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India in Translation and Other Tales of Possession
Can the subaltern joke? Christi A. Merrill answers by invoking riddling, oral-based fictions from Hindi, Rajasthani, Sanskrit, and Urdu that dare to laugh at what traditions often keep hidden-whether spouse abuse, ethnic violence, or the uncertain legacies of a divinely wrought sex change. Herself a skilled translator, Merrill uses these examples to investigate the expectation that translated work should allow the non-English-speaking subaltern to speak directly to the English-speaking reader. She plays with the trope of speaking to argue against treating a translated text as property, as a singular material object to be carried across(as trans-latus implies.) She refigures translation as a performative telling in turn,from the Hindi word anuvad, to explain how a text might be multiply possessed. She thereby challenges the distinction between originaland derivative,fundamental to nationalist and literary discourse, humoring our melancholic fixation on what is lost. Instead, she offers strategies for playing along with the subversive wit found in translated texts. Sly jokes and spirited double entendres, she suggests, require equally spirited double hearings.The playful lessons offered by these narratives provide insight into the networks of transnational relations connecting us across a sea of differences. Generations of multilingual audiences in India have been navigating this Ocean of the Stream of Storiessince before the 11th century, arriving at a fluid sense of commonality across languages. Salman Rushdie is not the first to pose crucial questions of belonging by telling a version of this narrative: the work of non-English-language writers like Vijay Dan Detha, whose tales are at the core of this book, asks what responsibilities we have to make the rights and wrongs of these fictions come alive age after age.
A Poetics of Translation
The translation of poetry has always fascinated the theorists, as the chances of "replicating" in another language the one-off resonance of music, imagery, and truth values of a poem are vanishingly small. Translation is often envisaged as a matter of mapping over into the target language the surface features or semiotic structures of the source poem. Little wonder, then, that the vast majority of translations fail to be poetry in their own right. These essays focus on the poetically viable translation - the derived poem that, while resonating with the original, really is a poem. They proceed from a writerly perspective, eschewing both the theoretical overkill that spawns mice out of mountains and the ideological misappropriation that uses poetry as a way to push agendas. The emphasis throughout is on process and the poem-to-come.
Strategies for Extending Student Involvement in the Deaf Community
Institutions of higher learning around the nation have embraced the concept of student civic engagement as part of their curricula, a movement that has spurred administrators in various fields to initiate programs as part of their disciplines. In response, sign language interpreting educators are attempting to devise service-learning programs aimed at Deaf communities. Except for a smattering of journal articles, however, they have had no primary guide for fashioning these programs. Sherry Shaw remedies this in her new book Service Learning in Interpreter Education: Strategies for Extending Student Involvement in the Deaf Community. Shaw begins by outlining how to extend student involvement beyond the field experience of an internship or practicum and suggests how to overcome student resistance to a course that seems atypical. She introduces the educational strategy behind service-learning, explaining it as a tool for re-centering the Deaf community in interpreter education. She then provides the framework for a service-learning course syllabus, including establishing Deaf community partnerships and how to conduct student assessments. Service Learning in Interpreter Education concludes with first-person accounts from students and community members who recount their personal and professional experiences with service learning. With this thorough guide, interpreter education programs can develop stand-alone courses or modules within existing coursework.
The ninth volume in the Studies in Interpretation series offers six succinct chapters on the state of signed language interpreting in Brazil by editors Ronice Müller de Quadros, Earl Fleetwood, Melanie Metzger and ten Brazilian researchers. The first chapter advocates for the affiliation of Brazilian Sign Language ( Libra) interpretation research with the field of Translation Studies to generate greater academic empowerment of Libras. The second chapter outlines how Brazilian sign language interpreters construct a position in discourse. Chapter 3 explores the possibility that bimodal, bilingual interpreters—hearing children of hearing adults—face unique cognitive tasks compared to unimodal bilingual interpreters. Chapter 4 describes how the systematic expansion and documentation of new academic and technical terms in Brazilian Sign Language, in which fingerspelling is uncommon, resulted in the development of an online glossary. The fifth chapter details the challenges of Libras interpreters in high schools. Chapter 6 concludes this revealing collection with findings on whether gender traits influence the act of interpretation of Brazilian Sign Language.
Languages at Play in the Theatre
Speaking in Tongues presents a unique account of how language has been employed in the theatre, not simply as a means of communication but also as a stylistic and formal device, and for a number of cultural and political operations. The use of multiple languages in the contemporary theatre is in part a reflection of a more globalized culture, but it also calls attention to how the mixing of language has always been an important part of the functioning of theatre. The book begins by investigating various "levels" of language-high and low style, prose and poetry-and the ways in which these have been used historically to mark social positions and relationships. It next considers some of the political and historical implications of dialogue theatre, as well as theatre that literally employs several languages, from classical Greek examples to the postmodern era. Carlson treats with special attention the theatre of the postcolonial world, and especially the triangulation of the local language, the national language, and the colonial language, drawing on examples of theatre in the Caribbean, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Finally, Carlson considers the layering of languages in the theatre, such as the use of supertitles or simultaneous signing. Speaking in Tongues draws important social and political conclusions about the role of language in cultural power, making a vital contribution to the fields of theatre and performance. Marvin Carlson is Sidney E. Cohn Professor of Theatre and Comparative Literature, CUNY Graduate Center. He is author of Performance: A Critical Introduction; Theories of the Theatre: A Historical and Critical Survey, from the Greeks to the Present; and The Haunted Stage: The Theatre as Memory Machine, among many other books.
Worlds Beyond Words
A Novel by Christa Wolf
First published in 1963, in East Germany, They Divided the Sky tells the story of a young couple, living in the new, socialist, East Germany, whose relationship is tested to the extreme not only because of the political positions they gradually develop but, very concretely, by the Berlin Wall, which went up on August 13, 1961.
The story is set in 1960 and 1961, a moment of high political cold war tension between the East Bloc and the West, a time when many thousands of people were leaving the young German Democratic Republic (the GDR) every day in order to seek better lives in West Germany, or escape the political ideology of the new country that promoted the "farmer and peasant" state over a state run by intellectuals or capitalists. The construction of the Wall put an end to this hemorrhaging of human capital, but separated families, friends, and lovers, for thirty years.
The conflicts of the time permeate the relations between characters in the book at every level, and strongly affect the relationships that Rita, the protagonist, has not only with colleagues at work and at the teacher's college she attends, but also with her partner Manfred (an intellectual and academic) and his family. They also lead to an accident/attempted suicide that send her to hospital in a coma, and that provide the backdrop for the flashbacks that make up the narrative.
Wolf's first full-length novel, published when she was thirty-five years old, was both a great literary success and a political scandal. Accused of having a 'decadent' attitude with regard to the new socialist Germany and deliberately misrepresenting the workers who are the foundation of this new state, Wolf survived a wave of political and other attacks after its publication. She went on to create a screenplay from the novel and participate in making the film version. More importantly, she went on to become the best-known East German writer of her generation, a writer who established an international reputation and never stopped working toward improving the socialist reality of the GDR.
As access for deaf people grows around the world, a new profession has begun to emerge as well, that of Deaf translators and interpreters (T/Is). In his new study Toward a Deaf Translation Norm, Christopher Stone explores this innovation, including its antecedents and how it is manifested in public places. Most importantly, Stone investigates whether or not a Deaf translation norm has evolved as increasing numbers of Deaf T/Is work in the mainstream translating for websites, public services, government literature, and television media. For his study, the sixth volume in the Studies in Interpretation series, Stone concentrated his research in the United Kingdom. Specifically, he examined the rendering of English broadcast television news into British Sign Language (BSL) by both Deaf and hearing T/Is. Segments of the data feature simultaneous Deaf and hearing in-vision T/I broadcasts. Recording these broadcasts produced a controlled product that enabled direct comparison of the Deaf and hearing T/Is. Close analysis of these examples revealed to Stone that Deaf T/Is not only employ a Deaf translation norm, they take labors to shape their BSL text into a stand-alone product rather than a translation. Ultimately, Toward a Deaf Translation Norm opens up engrossing new vistas on current deliberation about neutrality in translation and interpretation.
In the last thirty years of the twentieth century, Canadian federal governments offered varying degrees of support for literary and other artistic endeavour. A corollary of this patronage of culture at home was an effort to make the resulting works available for audiences elsewhere in the world. Current developments in the study of translation and its influence as cultural transfer have made possible new assessments of such efforts to project a national image abroad. Translating Canada examines cultural materials exported by Canada in addition to those selected for acquisition by German publishers, theatres, and other culture brokers. It also considers the motivations of particular translators and the reception by German reviewers of works by a wide variety of Canadian writers -- novelists and poets, playwrights and children's authors, literary and social critics. Above all, the book maps for its readers a number of significant, though frequently unsuspected, roles that translation assumes in the intercultural negotiation of national images and values. The chapters in this collection will be of value to students, teachers, and scholars in a number of fields. Informed lay readers, too, will appreciate the authors’ insights into the different ways in which translation has contributed to German reception of Canadian books and culture.
Feminist theory has been widely translated, influencing the humanities and social sciences in many languages and cultures. However, these theories have not made as much of an impact on the discipline that made their dissemination possible: many translators and translation scholars still remain unaware of the practices, purposes and possibilities of gender in translation. Translating Women revives the exploration of gender in translation begun in the 1990s by Susanne de Lotbinière-Harwood’s Re-belle et infidèle/The Body Bilingual (1992), Sherry Simon’s Gender in Translation (1996), and Luise von Flotow’s Translation and Gender (1997). Translating Women complements those seminal texts by providing a wide variety of examples of how feminist theory can inform the study and practice of translation. Looking at such diverse topics as North American chick lit and medieval Arabic, Translating Women explores women in translation in many contexts, whether they are women translators, women authors, or women characters. Together the contributors show that feminist theory can apply to translation in many new and unexplored ways and that it deserves the full attention of the discipline that helped it become internationally influential.