Translation and Intercultural Communication

TRA 200 / COM 209 / HUM 209

Thinking Translation: Language Transfer and Cultural Communication


David Michael Bellos

An introduction to a wide range of issues arising in the many acts of translation that constitute the modern world. Built on a central thread of reflection about translating between languages--What is a language? What is meaning? What is meant by "equivalence"?--the course looks at issues in international relations, anthropology, artificial intelligence, cinema studies, literature, law, etc., that involve the boundaries of interlingual translation and intercultural communication to acquire a better understanding of the problems and practices of translation in the modern world. One lecture, one preceptorial.

CLA 208 / ENG 240 / LIN 208 / TRA 208

Origins and Nature of English Vocabulary


Joshua Timothy Katz

The origins and nature of English vocabulary, from proto-Indo-European prehistory to current slang. Emphasis on the Greek and Latin component of English vocabulary, including technical terminology (medical/scientific, legal, and humanistic). Related topics: the alphabet and English spelling, slang and jargon, social and regional variation, vocabulary changes in progress, the "national language'' debate. Two lectures, one preceptorial.

SPA 210 / TRA 210

Introduction to Spanish-English Translation


Sylvia Zetterstrand

This course offers an introduction to translation practice for the Spanish-English language pair, focusing primarily on the task of translating from Spanish into English. However, students will also carry out a number of brief English into Spanish translation tasks. The course is conducted entirely in Spanish and follows a communicative approach to translation, with a good balance between theory and praxis. It will provide students with a solid foundation in the field, and prepare them to take more specialized translation courses.

LIN 308 / TRA 303



Christiane Dorothea Fellbaum

Covers the linguistic, psycholinguistic, neurolinguistic, and sociolinguistic aspects of bilingualism. Topics include: language acquisition in mono- and bilingual children; the "critical age" for first and second language acquisition; definitions and measurements of bilingualism; effects of bilingualism on other cognitive domains; neurolinguistic evidence comparing language processing in mono- and bilingual individuals; and the origins and circumstances of bilingualism and language death. Also addresses the contrasting societal and governmental attitudes towards multilingualism in countries like India and the U.S. Two 90-minute lectures.

FRE 357 / TRA 357

Literature, Culture, and Politics


Göran Magnus Blix

Literary texts represent and often question relations of power and cultural norms, but as a form of knowledge, literature is itself implicated in power relations. Topics range from the work of a writer or group of writers who composed both fiction and political theory or commentary to the function of censorship and of literary trials. Prerequisite: a 200-level course in French or instructor's permission. One 90-minute lecture, one 90-minute preceptorial.

SPA 380 / TRA 380

Translation Workshop: Spanish to English


This workshop-style course will focus on developing the student's skills in translating short texts from Spanish into English. Each week one or two students will present their translations from a selection of poems and short stories by writers like Octavio Paz, Carlos Fuentes, Elena Poniatowska, Julio Cortázar, and many others. Students will also read theoretical texts about translation. Several professional translators will visit the class during the semester and present examples from their own work to the class. Prerequisite: reading knowledge of Spanish. One three-hour seminar.

TRA 400 / COM 409

Senior Seminar in Translation and Intercultural Communication


David Michael Bellos

A required course for students taking the certificate in Translation and Intercultural Communication but open to all who are interested in translation in any of its aspects, that is, in movements between languages of any sort. Readings will focus on recent contributions to the emerging discipline of Translation Studies across a wide spectrum of thematic fields (science, law, anthropology, literature, etc.). The seminar will incorporate the individual experiences of the students in their contact with different disciplines and idioms and, where relevant, in developing their senior theses. Prerequisite TRA 200. One three-hour seminar.

FRE 407 / TRA 407

Prose Translation


David Michael Bellos

History, theory, and practice of literary translation. One three-hour seminar. Prerequisite: a 200-level course in French or instructor's permission.