This tutorial is designed for native speakers of German and English both to improve your understanding of literature and your language proficiency. [Non-native speakers are of course heartily welcome, though will face additional challenges.] There is a synergy between translating and understanding imaginative prose: in fact, I would claim there is no better way to understand a literary work than to attempt a translation of it. And no language activity I can think of demands a more intensive reflection on the meanings of words and structures than translating literature.

 There will be two parts to the course: the first translating poetry; the other translating short prose fiction. (Most of the prose fiction text will only be translated in part, given considerations of time and work load – and that I prefer a lot of attention to a shorter text than a hurried translation of a longer one.)

 There will be two tasks for most classes. Discussing your translations and discussing the text to be translated for the next week. To this end, for each session you will need to have read and thought about the text to be translated for the following session as well as done the translation for the current one.



—You will be asked to do weekly translating assignments; to discuss your translations in group work and with me in class. I will outside of class give further commentary on a Moodle forum, where you can also make comments and ask questions.


—A portfolio consisting of 1) all your translations – the revised versions plus your first drafts – including brief commentary on the texts. The feedback will mostly take place during class and on Moodle forums.