Undergraduate Translation Courses | Graduate Translation Courses | Additional Translation Courses

Undergraduate Translation Courses

Translation, Cross-cultural Communication, and the Media (CompLit 330): Introduction to translation studies in the framework of cross-cultural and international communication. Students explore the practice of translation in the age of global communication in a variety of media, including literary texts, news media, film, radio, TV, Internet, blogs, and video games.  Discussion sections include practical exercises allowing students to experiment with translation and translation theory. Oral presentations and written projects. Knowledge of one language other than English helpful but not necessary. Fulfills GenEd AL (literature) and G (global diversity) requirements.  Professor Maria Tymoczko and teaching assistants.

Transatlantic Translation: Cuba, New York, Spain (CompLit 391P): This course examines the triangular relationship between Cuba, New York, and Spain as it exists in both historical and imagined instances with emphasis on the twentieth-century routes of writers and artists. Through close readings of fiction and film, students consider the theme of translation and use translation as a tool to analyze the cultural production of these locations and their intersections. Readings include works by Federico García Lorca, Langston Hughes, Javier Marías, and Cristina García. Students create and respond to weekly questions, serve as discussion leaders, and complete midterm and final assignments, which may include a literary translation. Knowledge of Spanish is useful but not necessary. Professor Regina Galasso.

Introduction to Translation Studies (CompLit 391T): This course provides a theoretical foundation for both the study and practice of literary translation, showing the centrality of translation studies to any discipline involved in the investigation of other cultures.  Students review contemporary developments in the field  and discuss issues that emerge from the readings, learning about the role translation plays in shaping literary systems, connections between translation and women’s writing, post-colonial translation practices, and the relationship between translation and political power. Texts by Bassnett, Lefevere, Holmes, Weisbort. Several short assignments, plus one final project. Staff.

Introduction to Interpreting and Translation Research and Practice I (CompLit 581): This course is open to upper level undergraduates and graduate students. While no prior experience in interpreting or translation is necessary, students must have a strong command of English and at least one other language. The course will introduce students to research in sociolinguistics and interpreting and translation studies and to a number of practical skills required of professional interpreters and translators. Interpreting and translation will be viewed throughout the course as socio-cultural activities as well as linguistic ones. The social, cultural and ethical complexities of the role of interpreters and translators will therefore be an important focus of the course. In Part I of the course, students will work with written and spoken texts to develop an understanding of micro-textual elements and macro-textual structures and patterns and understand how to analyze both written and spoken texts. They will also begin to develop listening skills using pre-recorded spoken texts. Role plays will be conducted to familiarize students with the triadic nature of interpreted communication. Comp Lit 581 is the first part of a two-semester certificate course in the study of interpreting and translation; students who enroll are not required to take the second course unless they are interested in receiving the Certificate in Translation and Interpreting Studies.  Usually offered in the Fall. Professor Moira Inghilleri.

Introduction to Interpreting and Translation Research and Practice II (CompLit 582): This course is structured around six social and professional domains in which interpreting and translation play a significant role (Healthcare, Business, Court/Police, Refugee/Asylum, Human Rights Commissions, and the Military). Students will work on understanding the institutional structures and discursive practices of these particular domains; gain relevant vocabulary; and continue to practice translating, sight translating and interpreting relevant texts. By midpoint in the semester, students will decide on a topic for a small research project (individual or if appropriate working in pairs or small groups) in a domain of their choosing. The project will involve gathering information about the role of interpreting and/or translation in a particular domain using a variety of research methods. These might include: exploring the extent of translated materials or interpreter services available at particular institutions; exploring the extent to which a business, public service institution or NGO recognize the role that translation or interpreting in enabling them to function through a careful examination of their websites and other sources of informational, public relations, etc. materials; or developing and administering questionnaires, conducting interviews, or doing site observations at local schools, hospitals, police stations, courtrooms, etc.. All projects will involve some additional reading of relevant literature. Successful completion of this course is a requirement for the Certificate in Translation and Interpreting Studies. Usually offered in the Spring. Professor Cris Mazzei.

Sociological Approaches to Translation and Interpreting Studies (TIS) (CompLit TBA): Explores and assesses the development of sociological perspectives within translation and interpreting studies. Focuses on specific social theories originating within the discipline of sociology; also considers philosophical approaches that provide explanatory frameworks for social, linguistic, and ethical aspects of translation and interpreting activity. Discusses the relationship between these approaches and related research paradigms within TIS, including postcolonial, deconstruction, and descriptivism. Readings and discussions draw on a range of contexts and content from empirical and theoretical research in the field. Professor Moira Inghilleri.

Graduate Translation Courses

Translation and Technology (CompLit 551): Introduction to the exciting world of translation and multilingual computing. The course covers a range of technologies that are useful for students of all languages, helping them expand their international communication skills. Technologies covered include multilingual word processing, desktop publishing, proofing tools, Web translation and design, video subtitling, and the transfer and translation of sound and image files. Open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates. Readings with discussion, experiments with latest technology, practice in lab. Texts by Samuelsson-Brown, Nord,  Snell-Hornby, Cronin, Díaz Cintas, plus journal articles. Several mini-assignments plus one final project. Professor Cris Mazzei.

The History of Translation (CompLit 691G): Readings on translation by translators, philosophers and scholars from the ancient world to the present, focusing on the changing role of translation in culture over time. Topics include  the rise of the notion of individual authorship and the significance of gender and the place of women translators. Alternative models for pursuing the history of translation are considered by examining the approaches of contemporary such as Robinson, Kelly, Venuti, and Pym. While the main focus will be on history of translation in the West, students will be encouraged to develop projects that explore other traditions. Professor Julie Hayes.

International Literary Relations: Spain and New York (CompLit 664): Traces the development of the literary and artistic relationship between Spain and New York. Students examine (1) New York’s early 20th-century fascination with Spain and how it shaped the texture of the city; (2) contributions of intellectuals from Spain to New York’s place within the Hispanic world; and (3) physical and imaginary contacts with New York by writers from Spain that led to aesthetic innovation transforming the landscape of national and international literature. Authors include Federico García Lorca, Salvador Dalí, Felipe Alfau, Carmen Martín Gaite, and Quim Monzó. Knowledge of Spanish is useful but not necessary. Regular attendance and participation, comments (1-2 page max) on weekly readings, discussions, presentations, and a final research paper. Professor Regina Galasso.

Immigrant Tales and the Trials of Migration (CompLit 691R): Explores migrants’ experience of translating and being translated in a newly occupied space, shifts in identity, the glimpses of belonging or not belonging, and the sense of the contingency of place.  Examines the similarities and differences of migrants’ experiences in the USA and other countries, and views these experiences through migrants’ own accounts. Readings combine historical, autobiographical, fictional and ethnographic materials. Also examines the migration of people within nations or regions, and considers the role of technology and the implications for the relative ‘ease’ of mobility in contemporary culture. Professor Moira Inghilleri.

Translation Workshop (CompLit 691Q): Focuses on the practical challenges and creative activities of literary translation. Students discuss each other’s translations and read essays on the craft of translation by leading translators, developing the ability to talk and write about translators’ strategies and choices.  Although open to translators of varying levels, students should have a particular translation project in mind since one of the goals of the workshop is to produce a polished English version of a text. All languages are welcome. In addition, students research the translation history of a specific text and discuss it in a comparative context, carry out a short collaborative translation project with a classmate, and write a critical review of a recently published literary translation. At the end of the semester, students submit a final portfolio. Visits from translators, editors, and publishers. In exceptional cases, this workshop may be open to advanced undergraduates when granted permission by the instructor. Professor Regina Galasso.

Theory and Practice of Translation (CompLit 751): Theoretical issues and practical problems raised by translation, in light of recent research. The role of translation and translated literature in cultural systems and in the history of literary development. Genre and form (poetry, dramatic literature), language register and tone, metaphor and imagery, word play. Texts by Nida, Catford, Even-Zohar, Quine, Toury, Bassnett, and Lefevere combined with workshop practice. One final project. For those students in the MA in Translation Studies, this is a required course.  Professor Maria Tymoczko.

Advanced Translation Technology (CompLit 753): Translation today involves complex language engineering, information technology, computer memory tools, and sophisticated graphics editing.  This course covers project management, Internet authoring and file-sharing, software localization, and computer-aided translation tools, including translation memories and translation databases.  Prerequisites: Knowledge of one language other than English; successful completion of CompLit 551 recommended. Professor Edwin Gentzler.

Translation and Postcolonial Studies (CompLit 791B)In a postcolonial context, translation has taken on a broader meaning. Sturrock and Asad see ethnography as an act of translation; Niranjana and Cheyfitz employ it as a metaphor for empire; Bhabha and Rushdie view it as an hybrid intercultural space.  Students discuss these issues in light of post-colonial scholarship in India, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Sections on technology and translation, genre and translation, gender and translation, and caste and translation help widen the field of study. Readings by Spivak, Trivedi, Simon, Chatterjee, Mehrez, Niranjana, and Ngugi.  Several short discussion papers and one final paper/project. Professor Edwin Gentzler.

International Shakespeare (CompLit 791C): This course is to explore the translation and reception of various Shakespeare plays in different countries. The most widely translated texts in the world are books of the Bible and the plays of William Shakespeare. While much scholarship exists on Bible translations, surprisingly little exists on Shakespeare translations. Students will read several Shakespeare plays in English, includingA Midsummer Night’s DreamHamletMacbethRomeo and JulietKing Lear, and The Tempest and review the translation of the plays in different parts of the world, including Germany, France, Canada, the USA, Japan, China, India, and various countries in Latin America. Professor Edwin Gentzler.

Translational Fiction (CompLit 791T): Many fiction writers, including Borges, Vargas Llosa, Brossard, Crowley, and  Kingsolver, foreground the theme of translation in their work. In addition, many immigrant authors, including Theresa Tak Kyung Cha, Teju Cole, and Khaled Hosseini, write in one language about events that occurred in another language.  Students read and respond to such texts, focusing on the means and languages of representation, the depiction of non-English cultures in fiction, and the connection of translation to fiction. Students become aware of how translation is used both as a means of cross-cultural communication and as a mode of understanding increasingly multilingual cultures. Professor Edwin Gentzler.

Translation, Ethics, and Ideology (CompLit 791K): This course investigates the ethics of translation in relation to language, culture, literary form, and ideology. How is the translator conceptualized in terms of ethics and ideology? What is meant by the metaphor “in-between” in translation studies? What is the intersection of translation and power? What are the ethical implications of translating difference? How can translation impact on and shift culture and values? Readings consist of articles by contemporary translation and postcolonial theorists. Successful completion of  CompLit 751 recommended. Professor Maria Tymoczko.

Sociological Approaches to Translation and Interpreting Studies (TIS) (CompLit TBA): Explores and assesses the development of sociological perspectives within translation and interpreting studies. Focuses on specific social theories originating within the discipline of sociology; also considers philosophical approaches that provide explanatory frameworks for social, linguistic, and ethical aspects of translation and interpreting activity. Discusses the relationship between these approaches and related research paradigms within TIS, including postcolonial, deconstruction, and descriptivism. Readings and discussions draw on a range of contexts and content from empirical and theoretical research in the field. Professor Moira Inghilleri.

Translating Media – Sounds, Images, and Texts (CompLit TBA): Using the tools of semiotic, stylistic, and discourse analysis, this course considers the role of written and spoken translation in a range of media including film and television subtitles, song lyrics, advertisements, and news articles (print and online).  Students are introduced to different features (‘textual and social codes’) of language and consider how these work within texts and across a variety of contexts. ‘Linguistic’ features of texts are understood to include the participants (e.g. narrators, audiences, observers, hearers), audio-visual components, and the cultural and ideological conditions within which the texts occur. Professor Moira Inghilleri.

Additional Translation Courses

Problems and Methods of Translation (Chinese 660): Training in the translation of Chinese literature; familiarization with appropriate translation theories, reference works, dictionaries, and other translator’s tools. Selections from various literary genres, including classical poetry, modern fiction, ethnic minority folktales; theory and practice of English translators of Chinese. Discussion of specific problems in Chinese-English translation. Emphasis varies according to individual needs and interests. Prerequisite: Chinese 427. Staff.

Problems and Methods of Translation (Japanese 660): Advanced training in practical techniques associated with the translation of modern Japanese; familiarization with appropriate glossaries, dictionaries and other translator’s tools. Discussion of specific problems in Japanese-English translation and practice with a variety of prose styles used in journalistic, political, commercial, literary, and other forms of modern writing. Professor Stephen Miller.

Workshop in Translation for the Stage (Theater 729): This graduate seminar is a hands-on workshop in the art of translation for the stage.  Students look at different approaches to the translation of dramatic texts, honing their skills in this craft and discovering  factors that makes stage translation different from other forms of translation.  Each student works on a major translation project, appropriate to his/her skill level in the source language. At the end of the semester, scenes from these projects are presented with actors at a public event in the Theater Department. Collectively, the students in the workshop serve as and producers of this event, helping to curate each other’s work. Professor Harley Erdman.