Category Archives: Translation

Recent Graduate Chiara Salce’s Published Translation

A divided Congress seeks Papal approval amid ongoing debate on abortion financing

Tomorrow, Francis will be welcomed by a Congress that is in constant cultural war, with Democrats longing for a Pope’s wink in the right direction, and Republicans wrinkling their noses when topics like climate change, inequality and immigration come up

di Mattia Ferraresi | 23 Settembre 2015 ore 19:45

Papa Francesco (foto LaPresse)
Papa Francesco (foto LaPresse)

Washington, DC. Tomorrow, Francis will be welcomed by a Congress that is in constant cultural war, with Democrats longing for a Pope’s wink in the right direction, and Republicans wrinkling their noses when topics like climate change, inequality and immigration come up. However, these days the debate is dominated by one issue: Planned Parenthood, i.e. abortion and contraceptives.

Last week, the House passed a measure to temporarily cut off public funding to the health services organization. This one-year measure would allow the investigation of the actions brought to light after a series of videos released by a Pro-Life association went viral. The activists showed footage of Planned Parenthood executives having lunch while they discussed the use of fetal organs and tissues for medical research.

When the Planned Parenthood scandal broke worldwide, the Cardinal of Boston, Sean O’Malley, took a strong stand against the culture of abortion and the “standard practice of obtaining fetal organs”, actions that “fail to respect the humanity and dignity of human life”. O’Malley was referring to the “throwaway culture” condemned by Francis, and he recommended these issues be “the center of attention in the present public controversy”. And so it was.

Some Republicans in Congress have introduced a bill to defund Planned Parenthood, and have made this vote conditional to the passing of the budget, threatening a government shutdown, which would take effect on October 1st if no agreement is reached. This is the same strategy used in 2013 to defund Obamacare. That attempt failed, and this one risks failing too, since the divided Republicans do not have the 60 votes in the Senate necessary to pass the bill.

In the Church’s reconciling embrace so dear to Democrats, there is room for the New York Times editorial, intended to convince Pope Francis to open up to contraceptives, based on the pill’s popularity among Catholics. However, there also seems to be room for the left’s vote that has recently blocked a Senate bill, which would have banned abortions after 20 weeks.

traduzione a cura di Chiara Salce

Fall Forum!

Are you working towards an international career? Do you dream of representing your country in an international conference? Will you have someone interpreting for you? vid

Fall Forum, MIIS’s annual interpreting event, is the best occasion to get a feel for what interpretation means as you watch interpreters in action. This year, aspiring interpreters studying in MIIS’s Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean and Spanish programs will demonstrate consecutive interpretation in the forum, which will focus on the one of the most urgent issues of our time: Water.


The event will be held at MIIS on November 14th, from 2 to 5pm, with a reception from 5 to 6:30pm. You might discover that someone you already know from MIIS is a future interpreter, and be surprised to see them performing the art of interpretation. As the organizers for the event, the Fall Forum Committee would like to introduce our interpreters in our next post so that our readers can get to know their work and personality, in addition to providing some updates on the event. Please stay tuned!

TEDx Monterey: More Than Words

Professor Barry Olsen and Professor Laura Burian demonstrate the power of human cognition as they explain the subtle but important differences between professional translators and interpreters with assistance from Miguel Garcia (French), Weihao Zhang (Chinese) and Beatriz Rodriguez (Spanish). Click here to watch the video clip. 

Kavenoki Conducts Webinar on Interpreting for Olympics

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.
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


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:

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.

Prof. María Sierra Córdoba Serrano comes out with a new book

CordobaThe University of Ottawa Press, Canada’s oldest French language university press and the only bilingual university press in North America, has just published Prof. María Sierra Córdoba Serrano’s work Le Québec traduit en Espagne: analyse sociologique de l’exportation d’une culture périphérique.

The book was selected by the publisher to be showcased at the 2013 ACFAS congress, one of the largest congresses in the Social Sciences and the Humanities in the French-speaking world.

In the book, Prof. Córdoba uses the study of peripheral cultures as a privileged observatory to examine the sociological relations that configure a corpus of literary works between Quebec and Spain (with a focus on Catalonia). In addition to this specific case study, Prof. Córdoba’s book sheds light on the different phases of cultural exchanges in general: from the initiation and selection of cultural products, to their international circulation, reception, and re-branding so they fit the logic of the receiving cultures where they are reinserted. It further examines the decisive but non-deterministic role of public institutions in forming translation flows, as well as the part other key international stakeholders (publishers, critics, translators, scouts, etc.) play in facilitating, and sometimes hindering, the international circulation of ideas. Beyond its theoretical interest, the book offers a definite applied dimension, as it critically examines specific public diplomacy policies (particularly the use of translation as a tool for national image-projection abroad), and evaluates their implementation and results.

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

Professor Ye’s Latest Publications

Professor Ye has two books coming out this year.  First is the Third Edition of his Advanced Course zinan_yein English-Chinese Translation.  This book was originally published 11 years ago by Tsinghua University and Bookman Publishing Company, and has been used as a textbook by Chinese T&I programs around the world.  Secondly, Professor Ye’s new book, A Course in Cognitive Metaphor and Translation will be published simultaneously by Bookman and Peking University.  In this book, Professor Ye applies his knowledge of cognitive metaphors to the practice of translation in an effort to link theory with practice.

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.