CTIS Seminar: Technical Translation in 19th-Century Japan: Historicising and Decentring Notions of Translation
|Dates:||21 February 2019|
|Times:||14:00 - 15:30|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||School of Arts, Languages and Cultures|
|Who is it for:||University staff, Adults, Alumni, Current University students, General public|
The social and material conditions under which translation was carried out in late nineteenth-century Japan differ radically from our contemporary norms. Consequently, the concept of translation itself was also wholly different. Indeed, some of what we now consider basic prerequisites for translation, such as a relatively sound knowledge of the language from which one is translating, were often absent among those who engaged in this activity. Nevertheless, translation did occur. One area that saw considerable translation activity was science and technology because, at the time, nation-building imperatives meant that translation was necessary regardless of the barriers that stood in its way.
In this talk, I will discuss the strategies of late-nineteenth century Japanese scientific and technical translators, exploring their motives, and how this affected their approaches to translation. I will also discuss the role played by translators in shifting science from an elite activity into one open to people of various educational and literacy levels. In doing so, I argue that practices that might not immediately appear to be translation to our contemporary eyes, should be considered as such because of the insight they offer into how and why technical knowledge has been appropriated across cultures in many historical contexts.
Organisation: Cardiff University
Biography: Ruselle Meade is a lecturer in Japanese studies at Cardiff University. Her research interests include the history of translation, particularly of scientific and technical translation, in modern Japan. She also researches the role of science in shaping Japanese national identities since the nineteenth century. Her previous publications have explored technical translation by non-elite scientists and artisans, and scientific writing for juveniles during Japan’s Meiji period (1868-1912).
Travel and Contact Information
Ellen Wilkinson Building