ASU PhD Student Receives Fellowship for Insect Behavior Research

November 1, 2021

A conference sponsored by Arizona Humanities and Arizona State University will bring together national and international translation professionals and scholars later this month to discuss translation and interpreting theory and practice.

“Engaging Translation: Questions of Language and Power in Arizona and Beyond” will be held November 12-13 at ASU’s Tempe campus. The conference is free and open to the public.

The conference “Engaging Translation: Questions of Language and Power in Arizona and Beyond” will be held November 12-13 at ASU’s Tempe campus. The conference is free and open to the public.
Download Full Image

Translation is often used as an umbrella term to encompass both translation and interpretation, said Jaime Fatás-Cabeza, member of the conference planning committee and director of the department’s undergraduate translation and interpretation program. in Spanish and Portuguese from the University of Arizona. When a distinction is made between the two terms, translation refers to written texts while interpretation indicates spoken speech, such as in a medical or legal context.

Translation and interpretation are particularly relevant topics in this state due to its racial and ethnic diversity. About one in five Arizonans lives in a home where Spanish is spoken at home, and Arizona has nearly two dozen federally recognized Native tribes.

Despite this, Arizona is the only state in the United States to have an English-only education law, which prohibits students learning English from receiving instruction in their native language. Under this policy, students are immersed in hours of English lessons at a time, often at the expense of other subjects.

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, citing research, wrote that a more effective teaching model allows students to be taught in bilingual programs that use both English and their mother tongue. This format, applied throughout the country, encourages students’ multilingualism and allows them to use their knowledge of their mother tongue to boost their English learning.

Earlier this year, a bill to overturn the English-only law was introduced in the Arizona House of Representatives. The measure would eventually need to be approved by voters for the law to be overturned. This political context sets the stage for the Engaging Translation conference and the broader issues that its presenters intend to address.

The conference includes scholars from ASU as well as other institutions across the country and the world. Translation professionals are also represented among presenters, panelists, keynote speakers and workshop leaders.

“The event is significant because it brings together scholars, professionals and stakeholders to discuss the power dynamics involved in providing equal access to linguistic minorities in Arizona through translation, interpretation and intercultural services,” said Fatás-Cabeza. “This is a rare and much-needed opportunity to explore places and strategies for improving cooperation between universities, providers and the public and private sectors to better meet the needs of an increasingly multicultural and multilingual.

The conference will conclude with a discussion on “Language and Power in Arizona” moderated by Fernanda Santos, Southwest Borderlands Initiative Practice Professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. This panel will feature Arizona State Rep. César Chávez, Federal Public Defender Milagros Cisneros, Valencia Newcomer School Principal Lynette Faulkner, Welcome to America Agency Director Project, Mike Sullivan, and ASU Director of Native American Studies, Stephanie Fitzgerald.

Engaging Translation is supported by the National Association of Court Interpreters and Translators, the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI), Arizona Translators and Interpreters (ATI), and the New England Translators Association. The CCHI, ATI and the American Translators Association provide continuing education credits for attendance.

“We are particularly pleased to have created an opportunity for translation scholars and practitioners to engage in conversation over the two days of the conference. Our latest panel addresses issues related to Arizona’s multilingualism, from the need for additional funding for foreign language learning to the English-only law that is still in effect in the public school system,” said Nina Berman. , director of the School of Letters and International Cultures, which is hosting the conference.

In addition to the School of International Letters and Cultures, the ASU departments co-sponsoring the conference are the Office of the Dean of Humanities; the Human Sciences Research Institute; the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies; the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication; the Department of English; the Melikian Center; and the School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies.

Robert Tuck, associate professor of modern Japanese literature and another member of the conference planning committee, said the conference represents a collaboration between many stakeholders from various fields involving translation and interpretation in one way or another. another one.

“’Engaging Translation’, as a conference, goes to the heart of what we do at SILCthe School of Letters and International Cultures“, said Tuck. “We are going to explore what happens when the act of translating brings two languages ​​into dialogue with each other. We want to ask what interactions at the heart of translation and interpretation can tell us about topics such as political and cultural identity and power, both here in Arizona and in the larger global context.