The Task of the Translator


This undergraduate course offers an introduction to the theory and practice of translation, consisting of three main components. First, students will have the opportunity to translate a wide range of fictional and non-fictional texts from a variety of genres (short stories, journalism, academic prose). The focus will be on translation from German to English, but we will also translate from English to German. Second, we will read selections from key works on the theory of translation, from Martin Luther's sixteenth-century treatise on his Bible translation to twentieth-century essays by philosophers like Walter Benjamin, and we will consider important translation practices such as the film dubbing and subtitling. Third, we will analyze excerpts from some of the most celebrated literary translations of the past 200 years, including German translations of authors ranging from Shakespeare to J.K. Rowling as well as English translations of authors such as Goethe and Kafka. The course aims to give students a sense of the challenges and rewards of translation as well as a deeper understanding of the relationship between language, thought, and culture. Prerequisite: German 302D and German 340C/340D OR German 341/341D OR German 342/342D
Course Attributes: EN H; AS HUM; AS LCD; FA HUM; AR HUM