Why translate? Who translates? What is the task of the translator? This course is an introduction to various histories and theories of translation, and gives students an opportunity to build on their skills in a foreign language by exploring the process of translating literary texts into English. Students will compare various translations of “world literature,” and integrate broad theoretical concepts about translation into a series of creative translation exercises and short critical essays. The weekly writing assignments are designed to build on one another, enabling students to become more attentive readers, to produce increasingly articulate responses to translated texts, which in turn inform their own translation strategies, in preparation for a longer literary translation to be completed in a series of drafts and in-class workshops. For this final project, students will translate 8-12 pages of literature of their choosing from the language of their expertise, prefaced with an accompanying 5-8 page introduction that situates their practice in terms of the history of translation in English.
Regular attendance and active participation in class, along with timely submission of writing assignments and final portfolio; no final exam.
This course is open to students from all departments who have experience in a foreign language (e.g. through college-level classes, study abroad, or bilingual background). It is designed for students who have completed the LSA First-Year Writing Requirement LSA (or an equivalent college level writing course). COMPLIT322 can be counted toward the Comparative Culture & Identity subplan for majors in International Studies.
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