Literary Translationassignment 3 English 3346 Un
English 3346 University of Houston-Downtown
Introduction to Literary Translation
Assignment 3 – FINAL TRANSLATION PROJECT (25%)
The FINAL TRANSLATION PROJECT assignment is intended to engage you in an authentic encounter with literary translation that demonstrates the breadth and depth of your knowledge of the issues we have grappled with in this course with regard to translation theory and practice.
Toward that end, you are asked to identify a literary text you wish to translate from your source language into English, to translate a significant portion of that work, and to contextualize your project by developing a translator’s preface as a companion piece to the translated manuscript. Your preface should address such issues as: 1) how you discovered this literary text and why you wish to bring it into English, 2) information about your author’s biography or literary practice, 3) historical or cultural contexts important to an understanding of the work, 4) particular theoretical perspectives that have been useful and that you have applied in your translation practice, 5) linguistic issues specific to your source language that have impacted your translation process, and 6) examples of problems you have faced or difficult choices you have made on behalf of the strongest possible translation of this literary text. You should also provide a complete bibliography of all sources you have cited and/or consulted for this project, including interviews with native speakers or scholars in the fields of literature, linguistics, or literary translation.
- 1) First, consider your own literary and linguistic passions. Choose a work that you feel compelled by and determine a reasonable amount of text for your final project. If you are translating fiction, you may wish to undertake anywhere from 2 to 4 chapters. If you are translating poetry, you may wish to translate a full or partial cycle of poems, i.e. anywhere from 5 to 10 poems. Your choice will depend upon the length and difficulty of the material, as well as the overall integrity of your project
- 2) Second, you should provide as part of your final translation manuscript: a) the literary text in its original source language, b) your final translation of that text, and 3) full documentation of your translation process. You may wish to include your initial transliteration as well as each subsequent draft translation. These drafts serve as important documentation of the progressive stages of your process in arriving at your choices in the final translated manuscript.
- 3) Third, you should develop a preface that serves as a defense of your manuscript. Your preface should include a full discussion of the range of issues outlined below, and will likely be ca. 6-8 pages in length:
- a) your discovery of this literary text and your reasons for choosing it as a translation project for this course,
- b) information about your author’s biography or literary practice,
- c) historical or cultural contexts important to an understanding of this literary work,
- d) particular theoretical perspectives that have informed your translation practice,
- e) linguistic issues specific to your source language that have impacted your translation process, and
- f) examples of problems you have faced or difficult choices you have made on behalf of the strongest possible translation of this text.
English 3346 University of Houston-Downtown Introduction to Literary Translation Dr. Davidson
4) Fourth, you should append to your preface a full bibliography of the sources you have used.
5) Fifth, upload an electronic copy of your project to Blackboard via the assignment dropbox created for this purpose, and bring a hard copy to class for submission to your instructor.
Your preface should be typed, double-spaced, and use one-inch margins and standard 12 pt. font. You should use Modern Language Association (MLA) format in the presentation of the bibliography. Your manuscript should be formatted as you deem appropriate to a professional presentation of your translated literary work. I leave that format to your discretion, as it may differ depending upon your genre (poetry, fiction, children’s literature, etc.).
Your final project is due no later than midnight on Tuesday, April 28, 2020. This allows you a full week beyond our last FTF class meeting to complete your work. Please provide an electronic copy of your materials via the Blackboard assignment dropbox located in the FINAL PROJECT folder for my review and comment. I will return your graded final projects via Blackboard during our final exam period. I will also be in my office during this time if you would like to discuss your project and/or your final course grade with me. I look forward to your translations! Thank you in advance! (Final exam schedule TBD.)
Please also indicate at the conclusion of your project whether or not I have your permission to share your work with my colleagues in the Department of English at UHD or in the American Literary Translators Association who are developing literary translation course curricula. Your work would serve only as a pedagogical model, would not be widely distributed, nor be used for publication purposes. You would retain full rights to the translated material, and you may wish to copyright your translation before submitting it for distribution to other university faculty members.
Upon successfully completing this assignment, you will have begun to…
1) Demonstrate an understanding of conventions and techniques used in literary translation.
2) Demonstrate a robust practical knowledge of these conventions and techniques in your own
translation of poetry or prose.
3) Integrate your reflective understanding of the art of literary translation with appropriate
literary and cultural contexts.
4) Consider how translation practice erases barriers between disciplines, languages, and
cultures; and fosters both interdisciplinary and international collaborative thinking and research relevant to 21st-century global concerns.