Course Info: CS-0201

CourseCS-0201 Translation of discourse
Long TitleTranslation, ambiguity and discourse (in)coherence
Note(s) Satisfies Distribution
Textbook information
Meeting InfoFranklin Patterson Hall 107 on T,TH from 10:30-11:50
FacultyDaniel Altshuler
Distribution(s) Mind, Brain, and Information
Cumulative Skill(s)Independent Work
Quantitative Skills
Writing and Research
Additional InfoIn this course, students are expected to spend at least six to eight hours a week of preparation and work outside of class time. This time includes reading, writing, research.

This course began with an introduction to Discourse Coherence Theory, which appeals to David Hume's psychological principles to explain why a given text is interpreted as being (in)coherent. This theory allowed us to establish an evaluation metric for translation: one translation is better than another translation if it better preserves the psychological principles used to interpret the original text. We explored this hypothesis via case studies of several texts ("Sylvie" by Nerval and "The Land of the Green Plums" by Müller) which are written in languages other than English and are ambiguous. We analyzed the ambiguity in the original text and in its English translations, compared the analyses, and thereby tested our hypothesis about translation. Throughout the semester, students were involved in small "lab sessions" and full classroom discussion. They completed two mini-project (on each case study) and a final project (creating and analyzing an adaptation of a discourse discussed in class).