Translation and Culture

Teachers: Alexaki Sotiria-Lito
Code: SOT127
Category: General Background
Type: Elective
Level: Postgraduate
Language: Greek
Delivery Method: Lectures
Semester: 1st
ECTS: 10
Teaching Units: 10
Teaching Hours: 3
Short Description:

The aim of the course is to broaden the horizons of students in matters related to Translation and Culture. We study the act of translation as a socio-cultural activity, which is potentially able to influence the target society, having always in mind that the translation process never takes place in isolation from its situational context, but it is involved in a dynamic process of interaction with other aspects of society.

More specifically, the course seeks the systematic study and interpretation of the translation process in the set of material and spiritual values and achievements of man over the years. Translations are studied alongside their social, historical, and cultural components, as they are placed within the cultural, historical, political, and literary system in which they operate. We move away from the controversies of the 1960s and 1970s regarding the issue of equivalence, and study variations according to the historical and cultural context in which the translation belongs. In addition, the course intends to investigate the role of translations as a vehicle for the circulation of ideas and to highlight their importance in society as a whole through concepts such as language planning, national language and culture.

Objectives - Learning Results:

Upon successful completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Know translation models and approaches that combine translation with culture.
  • Recognize the applied character of Translation Theory and master its objectives, methodology, key concepts, and applications.
  • Select and evaluate appropriate primary material (originals and translations) to draw culturally oriented conclusions.
  • Draw up language categories to be studied with clear information regarding morphology, semantics, lexicology.
  • Effectively use the textbooks of Translation Theory and be able to apply the corresponding translation models.
  • Collaborate as part of a team to develop linguistic categories and other cultural material, to learn how to extract appropriate examples from translated texts in order to draw safe translational inferences.

Week 1: Relationship between Culture and the Science of Translation

Week 2: Translation as a phenomenon, its relationship with literature, society, and culture

Week 3: Translation as a process and the study of the relationship it establishes between literatures and cultures. Translation as a tool of intercultural communication

Week 4: The development of the programmatic design of the translation strategy on the part of the competent translator in the context of the translation of specific works in specific times

Week 5: Analysis and understanding of different cultures and their interactions Cultural specificities of linguistic evidence. Issues of synchrony and diachrony  

Week 6: Understanding the role of Translation in shaping values, practices, beliefs, and behaviors and how it interacts with the social, political, economic and historical context

Week 7: Search and evaluation of original texts and their translations for material extraction

Week 8: Critical thinking, cultural exchange, feedback, cultural inequalities, transformations, and changes occurring in culture over time: the case of Greece

Week 9: Study of translated literature as part of the cultural, literary, and historical system of the target language. The case study of Modern Greek in its birth

Week 10: Review of Descriptive Translation Studies as a non-normative means to understand how norms act in the translation process, but also to delineate the general norms of the translation process

Week 11: Study of equivalence within the historical-functional framework. Correlation with the continuum of “acceptability” and “adequacy” in the light of Descriptive Translation Studies

Week 12: Post-colonial translation theories: the active role of translation in the colonial process and in the image of the colonized

Week 13: The role of gender in Translation: The feminist approach

Recommended Bibliography:

Bassnett, S., & Lefevere, A., Constructing Cultures, Essays on Literary Translation, Topics in Translation 11, Multilingual matters, Clevedon, Philadelphia, Toronto, Sydney, Johannesburg, 1998.

Bassnett, S., Translation Studies, London & New York, Routledge, 1980.

Bassnett, S., & Lefevere, A., (επιμ.) Translation, History and Culture, London & New York, Printer, 1990.

Bassnett, S., & Trivedi, H., (επιμ.) Post-Colonial Translation: Theory and Practice, London & New York, Printer, 1999.

Γεωργιτσογιάννη, Ε., Εισαγωγή στην Ιστορία του Πολιτισμού, Αθήνα, 2011.

Chatelet, A., & Groslier, B., Ph., (επιμ.), Ιστορία της τέχνης, Larousse, Αθήνα, 1990.

Cronin, M., Translating Ireland: Translation, Languages, Cultures, Cork University Press, Cork, 1996.

Dreyfus, F., G., Marx R., Poidevin R., Γενική Ιστορία της Ευρώπης, Αθήνα, 1987.

Durant, W., Ιστορία του Πολιτισμού, Αθήνα, 1957.

Εκο, Ο., Εμπειρίες Μετάφρασης, λέγοντας σχεδόν το ίδιο, Ελληνικά Γράμματα, 2003.

Encyclopedia of Translation Studies, edited by Mona Baker, Routledge, London, and New York, 2001.

Εven-Zohar, I., Polysystem Studies, Poetics Today I, International Journal for Theory and Analysis of Literature and Communication Volume 11, number 1, 1990/1997.

Εven-Zohar, I., Papers in Historical Poetics, PAPERS ON POETICS AND SEMIOTICS 8, The Porter Institute for Poetics and Semiotics, Tel Aviv University, 1978.

Even-Zohar, I., The Position of Translated Literature within the Literary Polysystem, 1978/2000, στο Venuti, L., (επιμ.) The Translation Studies Reader, Routledge, London and New York, 2000.

Even- Zohar, Ι., Polysystem Theory (Revised), 2005, στο Εven-Zohar, I., Papers in Culture Research. Tel Aviv: Chair of Semiotics (Temporary electronic book), 2005/2010.

Εven-Zohar, I., Papers in Culture Research. Tel Aviv: Chair of Semiotics (Temporary electronic book), 2005/2010.

Gombrich, E., H., Το χρονικό της Τέχνης, μτφρ. Λίνα Κάσδαγλη, Αθήνα, 19982(ανατύπωση 2002).

Ιστορία του Ελληνικού Έθνους, Εκδοτική Αθηνών, Αθήνα, 1971-2000.

Κανελλόπουλος, Π., Ιστορία του Ευρωπαϊκού Πνεύματος, Αθήνα 1976.

Κένεθ, Κλ., Ιστορία του Δυτικού Πολιτισμού, Αθήνα, x.x.

Κεντρωτής, Γ., Θεωρία και Πράξη της Μετάφρασης, Δίαυλος, Αθήνα, 1996.

Κεντρωτής, Γ., Ποδήλατα και Ποδηλάτες, Περί Μεταφράσεως ο Λόγος, Gutenberg, Αθήνα, 2021.

Lefevere, A., Translation, Rewriting and the Manipulation of Literary Fame, Routledge, London, and New York, 1992a.

Lefevere, A., Translation/History/Culture, a sourcebook, Routledge, London, and New York, 1992b.

Lefevere, A., Translating Literature, Practice and Theory in a Comparative Literature Context, The Modern Language Association of America, New York, 1992c.

Μπαμπινιώτης, Γ., Ελληνική Γλώσσα, Παρελθόν, Παρόν, Μέλλον, Gutenberg, Αθήνα, 2000.

Μπαμπινιώτης, Γ., Συνοπτική Ιστορία της Ελληνικής Γλώσσας, 5η έκδοση, παραγωγή: Μ. Ρωμανός, Αθήνα, 2002.

Μπαμπινιώτης, Γ., (επιμ) Το Γλωσσικό Ζήτημα, Σύγχρονες Προσεγγίσεις, Ίδρυμα της Βουλής των Ελλήνων, Αθήνα, 2011.

Niranjana, T., Siting Translation: History, Post-Structuralism, and the Colonial Context, University of California Press, Berkley, 1992.

Simon, S., Gender in Translation: Cultural Identity and the Politics of Transmission, Routledge, London, and New York, 1996.

Toury, G., Descriptive Translation Studies and Beyond, Tel Aviv University, John Benjamins Publishing Company, Amsterdam/Philadelphia, 1995.

Toury, G., Τhe Nature and Role of Norms in Translation, 1978/αναθεωρημένο 1995, στο Venuti, L., (επιμ.) The Translation Studies Reader, Routledge, London, and New York, 2000.

Unesco, Ιστορία της Ανθρωπότητος. Η Εξέλιξη του Πολιτισμού και των Επιστημών, Αθήνα, 1970.

Venuti, L., (επιμ.) The Translation Studies Reader, Routledge, London, and New York, 2000.

Χόνορ, Χ., & Φλέμινγκ, Τζ., Ιστορία της Τέχνης, Αθήνα, 1990.

Teaching and Learning Methods:


Lectures: use of multimedia (PowerPoint presentations).

During the semester, invited academics and professionals from Greece and abroad deliver lectures on specific topics.

ICT Usage:

Support of the learning process through the e-class platform

Course material upload (notes, lecture slides, exercises, etc.) onto the e-class platform.

Grading and Evaluation Methods:

Individual, final, written assignment:

  • comparative translation study with an emphasis on drawing conclusions regarding the translator’s strategic choices
  • research in the fields of Culture through the prism of Translation Studies
  • text translation and commentary through the prism of Cultural Studies



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