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Translating and Interpreting

Relevance for Comparative Linguistics, Critical Linguistics and Cultural Studies

Course: Interpreting , Translating
Group of courses: Languages and Cultural Studies, Art and Design


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Course objectives:

Students learn how to analyse, evaluate, categorise and create linguistic utterances using gender-relevant criteria. They investigate the relevance of the category gender (alongside other categories such as class, race, positioning) and learn the various scientific approaches and methodologies of linguistics.

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Teaching content/subject-specific gender studies content:

Gender studies in the area of translating and interpreting focuses on the achievements of female translators in the history of translating, studying their work and making it visible. Furthermore, it strives to record and describe in a systematic way the strategies and peculiarities of language use by women. In doing this it draws attention to the fact that language use is not autonomous and self-determined, but the result of external circumstances and conditions. Language use is viewed as the object and expression of power struggles and the reflection of power relationships. Male and female translators and interpreters act at the interface of various linguistic and cultural systems. They are therefore particularly important as agents, who both influence language use and enjoy a certain freedom within it. At the same time, their professional role within the discourse system encourages them particularly strongly to behave in a conventional manner.

Key theoretical questions:

  • Translation policy in its historical perspective what was translated, by whom, for whom and when, and what role did the category gender play in this?
  • Definitions of gender, gender attributions and the construction of social genders, and their influence on translation studies, translating and interpreting
  • The role of gender-determined identity or its absence on translating and interpreting and on research in these areas
  • The transfer of Eurocentric and Anglo-American gender categories into other cultures and texts, and the role of translation
  • Cultural transfer in general and policies relating to it
  • Language use and the category gender (class, race, etc.)
  • Possibilities and conditions of changes in language use, and the role of translating and interpreting in these processes
  • Negotiation and change in discourse structures and discourse power relationships
  • Possibilities and conditions of resistant, experimental or innovative language use in source texts and how they are captured in translation.

Key practical questions:

  • Applying analytical methods from the standpoint of gender criteria
  • Developing, testing and implementing gender-neutral translation methods
  • Devising strategies and action catalogues for gender-neutral language use in translations and interpreting work
  • Disseminating findings and drawing attention to issues in the various areas where male and female translators and interpreters work (the literary and cultural industry, projects for public, international, institutional and private clients)
  • Incorporating gender issues into interpreting and translating techniques and practices
  • Practical questions of how to improve the status, autonomy and personal responsibility of male and female translators and interpreters in the discourse system, i.e. empowerment.

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Integration of gender studies content into the curriculum:

This content can be integrated into the subject in various forms. Students can be made aware of the issues in all language-related parts of the curriculum, as a basic perspective on language. This includes language-learning classes and practical exercises in translating and interpreting. In addition, the content can be included in lectures and seminars on the theory of translating/interpreting, the history of the subject and in the linguistics and cultural studies parts of the curriculum.

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Degree Stage:

  • alongside normal practical language classes and language teaching at all degree stages
  • historical introduction classes, seminars on basic principles and overview sessions in BA degrees
  • theoretical and specialised seminar and lectures in Master's degrees