Yale Conference on

Baltic and Scandinavian Studies

March 13-15, 2014

image of Yale in the Spring

thematic streams

Stream #8: Global Communication: Translating Scandinavia and the Baltic

From the Icelandic Sagas to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, translations play a vital role in disseminating Scandinavian and Baltic literature to a worldwide public. Moreover, a basic tenet of translation theory establishes that translations inform us as much about the target culture as the source culture and that translations shape and are shaped by the cultures that created them. As Lawrence Venuti aptly explains, translations can be political and can transgress societal norms. What do translations from Scandinavian and Baltic languages offer to both local and global environments? What translation policies exist in Scandinavia and the Baltic countries, and how have they shaped translations? Have the roles of women shifted in translations? What are the political implications of translating Scandinavian and Baltic texts? Have translations of the Sagas changed through time, and what do those changes disclose about the translated texts and about the translating culture? What is the role of translations in the classroom? The stream is also open to texts from all time periods.

In the Baltic countries today, the politics of translation are real with interesting issues of who can best communicate to a contemporary audience. For instance, in Latvia, is there a bias favoring Latvians, Latvian immigrants who learned English while living in an English speaking country or the first generation descendants that have been schooled and fully immersed in the culture of English speaking countries? This initial issue has led to an interesting question regarding global communication in the Baltic countries that needs to be addressed. Organizations communicate though the Internet and websites, but, how effective is this communication? In this stream, this will be compared with and contrasted to the success of Scandinavian countries.

Questions should be directed to the stream organizers:

Vilis Inde, email: vilisinde@yahoo.com
 Nahir I. Otaño Gracia, email: nahir2000@gmail.com