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Friday, 08 June 2018 11:40

CCiT: Translation and Diversity Workshop

Monday 11th June 5-7pm

You are warmly invited to this term’s 'Cambridge Conversations in Translation' (CCiT) WORKSHOP on 'Translation and Diversity'.

It will take place on Monday 11 June, 5-7 pm, in the usual location (seminar room SG1, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, CB3 9DT).

Forms of linguistic otherness can be a very real problem for translators working with texts in non-standard varieties, whether these be minority languages, dialects, sociolects, or patois. Each often implies a sense of identity based on such elements as locale and class, often relating to wider political questions. Translation theory generally dictates that we should normalize to avoid the risk of ridiculing the original. But this seems a particularly unsatisfactory position in the case of texts that deliberately exploit socio-political hierarchies associated with linguistic diversity in order to create humour, pathos, or merely shine a spotlight, negatively or positively, on that very otherness. Questions of form, in poetry for example, complicate the matter further. Picking up on some of the themes from the previous seminar, this workshop will discuss how we might approach some of these issues in a pragmatic translation scenario first by analyzing the dynamics of exemplary source texts, and second by looking at various successful existing English translations, including by high-profile authors. I plan to draw on texts that highlight Italy's history and legacy of linguistic diversity in a playful manner, but will do so in such a way that no knowledge of the original is needed.

Paul Howard is Title A Fellow in Italian Literature at Trinity College and Affiliated Lecturer in the Italian Department at Cambridge, where he teaches translation at Part II of the Tripos. His interests lie mainly in nineteenth-century literature and literary translation. He has been Visiting Lecturer in Comparative Literature and Literary Translation at the University of Pavia, Italy, and was one of the judges for the 2016 John Florio Prize, the UK's major award for literary translation from Italian, sponsored by the Society of Authors. He has occasionally dabbled in translation, and once found himself ensconced in a Scottish castle as part of a retreat for writers as a direct result. He writes for the Times Literary Supplement on new translations of Italian works of literature.

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