German-English Translation Blog
Tuesday, October 12, 2010 08:53 pm

Translators Struggle to Prove Their Academic Bona Fides

Is translation intellectual labor?

“A translator is the most intimate reader of a text, sort of the consummate interpreter, the ultimate comparatist,” says Catherine Porter, a translator and professor of French, who, as the 2009 president of the MLA, focused on the importance of translation in the academic profession.

This came as a big surprise to literary translators, because, for many years, academia did not treat translation as a serious scholarly activity. It was viewed as something that takes scholars away from their own work. It’s also hard to categorize: Does translation belong in language departments? In creative writing departments? In translation studies? Getting translation work to count towards tenure has also been a challenge, in part because the institutional and departmental codes are lacking.

There’s also the added factor that publishers often don’t put the translator’s name on a book, because they think that translations are harder to sell.

For the complete article by Jennifer Howard, please see: Translators struggle to prove their academic bona fides

German-English Translation Blog
Saturday, April 17, 2010 08:36 pm

Das Weisse Band (“The White Ribbon”)

I finally made it to The White Ribbon, which everyone has been talking about for good reason. In glowing black and white, Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke weaves a masterpiece of suspense and horror. Set in a remote village in Protestant northern Germany in 1913, one mysterious crime after another occurs: the doctor is painfully thrown from his horse because a wire was spun between two trees; the baron’s son is abducted and later found in the woods badly beaten; a boy with Down’s syndrome is assaulted and almost blinded. We never find out who committed these crimes. Instead, we see a village where power is concentrated in the hands of a few powerful men: the baron who owns most of the land and is the town’s main employer; the pastor, a strict disciplinarian who beats his children and makes wrongdoers wear a “white ribbon” to remind them of purity and virtue; the doctor who sexually abuses his young daughter as well as the midwife who works for him. Haneke, in other words, examines an oppressive religious and civil society where the repercussions of repression, discipline, and abuse are clear. With clockwork precision the film unfolds, never providing any clear answers, but implying that the children are behind the crimes. In Focus magazine, Haneke stated that his basic idea was “to show a group of children who absorb the full consequences of the ideals preached to them, and who go on to punish those who have enforced these ideals without living by them.” Haneke emphasized: “Whenever an idea becomes ideological, there is danger.” On one level the film is about the origins of Nazism – it is set in Eichwald, recalling Adolf Eichmann, the “architect of the Holocaust” – but at the same time, it is has universal significance and relevance for us all.

German-English Translation Blog
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 09:12 pm

Translation Meetup Groups in Germany

To view the current list, please visit the Stammtisch page on the uepo-website.

German-English Translation Blog
Friday, October 01, 2010 09:48 am

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