Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

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TICH 8633

Translating as Rewriting

Many translation students and, indeed, many experienced translators tend to obsess about how to establish equivalence at the word level and how to imitate syntactic structures of the original text only to end up producing a lot of gibberish. They are hitting a dead end.

Translation is never a scavenger hunt for equivalent words. Laboring over formal resemblance will get you nowhere. The gaping differences in how ideas are expressed in source and target languages – especially when we are talking about Chinese and English – essentially render any attempt in that direction meaningless and futile.

To translate is to rewrite. Translating is all about how to convey meaning as effectively as possible. This course will take you in a new direction. It is designed to help you get out the rut and into a groove.

It takes some rethinking about how translation is done. If you are loath to get out of your comfort zone or too scared to jettison what you are accustomed to and hold dear, this course is not for you. Rewriting requires ingenuity and imagination. If you think that’s what excites you, welcome aboard and join the fun.

TI - Chinese
Translation & Interpretation
Transltn, Interpret & Lang Edu
Requirements Fulfilled:


Spring 2022 - MIIS

TICH8633A-S22 Lecture (Cai)