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Undergraduate Translation Courses | Graduate Translation Courses

Undergraduate Translation Courses

 

COMP LIT 197GT: Language Games and Translation

This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of translation viewed through the lens of language games and literature. Communication can be considered as a game that people play, fundamental to creating the social world. This course investigates linguistic diversity, literary considerations, and cultural configurations as elements in the craft of translation.

 

COMP LIT 291P: How to Do Things with Translation: Topics in Pragmatics and Translation

How do we translate linguistic time from one language to the other? What do translations do? How do we recognize the ‘voice’ of the translator? What do we learn from the translation of emotions between different languages? How has ‘animal talk’ been translated? The purpose of this course is to serve as a bridge between certain translation issues and a number of linguistic theories, in particular from the fields of pragmatics and discourse analysis. We shall explore, among others, such linguistic concepts as speech acts, politeness, deixis, tense, aspect, cohesion and modality in order to discuss their relevance to translation and the multiple challenges they pose for translators. Ranging from translations of Latin American literature in Spanish and Portuguese to translations of the Hebrew Bible into various languages, this course will investigate from a linguistic point of view a number of central issues involved in the process of how a translation comes into being.

 

COMP LIT 330: Translation, Cross-cultural Communication, and the Media (Gen Ed ALG)

Introduction to translation studies in the framework of cross-cultural and international communication. Students explore the practice of intra-lingual, inter-lingual, and inter-semiotic translation in the age of global communication in a variety of media, including literary texts, songs, news media, film, radio, TV, Internet, blogs, and video games. Discussion seminars include practical exercises allowing students to experiment with translation and translation theory. Students are expected to do oral presentations and written projects. Knowledge of one language other than English helpful but not necessary.

 

COMP LIT 581: Introduction to Interpreting and Translation Research and Practice I

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.

 

COMP LIT 582: Introduction to Interpreting and Translation Research and Practice II 

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.

 

PORTUG 456: 20th Century Brazilian Literature: Belonging (or not) in Translation

The aim of this course is two-fold: it examines a number of significant works in Brazilian literature where strangers and “border crossers” are portrayed and constructed. At the same time, this course explores what happens when some of these original texts in Brazilian Portuguese move and cross borders to the English language. How do the characters represented in Machado de Assis, Clarice Lispector, Guimarães Rosa or Moacyr Scliar, among others, respond to moving, not belonging, shifting to a new culture? And what do we learn from their translation into English about the translation process, about the original, about the target language and culture, about loss and gain, about displacement?

 

SPAN 350: Translation Today: Spanish-English

This course offers students extensive practice in Spanish-English and English-Spanish translation of a wide range of texts and materials: literary, legal, medical, business, commercial, and more. Students build upon their knowledge of both Spanish and English and gain the ability to produce fluent, accurate, and effective translations between the two languages. Students also become familiar with key translation studies texts by theorists and literary translators from the Spanish-speaking world. Through translation practice, students better understand the relationship between Spanish and English today. Consistent attendance and participation are mandatory. Students will complete several assignments, in-class presentations, and a final project. Readings and assignments will be in both languages. Most discussions will be conducted in Spanish.

 

SPAN 497TC: Spanish Translation for Community Health Services

Students will work in translating from English into Spanish documents for a regional community health services provider while also studying the challenges and responsibilities of working as civically-engaged volunteers in an urban community health services setting. Each week we will engage in two types of activities. During our first weekly sessions, we will learn about the Latino community and its interactions with the healthcare system. We will learn about current health disparities and the importance of linguistic and cultural competency within the healthcare system to address them. We will also learn about different types of community engagement and learn about the differences between charity and solidarity. Our class will also participate in Holyoke Bound, a day-long event in Holyoke, to learn about the history of Latinos in the city, and interact with organizations that are working to improve the community. During our second weekly sessions, we will work in groups translating documents assigned to us by a selected community health services provider. This should give students an opportunity to develop health-specific vocabulary and reflect upon the challenges of translation, as we will have to consider a range of linguistic issues, including choice of dialect, tone, and vocabulary.

 

SPAN 597PT: Practicing Literary Translation: Catalan, Portuguese, Spanish

This course offers extensive practice of literary translation with readings of key texts by translators of Iberian and Latin American literatures. Students will work on a semester-long project of their choice that is a translation involving any language combination of Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, and English. As students become familiar with the varying views of translation, they will develop their ability to talk and write about translators' strategies and choices, and recognize translation as a scholarly activity. This course also provides an opportunity for students to enhance their literary analysis skills while forming a community of readers and writers. Students will complete short exercises, collaborative work, and presentations. Knowledge of at least one of these languages and English required.


Graduate Translation Courses

 

COMP LIT 551: Translation and Technology

Translation today requires advanced language and computer skills. This course covers several technologies, including desktop and internet publishing, computer tools for translation, and programs editing audio and video files. Prerequisites: Excellent knowledge of one language other than English.

 

COMP LIT 581: Introduction to Interpreting and Translation Research and Practice I

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. 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 the field of 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. 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 begin to develop consecutive and simultaneous interpreting skills using recorded spoken texts in the language lab. Role plays will be conducted to familiarize students with the triadic nature of interpreted communication. For students in the MA in Translation Studies, this is a required course.

 

COMP LIT 582: Introduction to Interpreting and Translation Research and Practice II

Comp Lit 582 is the second part of a two-semester Certificate in the study of interpreting and translation across a range of contexts. In this course, students will continue to build on the knowledge and skills they acquired in the previous semester. Students will work on understanding the institutional and discursive structures of particular institutional domains, gain relevant vocabulary in English and other languages and practice translating, sight translating and interpreting a variety of relevant texts. This course is a designated “Service-Learning” course and endorsed by the office of Civic Engagement and Service-Learning (CESL) at UMass. A part of the course has been designed to provide opportunities for students to engage in a service project outside the classroom that is guided by appropriate input from a community partner and contributes to the public good. Selected project sites have been selected and students, with the help of faculty, will be matched with one or more community partners in the first three weeks of the semester. The CESL component of this course reflects the view that interpreting and translation are socio-cultural activities as well as linguistic ones. Your experiences of serving the community will increase your understanding of the social, cultural, and ethical complexities of the role of interpreters and translators. It will give you first-hand knowledge of the significance of interpreting and translation (and its absence) for members of communities for whom English is not their primary language. 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 for undergraduates.

 

COMP LIT 691Q: Translation Workshop 

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.

 

COMP LIT 751: Theory and Practice of Translation 

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.

 

JAPAN 597C / 660: Problems and Methods in Translation
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.

 

SPAN 597PT: Practicing Literary Translation: Catalan, Portuguese, Spanish

This course offers extensive practice of literary translation with readings of key texts by translators of Iberian and Latin American literatures. Students will work on a semester-long project of their choice that is a translation involving any language combination of Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, and English. As students become familiar with the varying views of translation, they will develop their ability to talk and write about translators' strategies and choices, and recognize translation as a scholarly activity. This course also provides an opportunity for students to enhance their literary analysis skills while forming a community of readers and writers. Students will complete short exercises, collaborative work, and presentations. Knowledge of at least one of these languages and English required.

 

THEATER 729: Workshop in Translation for the Stage

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.