The Versatile Translator by Tiffany Tsao

 Wednesday 5th December  11:00-1:30PM  G40 3.71 Red Zone Conference Room

In literary translation, doing justice to the original text necessarily involves experimentation: trying out different words and phrases, tinkering with punctuation and sentence structure, deliberating which aspects of the text to preserve at the expense of others. But what are the guiding principles that determine these decisions? And how might these principles change?

This 2.5-hour workshop challenges literary translators to think more purposefully about the ethos of translation—or rather, how the ethos informing a translation can differ depending on the desired effect. To this end, participants will exercise their versatility to produce multiple translations of the same text. Translators of all languages and all levels of experience are welcome to attend.


Participants must bring one text (e.g. a poem, a novel or essay excerpt) that they would like to translate but have not yet translated. The choice of source and target languages is entirely up to attendees. Prose texts should be approximately 100-150 words in length and preferably a relatively self-contained paragraph. Poems should be no more than a page and ideally less than 100 words.

Participants should also bring dictionaries or other reference tools if they require them.

Workshop run by Tiffany Tsao.

Tiffany Tsao is a writer and translator. She is the author of the literary thriller Under Your Wings and the Oddfits fantasy series The Oddfits and The More Known World. Her translations from Indonesian to English include Dee Lestari’s novel Paper Boats, Laksmi Pamuntjak’s The Birdwoman’s Palate, and Norman Erikson Pasaribu’s poetry. She is on staff at the world literature quarterly Asymptote as their Australia Editor-at-Large. She received her Ph.D in English from UC-Berkeley in 2009, and lives in Sydney, Australia with her family.

You can purchase tickets in AUD$ or US$. Please make a selection below.

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