AAS Annual Meeting

Japan Session 325

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Session 325: Roundtable: Translation: Why – and How – to Teach It - Sponsored by Association of Teachers of Japanese

Organizer: Stephen B. Snyder, Middlebury College, USA

Discussants: Laurel Rasplica Rodd, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA; Sonja Arntzen, University of Toronto, Canada; Frank Baldwin, Independent Researcher, USA; Judy Wakabayashi, Kent State University, USA

In the context of globalized cultural flows, translation—technical, business, literary, biographical—is recognized as an essential feature of cross-cultural interchange and an important aspect of linguistic competence. While a few translators have become literary superstars, the work of translators is most often unheralded, though it is vital to Asian studies as well as many other fields. Translation as an aspect of language pedagogy has been in relative disfavor in the last two decades, marginalized by performative models of language learning and an emphasis on the value of immersion environments. At present, however, the role of translation in language learning and as an index of language competence is being reexamined, and language students and teachers alike are expressing increased interest in the methodologies for acquiring these skills. This roundtable assembles from the Japan studies field a group of professionals with considerable experience in the teaching of various aspects of translation, both theoretical and practical, at the undergraduate and graduate academic levels as well as professionally. The participants will speak on specific topics including: literature in translation, literary translation, translation as a research skill, and translation in the humanities and social sciences. The session will then be opened up for a discussion of the most effective strategies for teaching translation skills and the role of translation in Japanese language programs. While the participants will focus specifically on the case of Japanese, the insights should be useful to a wider audience.