Writing Translation

W305: Communication Skills II. Soka University of America. Course Title: “Writing Translation.” (Fall 2016).


Walter Benjamin

The primary aim of this course is to think through “translation” as a way of refining and renewing our writing, reading, and editing skills. Throughout the course, we will read different theories of translation by writers and translators from around the world; different translated versions of poems and literary fiction; translators’ notes and scholarly analyses; translations across media; and reviews of translations. We will interrogate the English language by reading a diverse range of works translated from various languages. We will learn from various methods and approaches to ask further questions about the relationship between language use and language communities; between semantics theory and translation theory; between translation as similarity, analogy, and association; between the writer, reader, and translator. In doing so, we will also see how the same concepts or issues can be approached from multiple perspectives, either to transgress from various social norms (perhaps as pertaining to categories of gender, race, and sexuality) or to reinforce them. Our aim is to gain awareness of the wide range of linguistic and rhetorical practices through critical reading, thinking, writing, translating, and research. Proficiency in a language other than English is not required, though certainly welcome. All writing will be multimodal and students are encouraged to publish their personalized websites.

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