How to Translate Anything

SLAV-S 320 — Spring 2023

GISB 0003
Days and Times
Monday/Wednesday, 11:30am - 12:45pm
Course Description

How to Translate Anything is a hands-on introductory course for anyone interested in the practice of translation. Participants in the class will get the chance to translate a variety of short texts from a language or languages of their choice into English. Together we will also explore translation resources, including online dictionaries, computer-assisted translation tools, publication venues, business aspects, and the history and theory of translation.

Because translation depends on adequate comprehension of other languages and cultures, participants should have good reading skills in at least one language other than English. Because translation is also a form of writing, students should come expecting to produce their translations in high-quality English versions. This means we'll be discussing how to edit one¿s own and other people's work, challenges associated with specific languages, and principles of effective writing in general. There are no required textbooks.

All readings will be provided in pdfs or through links to online resources. The instructor for this class, Russell Scott Valentino, is a professor in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures. His translations, from multiple languages, have been published by The New York Times, Yale University Press, The Harvard Review, Reaktion Books, Northwestern University Press, Archipelago Books, and more. He is a former Editor-in-Chief at The Iowa Review and former President of the American Literary Translators Association.