FACULTY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

Department of English Translation and Interpreting

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As part of the webinar series, IUE Department of English Translation and Interpreting, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, hosted José Santaemilia, Full Professor of English at the University of Valencia.

As part of the webinar series, IUE Department of English Translation and Interpreting, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, hosted José Santaemilia, Full Professor of English at the University of Valencia.

Titled “Translation and Taboo”, the panel was conducted with the participation of Prof. José Santaemilia from the University of Valencia, Prof. Neslihan Kansu-Yetkiner, Head of IUE Department of English Translation and Interpreting, and Asst. Prof. Ilgın Aktener from IUE Department of English Translation and Interpreting.

In the first session of the panel, Prof. José Santaemilia delivered his presentation on "Doing Research into Translation and Obscenity: Rewriting Identities, Desires and Behaviours", touching on censorship, taboo and discourse in translation through various examples from all around the world. At the end of the session, Prof. Santaemilia stressed the fact that language shapes our understanding.

In the second session, Prof. Neslihan Kansu-Yetkiner and Asst. Prof.  Aktener, gave a presentation titled “Translation and Obscenity: The Case of 'The Painted Bird' in Turkish”. Dealing with taboo in translation through Turkish translations of Jerzy Kosiński’s The Painted Bird (1965), Prof. Yetkiner and Asst. Prof. Aktener discussed the euphemizing process from a Descriptive-Explanatory perspective. The presentation underlined that translators’ choices are influenced by socio-political and cultural factors.

Drawing a great interest of participants, the panel ended with a Q&A session.

‘Modernist novel’ project receives TUBITAK support

The research project of Prof. Neslihan Kansu Yetkiner, Head of Department of English Translation and Interpreting, Izmir University of Economics (IUE), and Asst. Prof. Ilgın Aktener on how 13 world-famous modernist novels are presented to Turkish society, was accepted by TUBITAK. Stating that TUBITAK has decided to support 213 projects out of one thousand 740 projects in Turkey this year, and that their projects is one of the projects to be supported, Prof. Kansu Yetkiner said, “We will review 55 different translations of 13 controversial and sensational novels in their source culture on the basis of paratexts within the scope of our project. We will not translate the books verbatim and will determine how these works are presented to the public with different discourses by examining all texts and visuals in the foreword, afterword, note section of the translator or publisher, author information section, front and back covers, briefly all the paratexts.”

The project, which was prepared by Prof. Neslihan Kansu Yetkiner, IUE Head of Department of English Translation and Interpreting, Faculty of Arts and Science, and Asst. Prof. Ilgın Aktener, as a result of intensive work despite the difficult pandemic conditions, will be completed in two years. As Prof. Yetkiner oversees the coordination of the project, Asst. Prof. Aktener undertakes researching. "Tobacco Road", "God Little Acre" and "Tragic Ground" by Erskine Caldwell, "Sister Carrie" and "An American Tragedy" by Theodore Dreiser, "Sanctuary" by William Faulkner, "Point Counter Point” and “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley, “The Rainbow” and “Lady Chatterley's Lover” by D.H. Lawrence,“Tropic of Cancer” and “Tropic of Capricorn” by Henry Miller, and “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov will be reviewed as part of the project.

DETAILED REVIEW

Sharing the details of the project, Prof. Kansu Yetkiner said, “The work we will do within the scope of the project is not the verbatim translation of books into Turkish. We will review the paratexts that serve as the threshold between the real world and the fictional work in presenting a work to the public in 55 different translations of 13 books available on the market. We will focus on how these books are presented to the reader. We will focus on the forewords, front and back covers of the books, the statements created about the author and visuals. The paratexts are the channels that are the direct voice of the author, translator and publisher that clearly reveal the periodic cycles and political, socio-cultural dynamics. With each new translation, the paratexts may differ according to the publication purposes of the books. Our project is important in terms of extending the subject area of science of translation and creating a paratext analysis research design pattern which is systematic, both linguistically and visually, and applicable to other works by taking the translation issue beyond the examination of the translation text itself.”

DATABASE WILL BE CREATED

Prof. Kansu Yetkiner continued as follows: “Our project brings together two theoretical and methodological (paratexts and re-translation) focus of the review that are subject to different projects and gained great importance in the field of translation research in the world and in Turkey in recent years. Its broad scope and approaching the topic with a linguistic analysis method makes the project proposal valuable both in terms of studies in Turkey and international studies. After the budget phase of the project, a database will be created by collecting books published from the early republic period to the present day, they will be divided into periods, and then we will start working.”

Becoming global citizens with multilingualism

Department of English Translation and Interpreting, Faculty of Arts and Science, Izmir University of Economics (IUE), teaches its students 3 foreign languages ​​and enables them to become global. With an innovative vision, in line with the curriculum to be implemented this year in order to raise well-equipped young people, students will be able to choose either or French or Italian for 4 years in addition to English. Students will learn Spanish, German, Russian, Japanese or Chinese starting form the third grade. This way, translators from Izmir University of Economics will be able to translate a second foreign language in addition to English, and graduate by learning a third foreign language at a level that they can use effectively.

Prof. Neslihan Kansu Yetkiner, Head of Department of English Translation and Interpreting pointed out that with the curriculum that they will implement this year, students will learn 2 different foreign languages other than English more effectively.

2 more foreign languages in addition to English

Prof. Yetkiner said, “In the first two years of our four-year program, students receive training in the reinforcement of language skills, and learn the comparison of English and Turkish language structures and cultural differences and the principles of translation. In the last two years, we have focused more on practice-based translation and interpretation training. Based on our updated curriculum, students will take either French or Italian classes with a compulsory, intensive special curriculum for 4 years. With our translation courses, we aim for them to reach the level of being able to translate from either of these two languages ​​into Turkish.”

Stating that the students receive the "qualified to translate" certificate at the end of their education, Prof. Yetkiner emphasized that, in addition to this document, they also direct students to international certification exams in the language they center upon. Prof. Yetkiner, said that in addition to the four-year second foreign language education provided with a special curriculum to the students of the department, one of the Spanish, German, Russian, Japanese and Chinese courses of the IUE School of Foreign Languages ​​will be taught for two years starting from the third grade.

Prof. Yetkiner stated that students will have knowledge of grammar, writing, reading, listening / comprehending and speaking in the third foreign language. Noting that Izmir University of Economics Department of English Translation and Interpreting takes place in the front row of Turkey's most preferred departments, Prof. Yetkiner said, “Our department started education in 2004 - 2005 academic year. In the light of scientific methods and approaches, we train translators who are familiar with field knowledge and terminology and who have language awareness in various subjects such as law, economics, medicine, literature, social sciences and science, political science, international relations, media and communication. Our department ranks first in all competitions in the field of translation. We have not lost the first or second place in the Young Translators Competition held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Directorate for EU Affairs for many years.”

Team of volunteer translators step in

A volunteer team was created at Izmir University of Economics (IUE) to translate medical texts on coronavirus in foreign language into Turkish and send these to medical staff as soon as possible. A team of 10, consisting of academics and students from IUE Department of English Translation and Interpreting, volunteered to translate the medical texts, forwarded by medical staff, online.

Thanks to the volunteer translators, medical staff save time, and possible information pollution is prevented. During this period when everyone is confined to homes, IUE team collaborated in quickly translating medical texts on different medical fields such as pulmonology and cardiology. Prof. Neslihan Kansu Yetkiner, Head of IUE Department of English Translation and Interpreting, is leading the project.   

“WE INFORMED MEDICAL STAFF ABOUT OUR GROUP”

Prof. Neslihan Kansu Yetkiner stated that they wanted to have a hand in the struggle against the virus by meeting the translation requests of COVID-19 based texts from doctors and other medical staff. “Third- and fourth-year students take ‘Translation of Medical Texts’ elective course in the spring semester. When we heard about a group of volunteer translators translating for the Ministry of Health, we also wanted to support medical staff. Students Betül Kolat, Janset Duran, Serra Ersoy, İlktan Öztürk, Ezgi Ender, Berfin Arabacıoğlu, Mürüvvet Dolar, and Oğuz Akdoğan teamed up as volunteers. Additionally, Faculty Member Nilgün Dungan, who teaches Translation of Medical Texts course, joined the team to proofread the translated texts. We informed the medical staff about our group on different platforms,” said Prof. Neslihan Kansu Yetkiner.

“THEY SHARE IT ON THEIR OWN PLATFORMS”

Prof. Yetkiner reported that they translate in line with the requests from medical staff, and they recently translated a 10-page text on the diagnosis and treatment of chest diseases from a booklet in one night. Prof. Yetkiner said, “There is an enormous and rapid flow of information on COVID-19. Our main purpose is to translate the texts requested by medical staff in order to make their job somewhat easier and prevent information pollution during this tough period. Translation requests are forwarded online, and translators share it on their platforms.” Prof. Yetkiner, who stated that a common terminology bank was established with students on online platform, said the future translators got a chance to experience and enjoy the benefits of teamwork.

Tawada reads “Memoirs of A Polar Bear”

English Translation and Interpreting Department, Faculty of Arts and Sciences hosted the Japanese originated German writer Yoko Tawada at IUE Conference Hall. Award-winning writer Tawada’s Memoirs of a Polar Bear and its Turkish translation were the main focus of the event organized in collaboration with Goethe-Institut Izmir.

In her opening speech, Prof. Dr. Neslihan Kansu Yetkiner, Head of IUE English Translation and Interpreting Department, talked about Tawada’s Memoirs of a Polar Bear and its Turkish translation. Yoko Tawada read some parts of her books in German and in Japanese and Zehra Kurttekin, the Turkish translator of the book, presented the Turkish translations of those parts.

Following that, there was a Q&A session moderated by Prof. Dr. Neslihan Kansu Yetkiner. Students of IUE English Translation and Interpreting Department enrolled in the course titled Fundamental Concepts of Literature and read the book as a part of the course assignments had the chance to address their questions directly to the writer.

Students and academicians from various universities attended the event in which they had the chance to chat with Yoko Tawada and her translator Zehra Kurttekin and had their books signed. Stating that they will keep on hosting future events enabling the readers to meet writers and translators, Prof. Dr. Neslihan Kansu-Yetkiner said “Memoirs of a Polar Bear has an innovative and a plain language. It has an anti-speciesist style and offers parts of European history with an unconventional humor and an intense point of view. The book is known as one of the most original works of the recent years.”

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