Special Issues in Translation Studies: Translation of Poetry

Course details

Special Issues in Translation Studies: Translation of Poetry, 5 ECTS. The University of Eastern Finland has offered one special course in literary translation common to all languages (especially Finnish, English, German and Russian, but other languages may be used), focusing on translation of poetry and intended both for translation and literature students. A broader description is provided below. The course is not organised every year. Translation courses also cover translation of individual literary texts and literary translation fees. On occasion, students also produce literary translations for publication in supervised teams. In addition, research into literary translation is also regularly addressed as part of translation studies and students may choose topics relating to literary translation for their theses. OBJECTIVES - analysing and translating various poems, drawing on theory but in a creative spirit, including: - exploring the basics of poetry analysis in literary research and applying these in practice, - exploring the poetry translation process based on translation research (different phases, roles of the different parties involved) and various translation strategies, complete with information acquisition as part of a literary translator’s work, and practising these, - learning to produce several different translations of the ‘same’ text; - creating networks between students of literature, languages and translation; - learning to discuss different interpretations and provide constructive feedback on translations; - practising how to present literary art visually or ‘live’. CONTENT: At the beginning of the course, students are divided into peer groups of 3–5 people such that each group includes students from different backgrounds (literature, foreign languages, translation), as far as possible. The teachers give introductory lectures on poetry analysis and translation of poetry, but the main focus is on doing and experimenting. Each student selects a poem of personal interest and prepares 2–4 Finnish translations of the poem in their peer group, accompanied by a reflective translation commentary, where they analyse the source text, reflect on their translation process and justify their solutions using the concepts of poetry analysis and translation research. Members of each peer group comment on each other’s translations, aiming to raise additional different interpretations and alternative solutions. The course culminates in a final seminar, where the students present their poetry translations as posters or performances. In addition, students keep a learning journal during the course. Evaluation is based on the reflective translation commentary, the learning journal and working in the peer group. The translations are not assessed themselves, as the main focus is on creativity and experimentation. TARGET GROUP: Students of literature, translation and foreign languages in their 2nd to 5th year of study. RESPONSIBLE TEACHERS: At least one literature teacher and one translation teacher.

Language combinations:

  • All languages-Finnish

Type of course: Bachelor

Contact name: Prof. Kaisa Koskinen

Contact email:

Contact name: Faculty of Philosophy

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