Posted by: SSU Lingua Franca | December 13, 2016

Translation Studies

Translation Studies

By Kristine Doll

“It’s impossible to say a thing exactly the way it was, because what you say can never be exact, you always have to leave something out, there are too many parts, sides, crosscurrents, nuances; too many gestures, which could mean this or that, too many shapes which can never be fully described, too many flavors, in the air or on the tongue, half-colors, too many.”
-Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

Margaret Atwood’s quote can be considered as a sensitive look into the challenges of translation. Can a translation capture the word for word reality of the original text? Can a translation be more beautiful than the original text? Should it? Are certain elements impossible to translate?

Translation is an extremely close form of reading, perhaps the closest form of reading possible, as the translator seeks to answer not only “what does this text mean” but also, “how did this text come to mean.”


Literary translation in particular heightens one’s sensitivities and openness to the language and culture of others in the creative process of rendering meaning. In attempting to present the original text to a new culture and in a new language, translators inevitably make choices that reveal their own motivations and sensibilities. These are just some of the themes and challenges that students in the WLC’s Certificate in Translation address in the process of translating.

We are pleased to present here some samples of recently published literary translations of two of our students.

Ricky Baez, translator. “Harry Pushed Her.” Original poem by Welsh poet Peter Thabit Jones. Ricky’s translation into Spanish, Fall 2016: “Enrique la empujó” can be viewed on Thabit Jones’ international website:

Javier Rodriguez, translator. “The Bread Maker.” Original short story by Fabiola Mejía. Javier’s translation into Spanish, Spring 2016: “La panadera” including the translator’s reflections on the piece are in the following article.

Beyond these Spanish translations, three French students did a translation of the introduction to a French genealogy book, requested by the Genealogical Society of Collier County in Naples, FL. It will be deposited in the society’s archives. Other students completed translations into English of French-Canadian genealogy articles for Sandra Goodwin, host of the Maple Stars and Stripes French-Canadian genealogy podcast. Finally, Elizabeth Blood’s Francophone students translated into French the “Sinister Stories of Salem” tour script for Kenneth Glover (local haunted tour provider) and a brochure on Past Life Regression services of Susan DameGreene (local business woman).

Please find below some of the courses that are specific to the Certificate in Translation and that are offered for the spring 2017 semester. Choose as many or as few courses as your schedule permits.

Capstone Course in Translation (language specific, choose one):

WLC501 French –  Blood, E. – Thursdays 3:05-4:20pm
WLC501 Italian –  Rocca, A. –  Fridays   3:05-4:20pm
WLC501 Spanish – Doll, K. –   Thursdays 4:30-5:45pm

Grammar and Style:

ENL306.01 English – Buchanan – M 1:10-2:55

Advanced Grammar:

SPN350 Spanish – Aske, J. – T/TR 10:50am-12:05pm

Advanced Writing (choose one):

SPN354 Spanish – Serra, F. – T/TR 1:40-2:55pm
ENL310 English   multiple sections; check listings

Professional Experience or Course in WLC (choose one):

FRE402 French –  Abdelghany, L. – W/F 1:40-2:55
SPN401 Spanish – Doll, K. – M 1:10-3:50
SPN480N Spanish –  Serra, F. -T/TR 12:15-1:30


Sample Professional Courses in Other Fields (choose one):

BIO 201/202
COM 316
CRJ 101
POL 251

Interested in learning more about the WLC’s Certificate in Translation? This program guides students from the initial introductory phases of translation through practitioners’ workshops and leads to a final portfolio of professional quality translations. For more information, please contact Dr. Kristine Doll, or (978) 542-6259.

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