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Translation at Michigan is a home for the many translation initiatives at the University of Michigan. Use the tabs above to find out more, and let us know: How do you translate?


 Recent Posts

Translation across Campus: The One Where it All Comes Together

December 12, 2017
There’s something kind of amazing that happens to a piece of literature when it is read aloud. It’s difficult to describe, but almost as if the words are transformed from something static into a living, breathing presence simply by being read aloud. I found this especially true during the reading and reception held to celebrate the release of the newest issue of Absinthe: World Literature in Translation this past Friday. This latest issue, “Unscripted: An Armenian Palimpsest”, showcases the work of contemporary Armenian authors who produce literature and poetry from across the Armenian diaspora. The issue is made even more
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Translation across Campus: Where Medicine Meets Translation – An Interview with Megumi Segawa, by Anjali Alangaden

December 11, 2017
Minoring in Translation Studies is perhaps not the most typical choice for an undergrad hoping to go into medicine. And over the past couple years, I have often been asked how I see these two seemingly distinct fields of study interacting. But for me, the connections between translation and medicine are both clear and increasingly important. On a daily basis, most physicians find themselves interacting with people from diverse backgrounds and identities. Sometimes that means working with patients who may not understand English or who struggle with comprehending often complicated medical jargon. Being an effective and compassionate health care provider
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Translation across Campus: Translating History, One Video at a Time – An Interview with Kristen Datta, by Anjali Alangaden

December 6, 2017
I first met Kristen Datta in a freshman seminar during January of 2015. We were both pretty interested in languages and were both considering pursuing a major in Linguistics. One thing that I immediately found fascinating about Kristen was her interest in learning both Japanese and German, a pair of languages that were completely foreign to me. As I was studying Portuguese at the time, another not-so-common language on campus, we quickly connected over our interest in languages and our struggles to understand the often painfully dense literature we were discussing in class. In the three years that followed, I’ve
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Join us for a reading from new issue of Absinthe on December 8th!

November 30, 2017
The editors of Absinthe: World Literature in Translation are pleased to invite you to the launch of our upcoming issue, “Unscripted: An Armenian Palimpsest.” Please join us in celebrating this publication with a reading on Friday, December 8th from 3:30 – 4:30 PM in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan (2024 Tisch Hall). Readers include Maral Aktokmakyan Erdogan, Meg Berkobien, Tamar Boyadjian, Dzovinar Derderian, Michael Pifer, Peter Vorissis.  

Translation Across Campus: Translate-a-Thon 2017 — An Interview with Alexandra Husted (Ford School of Public Policy), by Anjali Alangaden

November 29, 2017
One of the most enjoyable parts of Translate-a-Thon has to be the share out on Sunday afternoon. After three days of collaboration and translation, participants have the chance to come together and share what exactly they’ve been working so hard on. Although the Sunday session tends to be a bit smaller when compared to the crowds on the other two days, the ideas being discussed were anything but. In addition to describing the variety of materials that had been translated over the weekend — from community cookbooks to domestic abuse pamphlet — participants also discussed the challenges they faced and
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Translation Across Campus: Translate-a-Thon 2017 — An Interview with Larissa Siregar (School of Social Work), by Anjali Alangaden

November 20, 2017
On October 20-22, the Language Resource Center hosted their annual Translate-a-Thon event. This intense weekend of translation assists a variety of community-based organizations and institutions in translating their written materials into a variety of different languages. This is a vital service that makes these materials accessible to a much broader group of people, allowing those with low English literacy to engage with these programs. One of my first experiences with a group translation project was at Translate-a-Thon 2014. Less than confident with my language skills, I was hesitant about this translation event that my Portuguese professor kept bringing up, but
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Translation Across Campus: When the Language Bug Bites

November 13, 2017
Growing up, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by a variety of different languages, both within my own family as well as our broader community. Somewhat unluckily, I never managed to learn any of these languages properly. Not that I’m completely hopeless! I can contribute to conversations and (much more importantly) understand all of the family gossip, but neither of these feats is particularly impressive in a family full of polyglots. My linguistic failings aside, constantly being around several languages had a lot of wonderful effects, including the fact that I was constantly witnessing and experiencing countless moments of
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The Translate-a-thon is here! October 20-22, 2017

October 9, 2017
Registration is open! Undergraduate and graduate students, UM faculty and staff, local community members, all are welcome! Join us for our translation marathon weekend; meet other translators, enjoy good food, and serve your community through translation. Language Resource Center 1500 North Quad Friday 5-9pm, Saturday 9am-9pm, Sunday 9am-3pm* What is the Translate-a-thon? The Translate-a-thon is a short, intense, community-driven translation marathon, where volunteers interested in translation come together to translate materials for the benefit of our local, national and international community. We accept projects from a variety of disciplines in a variety of different formats: including print, video and digital/web-based.
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Panel: “Lost in Translation: Perception and Expression across Borders and Languages”

September 8, 2017
Thursday 5-7pm, September 14, 2017 West Conference Room, Rackham (4th floor) Panelists:  Samer Ali (Near Eastern Studies) Miranda Brown (Asian Languages & Cultures) Ana Morcillo Pallares (Architecture) Acrisio Pires (Linguistics) In 1922, philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein declared that “the limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” With the globally-connected community at the University of Michigan in mind, we invite you to an exploration of the cross-cultural academic expressive production that accompanies thinking and writing from a non-English background. Taking the University of Michigan as a case study, we hope to engage questions of scholarship and public expression incubated in the globalized
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U-M student translations published in TRANSIT

August 15, 2017
Throughout the Fall semester 2016, the Department of German at the University of Michigan hosted Selim Özdoğan as Max Kade Writer in Residence. During his residency, Özdoğan visited Professor Kristin Dickinson’s seminar “Un/Translatability in Theory and Practice” to workshop student translations from his most recent novel Wieso Heimat? Ich wohne zur Miete (2016) (Who Said Heimat, I’m Only Renting). Students first read the novel and then selected individual chapters to translate. Over the course of several weeks, students then read, discussed, and edited each other’s work together with the author. Overall, this project offered the exciting opportunity for students to engage in a collaborative
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Our 2017 Minors in Translation Studies Graduate!

May 20, 2017
We’re so proud to highlight the fantastic work of this year’s graduating cohort of the Minor in Translation Studies: Olivia Alge (BS, Informatics) completed the Minor in Translation Studies with a capstone project, “Software Translation from English to Spanish.”  Jacqueline Alvarez (BA, Spanish) completed the Minor in Translation Studies with a capstone project, “Translating Her Story: A translation of And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou” Sara Cusack (BA, Asian Studies and Cognitive Science) completed the Minor in Translation Studies with a capstone project, interning as law clerk at the Michigan Immigration Rights Center (MIRC). Thomas Degroat, (BS, Neuroscience) completed
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New Faculty Translation

April 29, 2017
Congratulations to Professors Gareth Williams and Vincenzo Binetti on their recent translation of Roberto Esposito’s seminal work of political theory The Origin of the Political, out from Fordham University Press this year. Both Williams and Binetti are members of the Romance Language Department an the University. On The Origin of the Political: In this book Roberto Esposito explores the conceptual trajectories of two of the twentieth century’s most vital thinkers of the political: Hannah Arendt and Simone Weil. Taking Homer’s Iliad–that “great prism through which every gesture has the possibility of becoming public, precisely by being observed by others”–as the common origin and
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Announcing the 2017 Translation Prize Winners!

April 27, 2017
We’re so excited to announce this year’s prizewinners for the Senior Prize in Literary Translation and Contexts for Classics Translation Contest.  Congratulations to all! Winners of the 2017 Senior Prize in Literary Translation  Olivia Alge, Desde la ventana by Diana Chapa (Spanish)  Zahir Allarakhia, Last Night I Dreamt of You by Bahā’ Tāhir (Arabic) Sara Cusack, A Patient by Mianmian (Chinese)   Winners of the 2017 Contexts for Classics Translation Contest Undergraduate Prizes: Michael Demetriou (History and International Studies; Minor in Modern Greek) “Antigone” (translation of modern Greek poem by Tasoula Karageoriou)  William “Billy” Fuerst (Political Science and Modern Greek) “The Fourteen
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New Graduate Student Translations

April 10, 2017
Meg Berkobien, a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature, recently had three translations published in a variety of literary magazines. These include: Jenn Díaz’s short story “Death by Dying” (Catalan) in A Public Space Alba Cid’s poetry (Galician) in The Offing Jordi Nopca’s introduction to the recent Catalan issue at Words Without Borders Congratulations to Meg!

Deadline: 16th Annual Classical Translation Contest (April 4th)

March 28, 2017
There’s still time to submit your translation to the 16th Annual Classical Translation Contest! Students in all departments and programs (graduate and undergraduate) across the University of Michigan are invited to submit literary translations of texts from Latin, Ancient Greek, and Modern Greek. We know that there are many people inspired by the beauty of these languages who wish to render them more freely and creatively than classwork often involves. This contest is intended to highlight the work of students who are interested in the process of translation as a creative, intellectually meaningful enterprise. Rules and Prizes Please submit your
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March 13th: Translating Greek Poetry Under Crisis

February 17, 2017
The Department of Classical Studies invites you to a book signing and reading of Futures: Poetry of the Greek Crisis with editor Theodoros Chiotis (Oxford) at 7 PM on March 13th at Literati. We hope to see you there!

Newest Issue of Absinthe Published!

January 25, 2017
The Department of Comparative Literature is pleased to announce that the newest issue of the journal  Absinthe: World Literature in Translation is now available. Titled “Pen and Brush,” the special issue brings together poetry, prose, and artwork that address cultural exchange between Asia and Europe.  This issue was guest-edited by Emily Goedde (UM ’16 Comparative Literature PhD) with generous support from the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan. Authors and translators include David Jimenéz (trans. Andrea Rosenberg), Wei Yun Lin Górecka (trans. Darryl Sterk), Ryoko Sekiguchi (trans. Shannon K. Winston), and Yang Lian (Brian Holton). The Department celebrated the release
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Showcase: Past Winners of the Senior Prize in Literary Translation

January 10, 2017
Each year, the Department of Comparative Literature puts out its annual call for the Senior Prize in Literary Translation. Since 2011, fourteen seniors from departments across the University have received the honor (and prize money) for their stirring translations. Before we send out this year’s call for submissions, the Department would like to highlight several of those notable texts. Our first blog in this series showcases the work of Ana Guay ‘15 (BA, Classical Languages & Literatures, minor in Translation Studies). Having graduated with a Minor in Translation Studies, Ana completed a capstone project titled “A Voice Not to Be
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Celebrate Translation at Michigan on January 20th!

January 9, 2017
The Department of Comparative Literature is pleased to announce its first annual holiday event dedicated to translation at Michigan. Join us on Friday, January 20th from 3-5 PM in 2021 Tisch for an afternoon reading and reception in celebration of the new issue of Absinthe and more!

LRC Translation Club Mass Meeting

January 8, 2017
The LRC Translation Club will be hosting a mass meeting on Friday, January 20th from 5pm to 6pm in the Video Viewing Room! If you are interested in translation initiatives, this is a great opportunity to talk about them. There will be pizza at the meeting so please RSVP. Don’t miss out on this chance to connect with fellow emerging translators!

WN17 Course Spotlight | SAC 366 Cinema Babel: Subtitling and Dubbing Practicum

December 2, 2016
Have you ever wondered how movies move between languages? Or how those subtitles came to be on your screen? For all of you interested in getting hands-on experience in cinematic translation, we’re excited to announce that Professor Markus Nornes will be offering his course on the art of subtitling and dubbing during the WN2017 semester! SAC 366: Cinema Babel shines a bright light on the many facets of film translation. Students will confront historical and theoretical readings in the first part of the course. They will then bring this theory into practice in group projects. One third of the class
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Translate-a-thon 2016 is in full swing!

October 29, 2016
The Fall 2016 Translate-a-thon is on October 28th, 29th, and 30th! Register now from the LRC webpage! *There’s still time to join the fun!* The Translate-a-thon is a short, intense, community-driven event when volunteers interested in translation come together to translate! We have collected videos, websites, and print from museums, non-profits, and university organizations… or bring your own project! You can work in teams or on your own. Visit our event page for more details: http://lsa.umich.edu/lrc/translation/translate-a-thon.html The Translate-a-thon is organized by the Language Resource Center in collaboration with the Department of Comparative Literature.

Translation Workshop with Diane Rayor

October 17, 2016
This Friday, October 21st, Diane Rayor (Classics, Grand Valley State University) will visit the University of Michigan campus for two events of special interest to students of poetry and translation: Location: Classics Library (2175 Angell Hall) 12-1 pm: Diane Rayor, “What’s New with the New Sappho” Classics Brownbag Series 2:30-4pm: Translation Workshop with Diane Rayor Contexts for Classics (see details below)

Monika Cassel (PhD, 2001) receives ALTA Travel Fellowship

September 21, 2016
Congratulations to Monika Cassel for receiving one of this year’s four Travel Fellowships from ALTA! These highly coveted awards go to emerging translators from all fields. For more on Monika’s work, click here! Monika is the second Complitter to receive an ALTA Travel Fellowship, with Meg Berkobien being chosen in 2014.

Absinthe at the Kerrytown BookFest

September 21, 2016
Managing editors Peter Vorissis and Meg Berkobien spent Sunday, September 11th at the annual Kerrytown BookFest. With the latest issue due any day now, they had the chance to introduce new readers to the literary jewels published beforehand.  

Professor Anton Shammas in Critical Inquiry

September 21, 2016
Congratulations to Professor Anton Shammas, whose essay “Torture into Affidavit, Dispossession into Poetry: On Translating Palestinian Pain” was recently featured in Critical Inquiry. Professor Shammas’ well-loved graduate seminar “Resistance to Translation” tackles many of the themes he works through in the article, and is an excellent introduction to the political and poetic stakes of translating.

Review: Professor Christi Merrill’s Newest Work in Translation

May 28, 2016
We’re excited to announce that Christi Merrill’s newest translations have recently appeared in the edited volume of Mangalesh Dabral’s titled This Number Does Not Exist. As the publisher, BOA Editions describes the collection as An attentive critique on contemporary reality—modernity, capitalism, industrialization—this first US publication of Mangalesh Dabral, presented in bilingual English and Hindi, speaks for the dislocated, disillusioned people of our time. Juxtaposing the rugged Himalayan backdrop of Dabral’s youth with his later migration in search of earning a livelihood, this collection explores the tense relationship between country and city. Speaking in the language of deep irony, these compassionate poems also
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2016 Senior Prize in Translation Winners!

April 28, 2016
The Department of Comparative Literature is pleased to award the annual prize in literary translation to two graduating seniors: Trevor Grayeb (BA Political Science and International Studies) for his translation from Japanese: An excerpt from Teito Monogatari: The Tale of the Imperial City, written by Hiroshi Aramata Steven Zeng (BA Computer Science and Business Administration) for his translation from Chinese: An excerpt from Dream of Ding Village, written by Yan Lianke We look forward to follow Trevor’s and Steven’s future translation endeavors!

Celebrating Sant Jordi (Books & Roses Day)

April 26, 2016
The RIW in Catalan Studies hosted a small Sant Jordi (Books & Roses Day, World Book Day) celebration in the Diag this past Saturday, April 23rd. The co-coordinators Meg Berkobien and Alice McAdams handed out flowers, cookies, handmade book marks, and screen prints of their favorite translations.

Past RIW in Translation member honored by Poets & Writers

April 12, 2016
Marcelo Hernandez, a member of the RIW in Translation while he was pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing here at the U, was recently honored by Poets & Writers for his work on the “Undocupoets” project. As poetic warriors of sorts, Marcelo and his partners are fighting for undocumented poets to be institutionally recognized in the US. In her article “Rethinking Poetic Citizenship,” Momo Chang writes, “Aside from contests, undocumented writers face other kinds of hurdles in the literary world. Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, one of the petition organizers, is the first undocumented writer to graduate from the University of Michigan’s
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