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thesis on translation in famous works, confused about a topic


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May 9, 2009, 10:54am   #1
hello,
I need to do a thesis about translation, I am badly confused and can not find any topic! whatever I find some one has already worked on it, topics such as subtitling, strategies of translation in famous works, shifts in translation and so on. can you please help me in this matter? I badly need help... It would be appreciate if u suggest few topics to me.
Thanks.
Sara

Okay... this can be any subject pertainig to translation? What are your languages of interest? My own interests would compel me to study Dr. Yang Jwing Ming's process of translating the ancient Chinese Qigong meditation documents that were just finally made available to the public in the 1980s. It turns out that even the famous Tao Te Ching may need a re-translation. Apparently, it was translated by scholars who may not have been practitioners of qigong, so they did not convey the teachings about specific meditation techniques.

So, Dr. Yang is going to re-translate the Tao Te Ching. That is cool.

Do you have an interest that parallels this?

Translation is a scholarly act of crossing a cultural-linguistic barrier... and as such it is something that, in order to research it, you need to look at things that people have done. Look at things that interest you and accept the fact that this paper might have to be, in a way, a history paper. That doesn't mean you can't cover something contemporary; what I'm saying is that you have to research what other people have done.

Another idea is to write about modern technology as it affects translation. Check out this article if you can find it:

Translation and Technology

Journal article by Pius Ten Hacken; The Modern Language Review, Vol. 102, 2007.
May 10, 2009, 01:15am   #3
The art of translation can be fascinating. One of my all-time favorite books is The Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevara. It was originally written in Spanish, but I read the English translation. I thought that the book was well-crafted and funny. Then I found myself wondering how close the translation is to the original. Is the translation an embellishment? Obviously, because of the differences in the languages, it was not verbatim or palabra por palabra. I have heard that translations can be beautiful or true, but not both—that right there could be an interesting approach to a paper.

Here are some other random thoughts that might spark a thought of your own:

Certification of translators: what are the standards, is there oversight, culpability for errors? This would be especially interesting in the legal arena.

The vernacular versus the vehicular (lingua franca) language.

A day at the United Nations and what goes on to ensure that all of the participants have proper translations. I imagine this to be quite the undertaking!

There have been a few ad campaigns that have gone sour due to poor translation and cultural understanding. Have you ever seen the website engrish.com? It has lots of pictures of botched English in advertising and such. It wouldn't provide a research topic, but it is entertaining.

Good luck with it!
May 10, 2009, 01:50am   #4
If you find a topic that interests you, and someone has already written on it, that does not mean you can't write about it. you can agree or disagree with the position others have taken, and look at people who take issue with your stance and explain why they are wrong. There is very little you can do that is wholly original in any field. Everything builds on everything else in some way.
May 10, 2009, 02:33am   #5
hi,
THanks so much for your help.
My mother tongue is Persian but I know English and Turkish as well.
Actually I can not choose the topics which other have already worked on it...this is the rule of our university! but I can work on topics which other students in other countries have worked on, to see if the result is the same in Iran or not. I tried many times to get access to thesises which are done in other universities in my field ( Tanslation Studies), but i couldnt find any thing.
Any way thanks again. :)
Sara



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