Problems of Translating Between Chinese and English in the Social Sciences

Feb 20 12:00–1:00pm
Common Room, 2 Divinity Ave., Cambridge

Stevan Harrell (Professor of Anthropology and Professor of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington)

This workshop is intended for anyone who has occasion to translate social science materials between Chinese and English, in either direction.  I will briefly discuss some general principles to keep in mind when translating, then discuss some experiences with misunderstanding in translation. We will spend the bulk of the time discussing  several difficult cases of difficult translation choices.  I will provide a list of these cases ahead of time, in the hopes that some attendees will have time to think about and discuss them prior to the workshop.  

About the speaker: Stevan Harrell is Professor of Anthropology and of Environmental and Forest Sciences, and Adjunct Professor of Chinese at the University of Washington, where he has taught since 1974.  His areas of interest include Chinese society and Culture, Taiwanese society and culture, humans and the environment, ethnic relations, education, material culture, and the delights and frustrations of translation.  His field research has been concentrated mostly in Taiwan and Sichuan, specifically in the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture.