Category Archives: Interpretation

Chinese T&I Students Place at Newcastle Interpretation Competition

A delegation of 2nd year Chinese T&I students, led by Prof. Wallace Chen, have individually placed at the 2nd Televic Simultaneous Interpreting Competition in Newcastle. Suwen Feng and Yanbo Wang received 1st and 3rd places respectively. Jennifer Zhang also made it into the final round and received 5th place.

Suwen Feng

“Together, the three highly talented contestants made MIIS and Chinese T&I shine once again after our first victory last year at the same event,” says Prof. Chen.

Yanbo Wang

Xinyu Zhang

Dr. Lynn Visson published in London Review of Books

MIIS Adjunct Professor Dr. Lynn Visson, who teaches a three-day intensive course on conference terminology and procedures, was recently published in the London Review of Books. Her article entitled “Diary” is her own diary entry based on her experience as an interpreter from Russian and French into English. The article gives a sneak peek into the inner mind of an interpreter who has not only worked for the United Nations, but who also has taught Russian language and literature at Ivy League schools and has written and edited many works on interpretation, translation, and Russian culture.

It’s a great read and offers some valuable insight to students studying to become interpreters or to anyone who is interested in the art of interpretation and translation.

Kavenoki Conducts Webinar on Interpreting for Olympics

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Russian translation and interpretation professor Rosa Kavenoki conducted a webinar on intercultural communication around interpreting for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games Organizing Committee and volunteers on October 29 in Moscow, Russia.
 
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While in Russia, Prof. Kavenoki also spoke at the plenary session of the international conference Language and Culture in the Changing World, which took place October 23-24 at the North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk.

Pym to Present on Translation and Language Teaching

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Anthony Pym, visiting researcher at GSTILE, is in Brussels on October 25 to present the results of a one-year research project on Translation and Language Teaching.

The presentation will be part of the DGT’s Translation Studies Days, to be webcast live: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/translation/publications/studies/.

The research has been carried out for the European Commission’s Directorate General for Translation. Professor Pym is the lead investigator, with input from the European Society for Translation Studies, the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, and over 100 experts contacted worldwide.

The research shows that there is no strong empirical evidence that the creative use of translation has a negative effect on the learning of a foreign language.

The Executive Summary can be downloaded here.

The final report can be downloaded here.

While in Europe, Professor Pym will be in Tarragona on October 24 for the public defenses of two doctoral dissertations that he has supervised: Postediting Machine Translation Output and its Revision: Professional Translators versus Subject-Matter Experts, by Özlem Temizöz, and Training for the Translation Market in Turkey: an Analysis of Curricula and Stakeholders, by Volga Tilmaz-Gümüs.

MIIS faculty coach Middlebury students at Clifford Symposium

MIIS Professors Barry Slaughter Olsen and Jacolyn Harmer were invited to participate in the annual Clifford Symposium at Middlebury last week. The topic of this year’s Symposium was “Translation in A Global Community: Theory and Practice.” As part of this event, Middlebury brought in faculty from MIIS to work together with Middlebury students. The Middlebury students were invited to try their hand at interpretation with coaching from Olsen and Harmer. (see video)

From an interpretation booth on stage, two MIIS graduates were interpreting the keynote speaker’s address into Chinese for audience members.

Summer Interpreting Course in Spain

 

In one of the Palace conference rooms

For the third consecutive summer, Professor Cas Shulman-Mora taught and directed the International Conference Interpretation Practicum at the Universidad Internacional Menéndez Katerina Borghi  (MATI 14) and Miguel Garcia (MACI 14)Pelayo in Santander, Spain. She was joined again this summer by teaching assistant Arielle Weisman (MATI 2011). This year, the course included a large contingent of current MIIS students and alumni: Susana Piñón (MACI 1999), Laura Merino (MACI 2011), Katerina Borghi (MATI candidate 2014), and Miguel García (MACI candidate 2014).

During the two-week course, Spaniards who recently graduated from interpretation programs at local universities, as well as professional interpreters from Belgium and Romania, worked alongside the MIIS students and graduates interpreting in mute booths at live conferences held at the seaside Spanish conference center. One of the bonuses of having such a diverse group of participants was that the MIIS students had the chance to network with Monterey Institute alums who are already active in the Spanish market, as well as other interpreters who primarily work at the European institutions.International Conference Interpretation Practicum

The conferences covered a wide variety of topics, such as smart cities, psychology, immigration policy, and how to write a crime novel. Exposure to high-level material enabled participants to hone their skills in an authentic environment while receiving extensive feedback on their interpretation. Because the conference topics change every summer, some interpreters have even opted to repeat the course two years in a row.

All in all, the camaraderie and conference material—not to mention living and working in a turn-of-the-century former royal palace located on the scenic northern coast of Spain—made this summer practicum an informative and enjoyable experience for students and working professionals alike.

Minhua Liu named Co-Editor of the journal “Interpreting”

Chinese T & I Professor Minhua Liu is the new Co-Editor of Interpreting: International Journal of Research and Practice in Interpreting

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Beginning with the Spring 2013 issue published in March, Professor Minhua Liu started her tenure as the new Co-Editor of Interpreting, the field’s premier academic journal. Interpreting was established in 1996, and for the past eight years was edited by Dr. Franz Pöchhacker and Dr. Miriam Shlesinger, who passed away in 2012. Dr. Liu comes to the journal with eight years of experience as a member of the advisory board, and as a former contributor to the journal. Dr. Liu brings to Interpreting her research expertise in working memory and testing, as well as her experience working in Asia and the U.S. as a conference interpreter and as a teacher and director at Taiwan’s first T & I graduate institute.  For more information about Interpreting, click on any of the Interpreting hyperlinks or contact Professor Liu at mliu@miis.edu.

In Loving Memory of Professor Emerita Lydia Hunt

lydia_Hunt“When people mention Lydia and me at the same time, one thing [that] stands out  is the dinner we had on Monday evenings for so many years…

Even though I’ve lived in this country for many years, I still, naturally, prefer Chinese food.  Lydia knew my preference, so she always suggested that we go to a Chinese restaurant, and for quite a few years, our Monday dinner restaurant was the Great Wall – almost exclusively. Several times I suggested that we eat in a restaurant of a Western style, but she would always reply that SHE preferred Chinese food. However, I knew that she was only accommodating me.

We talked about a wide range of topics, including culture, politics, language, literature and, of course – translation. Lydia liked to emphasize the importance of language and literature and said several times that even though our students are not going to work in the area of literature, some amount of literary training is still necessary. She liked to unpack condensed language in difficult texts and I am so grateful that I have benefited so much from those language talks.

Once, when we were stepping out of the restaurant, we looked up to see a bright full moon in the deep blue sky. ‘The Postmodern Moon’, I exclaimed. Lydia was so happy to see the moon and agreed with my description of the moon. Yet later, neither of us had any idea how I could link this moon with postmodernism. There must be some reason, perhaps over the dinner, our topic was postmodernism, or perhaps we talked about some postmodern guys and mentioned deconstruction. There is no way for us to recover that memory. But that is not important. The important thing is that since that night, whenever we saw a bright moon together, we would say to each other “The ‘Postmodern Moon’. Lydia, if by any chance, you now know that ‘something’ that linked that bright moon to postmodernism, I would like one last chance to discuss it.
Thank you, Lydia.”

~ Excepts from a memorial speech given by T&I Professor Zinan Ye

Prof Publications

Some MIIS T&I professors have been busy lately. Professor John Balcom has two new literary translations from Chinese on the shelf and Professor Anthony Pym has recently published a revised and extended meditation on translator ethics:

Stone Cell and Trees Without Wind

About the authorsbalcom

John Balcom has translated and published more than a dozen books into English from Chinese. He is Associate Professor and Chinese Program Head at the Monterey Institute, and current president of ALTA. Balcom’s recent publications include Stone Cell by Lo Fu and Trees Without Wind by Li Rui. Other publications from Balcom Taiwan’s Indigenous Writers: An Anthology of Stories, Essays, and Poems, which received the 2006 Northern California Book Award.

Lo Fu, the author of Stone Cell , is the pen name of Mo Luofu, born in China in 1928. He joined the military during the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) and moved to Taiwan in 1949. While stationed in southern Taiwan in 1954, he founded the Epoch Poetry Society with Zhang Mo and Ya Xian. He immigrated to Vancouver in 1996, where he still lives.

Born in Beijing in 1950, the experimental writer Li Rui, the author of Trees Without Wind, came of age in the thick of the Cultural Revolution. His experiences shaped not only his perception of China’s unraveling but also his novelistic style. Combining the stylistic innovations of Modernist literature, particularly a Faulknerian play with dialogue and form, and content and language drawn from rural China, Li Rui’s writing captures the harsh reality of a world turned upside down by ideological conflict.

Stone Cell

balcom stone cellA companion volume to Lo Fu’s book-length poem, “Driftwood”, Stone Cell compiles writing from every decade of his celebrated literary career. Lo Fu is the author of twelve volumes of poetry. He has won all the major literary awards in Taiwan, including the China Times Literary Award and the National Literary Award. Lo Fu’s previous book, Driftwood, was noted as one of the ‘poetry books of the year’ on the Poetry Foundation’s blog, “Harriet.”

 

Trees Without Wind

balcom treesUnfolding in the tense years of the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976), Trees Without Wind takes place in a remote Shanxi village in which a rare affliction has left the residents physically stunted. Director Liu, an older revolutionary and local commune head, becomes embroiled in a power struggle with Zhang Weiguo, a young ideologue who believes he is the model of a true revolutionary. Complicating matters is a woman named Nuanyu, who, like Zhang Weiguo and Director Liu, is an outsider untouched by the village’s disease. “Wedded” to all of the male villagers, Nuanyu lives a polygamous lifestyle that is based on necessity and at odds with the puritanical idealism of the Cultural Revolution. The deformed villagers, representing the manipulated masses of China, become pawns in the Party representatives’ factional infighting. Director Liu and Zhang Weiguo’s explosive tug of war is part of a larger battle among politics, self-interest, and passion gripping a world undone by ideological extremism. A collectively-told narrative powered by distinctive subjectivities, Trees Without Wind is a milestone in the fictional treatment of this historical event.

Anthony Pym–On Translator Ethics: Principles for Mediation Between Cultures

This is about people, not texts – a translator ethics seeks to embrace the intercultural identity of the pymtranslatory subject, in its full array of possible actions. Based on seminars originally given at the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris, this translation from French has bpymeen fully revised by the author and extended to include critical commentaries on activist translation theory, non-professional translation, interventionist practices, and the impact of new translation technologies. The result takes the traditional discussion of ethics into the way mediators can actively create cooperation between cultures, while at the same time addressing very practical questions such as when one should translate or not translate, how much translators should charge, or whose side they should be on. On Translator Ethics offers a point of reference for the key debates in contemporary Translation Studies.