“The Dalkey Archive Press and the University of Illinois are offering a summer session of its Certificate in Applied Literary Translation from 9 June to 5 September in Dublin. The program is an intensive training experience that will result in a full-length translation and publication by the Dalkey Archive Press. The program is aimed at translators just starting their careers, and we've already had a successful track record with students in the program.
Recent publications from students include:
Brendan Riley, Spanish (Final project: Hypothermia, by Álvaro Enrigue [Mexico], published 2013)
Eric Lamb, French (Final project: My Beautiful Bus, by Jacques Jouet [France], published 2013]
Lauren Messina, French (Final project: Origin Unknown, by Oliver Rohe [France], published 2013)
Darren Koolman, Spanish (Final project: The No Variations, by Luis Chitarroni [Argentina], published 2013)
Rhett McNeil, Portuguese (Final project: The Splendor of Portugal by Antonio Lobo Antunes [Portugal], published 2011)”
Literary analysis is
difficult even for the most confident readers; people sometimes find it hard to
get past visceral “I liked it” or “I hated it” reactions when it comes to
literature. Perhaps not surprisingly, it seems even more challenging for some
to think critically about translated literature.
So I’ve developed a
set of reading guidelines/discussion questions, which I use in reader workshops
and reading groups. I’ve included a section specifically on translation. Here
are the questions I have so far:
Who is the translator?
Where is s/he from? Does that influence the
What is his/her background? What education
does s/he have? What languages does s/he work with? What other texts/authors
has s/he translated?
What is the context s/he is translating in
and what role does that play?
Is the translator also a writer? How do
those two roles influence one another?
Has the translator written about the art of
translation? What are his/her views on it?
How has his/her translation work been
Can you detect the translator’s voice in
Are you aware that you are reading a
translation? Why do you think you notice the “translationness” of the text?
How do you think this translator has
managed to maintain the author’s voice, style, rhythm, positioning of the
words, relationship of words to each other, and all the other factors that make
up a creative work?
Is this a “good” translation? What would
that mean and how could you tell?
What makes this text international and in
what ways does its “internationalness” matter? Also consider whether and how
the text enhances (or, alternatively, diminishes) your understanding of the
author’s or book’s cultural background.
What other points for analysis/discussion
would you add?
Originally from Chicago, I lived in southern Sweden for nearly 5.5 years, and moved to southern Wales in September 2006. I completed a Ph.D. translation studies in June 2009 at Swansea University, with a dissertation on the translation of children's literature.
Now I live in Norwich, England, where I am a lecturer at the University of East Anglia, and I also work as a translator, writer, and editor.
Contact me at bravenewwords (AT) gmail (DOT) com.