IMLR Graduate Forum

IMLR Graduate Forum
21 January 2020, 6.00pm - 7.30pm
Research Training
Room 234, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

The IMLR Graduate Forum is a friendly and informal space to meet other MA, PhD and PostDoc researchers, share your ideas and work-in-progress and get constructive feedback from peers across languages and institutions. 

All presentations are followed by a Q&A with free wine and nibbles.

Session 3: Translation

1. Haimeng Ren 'Directionality in Translation of Allusions: Investigating the Novice Translators' Cognitive Efforts and Performances'

In translation, allusion could be a puzzle that causes “bumps” to translators because this inter-textual element simultaneously activates two texts and contain intended meaning in the culture and language in which it arises but not necessarily in the language it translated into. Transferring the meaning of the allusion properly and making people comprehend and enjoying the original intended meaning at the same time would be the goal of the translator. Therefore, it would be worth finding out how translators process allusions in both directions of translation to achieve the goal and what kinds of translation problems may occur in each direction, respectively. 
Twenty-four novice translators, seven student translators and two professional translators, all Chinese native, went through three phases of experiments including pre-test survey, online translation practice and post-test interview to show their attitudes, translation process and reflective self-evaluation on the translation of allusive texts between English and Chinese language pairs in both directions. In Phase 1, answers from the pre-test survey and post-test interview reveal the translators’ point of view towards directionality and translation of allusion. In Phase 2, participants took part in an experimental translation practice, accompanied with the monitor of eye-tracking technique to record the eye-movement, key-logging and the screen-activities of the participants during the translation process (Ferreira et al., 2016, Pavlović and Jensen, 2009, Pavlovic, 2013, Alves et al., 2012). In the last phase, participants conducted a short questionnaire and then followed a mixture of cue-based retrospective and semi-structured interview where participants reviewed their experiment process, focusing on the allusion in the text and the other difficulties they encountered.  
The gaze data from the eye-tracking device and the pause from the key-logging help to locate the hesitation of the participants in translation process, representing the cognitive efforts of the participants during the translation process (Hvelplund, 2014, SJøRUP, 2013, Vieira, 2015). Together with the recorded online-searching activities and reflective post-test interview, the study will outline the cognitive processing of allusion in translator’s minds when translating from or into the first language. The research will present the translation difficulties among Chinese novice translators in the translation of allusion on English and Chinese respectively, raising the awareness towards the significance of translation from the first language. Empirical data from this research will also reveal the demanding parts or weak sections of the novice translators’ cognitive processing in both directions, thus providing insights in terms of further modification on the translation training pedagogy.

2. Lúcia Collischonn 'Exophonic translation takes centre stage: Literary translation into a non-mother tongue'

The norm that dictates that a translation should be carried out into the translator's mother tongue is perhaps one of the most established and unquestioned in Translation Studies as a discipline. However, in practice, and especially in languages of limited diffusion, L2 translation is a reality (Pokorn, 2005, Grosman et al. 2000, Kelly et al. 2002, among others). There are several groundbreaking studies being made with the use of methodology from corpus linguistics, translation teaching and translation process research concluding that the L1 norm is not a given. The scarce number of studies that center around L2 translation in the English-speaking world and their invisibility in the academic and commercial sphere of translation show that this is a severely understudied topic. Many texts on translation assume an implicit stance on the favoured directionality of a translation. In literary translation, this trend is even stronger. The aim of my current doctoral research is to propose a new terminological pathway to deal with literary translation into a non-mother tongue. Bringing the still widely unknown term exophony (or exophonic), which defines the practice of adopting a foreign tongue as the language of literary expression (Wright, 2008; Tawada, 2013; Arndt, Naguschewski & Stockhammer, 2007), I aim to frame this practice as exophonic translation. Framing it thus will be fortuitous because it shies away from too strict definitions of mother tongue, L1, L2, foreign language, while also being less wordy than the other options to define this practice. Crossing disciplinary boundaries, I aim to bring results and innovations from other areas of translation studies into literary translation studies, and more specifically into the English-speaking context, in which this practice is still mostly invisible. Moreover, using the word exophonic implies a neutral stance while at the same time focusing more on the creative, expressionistic side of literary translation than the more linguistic-driven terminology we have seen thus far. In order to illustrate this, I will discuss and analyse works by exophonic authors as well as the theory of exophony itself, while at the same time bringing the still very few examples of exophonic translation that can be found in the market. 

3. Bianca Rita Cataldi 'The mechanical body. Mankind and machines in La macchina mondiale by Paolo Volponi'

The Italian word for “body” is “corpo”, which derives from the Latin word “corpus” (complex organism). If the noun “organism” clearly reminds us of a living creature, the quality adjective “complex” can be applied to both living things and machines. At the beginning of the second half of the twentieth century, the mechanical and the natural aspects of the word “corpo” came together in the novel La macchina mondiale by the Italian writer and poet Paolo Volponi, published in 1965 by Garzanti and awarded with the Premio Strega that same year. In this paper, I will analyse how Volponi expresses the relationship between mankind and machines and how the concept of the human body is explored in this novel.
When the book first came out, Volponi was CEO at Olivetti Inc. after the premature death of Adriano Olivetti in 1960. Having worked for a decade in the factory’s offices, Volponi had developed a particular interest in the existing relationships between mankind, work and machines. This was already clear in his first novel, Memoriale (1962), but it is in La macchina mondiale that the human body takes on importance.

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