Introduction to French Translation
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Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Languages
Department: Foreign Languages
Course Number: NFRN 3750
Course Format: Seminar
Location: Classroom/Online Hybrid
Permission Required: No
As the German philosopher, essayist, and translator Walter Benjamin wrote: "Any translation which intends to perform a transmitting function cannot transmit anything but information--hence, something inessential. This is the hallmark of bad translations." In this course, students translate into English selected works by France's great 19th-century short story writer Guy de Maupassant. By practicing the craft of translation, students gain greater insight into French grammar, syntax, and terminology. They also develop individual translation strategies and hone their Web research techniques. The process involves collaboratively deconstructing a Maupassant story and building grammatical and terminology glossaries based on it. Emphasis is on 1) understanding written French, 2) learning the historical context of Maupassant's work, and 3) developing English literary writing skills. The goal is for students to render well-written translations that do more than transmit mere information. Prerequisite: French Level 4 or the equivalent.