KT catalysts

KT Catalysts project ‘Building capacity in the restorative justice sector to support more equitable access for speakers of English as an additional language: Sharing, integrating and adapting cultural translation research to meet the needs of restorative justice providers and trainers’ is an exciting new collaboration between Goldsmiths and Why me?, a restorative justice (RJ) charity which supports victims of crime to meet with offenders through ‘conferences’ managed carefully by trained facilitators. As a pathway towards knowledge transfer between the RJ sector and Goldsmiths, the collaboration aims to create the conditions for more equitable access to RJ for speakers of English as an additional language (EAL), through the application of cultural translation and RJ research at Goldsmiths in ways that not only equip RJ facilitators with the cultural translation competencies necessary to deliver conferences that meet the linguistic and cultural needs of EAL participants but also build the capacity of RJ providers like Why me? to design, deliver and certify RJ-specific training for qualified interpreters.

Translation, practice research and neuroscience

Connecting colleagues at Goldsmiths and Queen’s University Belfast, this project builds on the one-day practice research symposium held at Goldsmiths on 10 May 2023 (‘Translation and Creative Practice: An in-person symposium on building capacity for practice research’, and takes as its starting point the underexplored area of translation as a practice research methodology for understanding and explaining neuroscience. The project will enhance the incipient connections between practice research, translation and neuroscience that emerged as a result of the symposium, by creating the conditions to further explore translation and neuroscience through a uniquely practice research lens and with specifically practice research outcomes in terms of methodology and outputs.

Translating into a non-mother tongue 

The term ‘exophonic translation’, related to the literary term ‘exophonic literature’ has been used to indicate a type of translation practice that occurs from a mother tongue or another foreign language into a target language which is different from the translator’s mother tongue. This practice is usually discouraged because it is believed to affect fluency in the target language. While recent studies are challenging the assumption that translation into a non-mother tongue should always affect what is perceived as fluency in the target language, this type of translation is occurring daily in the technical translation field and, also, surprisingly, in the literary translation field and beyond. In a literary translation context, for instance, exophonic translation can often serve an identitarian function. In a technical context, the choice of translators who work into a second or third language may be influenced by the unavailability of native speakers of the target language who are fluent in the language of the source text (e.g., when the source text is written in minority languages). At Goldsmiths, we are actively carrying out exophonic literary translation practice-research and supporting PhD and MA students interested in exploring translating directions which do not conform to the traditional ‘foreign language into mother tongue’ approach.

Translation, creativity and experimentation: Translation avant-gardes

This project aligns with recent research in Translation Studies that explores the forms and purposes that translation in a creative context can assume if translation in its traditional (and often primary) role as a transfer of meaning is temporarily left aside. In a prismatic translation context, where translation is understood as an act which contributes to the multiplication and growth of the source text (ST), rather than an act which seeks to achieve perfect equivalence, for instance, translation can become a performative tool which visibly represents the reading of the translator, their kinaesthetic experience of the ST’s language; it can become an inter-semiotic act which further elaborates on or reacts to the ST via different media (e.g., paintings, sounds); or, in some contexts, it can become a form of unconventional literary criticism of an ST. At Goldsmiths, we have been working on how translation can be seen as a musical performative tool for music-literary texts, exploring, for instance, the interdisciplinary links between literary translation, literary studies and word and music studies. A CADRE (University of Warwick)-funded project on this theme, in line with the activities of the AHRC-funded Experiential Translation Network, will be presented at the Experiential Translation Network Online Seminar Series in March 2024. We are also interested in investigating past translation practices in transnational experimental literary contexts which may align with recent experimental developments in Translation Studies (e.g., Modernist translation, Brazilian Anthropophagic Translation).