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Gender Curricula Translating and Interpreting

Also relevant for Linguistics, Literary Studies, Cultural Studies, Philologies

Course: Interpreting, Translating
Group of courses: Humanities

Course objectives:

Students learn how to analyse, evaluate, assess and create linguistic utterances according to gender-relevant criteria. They examine the relevance of the category gender for processes of translating and interpreting and gain knowledge of various scientific approaches and methodologies of linguistics. Students acquire skills to specifically and adequately implement strategies for gender-sensitive and gender-differentiated language use as well as queer feminist language strategies.

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Teaching content/subject-specific gender studies content:

Translators and interpreters act at the intersection of linguistic and cultural systems. Thus, they have a special role as actors with direct influence on and considerable freedom in the use of language. At the same time, their position in the discursive system obliges them to obey certain conventions. Gender studies in the area of translating focus on the achievements of female translators and strive to capture and describe in a systematic way the strategies and language use of women by drawing attention to the fact that language use is not autonomous and self-determined, but the result of circumstances and external conditions. Language use is viewed as an expression of and subject to power struggles and the reflection of power relations.

Key topics are:

  • a historical perspective on translation policy including questions such as: What was translated, by whom, for whom and when, and what role did the category gender play in this?
  • definitions of gender, gender attributions, 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 translation has in this context
  • cultural transfer in general and policies relating to it
  • language use considering the gender category (and other categories such as 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 relations
  • possibilities and conditions of resistant, experimental or innovative language use in source texts and how they are captured in translation

Practical work includes:

  • 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 working fields of translators and interpreters (literary and cultural industries, projects for public, international, institutional and private clients)
  • implementing gender issues into interpreting and translating techniques and practices
  • practical questions of how to improve the status, autonomy and personal responsibility of translators and interpreters in the discourse system, i.e. empowerment

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Integration of gender studies content into the curriculum:

Raising the students' awareness for gender issues as a basic approach to language use can be implemented at all language-related parts of the curriculum, i.e. in language practice courses and practical translation and interpretation exercises. Furthermore, gender issues can be integrated into lectures and courses on translation and interpretation theories, the history of the subject as well as into courses which focus on linguistic and cultural studies aspects.

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Degree Stage:

Gender issues should be addressed as follows:

  • as an integral part of practical language use and language teaching at all degree stages
  • in introductory courses (on the history and basic principles of the subject) at Bachelor's level
  • in theoretical and specialised seminars and lectures at Master's level