Translation Studies: Retrospective and Prospective Views ISSN 2065 - 3514
(2008) Year I, Issue 1
Galati University Press
Editors: Elena Croitoru & Floriana Popescu (First volume)
Proceedings of the Conference Translation Studies: Retrospective and Prospective Views
9 – 11 October 2008 “Dunărea de Jos” Univeristy of Galati, Romania
The first volume of this series includes those papers considering
aspects of the literary text or message presented within the literature and
culture studies concurrent sessions. They were delivered in English or
French and they have their titles in the original, but in order to ensure the
English readership wider access to the papers, an outline of the topics
discussed in each of the papers as well as excerpts from the abstracts
accompanying the conference participation offers were selected and are
available in what follows. In case prospective readers of the current volume
would choose to exchange ideas with any of the volume contributors, their
e-mail addresses are also provided.
SIMONA ANTOFI discusses the influence of G.G.Byron’s Childe
Harold’s Pilgrimage on Bolintineanu’s Conrad. Her paper, Conrad, Dimitrie
Bolintineanu’s Poem and Its Romantic Model, suggests to that Bolintineanu
purposefully creates a multi-layered romantic poem of ideas similar to
Byron’s. Conrad, like the Byronic poems, reveals the same type of
problems, of heroes, the same historic reconstructions which bear the
imprint of a peculiar lyricism, of the same type of sea poetry as well as the
Simona Antofi, associate professor, works at the Department of
Literature, Linguistics and Journalism, Faculty of Letters, “Dunărea de Jos”
University of Galaţi, Romania. Her field of research considers the
Romanian literature of the 19th and 20th centuries.
RUXANDA BONTILĂ considers Annotation as Transtextual
Translation and her major intention is to discern the profile of an annotator.
Taking as a starting point the prolificacy of Vladimir Nabokov’s oeuvre, it
has encouraged a number of annotators to embark upon the difficult, very
often annoying task of annotating his works. The following by now famous
names are envisaged here: Alfred Appel Jr., who consensually (i.e. having
the writer’s approval in terms of meaning) annotated Lolita (1970); and
Brian Boyd who completed his long journey work of annotating Ada only
last year (2007).
Ruxanda Bontilă is an associate professor at the English Department,
Faculty of Letters, “Dunărea de Jos” University of Galaţi, Romania,
teaching British and American Literature. Her recent publications include
Vladimir Nabokov’s English Novels. The Art of Defusing Subjectivism (2004) and
The Romantics and the Victorians. Views and Weaves (2005).
SORINA CHIPER, a young academic at the “Al. I. Cuza” Unversity
of Iaşi, Romania, approaches the topic of Black Identity in Richard Wright’s
Black Boy. The author focuses on the representation of Black identity as
reflected in Wright’s autobiography. It places Black Boy within the context
of African American literature and traces its roots in the tradition of slave
narratives, from which it deviates via its bleak portrayal of Blacks in the
South. Black identity is a site of negativity, from which Wright escapes by
fashioning himself into a writer.
RALUCA GALIŢA, a young academic at the University of Bacău,
Romania, whose research fields include pragmatics, stylistics, discourse
analysis, ’visualizes’ the Imagery of Death in Hamlet. Since William
Shakespeare saw death as crime, suicide, infection, poison, disease, the
researcher explores and comments on all the facets of death.
NICOLETA IFRIM is a young academic at the Faculty of Letters,
“Dunărea de Jos” University of Galaţi, Romania, who has been teaching
Romanian literature. Her research interests focus on Mihai Eminescu’s
poetry and on the literary criticism discussing, interpreting or commenting
on his literary production. With this particular paper she goes on a quest
for fractal mirrors and for their literary relevance, having in view the recent
literature of speciality.
CRISTINA MĂLINOIU PĂTRAŞCU, a member of the doctoral
school of the Faculty of Letters in “Dunărea de Jos” University of Galaţi,
Romania was granted a one-year scholarship to carry on research in France.
While ‘peeping’ Into the Labyrinth of (Meta) Fiction with the Magus she tries to
find methodological issues in the classification of intensifiers as primary
markers of intensification. The author concludes with the idea that
systematic research on English intensifiers contrasts with the rather diffuse
analytical approaches in the Romanian literature.
Professor DOINIŢA MILEA, PhD, member of the Department of
Literature and Linguistics, Faculty of Letters, “Dunărea de Jos” University of
Galaţi, Romania, focuses on the starting points in the narrative techniques of the
Romanian prose writers of the ’80.
ECATERINA PĂTRAŞCU shows a particular interest in Knowledge
and Representation in Contemporary British Novel. She is convinced that
postmodernism is the best term to define the majority of the writers after
1968, particularly when referring to the American world. Such concepts as
reality, history, knowledge, truth, are marked by fragmentariness,
perspectivism, extreme subjectivity, and relativism. None of these can
create themselves and neither can they create ontology. Nevertheless,
although well disguised, the attitude of contemporary British writers such
as Graham Swift, Julian Barnes, Salman Rushdie does exist at the opposite
The author considers that from the perspective of the British
authors, history defines and establishes identities; from the relativistic
American perspective, history is built. Political discourse and shade of
meaning are involved in both cases, but the accent is different.
DAN NICOLAE POPESCU, a young academic at “Ştefan cel Mare”
University of Suceava, Romania, approaches the topic of “Sir Gawain and
the Green Knight”: [Re]Translating the Mediaeval Code of Chivalry. The author
argues that by the end of the Middle Ages, the Code of Chivalry had
estranged itself so much from its original meaning that somebody, if
anonymous[ly], had to re-translate it so that the knightly body should
return to its position as militia Christi and abandon the morally perilous
status of militia saeculi. The Arthurian romance in question offers this
anonymous contemporary of Geoffrey Chaucer a splendid opportunity to
satirically but also critically analyse knighthood's fall from grace. Yet, it
grants us yet one more chance to contemplate how at the turn of the 15th
century Western culture switched from a God-centred environment to a
man-centred one, ultimately implying that man perpetually re-translates
himself/herself, striving to evade the limitations imposed by the afflictive
nature of the human condition.
The paper Language in Literature: Communication or Politics? surprises
from the very beginning with a title resembling an equation. Its authors,
MICHAELA PRAISLER and ALEXANDRU PRAISLER (the former a
professor of English and American literature at the English Department of
the Faculty of Letters, “Dunărea de Jos” University of Galaţi, Romania, and
the latter a graduate of the Translation and Interpretation master’s
programme), agree that literary art exploits the word to rewrite reality, to
communicate ideologies and to formulate policies. From this point of view,
George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four is a representative case which,
beginning with its real-fictitious narrative thread and ending with the
metalinguistic peritext of its Appendix, constitutes itself into a profound
study on language and literature, on the language of literature and on its
communicative properties – supported or hindered by translation.
Contacts: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
STELUŢA STAN is in search of an answer to the question To Be an
Author or a Critic or Both? This Is the Question. Possible answers are to be
found in the literature on criticism. Here, Barthes, for example, defined the
theoretical discourse to be self-reflexive as well as the export of critical
expertise into the novel. Theoretical discourse was not only the proper
manner to disseminate theory but also to attribute a critical function to the
novel, an ability to explore the logic and philosophy of fiction, without
making use of metalanguage.
Steluţa Stan, associate professor, works for the English Department,
Faculty of Letters, “Dunărea de Jos” University of Galaţi, Romania. Her
research interests cover mainly the field of postmodernist literature.
The problem of placing authors within different cultural trends may
reveal itself to be rather difficult and some authors are to be placed
somewhere in between, as is the case with ANDREIA IRINA SUCIU’s
contribution, Malcolm Bradbury between Modernism and Postmodernism. The
paper argues that Bradbury belonged to two worlds, his literary production
being a bridge connecting two universes: he was a genuine British
gentleman fascinated by North America where he would make travels
aimed at inspiring a new culture and a new time, on the one hand, and a
man of his time, keeping up with the trends, scientific discoveries and
cultural developments, on the other. He would always come back to the
past, and showed his consideration for the values of that past. Moreover, he
was not only a genuine creator living in two millennia and feeling the
pressure of transition, but also a thorough and objective analyst of the
literary phenomenon and a playful wit who would very much enjoy using
a comic voice in his novels. Deeply rooted in modernism and
postmodernism, Bradbury masterfully used modern and postmodernistic
techniques in a unitary and successful mixture.
Andreia Irina Suciu, who defended her doctoral thesis on Malcolm
Bradbury at ”Al. I. Cuza” University in Iasi, Romania, this autumn, teaches
English literature at the University of Bacău.
DANA MARIANA VASILIU, University of Bucharest, discusses the
relation between Early Gothic architecture and medieval
conceptualizations of the sacred space in the twelfth- and thirteenth-
century England, in her paper entitled On the Threshold of Bliss: Translating
Sacred Space in Early Gothic Cathedrals. Special attention is paid to the
analysis of the west front of Wells Cathedral, a huge screen-like canvas of
magnificent beauty which translated medieval visions of the Church
Triumphant and of Heavenly Jerusalem into stone.
Within the section of Foreign Language Teaching another chunk of
ten papers discussing some of the latest problems in language teaching
methodology were selected for publication.
Professor REIMA AL- JARF at the King Saudi University, Riyadh,
Saudi Arabia, thoroughly investigates aspects of the Online Collaboration in
Translation Instruction among Students and Instructors. For that specific
purpose, a whole project was devised and the paper minutely describes the
materials, participants, procedures, and the results of the respective study.
ELENA BONTA tackles “Performances” in the English Class and
advances an analysis of the English class as social practice, which takes
place in a semiotic framework and which makes use of semiotic resources
(words, gestures, images) at whose level one can identify elements and
Elena Bonta, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of Bacău,
Romania, teaches lexicology, pragmatics, discourse analysis, interpersonal
communication, verbal interaction and conversation.
YOLANDA MIRELA CATELLI, in her paper The Role of the Protocol
in Teaching Translation Skills approaches the role of the so-called protocol in
the teaching and learning translation skills in her paper. By using a
working protocol as a strategy meant to develop the IT students’
awareness of the kind of problems technical translation may place in front
of them, the author considers that learners can be given support in
acquiring technical translation skills. Technical translators have to
transpose the scientific information in the original text by using the most
appropriate terms, on the one hand, and to identify and use the correct
mode of expression according to the requirements and expectations of the
targeted audience, on the other.
ONORINA GRECU, a young academic whose bilingual dictionary of
law terms enjoyed remarkable success, has been teaching English at “Spiru
Haret” University of Constanţa, Romania. She discusses the Case Briefing in
Legal English Class since law students are often required to summarize the
facts and outcome of a case in the course of their studies. She shares the
definition of a brief as a written summary of the case. It involves thorough
reading, analysis of the case with a careful eye to detail, describing the case
in one’s own words and briefing. For all that, the author states that briefs
are a very good exercise in the legal English class.
Teacher of French working for a private high school in Galaţi,
Romania, FLORENTINA IBĂNESCU has been studying the French
colloquial register for some time and she approaches it now from a didactic
perspective: Une approche didactique sur le registre familier. Underlining the
fact that a French teacher’s task is very difficult because of the French
lexicon, orthography and grammar, the author proposes a useful solution:
teaching and learning the foreign language of the generation having the
same age as the learners, she considers that such a double aim could be
reached fsa long as learners are induced into learning the colloquial register
and are involved in the acquisition of the most important linguistic
IULIAN MARDAR, a second year master student in the English
programme on Translation and Interpreting, “Dunărea de Jos” University
of Galaţi, Romania, with considerable ten-year teaching experience both in
Romania and in Taiwan, embarks upon Exploring the Matrix of the English
Tenses in Classroom. The paper is designed to reveal the ways in which the
symmetry characterizing English tenses may be used in teaching students
whose mother tongue is not English. The main idea of the paper is that the
English tense system is very logic, very precise and transparent, easily
comparable to a glass cube: irrespective of the angle from which one looks
at such a cube, they will see all its sides and corners provided that the
looker is familiar with at least one side of the cube. The various tables and
schemata explaining the matrix of the English tenses form the background
for observations regarding the use of this extremely useful instrument in
teaching English tenses to beginner and adult learners, respectively.
ANDREEA MIHAELA NEDELCUŢ, from the University of Craiova,
Romania, in her paper English in School Versus English in Mass-Media.
analyzes both the English that is taught in schools and the English that is
promoted in mass media: television, magazines, newspapers and radio.
Unlike the English that students learn in schools, the English used in mass
media accepts strange abbreviations and grammatical mistakes in
constructing a phrase with the single purpose of persuading, provoking or
entertaining. The author considers that from the gulf between the ‘two
languages’ the question arises: ‘What should teachers do – include mass
media material during their English class or ignore it?’
ANCA-MARIANA PEGULESCU, a member of the Romanian
Ministry of Education Staff, is the author of the paper From Reflection-Based
LTE to Competency- Based LTE. Language teacher education (LTE) has been
placed between two sorts of contextual factors: social, political and cultural
factors, on the one hand, and provision factors, on the other. Last but not
least, a discussion on ideology and on the teaching process, including
teacher's knowledge, students' learning and the teachers and learners’
beliefs, is necessary. Starting from the general attitude of all the learning
process actors and from the frame of reference offered by the documents of
the European Commission and the Council of Europe, the Romanian
institutions responsible for the language teachers' education have to re-
think the whole system.
ADRIANA TEODORESCU is a keen observer of the environment
and discusses about the ICT Skills for Translators. The author states that in
the information society, information and communication technologies have
become essential to all fields of activity. The permanent and fast
development of ICT has also influenced the translators’ work. Nowadays
translators are also required computer-related skills besides their
knowledge of a foreign language. Technology has affected several aspects of
the translator’s way of handling his work: the communication process, the
way of creating and formatting texts.
Associate professor ANGELICA VALCU, member of the Department
of French, Faculty of Letters, “Dunărea de Jos” University of Galaţi,
Romania, is mainly concerned with language and specialized discourse.
She approaches the literary dissertation as a subject of university
studies in her paper entitled La dissertation littéraire comme objet
d’enseignement à l’université. A literary dissertation is an argumentative
paper involving the arrangement of personal reflections based on texts and
documents. As a scholarly exercise, it aims to develop the learner’s
reflexive skills along an analytical process pivoting around a certain topic.
The paper was devised as an answer to the questions: a) why is the
literary dissertation one of the greatest challenges for the students in our
faculty? and b) is the literary dissertation fit for the new socio-economic
and cultural contexts of the foreign language teaching process?
Elena CROITORU Floriana POPESCU