. Her research interest focuses on translation and intercultural communication, cultural policies and EU-China relations.

PAPER 7:

Title: Translation, soft power and intercultural power dynamics in the context of 21st century Sino-African power relations

Speaker: Kathryn Batchelor, University of Nottingham, UK

Abstract:

In the context of China's ever-increasing involvement with Africa and of the competing and conflicting discourses that surround that involvement, this paper presents two sets of findings from an AHRC project exploring contemporary Sino-African dynamics through the prism of cultural exchange and translation. Firstly, using frameworks that outline connections between translation import/export patterns and power relations, such as those developed by Itamar Even-Zohar, Richard Jacquemond), José Lambert and Lawrence Venuti, the paper summarizes literary translation imports and exports between China and Africa between the years 2000 and 2014 and assesses the extent to which the patterns that emerge are characteristic of north-south or south-south exchange patterns, and thus how far they support or counter the official discourse put forward by Chinese and African governments, which casts the relationship as one of south-south co-operation. At the same time, the paper interrogates the usefulness of existing paradigms of translation dynamics in the context of situations with complex linguistic and cultural pasts, or where writers are likely to belong to a dominated culture but at the same time write and read works in languages normally associated with hegemony. Secondly, drawing on two examples of literary translations into Chinese that do not conform to the usual patterns governing translation selection, the paper suggests that translation can represent an important, if often overlooked, soft power tool, offering significant media opportunities for conveying a positive intercultural relations image, even if the translations themselves do not enjoy huge success in the target culture. By exploring the processes through which these translations came to be published in Chinese and contextualizing them within patterns of agency in translation selection more generally, the paper argues that these instances of soft power translation point to imbalances in the Sino-African relationship, in contrast with official discourses that stress equality and mutual benefit.

Bionote: Kathryn Batchelor is Associate Professor of Translation and Francophone Studies at the University of Nottingham, UK. Her publications include Decolonizing Translation: Francophone African Novels in English Translation (2009); Translating Thought/Traduire la pensée (2010), co-edited with Yves Gilonne; and Intimate Enemies: 'Translation in Francophone Contexts (2013), co-edited with Claire Bisdorff. She is currently leading two major collaborative research projects, Building Images: Exploring 21st Century Sino-African Dynamics Through Cultural Exchange and Translation and Frantz Fanon in and through Translation. She is also Chair of the ARTIS Steering Board (Advancing Research in Translation and Interpreting Studies).

PAPER 8:

Title: Translation Post-9/11: The US Embassy Swahili Project in Kenya

Speaker: Alamin Mazrui, Rutgers University, USA

Abstract:

In January 2002, a few months after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the USA, the US Embassy in Kenya launched a Swahili translation project, Maisha Amerika, Uislamu Amerika (Life in America, Islam in America) in a bid to capture the "hearts and minds" of East African Muslims. Many of its essays are Swahili translations of selected news and interpretive items from the Washington File, a product of the Office of International Information Programs of the US Department of State providing official texts of the US government, policy statements, features and byline articles. This study will seek to demonstrate how this translation project of the US Embassy was an integral part of the American response to a particular projection of an al-Qaeda offensive on the East African front. To the extent to which the translation project is a component of the arsenal of war (on terrorism), it becomes a weapon which, galvanized to maximum effect, takes for granted the idea that mistranslation is part of a legitimate strategy in a time of war. Theoretically, then, mistranslation here emerges as a concrete expression of the art of war, and as part and parcel of the way in which texts and images are read and (re)constituted. And if a state of war is partly a manifestation of irreconcilable differences, it embeds a condition of non-translatability, a condition in which we can often expect translation failure. The hope is that this study will contribute to our understanding of translation as a (soft) weapon of war. The data for the study is drawn from all the available issues of Maisha Amerika, Uislamu Amerika since its founding in 2002. These issues have been collected and coded. This material is complemented by a body of qualitative information based on a series of open-ended interviews with a (snowball) sample of Muslim respondents in East Africa intended to gauge their (subjective) responses to Maisha Amerika, Uislamu Amerika. In both instances, the data – including visual materials -- will be subjected to close textual (discourse) analysis. The results of the study will be entirely qualitative. The analysis will demonstrate how the texts, both in their selection and translation, enact particular significations that answer to the condition of war (on terrorism). The results will also reveal that, on the average, local responses to the project has been hostile, corresponding to the same condition of war that led to its establishment in the first place.

Bionote: Alamin M. Mazrui is Professor of sociolinguistics and literature with the Department of African, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Literatures at Rutgers University, USA. A Swahili poet and playwright, he has authored, co-authored and co-edited over ten books and written widely on the political sociology of language and literature in Africa and on comparative cultural studies.

PAPER 9:

Title: Translators: reinforcing or challenging hegemony? A strucurationist approach to the translation of children's literature in Iran

Speaker: Shabnam Saadat Arkan Najd, University of Manchester, UK

Abstract:

The increasing acknowledgement of translation as an influential factor in socio-political changes highlights its role as a locale for power within which agent-structure interaction occurs. This irrefutable power container and its potential to shape perceptions has been controlled, banned or exploited by hegemonic groups throughout history, for which there is no shortage of evidence. This study explores children's literature domain since it is ideologically, morally and didactically surrounded and it is where dominant institutions often start the inculcation of their values to build up the prospective supporting ideologues, to maintain hegemony and to preserve order. Adopting a sociological approach, this paper draws on Giddens's structuration theory to address the dynamic nexus of structure-agency and rationalise translators' role in constructing and perpetuating the contexts within which they face constraints. The very structures which impose themselves as constraints to translators are enablers for the agents invested with power. Although the rudiment of change lies in the actions, it is the asymmetrical access of agents to resources that maintains the hierarchy of power and directs their actions and decisions. In an attempt to expand the use of structuration theory in the domain of translation, this study focuses on Iran to investigate how translation can be instrumentalised to promote certain values and to instil intended norms. Iran has an elaborate monitoring apparatus which is a barricade at the frontline of the soft war, the term frequently used in the state mass media referring to the cultural and ideological effort of the West to erode Islamic values and to influence Iranian society's worldview. In a developmental design, the data was gathered from quantitative and qualitative sources. The bibliographical catalogues of all children and adolescents' books published in Iran during the years 1978-1993 and 2009-2012 were consulted to have a broad picture of children's literature publication in Iran during the times of crises and post-crises. The quantitative analysis revealed that there is an overall tendency to proliferate domestic literature, and the rate of the translation for adolescents has been remarkably lower than translation for younger group. This gave impetus for further investigation in a smaller frame, from translators' point of view, since they are the first-hand source to impart their rationalisations of decisions. Fifteen semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore the factors which permeate translators' decisions and their reflexively deployed strategies to cope with or potentially flout structurally imposed constraints. As per the qualitative analysis, translators' decisions are structurally informed, and this might account for the significantly smaller proportion of translated literature for adolescents as well as the emergence of non-professional volunteer translations circulated on the internet, as an instance of resistance and counteract against structures of power. This study shows that structuration theory presents an inclusive framework to analyse how structures of signification, domination and legitimation are instantiated in translation activity in the form of communication of meaning, exercise of power, and evaluation of conduct, how translation contributes to their reproduction and thus their reinforcement, and how it can flout structures and bring about change.

Bionote: Shabnam Saadat is a final year PhD student in Translation Studies at the University of Manchester, where she was a member of the organising committee of IPCITI 2014. Her research focuses on translation of children's literature in Iran, and aims to expand the use of Giddens's structuration theory in the field of translation studies. She attained a BA in English/Persian Translation and an MA in Translation Studies from Kharazmi University in Tehran, Iran. She is also a translator, and has published seven books so far.

PAPER 10 (in Spanish):

Title: Against Ventriloquism: Notes on the Uses and Misuses of the translation of subaltern knowledge in Latin America

Speaker: Daniel Inclan, National University of Mexico

This paper will contrast two forms of translation of subaltern knowledge in Latin America, using the frames of the conceptual history and the sociology of knowledge. On the one hand, in the last two decades, decolonial studies scholars have attempted to propose an alternative way of thinking Latin America by focusing on the knowledge of local communities. The ways of knowing of these subaltern groups have played a key role in these theoretical endeavours. The translation strategies used by decolonial studies' scholars aim at putting the knowledge of indigenous populations at the centre of a decolonizing intellectual project. While the importance of the decolonial studies' work is undeniable, it should be noted that their translations tend to resemble a ventriloquist performance. That is, there is a tendency to speak on behalf of subaltern groups, rather than to translate their discourse. Moreover, the translations carried out by decolonial studies' scholars still need to overcome: 1) the victimization of the local discourses, 2) an essentialist vision of identities, and 3) a lack of empirical work within the communities. By failing to go beyond these colonial remainders, decolonial translations also fail to show the internal contradictions of subaltern groups, their complex historicity, and their conflictual relationship with hegemonic dynamics. On the other hand, long before the raise of decolonial studies, Bolivia became a stage of an extremely interesting translation project involving indigenous knowledge. In the 1980s, the Taller de Historia Oral Andina (THOA, Workshop of Andean Oral History) developed an epistemic process, whose main goal was recovering indigenous experiences for building new analytical frames. A historiographical project, which was focused on local communities was then undertaken with the objective of setting the grounds for a critique of the marginalizing life conditions of indigenous communities. Translation was one of the guiding principles of this historiographical project. The THOA reinterpreted the history of the Bolivian Altiplano through the oral histories of Aymara and Quechua communities. Within THOA, translation had a clear political goal, which could not be reduced to rhetorical intentions. It was not a matter of uncovering a hidden history, but of criticizing a particular social organization. Translation was used as a tool in the struggle of these communities for articulating their histories in their own terms. Because THOA is practically unknown in other Latin American countries, its multiple contributions to rearticulate subaltern discourses through translation have been understudied. By contrasting these two translation projects, this paper will shed light on the uses and misuses of the translation of subaltern knowledge in the Latin American context at the end of the 20th century, and will argue for studying translation processes such as the one undertaken by THOA.

Bionote: Daniel Inclan is Professor of the Postgraduate Program of Latin American studies at the National University of Mexico. His research interests focus on the theory and philosophy of history in Latin America after dictatorships process in Bolivia, Argentina and Chile and on economic process in the indigenous communities in Bolivia. His recent publications include: 'De la política a la historia. Historiografías y estéticas en posdictadura', Acta sociológica no 61. , 2013; 'El sujeto político en el pensamiento boliviano', Revista de Estudios Latinoamericanos, no. 30, 2012. He is also the autor of El problema del sujeto de la historia (forthcoming).

PAPER 11 (in Spanish):

Title: Collaborative Activist Translation 2.0 and 'slow politics' in the 21st Century: Changing the World one Semi-Colon at a Time

Speaker: Raúl Ernesto Colón Rodríguez, University of Ottawa, Canada

Abstract:

As a consequence of truthiness' pervasive character that bombards citizens from everywhere and on almost every topic, agents from civil society mobilize in order to demand sanity, and to promote an agenda of rational and complex reflection and analysis. This phenomenon gives rise to a new sociopolitical ethics named 'slow politics'. Translation figures in the change that civil society conveys through different activism projects, with both collaborative and non-professional forms of translation gaining ground. New formats for the dissemination of translations have been developed (web sites), translators are organizing and functioning in new horizontal forms, and these are partially replacing traditional vertical activist forms of organisation (spontaneous non-professional translators' groups), and new tactics and strategies are developing, giving pre-eminence to pluralistic ideological engagements. As a result, translation is engaged today in a new wave of the never-ending confrontation and dialogue between the dialectics of metaphor and the dialogics of metonymy in political discourse. The former are closely related to exclusivist binaries, the latter allowing, through adjacencies, dialogue and confrontation at the same time. This is the main reason why Complexity theory is pertinent to this study, its dialogic principle being a fundamental theoretical tool for the analysis of these new realities.

In this presentation, the author will compare two corpora of 15 originals and their translations of two recent experiences of collaborative activist translation online, from two countries of the Americas: Canada and Brazil. Levels of usage of metaphor and metonymy will be measured between original and translation, with the help of the bilingual term extracting software SynchroTerm 2013.Qualitative analysis will follow, through the study of commented published translations, in order to determine the impact, acceptance and reactions to this new textual forms.

In Canada, the site Translating the printemps érable, linked to the student movement in Quebec of 2012, constitutes a paradigmatic example of what we call here collaborative activist translation 2.0. In Brazil, the web site Outras Palavras presents articles translated into Portuguese, penned by leading authors of the international left and reflects a preliminary stage of development in collaborative activist translation, but one already far from 1.0 activism. Both cases allow us to grasp the social context and projection in which those translational practices are introduced and the way in which translators of these projects become representatives of a neorational message, with different, but interlinked ideological nuances, maybe in the new spirit of 'slow politics'.

Bionote: Raúl Ernesto Colón Rodríguez is a PhD candidate in Translation Studies at the University of Ottawa. Raúl has worked on editorial and cinematographic translations in Canada (2007-2009), completed a Masters degree in Translation Studies in 2011 (also at University of Ottawa) and since then has been working on his PhD thesis on the subject of collaborative activist translation in Canada and Brazil. He has published articles, translations and book reviews in Canadian, Spanish, Colombian, Polish and Brazilian publications.

PAPER 12:

Title: Translation and Solidarity: Postcolonial-Polish Relationships at the end of the 20th Century

Speaker: Dorota Goluch, University of Cardiff, UK

Abstract:

Indebted to the 1990s reflection on postcolonial translation and inspired by the recent shifts towards broader paradigms of translation and power or translation and activism, this research contributes to theorizing links between translation and solidarity, a term which punctuates for example Spivak's 1993 Classic essay 'The Politics of Translation', but also features strongly in very recent debates about power, activism and revolution (see for instance the conference call for papers for 'Translation and the Many Languages of Resistance', Cairo, 2015). 'Solidarity' is also relevant for my case study – reception of translated postcolonial literature in Poland – because it lets me think about Polish, or Eastern European, and 'postcolonial' relationships beyond the colonizer/colonized divide and because the term surfaces in Polish discourses around postcolonial literature.

The paper examines the idea that translated postcolonial literature may have led Polish readers to see similarities between 'postcolonial' and Polish historical experiences, which in turn might enable the forging of Polish-'postcolonial' solidarity. It is based on a reading of almost one thousand Polish reviews of translated postcolonial prose – including Nigerian, Algerian and other African works, as well as Indian, Middle Eastern and Caribbean texts – from the period 1970–2010. Using elements of discourse analysis, the reading reveals that postcolonial narratives featuring political and cultural subjugation, revolutionary struggle and postcolonial turbulences resonate for the reviewers with Poland's history: the Partitions (1795–1918), German occupation (1939–1945), Soviet domination (1945–1989) and, to an extent, post-1989 globalization and U.S. American influences. Selected examples are presented in the paper.

Then, it is suggested that the awareness of historical similarities may imply a shared postcolonial sensitivity and, possibly, solidarity. To support the supposition, the paper employs Richard Rorty's view that a localized and historically-bound sense of similarity – as opposed to similarity predicated solely on the universalist notion of common humanity – can pave a way for solidarity. Yet, it also problematizes the finding, signalling that the potential expressions of solidarity are channelled and modelled through existing Polish discourses on postcolonial countries, including the colonialist discourse of European superiority, the Cold War politics of 'solidarity and aid' towards the Third World, the democratic rhetoric of the anti-Communist 'Solidarity' movement and the Western idiom of charity for developing countries.

Bionote: Dorota Gołuch is a lecturer in translation at Cardiff University. In 2013 she completed a PhD on the Polish translation and reception of postcolonial literature at University College London; she also holds a magister degree from the Jagiellonian University and an MA in Postcolonial Studies from the University of Kent. Dorota has written book chapters on the ethics and methods of translating postcolonial literature (focusing on Chinua Achebe and Amos Tutuola). Currently she is writing about translation and solidarity, while also beginning to work on memory, multilingualism and translation in the Auschwitz Museum.

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Last modified on Friday, 16 January 2015 16:46

Innovation in Bible Translation: History, Theory, Practice
Jacobus Naude and Cynthia Miller-Naude
University of the Free State (Bloemfontein, South Africa)

 

Although Bible translation is rightly considered a variety of religious translation, in many respects Bible translators have operated outside of the field of translation studies in general. This panel seeks to bring Bible translation into conversation with translation studies by highlighting recent developments in Bible translation with respect to the implementation of the sociological turn in translation studies.

There are three main areas to be examined: (1) The writing of histories of Bible translation with special attention to their social and cultural impact. Included in this area are the ways in which Bible translation has impacted language groups socially and culturally with respect, for example, to language development and social and economic development. (2) The theory of Bible translation, especially concerning direct and indirect translation, translation as interpretation, and intersemiotic translation. Included in this area are the ways in which Bible translation has approached the issues of foreignisation and indigenisation and the question of respect for the cultural and religious values of the target culture. (3) The practice of Bible translation, especially with respect to orality and non-print media, performance criticism, and technological developments.

For informal enquiries: [millerclATufsDOTacDOTza]

Cynthia and JacobusJacobus A. Naudé (University of the Free State) is a member of the Afrikaans Bible translation project and serves on the advisory board of the Handbook of Translation Studies. He edited Contemporary Translation Studies and Bible Translations (2002), Language Practice: One Profession; Many Applications (2007), Socio-constructive Language Practice: Training in the South African Context (2008), Bible Translation and the Indigenous (2009).

Cynthia L. Miller-Naudé (University of the Free State) has been a consultant for Bible translators in Africa since 1992. She has published on the translation of biblical proverbs in African languages (2005), religious translation in Africa (2011), Lamentations in the King James Version (2012), ideology and translation strategy in Bible translation (2013), alterity, orality and performance in Bible translation.

SESSION PLAN

Each paper is allocated with a 20 minutes time slot + 10 minutes discussion.

Discussion time at the end of each paper

PAPER TITLES, ABSTRACTS AND BIONOTES

Introduction to the panel

Title: Innovation in Bible Translation

Speaker: Cynthia L. Miller-Naudé, University of the Free State

Bionote:

Cynthia Miller-Naudé (University of the Free State) has been a consultant for Bible translators in Africa since 1992. She has published on the translation of biblical proverbs in African languages (2005), religious translation in Africa (2011), Lamentations in the King James Version (2012), ideology and translation strategy in Bible translation (2013), alterity, orality and performance in Bible translation.

PAPER 1:

Title: Bible Translation and Alterity from an Orthodox Perspective

Speaker: Simon Crisp

Abstract: Much recent discussion in Bible translation has turned on questions of alterity. The wish to reflect in translation the essential otherness of the biblical text has come more clearly into focus as readers have increasingly become dissatisfied with the so-called functionally equivalent Bible translations which predominated in the second half of the twentieth century, largely as a result of the work of Eugene Nida. The sharp distinction made by Nida between equivalence of form and equivalence of meaning, together with a strong emphasis on idiomatic communication of meaning at the expense of the form of the source text, has over time been found unsatisfactory by readers looking for translations which reflect more clearly the status of the Bible as sacred text. In part these concerns have been driven by an increasing engagement of Bible translators with the wider world of Translation Studies. Functionalist theory of translation (Vermeer, Nord) in particular has become influential, and Relevance theory (Sperber, Wilson) has been systematically applied to Bible translation by some scholars (Gutt, Pattemore). Most recently attempts have been made to explore ways in which concepts of alterity, developed primarily in literary theory (Kristeva) and social psychology (Levinas), can usefully be applied to Bible translation (Beal, Towner). Nonetheless there remains a significant gap between this more theoretical level of reflection and the actual practice of making Bible translations. Most attempts to preserve in translation the otherness of the biblical text come down to more or less extremely literal renderings which essentially reflect very closely the form of the source text. This paper will suggest that the Orthodox Christian tradition of the understanding of Scripture, with its emphasis upon mystery on the one hand and continuity with Tradition on the other, can provide the basis for an approach to Bible translation which respects alterity without simply turning it into extreme literalness. Illustrative examples from a range of Orthodox-sponsored Bible translation projects will be presented and analysed in support of this claim, and some conclusions will be drawn about Orthodox Bible translation in English in the light of discussions about translation and alterity.

Bionote: Simon Crisp holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford and an MA from the University of Birmingham. He has worked in the field of Bible translation for more than thirty years, and currently serves as Coordinator for Scholarly Editions and Translation Standards with the United Bible Societies. He is partially seconded to the Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship at the American Bible Society, where he has particular responsibility for program development in the Orthodox world. He has published widely in the areas of Bible translation, hermeneutics and biblical text criticism, and holds an honorary fellowship at the Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing at the University of Birmingham.

PAPER 2:

Title: The hero becomes the villain: The representation of biblical concepts in Igbo

Speaker: Uchenna Oyali

Abstract: The hero becomes the villain: The representation of Biblical concepts in Igbo

The Igbo Union Bible (1913) instigated some controversies in Igbo Studies that still rage till date. Because of the numerous dialects Igbo has and the Igbo's lack of a central religious or political power whose dialect the Bible would have been translated into, the Christian missionaries translated the Bible into Union Igbo, an artificial dialect created by combining features of five Igbo dialects. This translation has been condemned because it is not spoken anywhere in Igboland. Achebe (1979 and 1999) blame the slow development of Igbo on it; Nwachukwu (1983: 13) says that the Union Bible 'lives today only on the pages of the old Protestant bible'; while Afigbo (1981: 363) adds that it 'remained the language in which the Bible and Prayer Book were read rather than discussed'. Despite these criticisms on the inability of the Union Igbo to evolve an Igbo literary standard – the original goal of the translators – the Union Bible remained the most used Igbo Bible for about five decades before other translations of the Bible were made into Igbo, and is still the most popular Igbo Bible today (Nkwoka 2000: 327). Thus it is necessary to empirically study some of the effects of this Bible translation on the Igbo language. My aim in this study is to investigate how biblical concepts are represented in the Union Bible. The Igbo had their conceptualizations of the divine and non-corporeal distinct from the Christian view. However, with the translation of the Bible into Igbo, these concepts were introduced into the Igbo language and have, overtime, gradually displaced the Igbo's earlier conceptualizations of the divine. In this study, however, I focus on the strategies adopted by the Union Bible translators in representing these concepts. To achieve this, I first create a corpus of biblical concepts like: saints, spirit, Holy Ghost, devils, the Devil, angel, hell, heaven, God, god, and Satan. While for some of the concepts (like Satan), the translators borrowed the English term, for the others they used already existing Igbo terms for other concepts, in different combinations, to represent the Christian concepts in Igbo. So using insights drawn from Cognitive Semantics, especially Peter Gardenfors (1995) notion of conceptual space, I first analyze the quality dimensions of these Igbo expressions before Christianity came to Igboland. These are got from anthropological reports on the pre-Christian Igbo society as well as from Igbo folklore like proverbs, riddles, songs many of which are immutable and reflect the Igbo perceptions before the coming of Christianity. These quality dimensions are then contrasted with the Biblical concepts to accentuate the process of introducing the Christian concepts into Igbo. An example is the Igbo heroic and trickster deity Ekwensu, which was so valued that the Igbo named villages after it and also use it as personal names. The Christian Devil is translated as Ekwensu, stripping the deity of all its positive qualities.

Bionote: Uchenna Oyali is a Lecturer in the Department of English and Literary Studies, University of Abuja, Nigeria. He got his BA and MA degrees in English Language from the same University before attending Aston University, UK for another MA in Translation Studies. He is now a Junior Fellow with the Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS), Bayreuth University, Germany where he is doing research on the thesis 'Bible translation and language elaboration: The English to Igbo example'. This paper is part of the findings of his PhD thesis.

PAPER 3:

Title: Power and Progress: a look at the Baoule Bible Translation Project

Speaker: Lynell Marchese Zogbo

Abstract:

Missionary-based and missionary-directed Bible translations in Africa were the norm rather than the exception during the major part of the twentieth century. However, due to a number of factors impacting the continent(the end of colonialism and the subsequent waves of anti-colonialism, the 'predicted' expansion of Christianity and rise in church growth, along with the emergence of high level training institutions and a well educated Christian leadership), new attitudes, procedures and structures have emerged. There has been a very noticeable power shift as expatriate-dominated translation projects have given way to African-directed ones. Not surprisingly, such radical change presents tremendous challenges and cannot occur without some degree of conflict.

This paper focuses on a specific translation project in Côte d'Ivoire, the Baoule Bible, begun by American missionaries in the 30's (giving rise to a succession of New Testament versions), a project which continued on from 1960's, in collaboration with UBS and the Alliance biblique de Côte d'Ivoire, culminating in the 1998 publication of a very popular and widely used Baoule Bible. Today a revision of that Bible is almost completed, along with a mother tongue study Bible, the first of its kind in the country. In this paper, we will examine shifts which have occurred as indigenous translators' profiles, training and status have changed, as well as the impact of such shifts on the translation itself.

The translation has obligatorily moved from a rather strict evangelical perspective to a wide inter-confessional one. As the translation becomes more community-oriented, translation style has radically changed, moving away from a free dynamic style to renderings closer to the source. At times, team knowledge of literary stylisics has led to an improved translation. Metaphors which were not permitted in the first Bible (God is 'rock'), due to the potential of cultural mismatch, are now judged admissible. Issues of foreignization and domestication are carefully weighed. How do translation agents (translators, exegetes, consultants, sponsoring organizations) "live" these numerous changes? What tensions arise between the community's desires and vision and the publisher's need for international quality standards?

A history of this project is traced, concentrating on the impact of social change on the inner workings of the translation team and the impact of these shifts on the translation itself.

Bionote: Lynell Marchese Zogbo has a PhD in Linguistics from UCLA (1979). She taught linguistics at the University of Ilorin and San Jose State University. She served as Bible Translation Consultant 1986-2013 with the United Bible Societies and as professor in the Department of Translation, FATEAC, Cote d'Ivoire. She is presently a research associate and visiting lecturer at the University of the Free State (South Africa).

PAPER 4:

Title: A Case Study of the Chinese Union Version of the Holy Bible from the feminist perspective

Speaker: Debbie Sou

Abstract: The translation practice of the Holy Bible has been of the most challenging intercultural and interracial activity for the bible translators at all times because of the rapid and constant growth of a wide readership around the world. The myriads of retranslated and revised versions of this Holy Scripture indicate that there has always been a need for greater accuracy and the consideration of readers' response. Most versions of the Holy Bible in use nowadays are the products of patriarchy, and thus inevitably carry some gender-biased elements, which can appear to be perplexing or even unacceptable in an era when 'Feminist influences have penetrated every denomination' of Christianity. The vernacular Bible in the patriarchal language may create negative perceptions of women in the target culture. Although there are already many revised versions of the Holy Bible paying special attention to the use of gender-neutral or gender-inclusive terms, did the translators of the latest version of the Chinese Union Version (CUV) pay attention to the issue of gender? Have some of the gender issues that exist in various English versions of the Holy Bible been 'automatically' resolved as the text is rendered into contemporary Chinese? And if they did, how is the translator's gender consciousness reflected in the use of third-person pronouns in the two Chinese Union Versions? Citing translation theorists W. Benjamin (1968), S. Simon (1996) and some feminist discourse on Bible translation, this thesis examines the Chinese Union Version Bible (1919) and its updated version, the (RCUV) Revised Chinese Union Version (2010) to see if the RCUV is more gender-conscious than its predecessor. For the purpose of the investigation, the biblical 'fault lines' and the gender-biased language challenged and revised by the feminists are selected and studied together with their corresponding Chinese verses in the CUV and the RCUV. The study has found that the gender-biased lexes in the Chinese Union Version have been updated in the Revised Chinese Union Version; moreover, it is also perceived that an increasing number of Chinese biblical theologians and Chinese readers of the Bible are holding an open attitude towards reading the Bible from the feminist perspective. Therefore, the findings in the paper will provide reference for checking the gender-biased elements in the existing and future revisions of the Chinese Bible.

Bionote: Debbie Sou completed her Master's Degree in Translation Studies two years ago with her Master's thesis in Bible translation from the University of Macau. She also received her Bachelor's Degree in English Studies and Post-graduate Education diploma in the same university. She is now working as an English teacher in a secondary school in Macau. For translation practice, Debbie has been involved constantly in some church simultaneous interpretation services both in English and Chinese since 2009 in her own church in Macau. Her interest is to study any Bible translation work and interpretation practice rendered in today's Chinese Christian denominations.

PAPER 5:

Title: Bible Translation as Intercultural Encounter: Translation as an Interrogative Paradigm

Speaker: Deborah Shadd

Abstract: Recent decades have seen a significant expansion in the theorization of translation and increased complexification of our very understanding of the concept, due in large part to the ongoing elaboration of postcolonial thought and of other theoretical perspectives which have developed in its wake. Moving beyond the notion of translation as a strictly textual process, a number of scholars have begun to recognize translation as a valuable paradigm for interrogating certain other disjunctive cultural and social experiences that increasingly mark our existence in a globalized world and that contribute fundamentally to the formation of identities. In the introduction to their book Post-Colonial Translation: Theory and Practice, for example, Susan Bassnett and Harish Trivedi suggest that colonies could usefully be considered translations of their European originals. Building on this historical example, others have employed a similar paradigm in writing about experiences from migration to education to the construction of multicultural societies as processes of translation. Each of these studies, as well as others like them, presents a concept of translation that is far from prototypical; instead, what emerges is a metaphorical, or better, paradigmatic view of translation that allows us to apply what has been learned from centuries of dialogue about the social and cultural negotiations demanded by textual translation to other non-textual transformative processes. Bible translation is a clear example of a practice positioned at the very juncture of these two broad conceptions of translation – the prototypical and the paradigmatic – being initially concerned with a textual transformation, but inevitably carrying with it much broader implications for a whole series of other potential transformations of identity and community. Having first surveyed the ways this translational paradigm has been employed by scholars to date, this paper will go on to explore how such a paradigm might be usefully applied to the theorization of Bible translation, positioning the textual act of Bible translation as but one element of a broader socially transformative process and providing a single framework within which to address not only linguistic, but also contextual, cultural and social disruptures. Drawing on examples of several Bible translation projects carried out within the Canadian context, this paper will ask whether and to what extent the notion of a translational paradigm may be a useful tool both for deepening our understanding of past conflicts which have emerged in relation to sacred text translation and for helping us envision new and generative possibilities for better situating such projects in the future. In other words, how might expanding the breadth of our translational thinking inform our theorizing of Bible translation, as well as our practice of engaging with the cultural and social aspects of this cross-cultural undertaking?

Bionote:

Deborah Shadd holds the position of Translation Training and Scholarship Associate at the Nida Institute and is Dean of Associates for the Nida School of Translation Studies. Her research focuses on the role of language and education policy in the formation of cultural identities, postcolonial translation theory, and the maintenance and management of Canadian multiculturalism. She has worked as a freelance translator and published a number of articles, including "The Other Side of the Coin: A New Perspective on Translation and Metaphor" (In Other Words, 2009) and "Chasing Ricoeur: In Pursuit of the Translational Paradigm" (New Voices in Translation Studies, 2012).

PAPER 6:

Title: From Orality to Orality: A Sensual Story of Bible Translation

Speaker: James Maxey

Abstract: The histories of the Christian Bible offer a fertile space for the consideration of translation and media. Beyond the sheer number of cultures, languages, and translated material, the sociological dimensions of Bible translation demonstrate the multilateral interactions of commissioners, translators and host communities in highly charged ideological situations. This is particularly evident during the missionary era of the 18-20th centuries, in which Bible translation is implicated in the colonial projects of Europe and North America carried out in the global south. Of the many facets of these colonial projects, the printed book as the preferred medium of translation reflects the bias of those involved in the Bible Translation (BT) industry. In the late 20th century, research in several disciplines – from the classics to ethnopoetics to religious studies to translation studies – highlighted the questions of media and translation. These studies have slowly begun to inform BT. While many in BT have simply substituted oral for the print media while maintaining their ideological agendas, others have understood the epistemological implications in a shift of media and the ideological, theoretical, and methodological ramifications of such a shift. This is evidenced in the emerging theory of Biblical Performance Criticism (BPC). An assertion of BPC is that oral performance was the primary means of communication in antiquity and that this informed how the early biblical material was composed and disseminated. That is to say, that the biblical material was composed to be heard and experienced in performance rather than to be read silently and in isolation from community. This assertion has tremendous implications for the interpretation and translation of the Bible today. The set of questions and the methods for translation change dramatically if one understands the Bible as a result of the interface of media and its portrayal as oral performance. This current study develops themes from previous research in the translation and performance of biblical material in one project in central Cameroon as well as personal experiences of performance and translation. One of the main assertions made in this regard is that this activity is more than translation for performance, but understands performance as translation. Translation studies' view of translation as a creative act and rewriting rather than as an act of recuperation with the results constantly being measured by equivalence encourages BT to be prospective rather than retrospective in its views. This perspective invites BPC to promote the creative production of biblical material that contributes to a sociological understanding of BT beyond linguistics to cultural issues of identity and power along with audience interaction.

Bionote: James Maxey is Associate Dean of the Nida Institute and Dean of Faculty for the Nida School of Translation Studies. He has been involved in translation work in Africa for more than twenty years. His research interests include performance and translation, as well as cultural studies. In addition to numerous journal articles, he is author of From Orality to Orality: A New Paradigm for Contextual Translation of the Bible (Wipf & Stock, 2009) and co-editor of Translating Scripture for Sound and Performance: New Directions in Biblical Studies (Wipf & Stock, 2012).

PAPER 7:

Title: Oral-Written Style and Bible Translation

Speaker: Cynthia L. Miller-Naudé and Jacobus A. Naudé

Abstract: Recent research has shown that the Bible, in general, and the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible), in particular, were composed both by way of oral tradition and scribal activity and that, furthermore, these two aspects cannot be absolutely separated, either chronologically or in terms of importance (Carr 2005, 2011; de Vries 2012; Walton and Sandy 2013). This oral-written interface means that, on the one hand, there are oral features of the biblical tradition, some of which we have access to as "fossilized" remnants within the written text (Rhoads 2012). On the other hand, there are written features that relate both to the literary style of the author(s) and to the influence of scribal redaction and transmission (Polak 1998, 2012). The new field of Biblical Performance Criticism has highlighted the oral background of the biblical text and has suggested that translation must attend to translation of performance, translation for performance and translation as performance (Maxey 2009, 2012; Makutoane, Miller-Naudé and Naudé forthcoming)

In this paper, we examine various aspects of the oral and written styles within the Hebrew source text of the Old Testament as they relate to the ways in which speech and the perception of speech are represented. When speech is retold or represented within a story, the storyteller has the option to provide a metapragmatic analysis of the "original" speech event. Most commonly, these metapragmatic comments take the shape of quotative frames, which introduce the represented speech and specify various pragmatic features of it, such as the original speaker, the original addressee, the nature of the speech event, or the reason for the speech event. The metapragmatic variety encountered within the Hebrew Bible is usually described as the work of authors/redactors and attributed to written literary style. In this paper we first examine evidence which suggests that at least some of the metapragmatic variety relates instead to strategies employed by the storytellers/performers of oral texts. We then explore the ways in which various kinds of oral and written style may be encountered in translations of the biblical text.

Bionote: Cynthia Miller-Naudé (University of the Free State) has been a consultant for Bible translators in Africa since 1992. She has published on the translation of biblical proverbs in African languages (2005), religious translation in Africa (2011), Lamentations in the King James Version (2012), ideology and translation strategy in Bible translation (2013), alterity, orality and performance in Bible translation.

Jacobus Naudé (University of the Free State) is a member of the Afrikaans Bible translation project and serves on the advisory board of the Handbook of Translation Studies. He edited Contemporary Translation Studies and Bible Translations (2002), Language Practice: One Profession; Many Applications (2007), Socio-constructive Language Practice: Training in the South African Context (2008), Bible Translation and the Indigenous (2009).

PAPER 8:

Title: "Transposition or Translation" Misunderstanding of Bantu Cultural Semios: The case of John 10:34c

Speaker: Edouard Kitoko Nsiku

Abstract: The verse of the Gospel of John 10: 34c: "ego eipa theoi este" (literally, 'I said you are gods') has been a vexing issue among biblical scholars and translators. Several reasons are provided to show how difficult it is to determine exactly what the source text means. The author, presumably John, was a Jewish man who spoke Aramaic but the language of the source text is Koine Greek. Tsherefore, from the start, there is a kind of cultural intersemiotic issue that needs to be analyzed. Indeed, it was easy for the Greeks to identify themselves with one of the gods found in the pantheon, but this was not the case for Jews.

The present paper focuses on how a semiotic model can be applied to Bible translation. Since any analysis of 'semios' depends on a given context, the author will try to show how the pre-knowledge of the cultural background of both Language Source (LS) and Language Receptor (LR) challenge each other in order to discern what aspect of both Israelite and Hellenic cultures are translatable, on the one hand, and point out on the other hand, how the intersemios work between the Hebrew and Greek source languages and some Bantu receptor languages, such as Kikongo, Umbundu, and Lingala.

In addition, because many African biblical scholars and Bible translators read and study the biblical texts via European languages inherited from the colonial period, which are still used as their Languages of Wide Communication, the author will show how the European cultures influence the Bantu cultures so such an extent that the Bantu way of thinking becomes distorted. In this paper the focus will be on the semios "theoi", analyzed from various perspectives, that is, anthropological, theological, and socio-linguistic points of view.

Bionote: Edouard Kitoko-Nsiku is a theologian and philosopher from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He holds a PhD in Theology and Biblical Languages Studies (University of Kwazulu Natal, South Africa), the Honorary Degree of Doctor in Letters (United Graduate College and Seminary, Tennessee, USA), Post-Doctoral Studies in Linguistics (UEM-Mozambique).

PAPER 9:

Title: PARATEXT: SOFTWARE FOR BIBLE TRANSLATORS - Staying Close to the Cutting Edge

Speaker: Reinier de Blois

Abstract: Since 1997 thousands of Bible translators worldwide have been working with Paratext, a suite of programs, created by the United Bible Societies (UBS) for Bible Translation staff. In 2011 UBS and the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) decided to merge Paratext with SIL's Translation Editor (TE) and continue developing the resulting tool together under the name ParaTExt. Other tools of the suite are Publishing Assistant, Concordance Builder, Names Index Builder, the Digital Bible Library, and the Global Bible Catalogue. Together these programs offer Bible translators, publishers, and archivists a set of tools that cover almost all phases of the Bible Translation lifecycle. As a result, ParaTExt has become the de-facto standard in the Bible Translation world.

This paper will give a brief history of the development of this tool, followed by a description of the entire suite and the place of each individual tool within the Bible Translation lifecycle. The main focus will be on ParaTExt and the special functionality that it offers to Bible translators that are not usually included in other Bible software packages. We will see how Project MARBLE offers access to high quality resources to serve Bible translators all over the globe, including those that do not know Hebrew and Greek. We will also pay attention to ParaTExt's powerful Scripture editing and text checking functionality. In addition, there will be a section that demonstrates how ParaTExt can help ensure the consistency of a translation with the help of the Biblical Terms and Parallel Passage tools. We will also pay attention to a number of advanced features of the software, such as ParaTExt's statistical glossing technology. The paper will conclude with a brief description of several other tools that are part of the ParaTExt suite.

Bionote: Reinier de Blois has an MA in African Linguistics (University of Leiden) and a PhD in Biblical Hebrew Linguistics (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam). His area of specialization is Hebrew Lexicography. He is the editor of the Semantic Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew (SDBH, www.sdbh.org). He has worked with the United Bible Societies as Translation Consultant in Africa from 1990 until 2011. Since 2011 he is the Global Coordinator for the Institute of Computer Assisted Publishing

Concluding comments and discussion

Title: Future Innovation in Bible Translation

Speaker: Jacobus A. Naudé

Bionote: Jacobus Naudé (University of the Free State) is a member of the Afrikaans Bible translation project and serves on the advisory board of the Handbook of Translation Studies. He edited Contemporary Translation Studies and Bible Translations (2002), Language Practice: One Profession; Many Applications (2007), Socio-constructive Language Practice: Training in the South African Context (2008), Bible Translation and the Indigenous (2009).

 

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Last modified on Friday, 16 January 2015 16:44

Hu Zhuanglin Distinguished Translator Fellowship

In honour of Professor Hu Zhuanglin and his extraordinary contribution to Australian studies from the late 1970s, the Australian Studies Centre at Peking University (PKUASC) has established a Distinguished Translator Fellowship in his name, with the view of promoting Chinese translation in the field of Australian Studies.

The closing date for the 2014 Fellowship applications is July 31.

Literary Translation from the Cultural Margins: Fields of Political Intervention
Guillermo Badenes, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina:

This panel aims at studying the translation problems presented by literary texts belonging to the cultural margins in order to assess the strategies used by the translators of those texts regarding the preservation of their inherent cultural values, evaluating the effect of these translations as vehicles of cultural expression.

The panel has been divided into five sessions to organize the ideas underlying the panel. Thus, Session One takes the example of translation policies into Russian in different contemporary historical periods to pose key questions such as what are the reasons for literary works by certain authors to be translated and how these criteria may change, thus setting the tone and posing many of the questions that will cross the different presentations. Session Two presents ideas regarding translation done when national and racial identity come into play studying the translator as a visible, subjective individual, subverting years of so-called invisibility. Later, Session Three and Session Four present similar perspectives as regards sex and gender and exploring strategies used by different translators in the creation of sexual minorities. Session Five will observe how literary translation from the cultural margins may spill out into other social areas where marginal identity comes into conflict with hegemonic ideas.

In this way, the preoccupation for the recuperation of silenced voices belonging to the cultural margins or the denouncement of agents for silencing these voices spring as the main concerns throughout the presentations. Thus, the first four sections, Choices, Nation and Race, Sex and Gender, offer a survey of the status quo in different parts of the world, while Outbound, the last section, revises the manner in which ideas born in literary translation may spill out into other realms of society.

 

For informal enquiries: [guillermobadenesATflDOTuncDOTeduDOTar]

Guillermo Badenes

 

Prof. Guillermo Badenes (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba) is an instructor and researcher in Córdoba, where he teaches Literary Translation and Translation of the Humanities at undergraduate and graduate levels. As a researcher, he directs the research project "Literary Translation from the Cultural Margins: Fields of Political Intervention". He has published translation theory (Traducción periodística y literaria) and translated anthologies such as El viejo sofá azul, Voces del norte and Qué onda Canadá. His numerous academic studies have been published in Argentina and abroad. Prof. Badenes is an active advocate for the recuperation of silenced voices in literature.

 

 

 

SESSION 1: Choices

INTRODUCTION (10 minutes)

Title: Literary Translation in the 21st Century: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants or Dwarfs?

Convenor: Guillermo Badenes

PAPER 1:

Title: Ideology and choice of literary works to translate: The case of Canadian literature translated into Russian from 1945 to 2014

Speaker:Zoya Sidorovskaya, University of Ottawa

SESSION 2: Nation and Race

PAPER 2:

Title: Rafael Barrett about the mate tea plantations: Speak for the other in my language?

Speaker: Eleonora Barretto, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina

PAPER 3:

Title: Aiming (For) Translation

Speaker: Nicole Nolette, University of Ottawa

SESSION 3: Sex

PAPER 4:

Title: Translation at the Crossroads of a National Literature: The Case of Woolf, Borges and Ocampo

Speaker: Josefina Coisson, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba

PAPER 5:

Title: A "Constelation" of Quebec Poets Translated into Spanish: Study of a Marginal Anthology or Marginated Poets

Speaker: Madeleine Stratford and Myriam Legault-Beauregard, Université du Québec en Outaouais

PAPER 6:

Title: Translating sexual violence at wartime in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region: a minority within the minority Poets

Speaker: Anissa Daoudi, University of Birmingham

SESSION 4: Gender

PAPER 7:

Title: As Queer as Queer Can Be? William Burroughs' Novella through Rose-Tinted Glasses

Speaker: Guillermo Badenes, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba

PAPER 8:

Title: Translation as Un-Doing. Performing/Translating the Queer Body

Speaker: Michela Baldo, University of Leicester

SESSION 5: Outbound

PAPER 9:

Title: Cultural Default and Its Translation Strategies: A Cognitive-Skopos Theoretic Approach

Speaker: Tianxiao Peng, National University of Defense Technology, China

PAPER 10:

Title: Just translation? Rethinking the Politics of the Margin in the Comparative Humanities

Speaker: Emily Apter, New York University

WRAP-UP SECTION (10 minutes)

Title: Literary Translation as Political Activism: The End of Invisibility?

Convenor: Guillermo Badenes

 

Last modified on Friday, 16 January 2015 16:23

 Translation and development

Panel Convenors: Kobus Marais, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa:

Recent decades have seen criticism levelled against the reductionist project in Western scholarship. In the search for a solution to the perceived impasse, semiosis, complexity and emergence have been introduced as possible avenues by which to deal with the perceived limitations of reductionism. At the same time, it has become common place to talk about the sociological turn in translation studies. This development, which started with sociolinguistic approaches to translation in the 1960s and which included pragmatic, cultural, and ideological approaches to translation studies, is aimed at liberating translation studies from the confines of a narrow linguistic perspective to include the whole of social reality in its purview. In the current sociological debate in translation studies, the focus is on the agency of translators, i.e. the way in which translators contribute towards the creation of the various domains of society.

Recent advances in translation studies have focussed on geopolitical factors that influence translation practices. This will open the door to study third-world or developing contexts and the relationship between translation and development, i.e. both the developmental role played by translation as well as developmental contexts as a factor in translation. If it is true that societies emerge from the linguistic interactions of individuals, it means that issues of development have a semiosic substratum that links to translation in multilingual situations.

In light of the above, the overarching question is the following:

How is one to conceptualise the relationship between translation and society and, in particular, developing society?

Related questions entail the following:

· How does the notion of development relate to translation, i.e. is a development context a factor in translation? If so, how is this relationship to be conceptualised, and what are the implications for translation theory and for the education of translators in such contexts?

· How does the notion of translation relate to notions of development, i.e. what role does, can, or should translation and translation studies play in development as a social ideal?

· Can the same claims about the construction of culture through literary translation by, for example, Gentzler and Bandia be made for the construction of social reality through communicative texts in developing contexts?

· What new vistas does the notion of development open for translation and translation studies? For one, how would translation practices in the informal sector of the economy differ from those in formal sectors of the economy?

Far from being parochial, these questions feed into pressing global debates such as the power differentials between developed and developing parts of the world, the negotiation of ideas when they travel and when they interact with contexts in which they did not originate, cultural translation and the representation of the Other, notions of post- and neo-colonialism, and the foundational role of human interaction and semiosis in all of the above.

 

For informal enquiries: [jmaraisATufsDOTacDOTza]

 

 Kobus Marais is an associate professor in translation studies at the University of the Free State in South Africa. He holds qualifications in various fields of study, including an MA in translation studies and a PhD in Biblical Hebrew Literature. His research focuses on theorising the African context of translation from the perspective of complex semiosic systems. He explores the relationship between development and translation by constructing a theory of complex semiosic responses. He has just published a book with Routledge called Translation theory and development studies: A complexity theory approach.

 

 

 

 SESSION PLAN

Each paper is allocated with a 20 minutes time slot + 10 minutes discussion.
Discussion time:
- at the end of each paper

PAPER TITLES, ABSTRACTS AND BIONOTES

INTRODUCTION
Title: Translation and development: Setting the scene
Speaker: Kobus Marais, University of the Free State
Abstract: 10 minutes introduction
Bionote: Kobus Marais is an associate professor of translation studies at the University of the Free State in South Africa. He holds qualifications in various fields of study, including an MA in translation studies and a PhD in Biblical Hebrew Literature.
His research focuses on theorising the African context of translation from the perspective of complex semiosic systems. He explores the relationship between development and translation by constructing a theory of complex semiosic responses.
He has just published a book with Routledge called Translation theory and development studies: A complexity theory approach.

PAPER 1:
Title: Translation, translation studies and development: Widening our worlds
Speaker: José Lambert (CETRA, KULeuven; PGET/UFSC, Brazil), jose.lambert@arts.kuleuven
Abstract: Academic disciplines as well as universities have a certain autonomy in the definition of their goals and priorities, which explains their shifts in terms of time and space as well as their lack of homogeneity. Hence translation scholars have their responsibilities, in terms of globalization. Our question in this panel might indeed be what kind of models for development will be adopted. This sounds like a scary issue for a field of expertise where literature and language, in European environments, tended to provide the dominant background until the 1980s.

In a few decades, various particular traditions have developed, from translation training to linguistic, literary and cultural models, etc. According to Pym, the well-known Holmes model, later worked out by Toury, was the only explicit attempt to meet the standards of academia. This makes us assume that the academic dynamic was weaker than the external dynamic. Indeed, external forces such as internationalization (after World War II) and then globalization (at the end of the 20th century) seem to have been decisive. The diplomatic selection of a name in the new lingua franca has certainly favored the illusion of consistency. Illusion? Even within the bibliography in English, one and the same name does not guarantee one and the same nature of Translation Studies (TS). Translation training has joined various options for academic research. So far the institutional power remains mainly located within the language departments, notwithstanding the many "turns" experienced over, say, twenty years. The late discovery of sociological turns, amongst others, is surprising given the idea, since the 1970's, that research on translation ought to be research about norms.

TS seems to share with many other disciplines its search for stability: in terms of internal dynamics, first of all, since turning around is no symptom of continuity and certainly in terms of relations with several neighbour (?) departments (linguistics, communication, literary and cultural studies, psychology, sociology, technology, philosophy, etc.). Bibliographical and conceptual interaction does not really circulate, not even between several departments where languages, communication and translation are at stake. In terms of mobility, the sudden and spectacular participation of new continents and new people involve the establishment of new centers and networks. While universities in general tend to be absorbed by "global" ranking, communication and other marketing currents, TS can hardly function as an autonomous resource. Whether it will be enrolled as a service by and for stronger neighbours or as an active partner in organization and decision issues will obviously not be a matter for academia only. The main obstacle seems to be that so far TS has cut off itself from obvious and strong partnerships both within academia and within the real everyday world: in the 1950s, TS has started in business and in organizations, but nowadays the discipline still belongs to ancient worlds. This paper seeks to address these issues conceptually in order to link translation studies (again) to current reality.

Bionote: José Lambert is professor emeritus at KULeuven in romance philology, comparative literature and theoretical studies. Long before functioning as ICLA's European secretary, he played a role in the development of translation studies, first with James Holmes and Gideon Toury, particularly as the organizer of the influential Leuven conference on Literature and Translation and then when creating in the same year CETRA (first called CERA Chair, a research training center and Target. Beyond particular initiatives in the institutionalization of the discipline, he struggled for interdisciplinarity and for a real globalization. Since 2011, he has been a professor at Florianópolis, Brazil (PGET at UFSC).

PAPER 2:
Title: Translation and development: A multinational company (MNC) in a BRICS country
Speaker: Jean-François Brunelière (PGET/UFSC/BRAZIL), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Abstract: The relevance of companies and of their communication as a strategic component of "real" (social, economic, cultural) life is nothing new for Translation Studies (TS). This was one of the axioms of translation theories and training after World War II, but some translation scholars from the age of globalization seem to have forgotten their origins. For a new branch of the discipline focusing on the relationship between translation and development, the specific case of MNCs entering emergent markets (e.g. the BRICS countries) offers clear indications of how translation, local economic development and the knowledge economy are linked. In Brazil, the government made a considerable effort to encourage foreign automotive manufacturers to invest in innovation and, ultimately, to produce locally.

Inevitably, technology transfer between foreign countries and Brazil involve the use of different languages – hence, the advent of translation. This interactive channel has an overt impact on local economic development – in terms of employment, formation and language/cultural contact. PSA Peugeot Citroën, the MNC we have chosen to observe, relies on more than 5,000 employees in Brazil and operates two local plants and one research and design unit. Even though PSA claims to use "one" corporate language at management level worldwide, it sounds rather unlikely that all employees involved in the industrial production process communicate through this lingua franca in all situations. One can say that, for companies of such magnitude, translation is among the cornerstones of both production and communication.

Owing to techniques developed within Toury's Descriptive Translation Studies – such as macro/micro level and synchronic/diachronic analysis – and using the company's discourse designed for different audiences (investors, press, clients) – largely available on the Internet – it is possible to approach the polysystems at work and identify some basic trends in the translations circulating in Brazil – e.g. in terms of directionality, norms and dominant positions (centers/peripheries). As both diversity and recurrent schemes come to the forefront, one realizes that the complexity of external and internal factors – just as the variety of agents participating in the translation process – must be taken into consideration. Depending on where a specific vehicle is produced and how the international communication campaign is designed, Brazilian members of the local marketing team might instigate their headquarter colleagues to privilege the local consumers' taste, for example, allowing new translation patterns to emerge. MNCs, driven by their rather besetting preoccupation with market and economic performance, often reshape the existing interrelationship between state, economy and society; such dynamics illustrate principles stressed by Walter Ong and in many books on the mobility of communication, but never applied to translation, and still less to business translation should no longer be overlooked in Development and Translation Studies.

Bionote: Jean-François Brunelière is a graduate of the Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat ("National Civil Engineering School of Lyon"), France, where he also worked for eight years as an engineer. He is currently living in Brazil and is taking a PhD in Translation Studies at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) in Florianópolis. His project is on language management and translation in multinational companies. He is currently focusing on French car manufacturers in Brazil. His academic adviser is Translation Studies specialist José Lambert.

PAPER 3:
Title: Theoretical background for studying innovation issues in translation-service activities Speaker: KUŹNIK, Anna, PhD, Uniwersytet Wrocławski, Poland, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Abstract: The aim of my communication is to present a theoretical background and the pilot-study findings of my current post-doctoral research that I am carrying out in the Institute of Romance Philology, Unity of Translation Studies, University of Wrocław. The theoretical stage will be completed at the beginning of 2015, and the first empirical data (pilot study) will be collected in May and June 2015.
In this study, I touch upon the issue of translation approached from the translation studies, social and economic angles. What is in the centre of my interests is translation and, in particular, the questions about its essence, variety of forms, limits and surrounding in modern understanding, reception and service practice in the Republic of Poland. I focus on the translation service providers, irrespective of language combinations. The object of my research is the following three aspects: the conceptualisation of translation, the configuration of translation service activities and its innovative potential. My main research hypothesis is that there is a cause-and-effect relationship between all the three aspects of the translation service activities within a single translation service provider. This means that it is possible to observe that a broad understanding of translation determines a broad configuration of services and has an impact on the level of the innovative potential. A narrow understanding of translation determines the restricted configuration of services and has an impact on the level of the innovative potential, resulting in a tendency towards a low innovative potential. In my approach, I understand the concept of development as a specific process of evolution of the translation service activities, from its current form to a future, more efficient and competitive one.
Firstly, in my communication, I focus on the theoretical background of my research, approached from the fields of management, organisational studies and translation studies. I will try to answer the following three questions:
1. Are the general definitions of innovation, well known in the field of management and organisational studies, are applicable to translation service activities?
2. To what extend are the main typologies of innovation, namely the OECD typology (product innovation, process innovation, organizational innovation and marketing innovation) and the "4Ps" model (product innovation, process innovation, position innovation and paradigm innovation) developed by Bessant and Tidd (2007) useful for studying translation service activities?
3. Are all the traditional (object-based) and new forms of measuring innovation (subject-based approaches) possible and efficient in the case of the translation service activities?

Secondly, I present the results of my pilot study carried out with two translation service providers based in the city of Wroclaw (Poland). In the pilot stage, I take into account two respondents' profiles: (1) translation companies with Polish capital and (2) translation companies which are the representatives of foreign mother companies (in their cases, the indicators of innovation can be shaped differently).

Bionote: Anna Kuźnik is a graduate of Romance philology from the Jagiellonian University in Cracow (Poland), a Master degree in Ibero-American Linguistics and Literature from the Caro and Cuervo Institute in Bogota (Colombia), she was awarded a PhD in Translation and Intercultural Studies by the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain) in 2010. She is now working as a senior lecturer at the Institute of Romance Philology, University of Wrocław (Poland). Her research interests are focused on the following topics: work organization in translation services; knowledge transfer from universities into translation services; and work content of translators' jobs.

PAPER 4:
Title: Cultural and languages-related barriers in the processes of internationalization of Polish small and medium-sized enterprises located within industrial clusters
Speaker: Szymon Kłopocki, PhD, Uniwersytet Wrocławski, Poland, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Anna Kuźnik, PhD, Uniwersytet Wrocławski, Poland, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Abstract: The Polish economy has experienced a dramatic change during the past two decades from a post communist mentality and policies through its accession into the European Union and finally into the modern challenges of the global economy. Some of the most competitive Polish companies are operating globally and can be considered as having reached the final stage of internationalisation. However, the reality that some companies are facing is highly challenging. What used to be considered as a global market orientation and was positioned at the final stages of company growth have now become the cornerstone of marketing strategies at the initial stages of company activity.

Every expansion into a foreign market (either consumer or labour) implies a new linguistic and cultural context for interaction. The more effective the interaction, the more efficient the companies' activities will be. Thus it is crucial to identify the possible obstacles, conflict situations and emerging issues as well as find ways of tackling them. These very often require innovative approaches: a creative mentality followed by creative actions.

The aim of our communication is to present and discuss the linguistic and cultural barriers that organisations encounter at the early stage of the internationalisation process. We target our research on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) registered in the Republic of Poland, taking into account two diferent profiles: SMEs located within industrial clusters and independent SMEs. We construct a theoretical background that will allow us to identify the linguistic and cultural barriers from an interdisciplinary perspective, namely from the perspectives of management and translation studies.

In our presentation, we present several case studies of Polish SMEs, described in the management litterature (secondary data; Bąk and Kulwczuk 2009). We highligt the treatment that the linguistic and cultural barriers receive in these studies and the relevance of translation activities carried out in these Polish companies going international. We conclude that translation is one of the core activities, allowing organisations to overcome linguistic and cultural barriers in the internationalisation processes of Polish SMEs, and that its relevance is more and more visibile thanks to the recent connections established between management and translation studies (see Pircher at all 2005, Risku and Windhager 2009, Risku at all 2009).

Bionote: Szymon Klopocki holds a Phd in management from the Wrocław University of Economics. He is a university lecturer, researcher and entrepreneur. From his early childhood has been traveling and learning foreign languages. His passion for linguistics resulted in various successful business project i.e. language travel agency, online language course-finder, e-learning solutions and most recently a mobile application for language learning. He is also a senior lecturer at the University of Wrocław, lecturing on management, innovations and competitiveness. His current work as a researcher is focused on innovation clusters and multicultural networks.
Anna Kuźnik is a graduate of Romance philology (French language and literature, language teaching specialisation) from the Jagiellonian University in Cracow (Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Poland), a Master degree in Ibero-American Linguistics and Literature from the Caro and Cuervo Institute in Bogota (Instituto Caro y Cuervo, Colombia), she was awarded a PhD in Translation and Intercultural Studies by the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain) in 2010. She is now working as a senior lecturer at the Institute of Romance Philology, Faculty of Letters, University of Wrocław (Instytut Filologii Romańskiej, Uniwersytet Wrocławski, Poland). A Polish Ministry of Justice sworn translator-interpreter in French, Spanish and Polish. Her research interests are focused on the following topics: work organisation in translation services; knowledge transfer from universities into translation services; work content of translators' jobs; in-service training of translators; empirical methodology in Translation Studies; and Sociology of Work and Analysis of Organisations applied in Translation Studies.

PAPER 5:
Title: Community media in South Africa: Translation as tool for development
Speaker: Marlie van Rooyen, Department of Linguistics and Language Practice, University of the Free State, South Africa, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Abstract: Community media plays a crucial role as tool in development processes, especially in the global South. In South Africa, community media has a specific development mandate regarding social, human and economic development priorities. In a multilingual context, translation impacts on the flow of information. For radio to serve as a vehicle for development, community radio programming and news should be relevant to the needs of the specific community concerned – also in terms of broadcast language. In some community radio stations up to four languages are used to serve the community. The effect of such multilingualism in community media has not been problematized within neither translation studies nor multilingualism studies.

To date, research on multilingualism and the media in South Africa have focused on language planning and language policy, rather than practice. Within translation studies, Henrik Gottlieb studied translational activities in multilingual South African media and indicated that translation does not play a dominant role in the media. He found that print media is mostly Afrikaans and English with some newspapers available in isiZulu; while television is mainly available in English. However, the use of language in community media was not investigated. As community radio has the mandate to provide for the specific language needs of an identified community, the hypothesis guiding this paper is that the multilingual nature of community radio necessarily implies a multiple flow of translation into and from the country's 11 official languages.

Thus, the aim is to explore and describe the multilingual community radio landscape in the Free State province of South Africa in order to map the translation flow. This would entail a quantitative approach analysing secondary sources on audience measurement by The South African Advertising Research Foundation (SAARF) that identifies amongst others, broadcast footprint, listener figures and languages used. The data would be complemented with information from the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) and also with primary sources including surveys of community radio stations in the province. Theoretically, the translation flows and the investigation thereof place this research within a sociological framework. Except research by scholars such as Bielsa and Bassnett, very few studies have focused on translation flows in mass media; it is within this specific research field that this study intends to contribute and indicate the possibility for future research.

Bionote: Marlie van Rooyen is a doctoral candidate in Translation Studies at KULeuven and lecturer at the University of the Free State. She teaches translation theory and practice to undergraduate students and supervises numerous postgraduate projects. Marlie holds an MA in Language Practice (Translation), a BA Honours (Afrikaans) and a BA (Communication Science). She is a media and language practitioner at heart with experience in journalism (both print and radio), translation, interpreting and editing. Marlie's research focuses on the interface between journalism and translation studies from a sociological point of view. Her interest lies in alternative forms of media such as community radio broadcasting in South Africa.

PAPER 6:
Title: Exploring the genesis of Arabic fiction translation into English: A sociological account
Speaker: Abdel Wahab Khalifa, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Abstract: English translations of texts associated with Arabic fiction remain largely unexplored from a sociological perspective. Research on the translations of Arabic fiction into English has mainly focused on the linguistics of translation. However, the network of sociocultural factors conditioning the production, consumption, and circulation of these translations appears to have been largely overlooked within scholarly discourse. Hence, drawing on Pierre Bourdieu's sociology, this paper sets out to examine the genesis of translating Arabic fiction into English as a socially situated activity.

Works of Arabic fiction emerged in English translation in the early twentieth century. In his chronological bibliography of Arabic fiction in English translation, Altoma argues that there are three identifiable thresholds or "phases" within the history of translating Arabic fiction into English (i.e., the initial phase, the expanding phase and the post-Nobel phase). This paper challenges and reconstructs this argument, putting forward alternative dates for the processes of development identified by Altoma and a Bourdieusian analysis of the dynamics of translation in the phases he suggested. The paper culminates by arguing for the recognition of a fourth phase, which could be referred to as the post 9/11 phase, and will also investigate its agents and dynamics.

Since the field of Arabic fiction translation into English is subject to both internal and external factors – including geopolitical and sociocultural events – which (trans)form and condition its structure and dynamics, this paper attempts to provide insights on overlooked aspects of the four distinct, though overlapping, phases identified above. This is done insofar as they have affected the field's structure, capital at stake, agents involved, modes of production used and the amount of activity within the field. Thus, in contrast to the linear understanding of the history of Arabic fiction translation and informed by a bibliography of translated Arabic fiction into English which I have compiled, this paper makes use of Bourdieu's concepts of field and capital as analytical tools to both describe and interpret the complexity of the translation activity taking place in this field of cultural production.

Bionote: Abdel Wahab Khalifa is a double major doctoral candidate at the Centre for Translation Studies (CTS) and the Centre for Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (AIMES) at the University of Leeds. He has a BA and a PGDip in English Language and Literature from Tanta University, and an MPhil in Translation and Intercultural Studies from the University of Salford. Among other publications, he is the editor of Translators have their say? Translation and the power of agency (2014). His research interests include the sociology of translation; translation historiography; translation motivation as well as literary criticism and Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern cultural and literary histories.

PAPER 7:
Title: Translation as an agent for development communication in sub-Saharan Africa
Speaker: Mwamba Chibamba, PhD candidate, University of Ottawa, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Abstract: The notion of development has been a rather polemical as the evolution of the discipline through the years has shown. Scholars such as Dwivedi and Nef, among others, have argued that most of the theories that inform development administration as a discipline are largely Western, and as such, do not adequately explain nor provide solutions to developmental issues for peripheral regions of the world with very different contexts. Despite their differences, earlier theories of development such as modernization, dependency and neo-liberalism have been criticized for focusing on economic growth as the major indicator of development as opposed to more current indicators such as those encompassed in the United Nations Development Programme's Human Development Reports and Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum's capability approach, which are centered more on the individual.

Development has been one of the top priorities of African governments since independence. Achieving it sometimes hinges on the extent to which development communication is successful. Development communication is thus an important tool in facilitating development, and it equally requires a context-specific approach. Suffice it to say that translation and communication could play an important role in the implementation and successful delivery of development programs.

It is against this backdrop that this paper seeks to highlight the role of translation in development communication in some countries of sub-Saharan Africa (e.g. Zambia and Kenya). Given Africa's diversity, it is imperative that development communication on issues such as child nutrition and immunization and the prevention of diseases ranging from malaria to HIV and AIDS, which, for the most part, is produced either in the West or in European languages, is localized. The study aims to explore some of the translation practices and innovative ways in which developmental messages have been delivered, such as through the use of drama and mass media. It will also explore some of the ways in which translators have dealt with the question of specialized terminology (for example medical terms) that have no equivalent in local languages or are considered as taboo subjects. The paper will analyse some of the context-specific dynamics that could affect communication such as multilingualism, orality and the disparate literacy levels and diverse cultures. In discussing translation as a mediating force between cultures, Bernacka points out that "Translations can therefore have a distinct effect on how global and human rights issues can be conveyed and communicated".

It is expected that this paper will give an insight into how translation facilitates communication in development. It is also expected that the paper will demonstrate that context matters when it comes to the delivery of any kind of information.

Bionote: Mwamba Chibamba is currently pursuing a doctorate in translation studies at the University of Ottawa. Her research interests include translation in Africa, postcolonialism, African affairs as well as global affairs.

PAPER 8:
Title: We have never been un(der)developed:
Translation and the biosemiotic foundation of being in the global south
Speaker: Kobus Marais, Department of Linguistics and Language Practice, University of the Free State, South Africa, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Abstract: Development studies in general and development theory in particular face serious problems. Not only is the development project itself problematic for ideological and practical reasons, but scholarly thinking about development also faces serious problems. The most prominent current theories of development are trying to find the foundation of development theory in theories of justice and human rights. Though these theories are making an important contribution towards the debate on development theory, they seriously lack in one regard. None of them regard language in general and multilingualism in particular as relevant factors in development. What is more, none of them consider semiosis, i.e. the ability of living organisms to create meaning, as a factor of development.

In this paper, I intend to go deeper than merely considering the linguistic and translational (proper) foundation of development. By building on theories of biosemiotics and intersemiosic translation, I shall consider the biosemiotic foundation of what is these days called 'development'. In its link to Lotman's theory of semiotic universe, the argument pertains to the ability of living organisms to respond to an environment by creating meaningful responses to that environment (semiosis). The argument also considers translation as focussing on the process nature of semiosis, thus explaining the continuous creative ways in which living organisms and groups of organisms respond to the challenges of their environment and in which they construct these response to create what we call culture and/or society.

The aim of the paper is to argue that translation studies have been too narrowly 'cultural' and 'linguistic' in its view of translation. If translation is expanded, through a biosemiotic conceptualisation of translation, to include the material conditions of semiosis, it will allow translation scholars to contribute at a much wider scale to the debate on 'development'. Also, it could lead to a more solid theoretical foundation of development itself. The paper thus entails a conceptualisation, relating its thesis to a debate with current literature in translation studies, semiotics and development studies.

Bionote: Kobus Marais is an associate professor in translation studies at the University of the Free State in South Africa. He holds qualifications in various fields of study, including an MA in translation studies and a PhD in Biblical Hebrew Literature.
His research focuses on theorising the African context of translation from the perspective of complex semiosic systems. He explores the relationship between development and translation by constructing a theory of complex semiosic responses.
He has just published a book with Routledge called Translation theory and development studies: A complexity theory approach.

CONCLUSION:
Title: Translation and development: Rounding up
Speaker: All participants and audience
Abstract: 30 minutes concluding discussion

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Last modified on Friday, 16 January 2015 16:37

Performativity and Translation Studies:
Dennitza Gabrakova, City University of Hong Kong,
Douglas Robinson, Hong Kong Baptist University,
John Milton, University of São Paulo, Brazil,

 

As Cristina Marinetti argues, "The concept of performativity itself has yet to be fully articulated in relation to translation"; indeed, performativity has only recently begun to cross paths with Translation Studies, particularly with a focus on the translator's agency or identity and on translation as embodied epistemologies and aesthetics.

Performativity intersects with Translation in various ways: Sherry Simon (1998) and Edwin Gentzler (2008) discuss adopting a performative perspective "especially in relation to unpacking notions of identity". Douglas Robinson discusses the "performative linguistics of translation", that is, "translating as 'doing', doing something to the target reader". He also mentions "Translating as colonizing, or as fighting the lingering effects of colonialism; translating as resisting global capitalism, translating as fighting patriarchy, as liberating women (and men) from patriarchal gender roles (...) the translator as a doer, an actor on variously conceived cultural, professional, and cognitive stages" (Robinson 2003).

A recent special issue of Target (25:3) was dedicated to the role of translation and performativity in the theatre, and a colloquium organized by the proposers of the present panel in Hong Kong in January 2014 discussed "Performativity and Translation". Most of the papers examined aspects of performativity in theatre translation, a starting point for evaluating the innovative potential of Performativity as a productive rather than a merely reproductive force in other areas of Translation Studies. The Hong Kong colloquium attracted interest from scholars who demonstrated genuine enthusiasm and creativity in approaching this new topic and generating cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural dialogues. The present panel will be a natural continuation of this on-going discussion.

Possible research areas are: Dubbing and Subtitling, where the on-screen words or those the actors mouth reperform, closely or not so closely, those of the original; the Translator's Preface and other paratexts, which introduce a second performance to the original, supporting, contradicting, directing, or diverting the reader from the original text; Natural Translation, where, within the immigrant family, the language performance skills of the child may give them enormous power; translation for a specialized audience such as children or the deaf, where the translation must perform a role to construct a specific relationship; Interpreting Studies, where the neutrality of the interpreter comes into question.

Such intersections of performativity with Translation and Interpretation Studies will open up new perspectives on the role and practice of translation as an integral part of the performativity of culture on multiple levels: ethnicity, race, marginalization, generation, and gender, as well as the performativity of cross-cultural dynamics.

 

 

For informal enquiries: [jmiltonATuspDOTbr]

 

IATIS

Dennitza Gabrakova is Assistant Professor in Japanese Studies at City University of Hong Kong. She is interested in the rhetoric of translation in connection to Postcolonial Studies and cultural identity. Currently Dennitza is working on a project related to the translation of (Postcolonial) theory into Japanese as a social and cultural intervention.



 

Robinson before HKBU fountain 2012

Douglas Robinson is Chair Professor of English and Dean of Arts at Hong Kong Baptist University and author of The Translator's Turn, Translation and Taboo, Translation and Empire, Becoming a Translator, What Is Translation?, Who Translates?, Performative Linguistics (the relevant predecessor for his talk here), Translation and the Problem of Sway, and Schleiermacher's Icoses, and editor of Western Translation Theory from Herodotus to Nietzsche. His forthcoming books include Semiotranslating Peirce and The Dao of Translation. He is currently at work on a translation of Finland's greatest novel, Aleksis Kivi's Seven Brothers (1870).

 

 

miltonJohn Milton is Titular Professor, University of São Paulo, Brazil, teaching English Literature at undergraduate level and Translation Studies at M.A. and Ph. D. He is also the Coordinator of the M.A. and Ph.D. programmes in Translation Studies. His main academic interest is in the theory, history, sociology and politics of translation and has published several books in Brazil and edited Agents of Translation, John Benjamins, 2009. He has also published many articles in Brazil, and in Target and The Translator, and translated poetry from Portuguese into English, and, together with Alberto Marsicano, Keats, Wordsworth and Shelley into Portuguese. 

 

 

Introduction: Dennitza Gabrakova

Sub theme 1

Performativity and Theory

PAPER 1 – 20 minutes for presentation + 10 minutes for discussion

Literary Translation and/as Performance
Sandra Bermann (Submission #378)

"Literary Translation and/as Performance"

This paper builds its argument at least in part on my recent article, "Performing Translation," published in 2014 in the Wiley Blackwell Companion to Translation Studies, edited by Catherine Porter and me. In this article, I looked at literary translation from the viewpoint of J.L.Austin's "performative," Jacques Derrida's notions of iterability, and Judith Butler's discussions of gender performativity. Douglas Robinson's work on linguistic performatives and the long and fruitful history of gender studies and translation were also important references. Though I used some literary examples in the course of the essay, it was largely theoretical, meaning to draw in some of the main terms and ideas associated with "performance," "performative" and "performativity" in translation studies. In the paper I propose for this conference, I begin more pragmatically. Here, I examine closely a few examples of literary translation and re-translation in the light of the theoretical concepts analyzed before, but underscoring in a somewhat different way the value of considering translation as a performative act rather than as a reproductive inscription. Reading several translations of Rene Char's Feuillets d'Hypnos, texts dense with allusion as well as with specific historical and political reference, I discuss the ways that different translational "performances" have opened up different interlocutory spaces for engaging audiences and producing new insights. In the process of my analyses, I bring performance and the performative into dialogue with ideas of translatability, untranslatability and ethics raised by Gayatri Spivak in a number of essays and by Emily Apter in her recent Against World Literature: On the Politics of Untranslatability. Indeed, viewing translation as performance heightens our awareness of specific choices that the translator makes (consciously and unconsciously) while grappling with different cultural systems, regimes of power, and political, economic and social constraints, and while negotiating daunting linguistic divides. It also reminds us of the powerful role that translation can play within the field of comparative literature, by opening it to the details of difference and the often illuminating difficulties these pose.

Sandra Bermann is Cotsen Professor of the Humanities and Professor of Comparative Literature at Princeton, where she also serves as Master of Whitman College. Her research and teaching interests include lyric poetry, translation, gender and sexuality, and comparative literature. She is author of The Sonnet Over Time: Studies in the Sonnets of Petrarch, Shakespeare, and Baudelaire; translator of Manzoni's On the Historical Novel; and editor of Nation, Language, and the Ethics of Translation with Michael Wood, and of A Companion to Translation Studies with Catherine Porter.

PAPER 2 – 20 minutes for presentation + 10 minutes for discussion
Translating theory and the Japanese Postcolonial Refraction
Dennitza Gabrakova (Submission #101)

This paper focuses on the significance of translation of theory as an site of intersection of the 1) self-fashioning of a type of performative ethical identity of the Japanese intellectual activist and 2) generation of intellectual perspectives with close affinity to postcolonial critique. After briefly outlining the significance of translation for Japanese modernity, the work of several translators of theory will be discussed against the background of the unilateral flow of ideas and Enlightenment. The study of the creative transformations accompanying the translations of T. Eagleton (Literary Theory), Ed. Said, G. Spivak and J. Derrida provide a unique perspective to the Japanese intellectual as "translator", a complex identity negotiating issues of originality and commitment. The translation of Terry Eagleton's Literary Theory by Ohashi Yoichi in 1985 not only attracted the attention of creative writers critical of the Japanese academic establishment, but resulted in a self-critical parody authored precisely by the translator: Ohashi's New Introduction to Literary Theory: Reading Eagleton's Literary Theory (1995). Another important site of the formation of the Japanese intellectual persona as a figure of responsibility is the work of Motohashi Tetsuya, a prolific translator of literary theory and postcolonial critique. The performativity of Motohashi's translational agenda will be analysed through his attempt at popularizing postcolonial perspectives in combination with a critique of Japanese history in his Postcolonialism (2005). The case of Ukai Satoshi, a translator of Derrida and a scholar with a strong penchant for postcolonial critique is particularly illuminating in the way it flows into Ukai's essentially postcolonial ethics and philosophy of translation. Two additional examples will be Komori Yoichi's ground-breaking work Postcolonial as an epistemological case of translation as reception of theory and Nishiyama Yuji's translation of Derrida combined with his documentary film touring.

Dennitza Gabrakova is Assistant Professor in Japanese Studies at City University of Hong Kong. She is interested in the rhetoric of translation in connection to Postcolonial Studies and cultural identity. Currently Dennitza is working on a project related to the translation of (Postcolonial) theory into Japanese as a social and cultural intervention.

PAPER 3 – 20 minutes for presentation + 10 minutes for discussion
Pushing-Hands and Periperformativity
Douglas Robinson (Submission #129)

This talk explores the performativity of translation in the context of Martha Cheung's theory of translation as tuishou or "pushing-hands"—the martial arts form of Tai Chi. Specifically, the paper will explore three areas in which Prof. Cheung's formulation of the pushing-hands theory of translation falls into essentializing habits, and offer a performative rereading of those three areas that will seek not to refute her approach but to perfect it: (1) pushing-hands and gender (her focus on yin-gentleness as an essentializingly female foundation for the pushing-hands of translation); (2) pushing-hands and dialogue (her tendency to focus on the translator's unidirectional response to the "incoming force" of the source text, rather than looking at the ongoingness of dialogue); and (3) pushing-hands as (peri)performativity (her tendency to present translation as like pushing-hands as a stable thing, rather than both translation and pushing-hands as a performance—and specifically a way of performing the audience into dialogical participation in the performance).

The talk makes the following claims:

(1) Pushing-hands can be thought of as a gentle, cooperative analogue for a dialogical engagement with an "incoming force," such as a single author or point of view. The implication is that all knowledge is mediated, constructed, and situated.

(2) Pushing-hands can be thought of as a gentle, cooperative analogue for a dialogical engagement with a whole parlor full of internally and externally dialogized viewpoints. The implication is that all knowledge is even more complexly mediated, constructed, and situated than in (1), featuring incoming and outgoing and interactive forces of which we may never become aware.

(3a) The pushing-hands analogue can also be extended to the translator's engagement first with the source author, then with the target reader. The fact that the translator pushes hands with the source author and the target reader in "stealth" mode—pushing hands with the target reader "as" or "through" the "I" of the source author—complicates the pushing-hands model in interesting ways.

(3b) The pushing-hands analogue can be further extended to the scholar's rhetorical engagement with the audience s/he is trying to persuade, making persuasion a pushing-hands encounter in which speaker and listener both participate, reciprocally.

Douglas Robinson is Chair Professor of English and Dean of Arts at Hong Kong Baptist University and author of The Translator's Turn, Translation and Taboo, Translation and Empire, Becoming a Translator, What Is Translation?, Who Translates?, Performative Linguistics (the relevant predecessor for his talk here), Translation and the Problem of Sway, and Schleiermacher's Icoses, and editor of Western Translation Theory from Herodotus to Nietzsche. His forthcoming books include Semiotranslating Peirce and The Dao of Translation. He is currently at work on a translation of Finland's greatest novel, Aleksis Kivi's Seven Brothers (1870).

PAPER 4 – 20 minutes for presentation + 10 minutes for discussion
Translation Acts: Discourse, Performativeness and "Emic" Entities
Lenita Esteves (Submission #117)

Common sense holds that the best translations are those that render the source text faithfully, without any loss in meaning, form or tone. It is also well agreed that the task of producing such a translation, despite being an ideal pursued by many, is impossible. In line with Douglas Robinson's ideas as proposed in "Performative Linguistics" (2003) this paper considers translation performatively, that is, as action. This implies an agent, motives and consequences. The most important corollary of this proposal is an alternative way of seeing the role of translators in society — they start being considered as real mediators, leaving behind their function as mere carriers of ideas and meanings. The Speech Act theory, as proposed by J. L. Austin, will serve as a guideline in the exploration of the concept of translation as action, an act performed in the real world. This performative approach of translation is, in Robinson's words, "interested in actual language use in real-world contexts, in the relationships between actual speakers and writers and actual interpreters, specifically in how humans perform verbal actions and respond to the verbal actions performed by others" (p. 4). This work focuses specifically on the way Austin builds his theorization. In his very peculiar way of making theory, Austin does not advance in a straight line, but in a rather sinuous movement, with many reformulations and new developments. Moreover, Austin's insistence on basing his reflections on "ordinary language", taking into account the circumstances under which utterances are made, will be emphasized, along with his reiterated opinion that philosophy should neither oversimplify its issues nor work based on ideal situations that do not correspond with real life. This paper argues that Austin's theoretical attitude, with its uncertainties and open-ends, is an adequate attitude for translation scholars, who should also work with language in use and delve deeply into issues, avoiding oversimplifications. Kanavillil Rajagopalan (1992) has argued that illocutionary acts are "emic" entities, that is, irreducibly cultural units of analysis. Translation acts will also be analyzed here as "emic" entities that resist strict generalizations. On the other hand, "families" of translation acts will be presented – "families" in the Wittgensteinian sense (1953) — of groups whose elements do not have an essential feature, but rather several overlapping similarities. These families are: Translation as diffusion of knowledge; Translation as immersion in textuality; Translation as enrichment; Translation as political engagement.

Lenita Esteves is Associate Professor of Translation Theory and Practice at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. Her main research interests are Translation and Ethics, Historiography of Translation; Translation and Psychoanalysis, and the Reception of Brazilian Literature in the English speaking world.

Sub theme 2

Theater translation and Performativity

PAPER 5 – 20 minutes for presentation + 10 minutes for discussion
Performativity and Translation ethics in multicultural theatre
Cristina Marinetti (Submission #228)

As a profoundly hermeneutic practice, involving interpretation alongside choice and representation, translation brings to the fore the ethical dimension of cross-cultural encounters. Although rich in a variety of positions – from relativity (Pym, 2002) to intervention and resistance (Venuti, 2007) – debates over the ethics of translation have traditionally been based on discussions of translation as a primarily textual and subsequently social phenomenon (Buzelin, 2006), where cultural representations are negotiated, preserved and changed through a series of interventions mappable onto texts and paratexts and more recently onto enquiries into the translator's unconscious (Venuti, 2012). In this paper, I intend to explore the question of translation ethics not from a textual or social but from a performative perspective, looking at instances where translation occurs not in the written text or in the negotiations around a written text, but in the process of devising and enacting a performance. My research on the performance aesthetics of Italian multicultural company Teatro delle Albe and suggests that a different set of variables are at play when translation occurs not 'on the page' but 'on the stage' and in this paper I intend to articulate, with the help of insights from research on ethics in intercultural performance (Ridout 2009, Barucha 2004), how they relate to and possibly even challenge existing models of translation ethics.

Barucha, 2004 Theatre and the World: Performance and the Politics of Culture. London: Routledge. Buzelin, 2006 'Translation Ethnography and the Production of Knowledge'. St Piere ed. In Translation: Reflections, Refractions andTransformations. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Ridout, 2009 Theatre and Ethics. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Venuti, 2007 'Translation, Simulacra and Resistance' Translation Studies 1 (1). Venuti, 2012 Translation Changes Everything. London: Routledge.

Cristina Marinetti is Lecturer in Translation Studies at Cardiff University and director of the Translation Programme. Her primary area of research is translation studies but I also have a strong interest in theatre history and theatre practice. She has published on translation theory in relation to identity and performance, on drama and multimedia translation and on the interface between translation theory and practice. Her research is comparative in nature and combines historical/cultural analysis with reflections on her own translation practice.

PAPER 6 – 20 minutes for presentation + 10 minutes for discussion
Translation as Performance, Performing Translation: Québec Theatre
Abroad
Marc Charron and Luise von Flotow (Submission #322)

Every translation is an interpretative act, a performance. This is a truism that underlies much discussion of translation, and acknowledges the fact that every translation of the same text will differ from the next, depending on the languages and the individuals involved, the cultures, the historical moment, the politics and the aesthetics of the time, the public being targeted, and the genre of the text. Every translation will interpret and perform the same "source text" in different ways. The 'interpretative' aspect of translation has been studied in terms of hermeneutics, cultural studies, and recently, sociological approaches, yet the 'performance' aspect remains quite underdeveloped; and although the idea of translation being performative evokes the drama involved in moving texts between languages and cultures as well as the deliberate, sometimes fleeting, always culturally and socially marked and often staged aspects of translation, the 'performative' is a difficult phenomenon to study. It is unpredictable, contingent and dynamic. Current approaches to translation studies have remained largely text-bound, less concerned with translation as a passing physical and public representation. This presentation focuses on translation as performance.

It proposes to examine the question of "translation as performance" in the light of contemporary performance theories developed about gender identities (starting with Butler 1992 and 2009, especially her notion of "gender performativity" as well as Sedgwick-Kosofsky 1995) on the one hand, and on performance theories developed in theatre studies at about the same time (starting with Schechner 1992, 2005 as well as Phelan 1993, Auslander 1997, Schneider 1997, Muñoz 1999), on the other hand. It will study translation as performance by studying translation in performance, focusing on contemporary theatre texts from Québec, and the way they represent "marginalized tongues and bodies" (Curran 2008). The research underlying this presentation thus takes "marginal identities" in Québec theatre as its focus, and examines them in performance in Québec, and then, comparatively, in German and Spanish-speaking locations. Starting from the assumption that contemporary theatre texts are written and designed for performance for specific, often local, audiences (Fernandes 2010), who recognize and "know" the marginal status of the characters, they are presented with, this presentation will explore, describe, and compare some aspects of how this "known" marginality moves into the two other cultures which, after English Canada, have most regularly translated and staged Québec plays: the German and Spanish-speaking worlds. It proposes to integrate and confront translation and performance theories in order to understand, describe, analyze and compare the changes such texts undergo, not only through translation, but also in their "mise en scène" and physical presentation on stage.

Marc Charron is Associate Professor of the School of Translation and Interpretation at the University of Ottawa.

Luise von Flotow is Full Professor and Director of the School of Translation and Interpretation at the University of Ottawa.

PAPER 7 – 20 minutes for presentation + 10 minutes for discussion
Performing Rome in and through translation
Rodrigo Gonçalves (Submission #86)

In this presentation, I intend to briefly present a theoretical and philosophical framework for the analysis of Plautus under a performative and philosophical view of language and theatrical performance. This will be done through a reading of some of Plautus' works such as Amphitruo, Asinaria, Mercator, Stichus. Based on the philosophical performativity of Barbara Cassin and the ideas on translation of Wilhelm von Humboldt and Douglas Robinson, the main focus of the presentation is to identify in the beginnings of theatrical work in Rome (Roman New Comedy flourished roughly from the 3rd to the 2nd centuries BC) a special locus for identifying the performative power of translation. Since most part of "literary" manifestations in Rome are translations (cf. specially the recent and extensive treatments of Bettini, 2012 and McElduff, 2013), one can claim that Roman literature is performed through translations in an important sense. Political and ideological covert and overt aims of building Roman culture and literature via the appropriation of the Greek genres and works can be identified in many authors and times in Roman literary history (and have been extensely thematized in Classical Studies, especially since the 19th century), but Plautus seems to be perform a very special kind of translation: what I try to show here is that Plautus appropriates Greek New comedy in a self-aware and metatheatrical fashion, using translation to build a hybrid ontological theatrical text: while he refers to Romans as barbari, an obvious play with otherness (Roman New Comedy, or palliata, always stages Greek cities, Greek characters, Greek plots, but in Rome, staged by Romans, and in Latin, and the plays are always translations of at least one play from the Greek New Comedy of Menander and other playwrights from the 4th century BC), he also refers to his own act of translation as vortere barbare, i.e., "translate in the barbarian language", and, in several occasions, mentions the source authors and texts as being the same play he is actually transating, creating a palimpsestic translation that is and is not a translation at the same time (cf. especially the prologue to Asinaria: huic nomen graece Onagost fabulae; / Demophilus scripsit, Maccus vortit barbare; / Asinariam volt esse, si per vos licet.: "the name of this play in Greek is Onagos; / Demophilus wrote it, Macchus [n.t.: Plautus] translated it into the barbarian language; / He wants it to be Asinaria, if you please.": the play is at the same time Greek and Roman, the authors are Demophilus and Plautus, and this anti-aristotelian ontological hybrid can only be achieved with a powerful performativity). The analyses here will be based on Cassin's proposal of an effet monde as a result of a performative sophistic view on language (cf. Cassin, 1995), as well as Florence Dupont's quite unique stance on Roman Comedy as an example of non-Aristotelian theater, based on metatheater and convention-variation as special characteristics of a ludic theater which plays around its own rules after putting them in foreground.

Rodrigo Tadeu Gonçalves has been Professor of Latin at the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR) since 2005, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses on Roman Literature, Translation Studies and Philosophy of Language. In 2011-12, he took a Post-Doctoral leave under the supervision of Barbara Cassin at the CNRS in Paris with a work on Plautus and performative translation. Currently he is the secretary general of the Brazilian Society of Classical Studies and the director of the graduate program in Letras at the UFPR.

PAPER 8 – 20 minutes for presentation + 10 minutes for discussion
The Dramaturgical Agency of the Translator in the Translation of
Patricia Brogan's Play "Eclipsed" for Performance
Alinne Fernandes (Submission #211)

For decades, traditional narratives of translation have treated the translation of drama as an extension of the translation of literature. Often regarded as the black sheep of literary translation rather than a different translation genre, theatre translation has been deemed difficult to categorise and even worse to systematise (see Bassnett 1984, 1991; Lefevere 1992). In recent years, translation scholars specialising in theatre translation have argued for a dramaturgical agency of the theatre translator (see Johnston 2004; Baines at al 2011; Fernandes 2012 & 2014). I have posited elsewhere the importance of the collaborative stage of theatre translation, in which the translator works in dramaturgical capacity together with the theatre troupe. Equipped with a dramaturgical consciousness and always with the theatre stage in his/her mind, the translator not only is able to provide the theatre troupe with contextual information about the play but also polishes and improves her/his translation during rehearsals. Thus seen, the translator plays an active and crucial role in the production of the translated play. In this particular paper, I will focus on Patricia Brogan's play titled Eclipsed (1992), a play which I am currently analysing and which I will subsequently translate for performance in Brazil. The play unveils the harsh reality of unmarried young women who were confined to the Catholic-run Magdalene asylums in the 1950s and '60s due to 'weakness to sins of the flesh' thus being considered 'fallen women' (Brogan 1992: 59). Eclipsed is part of the corpus of my on-going postdoctoral research in which I look at representations of the female body in two Irish and two Northern Irish plays written within the time length of the 1980s till the mid-1990s. I intend to carry out a dramaturgical analysis of the play focussing on how Brogan represents and reclaims the female body in a decade when women's playwriting had recently started to flourish in Ireland. In considering those issues for translation, I will discuss how those notions may be recreated and re-enacted in a Brazilian context. Bearing these ideas in mind, the following research questions will be addressed: (i) given that translation is a dislocated and up-rooted text, how does/can the theatre translator convey the context-specific issues rooted in the source culture and playtext?; (ii) in which ways may the translator's dramaturgical agency affect the production of the translated play?

Alinne Fernandes is a post-doctoral researcher at Universidade de São Paulo. She obtained her PhD in Theatre Translation from Queen's University Belfast in 2012. Her thesis consists of using her own translation of Marina Carr's play By the Bog of Cats... as a case-study for the investigation of intercultural encounters in theatre translation. She has taught both at undergraduate level at Queen's and Universidade de Brasília and at postgraduate level at Universidade Católica de Brasília. Fernandes has published in Quaderns, JoSTrans, Journal of Romance Studies, Tradterm and Scientia Traductionis.

Sub theme 3

Performativity in Practice

PAPER 9 – 20 minutes for presentation + 10 minutes for discussion
A Performative Theory of Translator Style
Gabriela Saldanha (Submission #320)

Drawing on Butler's (1990) performative theory of gender, Harvey (2003: 4) suggests, rather tentatively, the possibilities opened by a performative theory of the translated text as a way of moving beyond an understanding of 'translated texts as caused objects' and towards an understanding of 'translated texts as interfaces' where the problematics of the intercultural crossing is inscribed within their very nature. This understanding of performance and translation resonates with Bhabha's (2007) argument that cultural communication is performative in the sense that it enacts and creates identities, is constructivist rather than essentialist. Underlying these arguments is an understanding of translation as the staging of difference. This paper further develops Harvey's tentative proposal for a performative theory of translation by applying an anthropological understanding of performance, Richard Schechner's (1985) characterisation of performance as restored behaviour, which has also been used to explain theatrical performance, to explain translator's agency, more specifically, what I call 'translator style'. The concept of restored behaviour refers to "the process of framing, editing, and rehearsing; the making and manipulating of strips of behaviour" (Schechenr 1985: 33). Understanding the translator's agency as restored behaviour enables us to conceptualise translator style in a way that is not only reflective, or even interpretative, but constructive. I argue here that in framing, editing and rehearsing the source text, translators are staging differences and creating identities for themselves, the world of the source text and their audiences. This, in turn, enables us to discuss a translator's oeuvre as a coherent body of work which has its own artistic motivating principle. In order to illustrate and support my argument I provide examples of patterns of translation strategies, following the model proposed in Saldanha 2011 for identifying stylistic features in translated texts and then analyse discursive representations of translators' agency. This analysis relies on peritexts produced by translators themselves as well as by professional and non-professional readers, mainly in the form of reviews published on broadsheet newspapers and online. References Bhabha, Homi K. (2007) The location of culture. London: Routledge. Butler, Judith (1990) Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York and London, Routledge. Harvey, Keith (2003) Intercultural Movements: American Gaby in French Translation, Manchester, UK & Northampton, MA: St Jerome. Saldanha, Gabriela (2010) 'Translator style: methodological considerations', The Translator 17(1) 25-50. Schechner, Richard (1985) Between Theatre & Anthropology, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Gabriela Saldanha is a Lecturer in Translation Studies at the University of Birmingham (UK). She has published extensively on translation stylistics and is the author of Research Methodologies in Translation (Routledge, 2013) together with Sharon O'Brien. She co-edited the Routledge Encyclopaedia of Translation Studies (Routledge, 2009), together with Mona Baker; and a special issue on 'Global Landscapes of Translation' (Translation Studies, 2013) together with Angela Kershaw. She is also co-editor of New Voices in Translation Studies, InTRAlinea and Translation and Translanguaging in Multilingual Contexts.

PAPER 10 – 20 minutes for presentation + 10 minutes for discussion
Pragmatic texts and notions of performativity
Candace Séguinot (Submission #88)

The concept of performativity has been related both to the linguistic notion of performatives (Robinson, 2006), and translational discussions of agency and (in)visibility (Simeoni: 1998 , and Venuti: 2008). The introduction of the former as a property of utterances came to be extended to linguistic interaction and the assumptions about communicating that underlie them. The latter have recently shifted from a consideration of the rights and obligations of the translator to an original author or to an internalized professional and social role to the intervention of translators as social actors and activists both inside of and outside of what has traditionally been called translation. This traditional or as it has been called narrow view of translation in the call for papers for the 2015 conference Translation and the Many Languages of Resistance (http://globalizingdissent.wordpress.com) has a complement called broad characterized by mediation in which there may not be more than one language involved, or indeed any language at all.

In just such a way the evolution of the notion of performativity can help us revisit certain aspects of pragmatic translation. This paper will discuss three areas in particular. The first is the reduced agency in the value-added aspects of the translator's role in the language industries compared to knowledge mobilization. Knowledge translation in particular has been defined as "... a dynamic and iterative process that includes synthesis, dissemination, exchange and ethically-sound [ emphasis mine] application of knowledge..." in the health fields (Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 2000, Cihr-irsc.gc.ca). The transforming of information to make it available to the public used to be based on rhetorical principles, ie the form of argumentation, the use of the second person, etc. Today the recognition of the importance of emotions in decision-making means that audiences are no longer seen as homogeneous, and translators are not constrained by texts to produce texts. Further, even the production of texts in traditional professional translation is being rethought to improve performability as content managers look for ways to analyse and organize language-independent content.

This leads to the question of what cognitively-based observational research can show us about degrees of performativity in the translations themselves and in the agency of the translator.

Candace Séguinot is a Full Professor at the School of Translation at Glendon College, York University, in Toronto, Canada, where she also directs the Program in Technical and Professional Communication. Her research and publications are in the areas of cross-cultural communication, global marketing, theoretical models of the translation process and the nature of professional expertise.

PAPER 11 – 20 minutes for presentation + 10 minutes for discussion
Issues in the Performative Turn
Scott Williams (Submission #295)

The performative turn in Translation Studies builds on the many other developments in the field over the last decades. The notions of performance and performativity are key in examining translations across genres, from drama to the oral tradition and localization. Working mainly with translations to and from German, we will consider several issues. The performative turn demands that we correlate theatre translation with other types of rewriting. Connecting theatre and the oral tradition of the epic, for instance, also highlights the influence of physicality; for instance, in terms of sound ("speakability" is a recurrent issue in theatre translation). A fairly recent translation of Homer's epics (by Raoul Schrott) illustrates the cross-over of genres that can constitute the totality of rewriting. Thus the translation was commissioned for a radio performance and also appeared as written publication in conjunction with yet another book by the translator proposing a new theory of the Iliad's origins. The entire production taken collectively represents the multiplicity of rewriting as action. The necessity of negotiation is important in any stage production (e.g., of German drama) but also in website creation. Thus the collective input into English productions of the Swiss playwright Friedrich Dürrenmatt parallels the various players in, for instance, website productions. Indeed, the internet provides a different stage upon which even Homer can be enacted. Thus a format that emphasizes textuality above orality can still perform a text, as Walter Grond attempted with Homer's Odyssey. Grond (Absolut Homer) challenged twenty-two authors to rewrite parts of the Odyssey. Although now in book form, it was originally a piece of concept art in which the various texts were online with key phrases hyperlinked to passages by the other authors. Thus each reading depended on the reader physically manipulating the mouse to click on whichever linked phrase was most appealing. Since each reader each time may link to different texts, every reading experience became a different 'odyssey.' Different authors wrote the text, but someone also had to decide which phrases to link, just as someone had to write the code and maintain the site. Some might restrict the association with performance to only theatre translation; but by sketching out the parallels between theatre translation and other rewritings one can better appreciate the scope of the performative turn.

Scott G. Williams (Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of Texas at Austin) has published translations of over 20 contemporary German-language authors. He has written articles on, for instance, computer assisted language learning, the modern reception of Greco-Roman antiquity, and the application of translation theory to the study of modern literature. He is currently working on issues of translation and performance.

PAPER 12 – 20 minutes for presentation + 10 minutes for discussion

From Performance Studies to Translation Studies: Translations
Performed in Brazil: Anchieta, the Minas Conspiracy, and Monteiro
Lobato
John Milton (Submission #171)

In the Introduction to The Performance Studies Reader Richard Schechner stresses the need to broaden Performing Arts curricula to examine "how performance is used in politics, medicine, religion, popular entertainments, and ordinary face-to-face interactions" (p.8), analysing the relationships between authors, performers, directors, and spectators. This panel adds Translation and Interpretation to Schechner's list, seeing translators and interpreters as performers of a text authored in a different language, and whose audience, in the case of most translations, or broadcasted Interpreting, is largely unknown, though Interpreting includes a large number of situations, including the very theatrical and performative Consecutive Interpreting.

In the same volume, Marvin Carlson complements Schechner: "With performance as a kind of critical wedge, the metaphor of theatricality has moved out of the arts into almost every aspect of modern attempts to understand our condition and activities, into almost every branch of the human sciences – sociology, anthropology, ethnography, psychology, linguistics" (p.74).

In this presentation I follow Schechner and Carlson and take performativity and theatricality into the realm of Translation Studies, more specifically three studies I have made, and re-examine them from the perspective of Performativity. Firstly, the translations, or rather, adaptations of the plays of the Portuguese dramatist, Gil Vicente, into the indigenous Brazilian language, Tupi, by the Jesuit missionary José de Anchieta (1534-1597) in Brazil in the 16th century, with the intention of catechising the Brazilian Indians into Catholicism. In which ways did Anchieta translate and perform these translations, and how were they presented to the Tupi Indians? And how can Performativity Studies help us to understand these works?

Secondly, I examine the performative elements of translation in the Minas Conspiracy [Inconfidência Mineira], the thwarted revolution in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais in 1789. The role of the main figures, the Ensign, or Second Lieutenant, Tiradentes [Tooth-Puller], and the poets, Clãudio Manuel da Costa, and Tomás Gonzaga, have been performed in different ways, according to historical and ideological interpretations of the Conspiracy. And the iconic copy of Claude Ambroise Régnier's Recueil des Lois Constitutives, which enabled the rebels to become familiar with the constitution of the United States and the laws of the 13 states, is now on show in Ouro Preto as a central property of the Conspiracy.

Last, but not least, I analyse the retelling of Peter Pan (1930), by the Brazilian writer and translator José Bento de Monteiro Lobato (1889-1945), especially well-known for his children's fiction: Grandmother Dona Benta retells the story to the children and dolls of the Yellow Woodpecker Farm, and through her insertions and the questions and the comments of the children and dolls, Lobato is able to include critiques of the contemporary Brazilian economic situation and the dictatorship of the populist president, Getúlio Vargas. Copies of Lobato's Peter Pan were even confiscated and destroyed in the state of São Paulo. Thus Lobato's translation is reperforming Barrie's original, and changing the place of enunciation from Barrie to Lobato.

John Milton is Titular Professor, University of São Paulo, Brazil, teaching English Literature at undergraduate level and Translation Studies at M.A. and Ph. D. He is also the Coordinator of the M.A. and Ph.D. programmes in Translation Studies. His main academic interest is in the theory, history, sociology and politics of translation and has published several books in Brazil and edited Agents of Translation, John Benjamins, 2009. He has also published many articles in Brazil, and in Target and The Translator, and translated poetry from Portuguese into English, and, together with Alberto Marsicano, Keats, Wordsworth and Shelley into Portuguese.

Wrap-up: Douglas Robinson

 

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Last modified on Sunday, 18 January 2015 12:02

Shakespeare's 'Great Feast of Languages': Contemporary Issues in Shakespeare Translation
Daniel Gallimore, Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan
Nely Keinanen, University of Helsinki, Finland

Shakespeare remains the preeminent translated playwright around the world, whose apparently unstoppable globalization and localization in traditional and non-traditional formats seem essential to the processes of intercultural communication that underscore translation. This panel will discuss the typical range of problems and opportunities arising from both the original texts and the target languages and cultures which combine to make Shakespeare translation the rich field that it is today. In particular, we will attempt to look beyond traditional notions of equivalence and fidelity by applying contemporary approaches such as post-colonialism and recognizing the flexibility of the translator's role in relation to the theatre. The languages covered are French, Japanese, Finnish, Spanish, Chinese, Brazilian, Dutch and Bengali.

For informal enquiries: [gallimoreATkwanseiDOTacDOTjp]

gallimore photo

Daniel Gallimore has been professor of English at Kwansei Gakuin University, near Osaka, since 2011. At Kwansei Gakuin, he teaches a postgraduate course on Shakespeare translation, and previously taught at Japan Women's University, Tokyo, between 2003 and 2011. He was awarded his doctorate from the University of Oxford in 2002 for a thesis on Japanese translations of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and has published widely in the field of Shakespeare translation and reception.

keinanen photo1Nely Keinänen teaches English Literature and Translation at the University of Helsinki, Finland. She has recently been studying translations of Shakespeare into Finnish, and also translates modern Finnish drama into English.

 

 

 

 

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SESSION PLAN

INTRODUCTION: Daniel Gallimore, 'Overview of Current State of Shakespeare Translation in Theoretical Context'

DISCUSSION TIME AT THE END OF EACH PAPER.

SESSION ONE: Literary and linguistic nexus

PAPER 1

Title: Polyglossy in Henry V

Speaker: Jean-Michel Déprats, University of Paris Ouest Nanterre, France

Abstract: My paper will focus on Henry V and revolve around two major questions: the dialectal accents and the French/English bilingualism. Only two of Shakespeare's plays have scenes that are structurally bilingual or multilingual. The Merry Wives of Windsor contains a string of untranslatable bilingual Latin-English puns. Henry V confronts the French translator with linguistic oddities that baffle translation leaving little choice but to adapt, transpose, recreate ... or leave it to the actors to translate the linguistically untranslatable. Four scenes or sequences pose particular translation problems. They are, in chronological order: 1. the dialectal scene (3.3) between three officers who all speak in regional-specific ways; 2. the English lesson between Catherine and Alice (3.5); 3. the scene between Pistol, Monsieur Le Fer, and the Boy (4.4); and 4. the wooing scene (5.2), in which Shakespeare intertwines Catherine's and Alice's broken English and odd French, together with Henry's poorly mastered French, into a more standard 'Shakespearean' English. The most acute translation problems stem from the scenes in dialects. The short sequence which brings together the Welshman Fluellen, the Irishman Macmorris, and the Scotsman Jamy, is of great political import as it portrays both the diversity and the unity of the kingdom. The more developed of the three officers is Fluellen. Fluellen's lines contain stylistic and morpho-syntaxic idiosyncrasies that are perfectly translatable but they also contain phonetic distortions which prove much more difficult to translate or transpose, although these distortions are neither constant nor systematic. One can thus surmise that Shakespeare's are stylized dialects, theatrical Welsh, Irish, and Scottish. The solution is not a written but an oral one. In the three 'French' scenes, the bilingualism may seem required by the subject: eighteen of the twenty three scenes of the play take place in France. But conventions are applied oddly: while the French king speaks in English, Shakespeare has the three other French characters, Alice, Catherine, and Monsieur Le Fer, speak a curious half chaotic French. On top of this, the French translator has to decide between two perhaps equally failing alternatives. The decision to retain Shakespeare's French would result in only three characters speaking a bizarre French while all of the British characters speak a fully understandable modern French! On the other hand, to 'translate' Shakespeare's French into 20th century French, loses most of that exotic lingo's old-fashioned coloration. For the dubbing of Branagh's film, I opted for the first alternative. For Jean-Louis Benoit's staging in 1999, I decided to go with the second alternative.

Bionote: Jean-Michel Déprats was Senior Lecturer in the departments of English Literature and Theatre Studies at the University of Paris Ouest Nanterre. He has written extensively on Shakespearian productions in the theatre and on problems of translation and has translated for the stage thirty Shakespeare plays now published in La Pléiade (Gallimard) and edited by Gisèle Venet and himself. He has also translated a number of American, Irish and British modern and contemporary plays from Oscar Wilde to Tennessee Williams and Howard Barker.

PAPER 2

Title: Matsuoka's Four-Letter Words: Expressing the Inexpressible in Contemporary Japanese Shakespeare Translation

Speaker: Daniel Gallimore, Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan

Abstract: Japan has a long history of Shakespeare translation stretching back to the 1880s. Shakespeare translation played a central role in the development of modern Japanese drama in the early 20th century, and since all the dominant translators have been academics (and in some cases directors as well), this role has been defined as authoritative; Shakespeare production in Japan still depends on the translator-teacher's ability to understand Shakespeare's language, but as production standards have risen and Shakespeare's cultural capital grown, there have of course been numerous moments when the focus of authority has shifted perceptibly to the other elements of performance in the semiotic, holistic and socio-cultural paradigms of stage translation. Of course, all Shakespeare translation is by its nature theatrical, but what is meant by this shift is a change from a style of performance that seems to depend on the translated text to one in which the translation looks quite overtly to performance for answers to the questions it itself poses. Perhaps more than any other field of translation, drama translators negotiate a hazardous path between their textual facility and their ignorance of external conditions (in other words, stage performance). Although in fact highly knowledgeable of the theatre, it is this acceptance of the translator's limitations that strikes me first about the work of Matsuoka Kazuko, the leading Shakespeare translator in Japan today and the first woman to have attempted to translate Shakespeare's works into Japanese (having completed thirty to date); Matsuoka has consistently regarded her translations as 'discoveries' that have been subject to considerable change in rehearsal and production, and through which her appreciation of Shakespeare has evolved. My paper will draw on Matsuoka's translations in an attempt to substantiate the paradigmatic shift from both the textual and performative viewpoints. My first task will be to conduct an analysis of Matsuoka's use of yoji jukugo (four-character idiomatic phrases) in her published translation of Hamlet (Chikuma Shobō, 2011), and my second to make a detailed analysis of how these idioms are interpreted in a recent production of Matsuoka's translation directed by Ninagawa Yukio (Hori Pro, 2012). The interest of these idioms as points of reference is that they seldom serve as literal renditions of the source, instead conveying a range of cultural associations that may – depending on context – respond creatively to the rhetoric of Shakespeare's texts. Of course, they are sometimes merely semantic in function, and should be considered alongside the numerous affective expressions (e.g. onomatopoeia) characteristic of modern Japanese. One conclusion may well be is that it is the language itself that forces the translator to breach the gap between text and performance. I will also survey a group of native informants for their responses to Matsuoka's use of yoji jukugo, and so build on my extant research into Matsuoka Kazuko and her theatre as a means of understanding the linguistic and stylistic potential of Shakespeare translation in contemporary Japan.

Bionote: Daniel Gallimore has been professor of English at Kwansei Gakuin University, near Osaka, since 2011. At Kwansei Gakuin, he teaches a postgraduate course on Shakespeare translation, and previously taught at Japan Women's University, Tokyo, between 2003 and 2011. He was awarded his doctorate from the University of Oxford in 2002 for a thesis on Japanese translations of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and has published widely in the field of Shakespeare translation and reception.

PAPER 3

Title: Translating Shakespeare's Great Feast of Language: A Case Study of Two Finnish Hamlets

Speaker: Nely Keinänen, University of Helsinki, Finland

Abstract: This paper develops my previous study of translations of Hamlet into Finnish. In a previous essay I examined the political, cultural and literary significance of the first translation, done by Paavo Cajander in 1879. At the time, Finnish as a literary language was very young, and Cajander needed to invent words and expressions, and chose to develop a verse form approximating iambic pentameter. His efforts were highly appreciated in his time, with reviewers rejoicing that Finland was now finally joining European civilization as represented by Shakespeare.

In this paper, I shift focus to more aesthetic and literary concerns, examining two recent Hamlet translations, both considered to be exceptionally poetic, by Eeva-Liisa Manner (1981) and Matti Rossi (2013). Manner's translation was initially commissioned by the Tampere Theater, and was later published, while Rossi's was commissioned by WSOY, a leading Finnish publishing company as the final play in its complete works series. Both Rossi and Manner are considered preeminent translators for the stage, and especially Rossi is known as a translator of Shakespeare.

Both Manner and Rossi are also accomplished poets, and their Hamlet translations are dynamic and eminently speakable, displaying superb command of rhythm and verse, effective use of sound devices, and creative solutions to translating Shakespeare's imagery. In other respects, however, the two translations are different: Manner's text is lean and vigorous, full of verbs, and somehow angrier, while Rossi's text is fuller, more lyrical, luxuriating in the abundance of Shakespeare's feast of language.

In bringing these two texts together, I seek not to claim that one is better than the other, but rather to use them to examine the subjective criteria by which 'Shakespeare' translations are assessed in modern Finland, what qualities are claimed to be valued, and what qualities seem actually to be valued if these differ. As material, I will use the reception of these two texts in the Finnish press, as well as surveys of native informants (both theater professionals and not). In addition, I am curious whether there are differences in the features deemed vital for texts written to be read or performed. While these results will not be immediately applicable to translators and theater practitioners in other languages and cultures, I hope that they will nevertheless shed light on ways that aesthetic and stylistic criteria are discussed and evaluated.

Bionote: Nely Keinänen teaches English Literature and Translation at the University of Helsinki, Finland. She has recently been studying translations of Shakespeare into Finnish, and also translates modern Finnish drama into English.

SESSION TWO: Cultural considerations

PAPER 4

Title: Old Debts and New Ways – Or Not: The Forking Paths of Shakespeare Translation into Spanish Today

Speaker: Alfredo Michel Modenessi, National Autonomous University of Mexico

Abstract: Ten years ago, making a case against the pointless habit of using (mock) Iberian Spanish to translate Shakespeare in Latin America, I wrote that 'translations of Shakespeare are rarely commissioned, and publishers or directors seldom seek academic advice. Due to budget constraints, honest ignorance or blind trust, most productions rely on translations made in Spain, adapted by directors, actors, or, rarely, playwrights'. Have things changed? Consider:

1. In 1999, the collection 'Shakespeare by Writers' started to commission what would become the first 'Complete Works' printed in Latin America. In 2010, Losada of Argentina completed its own series, combining previous versions with work made to order.

2. Shortly after 2004, I started to steadily receive commissions for stage-productions of Early Modern drama; among them: Arden of Faversham (2005), Marlowe's Edward II (2006), and Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors (2007), Othello (2008), The Tempest (2011), Henry IV, Part 1 (2012, for the 'Globe to Globe, 37/37' festival), Julius Caesar (2013), and Richard III (2014). All involved close collaboration with directors, casts and crews. More importantly, all were made with Mexican norms, and all were successful.

3. By 2008, after twenty-five published texts, the head and heretofore sole translator of the only Spanish complete collection in over fifty years required contributions, first by a Catalonian translator, and then, in 2010, by me, a Mexican. With the release of its third volume ('Histories') in March 2015, the 1920s canon that stemmed from Spain and was traditionally used everywhere in the Spanish-speaking world will be fully replaced. Very importantly, all three translators employed Iberian norms.

4. Of my four translations for this collection, two, The Comedy of Errors and Love's Labour's Lost, I had already translated for the Mexican stages in radically different ways. I have, thus, rendered Shakespeare for both page and stage, into both the Mexican and the Iberian varieties of Spanish, and some plays even twice, in deeply contrasting ways.

Yet, have things changed?

This paper seeks to provide fundamental, first-hand, materials leading to possible answers. Using specific examples to compare and contrast cases from the aforementioned collections, I will discuss and illustrate how, and maybe why, Shakespeare has been more than ever translated into Spanish in recent times, and consequently assess whether the historic scenario of vertically-biased relations between Spain and its former colonies has substantially changed – for better or worse. In the end, the basic questions are if, where, and how, today, the practice of Shakespeare translation into Spanish features creative approaches and solutions effectively contributing to making Shakespeare significant in and for a contemporary context – especially a Latin American one.

Bionote: Alfredo Michel Modenessi is Professor of English and Translation Studies at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and is a stage translator and dramaturge. He has translated and adapted over forty plays, including Othello, Love's Labour's Lost, Julius Caesar, and Henry IV, Part 1 (for the 'Globe to Globe' festival in 2012). He is on the board of The Shakespearean International Yearbook, MIT's 'Global Shakespeares' website, and the University of Barcelona's 1611: A Journal of Translation Studies. He is currently preparing a book on the presence of Shakespeare in Mexican cinema after a sabbatical year at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon.

PAPER 5

Title: Translatability of the Religious Dimension in Chinese Translations of The Merchant of Venice

Speaker: Jenny Wong, Hang Seng Management College, Hong Kong

Abstract: Political and religious issues within a drama are often the subject of manipulation and re-writing in order to conform to the predominant ideology and socio-cultural conditions. In China, from the late Qing period through to the contemporary Communist era, Christian references in Shakespearean works are often marginalized, if not lost, at the receiving end. In this paper I will attempt to demonstrate that, while translation theorists under the current 'sociological turn' view social factors as principal in determining translation activities and strategies, case studies of theatre translations of The Merchant of Venice in the Greater China reveal a critical interaction between the translator's or dramatist's theology and religious values and the socio-cultural milieu to create unique theatrical productions. Often, as one can see from my case studies, it is the religious values of the translating agents that become central to determining the translation product, rather than social factors. This paper further argues that the translatability of religious discourse should be understood in a broader sense according to the seven dimensions of religion proposed by Ninian Smart, rather than merely focusing on untranslatability as a result of semantic and linguistic differences.

Methodologically, I will first give an historical overview of the translation of religious discourse in The Merchant since the first introduction of Shakespeare in China in the early 20th century. This analysis will be followed by case studies of The Merchant using discourse analysis and a causal model of translation studies proposed by Andrew Chesterman. Following this model, sociological, behavioural and cognitive conditions that give rise to the translation agents' interpretation and translation of religious discourse will be examined. Since this sociological-oriented model assumes the overarching role of social factors in determining translatability, a phenomenological approach will be used to illustrate the interaction between the social factors and individual theology in arriving at a theatre translation. This is achieved by investigating the life world, i.e. the world behind the text of the translating agents. Interviews are conducted with directors and translators of each play to flesh out the situational translation process as well as their hermeneutic process and theological position. In the final analysis, the problems of the translatability of Shakespeare's religious language will be studied based on the expanded notion of religious language drawing on Ninian Smart's model of seven dimensions of religion. Questions of translatability across different time periods and cultures will be discussed. Thus it has been argued that the translatability of religious discourse should be understood in a broader sense according to the seven dimensions proposed by Ninian Smart, rather than merely focusing on untranslatability as a result of semantic and linguistic differences.

Bionote: Jenny Wong was Assistant Professor at BNU-HKBU United International College between 2008 and 2012 prior to which she was teaching media translation and advanced commercial translation at other universities. Her research interests lie in the study of Bible and English literature which grew out of her MA degree in Translating and Interpreting (Newcastle) and PhD in Literature and Theology (Glasgow). She is the founder of SELBL www.selbl.org, a non-profit organisation based in Hong Kong that promotes the cultural significance of the Bible among international students. She has recently been appointed Lecturer at Hang Seng Management College, Hong Kong.

SESSION THREE: Performance issues

PAPER 6

Title: Cultural Mediation in the House of Molière

Speaker: Stephanie Mercier, University of Poitiers, France

Abstract: The Shakespearian plays performed in France's Comédie Française 2013-2014 season featured Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Othello. This is an opportune corpus of study in an attempt to conceptualize the translation/adaptation phenomenon as an act of cultural mediation and question the viability of such a concept when placed within the highly institutional framework of 'The House of Molière', in which historical connotations, conventions for language representation, translation and textual norms are commonly held by both stagers and spectators. The powers and pressures of such a venue, which inevitably surround both the translator and adaptor when making language and scenic choices, are thus to be taken into account in this empirical study of texts and contexts. It will be seen that the resulting stagings most often make the most of, but also sometimes misuse, Shakespeare's 'Great Feast of Languages', to the extent that the feast at times morphs into a textual and theatrical fast. In other words, translation and interpretation, when translation becomes an act of reclaiming and recentering of identity, can at times result in linguistic and cultural alienation – especially when potential multilingualism is subjugated for homebred purposes, complex ideas given little time for gestation so that poetry, in the sense of 're-creation', is doomed to become only a vain and distant hope. Despite the unfortunate occasional nationalistic stereotyping however, the unique challenges that staging Shakespeare for a still often neo-classically minded, politically sensitive, French auditorium imply can also bring out the best in translators and directors – if they are willing to cast doubt on the seemingly unswayable dramatic doxa of le français and integrate the ever-malleable prerequisites of fluidity and inventiveness inherent to Shakespearian theatre into their productions. When this happens, the linguistic characteristics of the informing text and its translation can be combined with, not cut off from its dramatic rendering so that the impulse to adapt, derived from a desire to contrast and superimpose, cuts across time, space and cultures to communicate the significance of specific canonical materials, such as those of Shakespeare, from the source to the target. In this respect, and even if the translation/ adaptation process entails experimental performance and re-writing, it still indicates a basic relationship with an informing source text, albeit one achieved in a difference temporal and generic framework. Hence, my analysis will address, and question, the current body of state-funded Shakespeare stagings in France with regards to the specificities – imitational, improvisational and intercultural – of these three productions recently staged at the Comédie Française and their at once divergent, and yet at times equivalent, approach to the concepts of translation and adaptation of Shakespearian drama.

Bionote: Stephanie Mercier is a French/English bi-national agrégée who teaches at the University of Poitiers. She gave papers about Shakespeare translation, adaptation and performance in France, the U.K. and the U.S.A. in 2014 and she also reviews regularly for L'Oeil du Spectateur, on the Poitiers University website, the Cahiers Élisabéthains (Manchester University Press) and on the University of Warwick/Shakespeare Institute's Reviewing Shakespeare. She has published articles about Shakespeare in the Presses Universitaires de Rennes, in the autumn 2014 Oxford University Press online journal English and she is currently conducting research on the commodification of the body in Shakespeare's theatre.

PAPER 7

Title: A Mid-Summer African-Brazilian Night's Dream

Speaker: Elizabeth Ramos, Federal University of Bahia, Brazil

Abstract: Shakespeare's comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream was staged in a prize-winning adaption by the Brazilian group Bando de Teatro Olodum in 2006. The Band was set as a theatre group in 1990 in Salvador, a Brazilian city where people of African ancestry amount to 80% of the population. The group's mission is to fight discrimination and racism in Brazil, maintaining a contemporary stage language and committed to an articulated drama, which incisively addresses ethnic identity issues in its various possibilities as they emerge from a joyful and entertaining stage atmosphere. The cast is today made up of twenty African-Brazilian actors and actresses under the direction of Márcio Meirelles, a well-known name in the Brazilian theatrical scene. In 2006, the Olodum Theatre Band celebrated sixteen years of popular black theatre by staging A Midsummer Night's Dream in a spicy adaptation, which privileges Bahian cultural references such as dance and music, in their different genres and styles, including African rhythms and percussion, but without losing its bond with the original Shakespearean text. The audience were confronted with an amusing story of matches and mismatches between young African-Athenian lovers, who find adventure in the woods controlled and manipulated by fairies. One of the fairies ends up falling in love with a human on the eve of the marriage of the black skinned couple Theseus and Hippolyta, when Bottom and Flute, along with Peter Quince, Starveling, Snout and Snug, who of course acquire typical local names, will perform 'Pyramus and Thisbe'. Powerful body movements agitate light and colorful pieces of cloth, which dangle and stir on stage under light effects to the sound of lively African percussion, giving the audience the impression of characters floating in the air like 'a midsummer night's dream'. Golden ornaments decorate characters' heads, beads, glass pearls adorn necks and breasts, and powerful arms and legs facilitate the vigorous movements of the forest fairies. For, in African performances, music, acting and dancing movements cannot be dissociated from one another. Music implies movement. Meirelles then invites us to expand our Western perspective in order to observe the mix of music with other stage systems. He sets his play on an African-Brazilian stage in a unique adaptation of Shakespeare's comedy that typifies what Barthes called 'a weaving of echoes, citation, references: previous or contemporary cultural languages, which cross the text in a vast stereophony.' Through such a dual process of appropriation and salvage, of interpreting and creating something new, Meirelles shows himself to be a contemporary dramatist, if (as Agemben argues) 'contemporaneity is a singular relationship with present time, to which one adheres, and from which one simultaneously withdraws.'

Bionote: Elizabeth Ramos has a Post-Doctorate degree from the Universidade de São Paulo (USP) and a Master's and Doctorate in Literary and Linguistic Studies from the Universidade Federal da Bahia, where she is Professor in the Department of Germanic Letters. She does research in the field of Shakespearean and Translation Studies (both literary and intersemiotic), mainly concerned with the relationships between literature and cinema. In those fields, she advises Master's and Doctoral students.

PAPER 8

Title: Toneelgroep's Roman Tragedies in London: The Intermediality and Interlinearity of Surtitling Shakespeare in English

Speaker: Geraldine Brodie, University College, London

Abstract: In November 2009, Toneelgroep Amsterdam visited the Barbican Theatre, London, with its critically and internationally acclaimed production, Roman Tragedies. A consecutive staging of Shakespeare's three plays, Coriolanus, Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra, the production lasted six hours and was performed in Dutch with English surtitles. In an interview published in the Barbican Theatre programme, the director, Ivo van Hove, insisted, 'we have simply made a new translation'. However, the amalgamation of three plays, the contemporary setting, the male roles played by women and the stage-audience interactivity combined to create a strikingly overt reinterpretation and condensation of Shakespeare's work. In London, the potential controversy of this approach was further reinforced by the English surtitles, negotiating between the Shakespearean text and a back-translation of the performed Dutch script. This paper considers the innovative role played by surtitles in the collaborative act of performing a translated play. The Toneelgroep production, which includes a variety of intermedial modalities such as the simultaneous filmed projection of performance aspects and pre-recorded segments in a televised format, also explores the potential of theatrical intermediality by incorporating surtitles into its digital presentation. Translation is thus situated within the central mise en scène of the production rather than banished to the wings or proscenium arch as is more frequently the case in surtitled plays in the theatre. My paper investigates the effect of this integration of surtitles. Firstly, from the point of view of translation as dramaturgy: how does this positioning of surtitles contribute to the interpretive act of theatrical communication? I will consider the motivations for this exploratory treatment, taking into account technological advances and the increasing internationalisation of productions developed for touring, and argue that, whether intentional or incidental, the intermedial positioning and display of surtitles serves to focus unprecedented attention on the contribution of translation to theatre performance. Secondly, in addition to the positioning of the Toneelgroep surtitles, their textual content, signifying the movement from Shakespeare's language through modern Dutch and back to English, provided a reminder to the London audience, familiar with the original, that translation creates its own trajectories. I will analyse the negotiation of the cultural sensitivities of translation within the text and the performance, examining the function of these surtitles. Walter Benjamin envisaged the construction of translation as an integral element within the creation of a text, insisting in his essay The Task of the Translator that 'all great writings contain their virtual translation between the lines'. My paper asks whether the innovative techniques adopted by Toneelgroep Amsterdam in this Shakespearean production present an opportunity for the consideration of surtitles as interlinear translation, overtly displayed to the audience.

Bionote: Dr Geraldine Brodie convenes the MA in Translation Theory and Practice at University College London. She is the founder and co-convenor of the UCL Translation in History Lecture Series, and a co-editor of the IATIS online journal New Voices in Translation Studies. Her research centres on the collaborative role of the theatre translator in English-language performance, including the intermediality and dramaturgy of surtitles. In addition to speaking and publishing on these topics, she has devised the UCL Theatre Translation Forum, bringing together academics and theatre practitioners in a series of interdisciplinary examinations of dramatic genres.

SESSION THREE: Translation and adaptation

PAPER 9

Title: Bombarding the Headquarters: Academic Tradaptations of Shakespeare in Twenty-First Century Bengal

Speaker: Sarbani Chaudhury, University of Kalyani, India

Abstract: For the metropolitan English students and academics of India, Shakespeare has long been a curious blend of the venerable and the malleable but the Bard still means serious business in the suburbia with only occasional exceptions to the rule. One such exception has been in place since 2008 during Radix, the annual reunion of the Department of English, University of Kalyani, where the insidious seepage of high voltage Indi-pop, Bollywood and Hollywood dance numbers into the 'culturally admissible' recitals of classical dance, music, and Tagore songs and poems is reflected in the highpoint of the day's festivities – the performance of a raunchy, risqué and impudently abridged version of a Shakespearean play under the able tutelage of a young faculty, Sandip Mandal. This paper proposes to investigate the developing tenor and direction of these translations of A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Tempest, Twelfth Night and Macbeth, between 2008 and 2012, which cannibalize, digest and regurgitate a diametrically split Shakespeare for local, one-time consumption. Through the complete collectivization of the page-to-stage process – from script writing to the final performance – the Bard's authorial hegemony is severely undermined and the end product becomes the collective property of the Department through collaborative enterprise at every level. The consistent deployment of confrontational bilingualism and theatricality fragments the act of 'seamless transmission,' challenging Pratt's 'contact zone' proposition by upholding rather than dissolving the binary between the source and the target text. Supposedly 'high brow' Shakespearean scenes remain unaltered while the populous 'low' scenes celebrate the 21st century Bengali suburban milieu, language and setting with a profusion of 'Hinglish' and 'Benglish' slang, innuendos and puns, and allusions to popular Bollywood and Hollywood films. The proportional relation between the 'original' and the 'indigenised' is increasingly skewed in favour of the latter till, in Macbeth: A Comedy, the Shakespearean passages (e.g., soliloquies) take on the parenthetical function of 'annotating' the translation. The politics of polarity also informs the masculinist project of forcibly occupying the 'original' where aggressive translation combined with adaptation (hence, tradaptation) effectively feminises Shakespeare by producing a new text with vestiges of both parents but dominant patrilineal traits. The discontinuous tradaptation effected through such bilingual and theatrical juxtaposition of original scenes and passages with indigenised counterparts is further assisted by definitive periodization, which entails invoking the Elizabethan-Jacobean era as closely as possible in the 'original' scenes' while locating the 'indigenised' portions in a contemporary Bengali setting. Assisted by video clips and stills, my presentation proposes to establish that together, the attributes mentioned above, move beyond the postcolonial desire to re-write/right the 'asymmetrical relations of power' (Tejaswini Niranjana) endemic to much of colonial/ postcolonial translations by rejecting the in-betweenness of Homi Bhabha's 'Third Space' in favour of bombarding the headquarter and reclaiming the centre by reconfiguring Shakespeare as a supplementary component of a hybrid, thoroughly indigenised product.

Bionote: M.Phil. on 'Shakespeare's Masterless Men'. Ph.D. on 'Subversive Voices in Tudor Literature'. Awards-Grants: All-Round Best Graduate Award, Jadavpur University, 1977; British Council Grant for Ph. D. research; Folger Shakespeare Library Fellowship. Publications: Shakespeare and the Discourse of Protest (1994); Ed. Re-presenting Shakespeare: Interpretations and Translations, Vols. 1 & 2 (2002); Ed. Undergraduate Syllabus: Perspectives and Possibilities (2002); Ed. Pearson Longman The Tempest (2009). Refereed publications: 34. Contributor, World Shakespeare Bibliography Online published by Shakespeare Quarterly and Johns Hopkins University Press; Book review editor, Multicultural Shakespeare. Current Project: Shakespeare Criticism in Bengal. Areas of interest: Theatre, Women's issues, Shakespeare in Bengal.

WRAP-UP SECTION: led by Nely Keinänen

 

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Repackaging books for a new audience: innovative approaches to research on cross-cultural literary flows
Gabriela Saldanha, University of Birmingham (UK)
Célia Maria Magalhães, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brasil

The circulation of literature is affected by marketing practices, understood as "the decisions publishers make in terms of the presentation of books to the marketplace, in terms formats, cover designs and blurb, and imprint" (Squires 2009: 2) but also "the multiplicity of ways in which books are presented and represented in the marketplace: via their reception in the media; their gaining of literary awards; and their placement on bestseller lists" (ibid. 3). Translations have on impact on the landscape of reception as well as on the perceptions of the landscape of production. These perceptions are affected by the literature marketing process and have a role in shaping images of a nation's cultural landscape and the projection of such images in foreign cultural landscapes, as well as in the making of world literature. The circulation of translated literature in a globalised world passes through many filters; books are 'packaged', distributed and displayed with a particular audience in mind. Once in print, they often go through a filter of literary critics and media exposure, which contribute to the mediascape (Appadurai 1996) created around a nation's cultural tradition. These mediascapes are changing dramatically due to the impact of new technologies, which allow for the circulation of images and representations which are not under the control of the literary elite. Social approaches to translation studies need to develop innovative frameworks and methodologies that are specifically adapted to explore how the contexts of production, circulation and reception of translated literature are changing. The panel will discuss images of national/cultural identity in translation as represented in translation metatexts such as paratexts (such as, prefaces, translator's notes, glossaries, blurbs and covers) and peritexts (such as, reviews and interviews). The use of the World Wide Web by publishers, readers and other agents involved in the marketing process has open new channels for the circulation of opinions that were previously filtered by media and professional reviewers. Papers will discuss stereotypical and other kinds of (un)marked representation through and around translated literature with a focus on marginalised literary cultures as a result of the trade imbalance in translated literature. Contributions will be innovative either in terms of the theoretical framework proposed to study this area, the methodologies (a focus on multimodal analysis will be encouraged, as well as mixed methods combining corpus/text analysis and socio/cultural methodologies), or the specific contexts and translation directions addressed.

For informal enquiries: [gDOTsaldanhaATbhamDOTacDOTuk]

Gaby - Saldanha-140x140

Gabriela Saldanha is a Lecturer in Translation Studies at the University of Birmingham (UK). She has published extensively on translation stylistics and is the author of Research Methodologies in Translation (Routledge, 2013) together with Sharon O'Brien. She co-edited the Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies (Routledge, 2009), together with Mona Baker; and a special issue on 'Global Landscapes of Translation' (Translation Studies, 2013) together with Angela Kershaw. She is also co-editor of New Voices in Translation Studies, InTRAlinea and Translation and Translanguaging in Multilingual Contexts.


IATIS photo-CMCélia M Magalhães is a Full Professor in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brasil. Her research interests lie on the style of translations/translators, and to innovative ways of using multimodal social semiotics analysis to translation which includes representations of translated texts on book covers and other metatextual material. She has published papers in Brazilian journals as well as books and chapters in (inter)national books on these topics.

 

 

 

 SESSION PLAN

10-minutes introduction: Cultural translation in a changing book market

SESSION 1: Repackaging books for an Anglophone audience

PAPER 1: 20 minutes + 10 minutes discussion

Title: Marketing, Reading and Problematizing Turkish Literature in English Translation: From Production and Consumption to Critical Analysis

Speaker: Sehnaz Tahir Gurcaglar, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul

(Submission #294)

PAPER 2: 20 minutes + 10 minutes discussion

Title: China as Dystopia: Cultural Imaginings Through Translation

Speaker: Tong King Lee, University of Hong-Kong

(Submission #168)

PAPER 3: 20 minutes + 10 minutes discussion

Title: Images of the Western Balkans in English Translation for Children

Speaker: Marija Todorova, Hong Kong Baptist University

(Submission #159)

PAPER 4: 20 minutes + 10 minutes discussion

Translating National Identity - The translation and Reception of Catalan Literature into English

Speaker: Jennifer Arnold, University of Birmingham, UK

(Submission #330)

SESSION 2: Cross-cultural flows in a globalized literary market.

PAPER 5: 20 minutes + 10 minutes discussion

Title: 'Translation' but not as we know it: new circuits of reading and writing

Speaker: Fiona Doloughan

(Submission #216)

PAPER 6: 20 minutes + 10 minutes discussion

Title: Modern European poet-translators: a statistical analysis

Speaker: Jacob Blakesley

(Submission #181)

PAPER 7: 20 minutes + 10 minutes discussion

Title: Anthologizing Italy: forms and functions of Scandinavian collections of Italian prose and poetry

Speaker: Cecilia Schwartz, Stockholm University, Sweden

(Submission #309)

PAPER 8: 20 minutes

Title: Representing Brazilian literary translation and translators verbally and visually in metatexts

Speaker: Célia M. Magalhães, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brasil

(Submission #158)

20 minutes wrap-up

PAPER TITLES, ABSTRACTS AND BIONOTES

PAPER 1: Marketing, Reading and Problematizing Turkish Literature in English Translation: From Production and Consumption to Critical Analysis

Speaker: Sehnaz Tahir Gurcaglar, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul

Abstract: The paper will concentrate on the course followed by Turkish literature in English translation within the last decade and the way these translations have been tackled by researchers, working both in and out of Turkey. It will adopt a discourse-critical approach to the subject and focus on three different levels of representation and analysis. The critical moment taken as a milestone in the promotion and marketing of Turkish literature in the English-language context is the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature awarded to Orhan Pamuk, Turkey's only Nobel laureate. The paper will focus on developments following this milestone and will also explore the ways in which a major prize such as the Nobel Prize for Literature --features in the marketing, consumption and analysis of translated literature. The study will first of all focus on the immediate paratextual aspects of a select group of works of fiction translated from Turkish into English and explore the covers, blurbs and prefaces of the works, i.e. the peritexts of the novels. The second level of analysis will engage in a critical discussion of epitextual material published about the works in question in the form of reviews and interviews with authors or translators. This level will also include an analysis of on-line reviews and comments posted in book forums and on-line bookstores by non-professionals with the expectation of building better proximity to literary reception by ordinary readers. The third level of analysis will deal with the way researchers have approached patterns of marketing and reception of Turkish literature in the Anglophone context in the light of a recent proliferation of books, essays, reports and theses written on the topic (A selection includes Seyhan 2008, Göknar 2013, Tekgül and Akbatur 2013, Eker Roditakis forthcoming, Akbatur forthcoming). This level will probe into how researchers problematize (or fail to problematize) issues of national/cultural identity and cross-cultural literary representation as they tackle translations and their reception.

Bionote: Şehnaz Tahir Gürçağlar is professor of Translation Studies at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul and a visiting scholar at the School of Translation, Glendon College, York University in 2014-2015. She studied Translation Studies at Boğaziçi University and Media Studies at Oslo University. She holds a PhD degree in Translation Studies and teaches courses on translation theory, translation history, translation criticism and interpreting. She is the author of The Politics and Poetics of Translation in Turkey, 1923-1960 (Rodopi, 2008) and various papers published in international journals and edited volumes. Her research interests include translation history, retranslation, periodical studies and reception studies.

PAPER 2: China as Dystopia: Cultural Imaginings Through Translation

Speaker: Tong King Lee, University of Hong-Kong

Abstract: This paper explores how China is represented in English translations of contemporary Chinese literature. It takes the case of Yan Lianke (b.1958), a controversial novelist some of whose novels have been banned in China due to their politically sensitive content, as a point of departure. Specifically, I look at the paratexts surrounding the English translation of Yan's novel Serve the People! (banned in China upon publication), and examine the image of China as projected through the translated version of the novel.

The following questions guide my analysis: Given that British and American publishers have a comparatively low propensity to import translated works, what is it, then, that makes a novel such as Serve the People! particularly attractive to Anglo-American publishers? Is it its "subversive critique of the hypocrisy and madness of the Cultural Revolution", as the book's introduction and blurb repeatedly tell readers, coupled with the fact that Yan was subject to state punishment for writing politically incorrect novels? Or is it the "intolerable humiliation", allegedly endured by the masses in China, and "the desperate situations of their existences" that are depicted in novels by Yan and his contemporaries? What discourses are at work in framing these translated works for reception by an English-speaking readership? Is political subversiveness a tactical motif in marketing translated literature? And how do such discourses dovetail into broader meta-narratives on China and Chineseness in the West?

These questions pertain to the construction of images of alterity through translation, and address how market forces in the publishing industry contribute to forging particular narratives on the culture of Other, which support certain political ideologies. The paper argues that China is systematically imagined as the dystopic Other by the Anglophone world through translation, specifically via the selection of specific texts for translation and the strategic deployment of paratexts in these translation products. It makes the case that in translated literature, the tendency to construct a tyrannical China – through the selection of censored/sensational titles and the evocation of landmark historical events in paratexts – falls in line with broad trends of Western perceptions of China.

Within the geopolitical context of China's global ascendance as a world power and its perceived hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond, the significance of the phenomenon discussed goes well beyond literature and translation. Literary translation is but part of a wider, institutionalized programme of Anglophone textual practices that renders China an overdetermined sign pointing to a monolithic, repressive Other. The knowledge structures governing these textual practices circumscribe the ways in which China is imagined and articulated, thereby producing a "discursive China".

Bionote: Tong King Lee is an assistant professor of translation at the University of Hong Kong. He is the author of Translating the Multilingual City: Crosslingual Practices and Language Ideology and Experimental Chinese Literature: Translation, Technology, Poetics (forthcoming).

PAPER 3: Images of the Western Balkans in English Translation for Children

Speaker : Marija Todorova, Hong Kong Baptist University

Abstract: Since the late 1990s there has been an increasing interest in the representation of Balkan culture in the literary works of authors writing in English. Scholars (Bakic-Hayden 1995, Todorova 1997, Goldsworthy 1998, Norris 1999, Hammond 2010) have shown how literary representations of the Balkans have reflected and reinforced its stereotypical construction as Europe's "dark and untamed Other". However, the contribution of translated literature in the construction of these images has rarely been considered. Thus, this study of representations of the Western Balkans in translated literature, published since 1990, addresses a gap in the study Balkanist discourses and helps shed a new and more complete light on the literary representations of the Balkans, and the Western Balkans more precisely. Children's literature has been selected for this study due to its potential to transform and change deeply rooted stereotypes (Sutherland, 1997). The paper looks at the use of paratexts, and especially the cover (front and back), in the translated books as framing and representation sites that contest or promote stereotypes in the global literary market. English has been selected as a target language due to its global position as а mediating language for the promotion of international literature. However, translations in other languages, where they exist, are also examined for comparative purposes. The study adopts Kress and van Leeuven's (1996) model of multimodal analysis and focuses on five books, each from a different country (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, and Montenegro) and representing a range of genres and formats (non-fiction, anthology, novel, picturebook, and an ebook). The discussion considers how covers changed over time, in different editions of the translated book. It also examines adaptations accompanying the introduction of the translated book into the target society, such as documentaries, music scores and theatre performances.

Bionote: Marija Todorova hold a dual BA in English Language and Literature and Macedonian Language, and MA in Peace and Development Studies. She has more than 10 years of experience as interpreter for various international organisations. For one of her literary translations she received the 2007 National Best Translation Award. In 2008 she has established and taught at the University American College Skopje, Translation Programme. Currently, she is a Research Fellow in Translation Studies at the Hong Kong Baptist University. Todorova is an Executive Council member of IATIS and Kontakt. Her research interests include intercultural education, children's and young adults literature and visual representation.

PAPER 4: Translating National Identity - The translation and Reception of Catalan Literature into English

Speaker: Jennifer Arnold, University of Birmingham, UK

Abstract: The case of Catalonia and Catalan national identity raises questions about the ways in which cultural identity's is linked to language, and the role of translation, particularly into English, in the survival of both languages and cultures. My research explores cultural transfer from minoritised to dominant cultures through the academically, commercially and socially constructed reception of translated literature. Drawing on theories from reception studies and reader-response criticism with the standpoint of the reader as producer of meaning and interpretation as being collectively constructed, I feed into recent research undertaken into the responses of "real" readers to literature by looking specifically at translated literature and the interpretation of culture. This paper explores the case of two very different Catalan novels in English translation; one novel published in the United States with very little publicity and the second published by a small independent UK publishing house that actively and forcefully promoted the book. I also draw from sociological approaches to translation, which recognise the influence of wide range of factors involved in the translation process – such as the publishing house, the involvement of editors, the books as physical object, meta- and paratextual features included such as translator's notes, the reception of the text in the media, the online discourse surrounding the text – in order to examine the role they play in shaping a readers reaction to, or interpretation of, a translated work. In particular, I focus on how the translations are presented and discussed in the media, including promotional campaigns by the publishing houses, reviews published in the press or online by "professional" readers as well as online bloggers and reviewers, before discussing how two groups of readers talked about and interpreted the novels as translated works in general and as specifically works translated from Catalan. The conclusion addresses the question of the readers understanding of Catalan identity within their own "horizon of expectation".

Bionote: Jennifer Arnold is currently studying for a PhD in translation studies at the University of Birmingham, UK. She also translates from both Spanish and Catalan into English with a particular interest in academic and literary texts. Jennifer has taught both Spanish and Catalan language and literature at undergraduate level and is currently a tutor for the distance MA in translation studies at the University of Birmingham. For the past two years she has also been involved in the New Spanish Books initiative with the Spanish Embassy in London and has provided reader reports for novels in both Spanish and Catalan.

PAPER 5: 'Translation' but not as we know it: new circuits of reading and writing

Speaker: Fiona Doloughan

Abstract:In a recent article on "Translation studies at a cross-roads", in the context of a personal view of how far Translation Studies has come since the 1970s, Bassnett (2012) points to the challenges facing Translation Studies today in an age of increasingly intercultural writing and suggests that it needs to think more broadly and engage in dialogue with those from other related disciplines. She goes on to identify a number of scholars in Comparative Literature, Post-colonial Studies and World Literature whose work is engaging with translation and translational writing in interesting and provocative ways. Taking Bassnett's own provocation as my starting point, I wish to suggest that understanding cross-cultural literary flows is as dependent on new conceptualizations of translation and what translated literature may look like across the globe today as it is on innovative approaches to the reception and production of writing in translation. While the packaging and marketing of works in translation and their reception across cultures can shed some light on transcultural literary flows, it is no longer possible to make simple comparisons) in respect of literary or other cultural representations across language, culture and nationhood in. Translation as a mode of writing and reading has become ever more complex in a world where English has become a lingua franca. To Bassnett's contention that "so much thinking about translation seems to be coming from scholars working outside it" (Bassnett 2012: 21), I would add that contemporary writers themselves are increasingly aware of, and thematising in their work, issues of translation both literal and metaphoric. In order to explore both sides of the coin, I shall discuss two examples: 1) Diego Marani's novel New Finnish Grammar originally written in Italian in 2000 and published by Dedalus Books in English translation by Judith Landry in 2011, which was, by all accounts, more popular in Finland in English translation than in the 2003 Finnish translation; and 2) Xiaolu Guo's recent novel I am China (Guo 2014), a work that cleverly draws on the process of translation (from Chinese to English) to withhold and reveal information and advance the plot. In discussing these two examples, I shall draw on a range of sources both textual and extra-textual, including author interviews, publishers' blurbs, reviews, both popular and academic. I will reflect on the changing nature of translation today, when writers are actively drawing on more than one language and culture in their literary representations, questioning the myths of nationhood, and addressing "the whole question of identity as a politics rather than an inheritance" (Clifford, 1997: 46).

Bionote: Fiona Douloughan is a Lecturer in English (Literature and Creative Writing) with an ongoing interest in translation and translational writing, having previously taught Creative Writing within a Translation Studies context. She is currently writing a monograph for Bloomsbury entitled English as a Literature in Translation to be submitted in December 2014 and has been involved in Panel Discussions with writers and translators as part of the activities organized in connection with European Literature Night at the British Library, London. She has a PhD in Comparative Literature from the US and a Masters in Applied Linguistics from the UK.

PAPER 6: Modern European poet-translators: a statistical analysis

Speaker: Jacob Blakesley

Abstract: Despite widespread translation work by a large number of canonical 20th-century European poets – from Federico García Lorca, and René Char to Rainer Maria Rilke, Eugenio Montale, and Ted Hughes –, no one has specifically addressed poet-translators in a transnational context. Yet contemporary poets often begin their careers, develop their poetics, and make a living through translation. In doing so, poet-translators help shape the dynamics of modern European literary fields, a fact long overlooked by scholars. My project, "Poets of Europe, Translators of the World", investigates modern European poet-translators, based on original research undertaken in national library catalogues in England, France, Italy, and Spain. My work reveals that poets often produce more translated volumes than original books: their translations form a visible but overlooked network stretching across Europe and beyond. Therefore, I argue that translation has been a prime motor for modern European literary systems. I adopt a sociological approach, in particular the work of Franco Moretti and Pierre Bourdieu, to show translation trends across modern literary Europe. I draw on Moretti's notion of "distant reading," where individual texts (in this case, translations) are not analysed on the level of close reading, but are examined as part of a larger group. Instead of dealing with only a few books through close reading, we can now analyse the other 99.5% of texts, "the great unread," in Moretti's words (Moretti, 2013: 67). Bourdieu's theorisation of the literary field, and his related concepts of cultural and symbolic capital are used to explain how the number of 20th and 21st century poets who translate (and what they translate) depends on several key factors: the importance of translation for a particular linguistic tradition, the role of poetry in society, the prestige of various languages and literary cultures nationally and internationally, the political and historical situation at large (peacetime vs. wartime), and the economic opportunities available to poets.

Bionote: Jacob Blakesley received his PhD in Italian literature in 2011 from the University of Chicago. He has taught translation studies and Italian literature at the University of Manchester and Durham University. He is taking up a 3-year Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at the University of Leeds Centre for Translation Studies in September. His monograph Modern Italian Poets: Translators of the Impossible was published this year by the University of Toronto Press.

PAPER 7: Anthologizing Italy: forms and functions of Scandinavian collections of Italian prose and poetry

Speaker: Cecilia Schwartz, Stockholm University, Sweden

Abstract: So far little attention has been given to literary anthologies as a genre, and especially in the field of translation studies (Seruya et al. 2013). This paper starts out from the idea that translational anthologies based on geographical criteria, are revealing documents of ideas concerning both source and target culture in the intercultural exchange of literary texts. These ideas are reflected in the selection of texts and in paratextual features such as titles, book covers, blurbs, prefaces etc.

As Bourdieu (1990) points out, a literary text often gets decontextualized when leaving its original national field, which may lead to misinterpretations as well as new and different readings. In the case of translational national anthologies, we are actually dealing with a form of double decontextualization. Firstly the text loses its original cultural context, secondly it loses its original textual context. Literary texts included in translation anthologies, have all been picked out of their original textual surroundings and then put together in order to create a collection that is supposedly representative of a particular geographical background. Having undergone this double decontexualization, the "national" feature of texts included in translational national anthologies might be even more emphasized as a result of paratextual strategies.

Focusing translation flows from Italy to Sweden, with a glance given to the other Scandinavian countries, during the second half of the 20th century, this study explores the following questions:

1. In what way can paratextual features help us to visualize the selection criteria and, more generally, the main purpose of translational national anthologies?

2. How does the paratext in Scandinavian anthologies of Italian literature relate to stereotypical ideas of "italianity"?. For this purpose, a paratextual corpus – consisting of titles, covers, blurbs, notes and prefaces – will be analyzed, with particular attention paid to the selection operations and promotion strategies. Methodologically, the analysis aims to combine well known strategies deriving from sociology of translation with an imagological perspective on the construction of national stereotypes in literature (Pageaux 1994, Beller & Leerssen 2007).

Bionote: Cecilia Schwartz is Associate Professor of Italian at Stockholm University. Her present research deals with the intercultural exchanges between Sweden and Italy, with a special attention given to the circulation on the book market and the impact of literary mediators. Her recent publication on the field is the volume, coedited with Laura Di Nicola, Libri in viaggio. Classici italiani in Svezia (2013). She has also published various articles on the idea of the North in contemporary Italian novels and travel writing. She is responsible for the cultural agreement between the University of Stockholm and Sapienza-University of Rome. She is also a translator and literary critic.

PAPER 8 Representing Brazilian literary translation and translators verbally and visually in metatexts

Speaker: Célia Maria Magalhães, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brasil

Abstract:

The paper offers an analysis of the role of translation and translators in disseminating work from a different cultural context. The aim of the study is to explore which conceptualisations of translations and translators are construed and promoted by the Brazilian literary market and whether they reinforce common sense images of translations and translators or represent and help consolidate new, more positive, perspectives on translations and translators (St Andre, 2010; Kershaw & Saldanha, 2013). Another relevant aim is to further refine/develop analytical procedures already used in the context of the Corpus of Style of Translations – ESTRA – project, by including textual and multimodal analysis of translation metatexts. ESTRA is a parallel corpus with 72 texts, about 2 million tokens, mainly designed for the study of style of translations/translators and the analysis of retranslations. It is composed of novels, short stories and children's literature. The language pairs are English/Portuguese, English/Spanish and Spanish/Portuguese. It also includes a corpus of metatexts such as book covers, flaps, prefaces, introductions, translators' notes, afterwords, and blurbs. The paper will report on preliminary results of a study of both the verbal metatexts of ESTRA and the visual metatexts (covers) of a sample of Brazilian (re)translations of Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad. Two different methodologies are used. The first is analysis of verbal metatexts. The focus of the analysis will be on keywords and their collocates as representing as well as construing discourses on translation and/or translators in metatexts (Deignan, 2005; Berber-Sardinha, 2009). The second involves multimodal analysis (Kress & van Leewen, 2006) of the book covers with the aim to decode representational and interactive meanings as ways of (re)presenting the translated text to a new audience. Issues to be discussed as part of the study include the comparison of the visibility of translator/author in the visual and verbal language of the metatexts as well as the inter and intradiscursive relationships established by them.

Keywords: Metaphors of Brazilian translation, corpus analysis, multimodal analysis, covers, Brazilian retranslations of Heart of Darkness

Bionote: Célia M. Magalhães is a Full Professor in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brasil. Her research interests lie on the style of translations/translators, and to innovative ways of using multimodal social semiotics analysis to translation which includes representations of translated texts on book covers and other metatextual material. She has published papers in Brazilian journals as well as books and chapters in (inter)national books on these topics.

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