XENX1004 Translation as cultural mediation: culture-specific items (2 cr)
The course gives an introduction to translation as a linguistic and cultural act by combining theory and practice. The main focus is on culture-specific items—words or phrases that are difficult to translate because they refer to something specific in a culture. Through an assortment of illustrative examples from various authentic texts, we discuss the challenges of translating culture-specific references appropriately and creatively. We also explore complex general notions—such as culture, translation, linguistic/cultural mediation, translation competence, and translation strategy—and cover broader topics, including views on dubbing and subtitling, the benefits of translation in language learning, and translation as a profession. Participants will bring examples from their own language(s) and culture(s) and work on a longer translation project in culturally diverse teams, based on a text of their choice. The course provides an opportunity to develop an awareness of one’s own and sensitivity to others’ linguistic and cultural identities by engaging with diversity and difference. The course is open for both Finnish and international exchange students interested in languages and cultures with or without background knowledge in linguistics.
On completion of the course, participants are expected to
- Understand the complexity of the notions of culture, translation, and mediation.
- Have a deeper understanding of translation as an act—including social, cultural, and ideological dimensions—and translation as a profession.
- Recognize the value of translation in language education.
- Be able to select the most appropriate macro- and micro-level translation strategies to solve translation problems arising from cultural differences.