Category Archives: Translation & Interpretation

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.


MIIS Professors on the Move!

MIIS Professor Bill Weber (T&I), instructor of Simultaneous and Consecutive Interpretation into French and German, has been having a very busy year.

In March, he interpreted at the G-20 Nuclear Summit in Seoul, and, in May, he interpreted at the G-8 summit in Camp David. From July to September, he was in London acting as Chief Interpreter of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.  Professor Weber has interpreted at 14 Olympiads, and this year’s games marked his eighth time serving as Chief Interpreter. Continue reading

Faculty News Roundup

The GSTILE Faculty have been busy as ever both on and off campus.  Here are a few of the faculty’s recent and future exploits.Photo

Russian TI Professor Rosa Kavenoki will be speaking at the Federov’s Readings International Conference in St. Petersburg, Russia.  This conference on Translation and Interpreting is held every other year and will take place at the St. Petersburg State University from October 17-20.

Anthony PymVisiting Researcher Anthony Pym recently presented a report entitled The Status of the Translation Profession in the European Union to the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation.  He also addressed the 20th Anniversary Symposium of the European Society for Translation Studies, of which he is the current president, in Vienna. On November 30th, he will give the annual Translation Studies Shreve lecture at the Institute for Applied Linguistics at Kent State University.

PhotoPeter DeCosta, a visiting TESOL/TFL Professor, was honored by the American Educational Research Association (AERA).  His doctoral dissertation, “The Power of Language Ideologies:  Designer Immigrants Learning English in Singapore,” was chosen as the dissertation of the year by the Second Language Special Interest Group of AERA. As a result of his selection, Dr. DeCosta will be featured presenter during the Business Meeting at the upcoming AERA meeting in San Francisco in April of 2013.

Interview with Professor Cyril Flerov

Professor Cyril Flerov (T&I, Russian) was recently interviewed by Multiforma, a Russian translation company. The topics of the interview ranged from the difference between Russian and US markets, interpreter training outside of Russia, the future of the profession, and, of course, MIIS.

The interview is to appear on Facebook and the Open Translators Guild. You can find it here.

EAPP students ‘getting immersive’ with Local Sustainability

Students in Kelley Calvert’s English for Academic & Professional Purposes course, “Focus on Sustainability,” visited Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station on September 18th, 2012. Students toured the marine station, learning about its history as well as Monterey Bay’s transformation from industrial wasteland to marine sanctuary. Following the tour, marine biologist and writer Dr. Stephen Palumbi spoke to the class about his book Death and Life of Monterey Bay: A Story of Revival.EAPP class outside at Hopkins

The class had the privilege of being joined by Chinese and Japanese interpreters from Professor Laura Burian’s translation and interpretation course. The interpreters provided simultaneous interpretation of the tour, Palumbi’s lecture, and the Q & A session following.

Read about their experience here.

Monterey Model: April 30th & May 2nd

Monterey Institute of International Studies

A Graduate School of Middlebury College


The Monterey Model

Spring 2012

  A Collaboration between the Translation and Interpretation Program,

Arabic Studies Program, Chinese Studies Program, and Russian Studies Program.

العربية        中文         Русский

Monday, April 30, 2012, 2:00-3:50

Wednesday, May 2, 2012, 2:00-3:50

Irvine Auditorium

FOUND IN TRANSLATION: The making of a skilled interpreter: What we know about expertise development in interpreting

On February 28, 2012, Doctor Minhua Liu spoke to Monterey Institute faculty and students and scholars and interpreters from around the world who logged on to watch the presentation live, as part of the Found in Translation Lecture Series. Live web streaming of the presentation was carried out in conjunction with the Training Committee of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC). We post the presentation in its entirety here.


Despite a lack of longitudinal studies of expertise development in interpreting, research in interpreting studies and cognitive science has provided empirical evidence and ideas on the manifestation and development of expertise in interpreting. We have learned from research that more-skilled interpreters differ from less-skilled interpreters in their information processing being more semantic-based, being more selective in what to interpret, being more efficient at lexical processing, having a better grasp of text structure, being more selective in listening, and having a more enhanced self-awareness of the task. Research has also informed us that more-skilled and less-skilled interpreters do not seem to differ in verbal fluency, memory capacity, or even the ability to do some forms of multi-tasking. This talk will focus on how trainers and practitioners of interpreting can learn from these research findings and apply them in the classroom or in the booth.

5-Year Success of Mini-Monterey Model

The Monterey Institute offers special Monterey Model courses, which are taught simultaneously in multiple language sections. The Language Studies program offers professionally-relevant language courses for our students pursuing degrees in policy and business. These sections focus on a topic such as Challenges of Globalization, Issues in the European Union, or Green Business, which students in different language courses explore from their own cultural perspective during the semester.  These language courses provide opportunities for our students to enhance their language skills while exploring topics relevant to their degrees. During the semester, all languages meet in plenary sessions (interpreted by students in our Conference Interpretation program) to share their findings.

Professor Jinhuei Enya Dai, Professor Vicki Porras and Professor Jacolyn Harmer initiated the 1st Mini-Monterey Model Event in the Spring semester of 2007, which was entitled “Business Culture Presentation” presented in Spanish and in Chinese, and collaborated with the Translation and Interpretation program. This year marks the successful completion of the 9th Mini-Monterey Model Semester, which was made possible thanks to the efforts of Professors Jinhuei Enya Dai, Vicki Porras, Barry Olsen, Laura Burian, and Jacolyn Harmer.

The 9th Mini-Monterey Model, held on November 30, 2011, was a collaboration between the Translation and Interpretation program, the Chinese Studies program and the Spanish Studies program. This Model provides and enhances learning opportunities for T & I students and Language Studies students from different majors and expertise. You can see the 9th Mini-Monterey flyer to learn more about the specific event details and students involved.

Congratulations on a wonderful event this year and five years of Mini-Monterey Model success!

Rosa Kavenoki presents in Moscow


Professor Rosa Kavenoki presented a paper at the international conference on Language Fashion and Communications in Moscow, November 8-9, 2011. The conference included a selective gathering of 25-30 experts who have been recently involved in presiding over the current changes in the Russian language. The process has been immensely interesting and dynamic and affects specific aspects of human activities in the country such as public speaking, journalism and mass media, literature, translation, interpretation, cinema, and theater.

Professor Kavenoki plenary presentation was titled, “Fancy Words and Memes as Part of Interpreting: Sharpening Verbal Output”. She was honored as the only Translation & Interpretation professional and individual from the United States invited by the conference organizers.

Professor Kavenoki also met with the conference participants and their students in order to tell them about the Monterey Institute and their place in the US higher education system, as well as about specific programs and degree tracks that are offered at the Monterey Institute.

Interpretation at Sustainability Panel

Photo: Frapestaartje

Interpretation students will provide interpretation across several languages at the upcoming November 17th Sustainability Panel taking place in Irvine Auditorium at the Monterey Institute.

The panel will feature three experts who will share their experience and insights on sustainability strategies for water and energy issues, corporate governance, and higher education and professional campuses. Professor Michel Gueldry will serve as panel coordinator.

Panelists include Jonathan Berkey, sustainability consultant and project manager; Professor Sandra Dow, Professor of International Finance at the Monterey Institute; Mark Lasnik, certified consultant and project manager.

What: Sustainability Panel

When: Thursday, November 17, 2011, 6pm-7pm

Where: Irvine Auditorium at the Monterey Institute in Monterey, CA