'Translating Popular Culture' MA - your views?
Thread poster: citytranslation
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:46
Feb 9, 2011

Here at City University in London, we're planning to offer a new MA in 'Translating Popular Culture' from September.

We believe it will be the only degree in the UK offering the opportunity to specialise in translating popular media – ie. translating crime fiction, fantasy, children's fiction, manga and games.

We'd love to hear the view of professional translators and translation students on ProZ.com
Does the course sound interesting to you? Does it cover an area of translation that you think is growing? What other areas of 'popular culture' do you think we should include?

Please let us know what you think. We're all ears!

[Edited at 2011-02-09 10:49 GMT]

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GerSi  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:46
Member (2010)
German to Slovenian
+ ...
Great idea Feb 9, 2011


I think this is a great idea, will you be offering distance learning too?

I already translate this kind of texts and it would be great to have some kind of credentials.

The problem I have noticed is, that there are translators who are specialized in literature, but they think fantasy has no value and they don't know the subculture, therefore the translations are perfect yet lifeless.

On the other hand there are manga and fantasy fans with lacking knowledge of grammar who want to translate for themselves and therefore they add to non-professionallity.

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Theo Bernards  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:46
English to Dutch
+ ...
Excellent idea Feb 9, 2011

I agree with GerSi on the comments regarding fantasy and science fiction and in my opinion it also applies to other categories: I rarely see a perfect Dutch translation of a British or American novel, they always read somewhat mechanical (not a criticism to the translators, by the way, only an observation). A very positive exception was the Ditch translation of Otherland series of Tad Williams, which was given as a birthday present a few years ago. Having said that, I prefer to read such novels in their original language, because no matter how good such a book is translated, the original always has a better feel for me. Since my time in Ireland I only buy English novels, such as 'The Sword of Truth' series by Terry Goodkind, and regardless of the high quality translators in the Dutch fantasy world, I dread to think what is made of that series when these novels were translated into Dutch.

And also in agreement with GerSi: will you be offering this as distant learning, because if the price is right I would certainly be interested to follow a few modules, such as crime fiction , fantasy (to help my favorite Dutch fantasy writer Wim Gijssen break into the English market - if he hasn't already) and science fiction ('Bloodsong' by Melvin Burgess is certainly worth translating into Dutch). I would also like to see a few table and board games translated, Carcassonne being the most important of them, so if you are going to offer an on-line game translation module I would be interested as well.

Best of luck with your considerations on whether or not to offer such courses!

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Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:46
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Would that cover multimedia? Feb 9, 2011

When you say "popular culture", it occurs to me a lot is not really in printed form.

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Hilary Davies Shelby
United States
Local time: 05:46
German to English
Sign me up! :-) Feb 9, 2011

This is the kind of stuff I love to translate, and it would be great to have a professional credential. Will you be offering distance learning courses? Short courses would also be of value/interest to me.

For a while I evaluated test translations for an agency. These were tests submitted by translators applying to work on gaming projects, and it was very clear that many people who claim to be able to do this kind of work are unfamiliar with the genre and its conventions. I think something like this would help sort out the wheat from the chaff.

Do you have a mailing list set up? I'd love to be kept informed of this project.

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