What is translation? Is it simply substituting one word for another in a different language? Or is just capturing the sense of a phrase enough? Moving from “original” to “copy” is both a technical and artistic feat, as well as a complicated cultural and social process. A senior seminar offered through SFU’s World Literature program, World Literature 404: Literature and Translation attends to the practical difficulties and theoretical implications of literary translation. This “journal” publishes the final translation projects of the students in the class.

Representing a diverse range of interests and skills, students in WL404 complete a final project by choosing one of three ways to approach the topic of literary translation. Thus, the contents of any issue of this journal contain a mix of:

  1. Research articles on translation theory, in which linguistic, social, literary and/or cultural facets of translation are explored.
  2. Short translations of compelling literary texts, accompanied by a scholarly translator’s introduction.
  3. Creative translations that usually involve cross-media transfer. These projects, often audio/visual in nature, are also accompanied by a scholarly translators’ introduction.

This journal represents an effort to rethink translation, which has long been relegated to the margins of scholarly inquiry. Rather, as each contribution argues in its own way, translation is a broadly relevant concept, vital to all literary activity and indeed to everyday life.