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Abstracts and Bios for Student and Professor Panels

2018 NETA Conference at University of Massachusetts Boston
Academic Division        See Schedule


Panel 1: A Place to Translate and Interpret: Books, Amherst, the United States, and the U.N.

Chairs: Regina Galasso and Görkem Cilam

Presenters: Jia Yi Lin (UMass Amherst), James Flaherty (UMass Amherst), Jiin Chung (UMass Amherst), Stephen Lunde (UMass Amherst)

This panel showcases the translation and interpreting experience and perspectives of a diverse group of undergraduate students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. They will explore topics ranging from literary translation and community interpreting to familial and international matters. Jia Yi Lin’s presentation “Cultural Enrichment through the Translation of Literary Works” will explore how translations present readers the history of China and the societies under a time of turmoil through ordinary characters in Chinese literature. James Flaherty, in his “Community Interpreting and The Amherst Public Schools” will examine the effects and theory surrounding the interpreting program in the Amherst Regional School system. It will include a brief history of the program, student and teacher reactions to interpreters in the classroom, the role of interpreters in academic settings, and my experiences as a new interpreting student inside the program. Jiin Chung will address the role translation and interpreting plays in an immigrant family's journey of leaving their home country and settling in the United States in his paper titled “The Immigrant Life: Translating the United States.” Stephen Lunde’s “A Case Study of the U.N. Charter: A Comparative Analysis of French and Spanish Translations” will compare French and Spanish translations of key sections of the English version of the Charter of the United Nations with the existing French and Spanish versions of the document. Since the existing versions of the U.N. Charter in French and Spanish are original texts, not translations, this project aims to analyze the linguistic and semantic differences between translations and original texts.


Panel 2: Translating Diverse Aesthetics

Chair: Isabel Gómez

Presenters: Ainsleigh Callan (UMass Boston), Abigail Glick (UMass Boston), Daniel Flaherty (UMass Boston), Carlos Velez (UMass Boston)

Literary language provokes translators with the unique challenge of assessing aesthetic qualities while also recreating them within a new language tradition. This student panel will evaluate the translational relationship between Spanish and English as literary languages with a long history of mutual benefit but also political competition. Focusing on the unique situation of Puerto Rican literature, a canon without a nation, Ainsleigh Callan will study the work of Eduardo Lalo from the framework of untranslatability. Daniel Flaherty will present on translations of Don Quixote, comparing the divergent approaches to humor, idiom, and proverb in the character of Sancho Panza in the first English translation by Thomas Shelton with the most recent by Edith Grossman. Comparing two new international editions of the Bible in Spanish and English, Abigail Glick studies the various levels of gender neutrality or sensitivity used when depicting a god as either male or nongendered. Jeniffer Vivar-Wong examines the challenges in the audio-visual translation for providing Spanish subtitles for a popular television comedy to capture the cultural embeddedness of humor.


Panel 3:Translation as a Process of Mending, Understanding, Confirming Literary, Cultural, Religious, and Human Diversities
Chair: Adel Fauzetdinova

Presenters: David Shames (Boston University), Aaron Blais (Westfield State University), James Whittaker (Westfield State University)

This panel will look at the question of translation and diversity in literature, religion, and society in general. David Shames, in his paper “Textual Afterlives and Cultural Ghosts: Benjamin, Baudelaire, Bolaño and Translation as Haunting,” argues that Benjamin’s key insights on “pure language” and the textual “afterlife” describe how translations can “haunt” the cultures of their target language, using the US reception of Roberto Bolaño’s The Savage Detectives as a case study in the failure of the contemporary US bohemian imaginary. He links Benjamin’s thinking about translation to his ideas on the flâneur’s attempts to quicken the eternal from the transitory in Modernity, and to the phantasmagoria of the capitalist metropolis. Aaron Blais, in his presentation, titled “The World’s Most Translated Book: How Should the Bible Be Translated?” asks the question of how should the most controversial book of all time be translated and investigates different techniques that translators from different social, political, and religious backgrounds have used to translate the Bible into English and other languages. James Whittaker’s presentation “We’re All Human, We’re All Different, And That’s Important” discusses the importance of translation and interpretation, by emphasizing their purpose: to create lines of communication between people(s). It emphasizes the fact that the differences between us are crucial to learn and study in order to find and create bonds between one another. He argues that we need to be able to translate and interpret so that we can establish bridges between one another and so that we can learn the many different cultures and lifestyles that exist all around us.


Panel 4: Communities and Histories in Translation

Chair: Nayelli Castro-Ramírez

Presenters: Abigail Glick (UMass Boston), Marlen Godínez (UMass Boston), Ho Yee (Lisa) Lai (UMass Boston), Elizabeth Salazar (UMass Boston)

In all our communities, be they religious, educational, social, or political, we use translation to bridge connections between diverse perspectives and backgrounds. This student panel evaluates the impact of translation in building diverse communities. In her paper focused on bilingual education in Massachusetts Marlen Godínez considers how bilingual informational materials increase access for a growing population of diverse families. Ho Yee (Lisa) Lai studies the challenging history of machine translation and examines the present capacity of Google translate to accommodate natural language through the case study of interjections. Focusing on the controversial Rigoberta Menchu case Elizabeth Salazar considers the way political ideologies impact translations from indigenous or subaltern figures and how they structure, enable, or impede greater understanding for the community. Finally, in her paper, Erika Knodler will interrogate the role that translators play when translating a historical text. Should a translator use terms and language that reinforce misrepresentations built throughout history? Should she/he amend them and introduce more accurate or “politically correct” language?


Panel 5: Diversity in Professional Translation

Chair: Diego Mansilla

Presenters: Zoe Kosoff (University of Arizona), Lauren Stornelli (Westfield State University), Nicholas Cox (Westfield State University), Jovan Roman (Westfield State University)

This panel will explore the question of diversity in professional translation. Zoe Kosoff will talk about balancing localization standards and Arabic language norms in Arabic translations of the WPAI. Her study analyzes register and regional variation in twenty-eight Arabic translations of the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire (WPAI), a clinical outcome assessment that is frequently localized for international use (Margaret Reilly Associates 2013). While existing research on Arabic translation fails to address localized Arabic translations, this study analyzes the degree of localization in Arabic WPAIs by coding twenty-one lexical, morphological, and syntactic variables as either Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) or localized. Lauren Stornelli, in her presentation titled “The Unexpected Ambiguity of Translating in the Law,” will focus on the various techniques used to translate the law, including the different terminology used in this environment. She will argue that while every word of every sentence is impactful and can be challenged in the courtroom like a witness, there is ambiguity amongst different legal terminology that can further complicate this process. Jovan Roman will discuss ways in which translation and interpreting can change the course of the road of exclusion that minorities have been historically sent to follow.


Panel 6: Multilingual Popular and Culinary Cultures

Chair: Isabel Gómez

Presenters: Roshely Lara, Jonathan Riemer, Jeniffer Vivar-Wong, Clarita Prudencio, Patrizia Tuccella (all UMass Boston)

Popular culture may be globalized, but it still reflects the specificities of different local or newly “glocal” cultural forms. Through popular music, television, and culinary culture, this student panel examines the multilingual aspects of popular culture. Roshely Lara studies translation activism in the context of popular music through the case study of Beyoncé’s fundraiser for Puerto Rican hurricane relief with her remix of the popular reggaeton song “Mi gente” by J Balvin. Also studying popular music but through the lens of radical transcreation, Jonathan Riemer will consider the transformation by Seu Jorge of David Bowie songs from glam rock into new acoustic bossa nova lyrical inventions in Brazilian Portuguese. Jeniffer Vivar-Wong examines the challenges in the audio-visual translation for providing Spanish subtitles for a popular television comedy to capture the cultural embeddedness of humor. Culinary discourses require translation skills that draw on both terminology and specific cultural knowledge. In her paper, Clarita Prudencio provides instrumental insights for understanding the cultural and terminological aspects of the Spanish-English translation of recipes for Salvadorean pupusas. In the same vein, Patrizia Tuccella will consider the translation strategies implemented for translating and integrating guacamole into an English culinary repertoire.


Panel 7: Diversity In and Beyond the Translation and Interpreting Classroom

Presenters: Reyes Coll-Tellechea (UMass Boston), Cristiano A Mazzei (UMass Amherst), Enrique Morales-Díaz (Westfield State University), Adel Fauzetdinova (Westfield State University), Diego Mansilla (UMass Boston)

Translation owes its existence to diversity. However, the diverse fields that translation serves and the wide range of linguistic, cultural and generational backgrounds of Translation Studies students, can either easily turn diversity into a challenge or become the very texture of a translation course. Through a range of pedagogical resources, including developing a semiauthentic training experience based on a collaboration between different institutions, this panel will demonstrate how to weave diversity into both everyday classroom activities and the general structure of a translation course. Since translators by the very nature of their task always find themselves there where differences meet, making diversity speak in and guide our classes will prepare students to not only successfully exercise their future profession, but to also be responsible and change-bringing citizens of the world.


Panel 8: Diversifying Our Lives and Interpreting Cultures: Opening New Doors through Interpretation

Chairs: Barbara Lopez-Mayhew & Wilson Garcia

Presenters: Lindsey Coolidge (Plymouth State University), Alyssa Brown (Plymouth State University), Paola Rivera Villafane (Plymouth State University), Brianna Munoz (Plymouth State University)

Interpretation is a quickly growing industry in the US and one that is underrepresented among commonplace discussion. Widespread misconceptions over the purpose of interpretation and the importance of having interpreters lead to the disregard of interpretation as a viable career. Lindsey Coolidge and Alyssa Brown will focus on the opportunities that interpretation training and learning a second language brings to those who are from non-minority language and culture backgrounds who are interested in experiencing and learning about cultures different than their own. The presenters will expand further on this through discussion of the diverse cultural opportunities interpretation training can offer and how this can progress to a professional career. The second part of the session will introduce the theory behind interpretation and diverse cultures and the understanding of these cultures that one must have in order to be a successful interpreter. Diving into the communication process and how culture affects one's ability to communicate effectively is one of the most crucial aspects of interpretation. Culture is defined as the collective mental programming of the human mind which distinguishes one group of people from another. This collective mental programming plays a very defined role in the how and when culture wields influence on human comprehension and behaviors. Paola Rivera Villafane and Brianna Munoz will focus on the various cultures interpreters encounter every day, the major challenges interpreters face early on with lack of cultural understanding and ways to avoid or make those challenges easier.


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