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Floating issues List

29 Sept: Issues
6 Oct: A Semi-opaque process
13 Oct: Letter vs. Spirit
20 Oct: Comparing Translations
27 Oct: Process and Hermeneutics
3 Nov: Radical Translation
10 Nov: Linguistic Differences I
17 Nov: Linguistic Differences II
24 Nov: Traveling Will
1 Dec: Literary Considerations I
8 Dec: Literary Consdiderations II

13 Dec: Final Project Presentations

Assignments and Readings for Week 6, November 3
Radical Translation

Before Class:

W.V. Quine, "Translation and Meaning," chapter 2 of Word and Object (1960).

Chapters 4 and 5 of Steiner, After Babel.

1) We are going to try to get as close as we can to gavagai work. Translate something from a language you do not know into English. Choose only a few sentences. You may use grammars, dictionaries, and other aids, but do not consult anyone who knows the language you are translating from. For purposes of discussion in class, it would be best if it were a language that someone else in the class knows, but this isn't absolutely necessary.

Post your exercise, with comments on the process, difficulties, questions, and lessons learned, by 8:30 a.m. on the day of class, Wednesday, Nov. 3. Use a separate conversation for each exercise. This assignment will not be graded.

In Class:
1) If we have not had enough time the week before, continue our discussion of the mental process postings, in light of Steiner's chapter on "The Hermeneutic Motion."

2) Discuss the readings and their implications for the questions of both how possible is translation and how radical is ordinary translation (think back to the beginning of Steiner!).

3) Go over everyone's semi-radical translation exercises. The most important thing is for us to try to express what we learned from doing this, and how it might have added to the results of the self-examination exercise we did the week before.