Winter Research Program - 2017 Projects
- Youth and Democracy in Post-war Japanese Literature - Associate Professor Tomoko Aoyama
- Translating Algerian War Testimony from French to English - Dr Amy Hubbell
- Acquisition of measure words in Chinese as a foreign language (CFL) - Dr Wendy Jiang
Project duration: 6 weeks (12 June-21 July 2017)
This is a part of an international collaborative project that examines the representations and constructions of youth and democracy in Japanese literary texts and media aimed at children and young adults in the post-war period. What did the introduction of the new Constitution, freedom, equality and democracy mean for literature and media for young people? How did writers and readers deal with the defeat and the subsequent socio-economic and political changes? What kinds of media and activities were developed to disseminate the literature of the new era? Was there unambiguous discontinuity at the end of the war? Or is continuity evident in some aspects of the production, distribution, and reception of culture for young people?
The participants in this Winter project will assist the supervisor in coordinating and preparing for a series of three panels at the Japanese Studies Association of Australia's conference (26-30 June), particularly by providing summary/draft Japanese-to-English translations of five of the nine papers to be written and presented in Japanese at the conference. While the conference will be held at the University of Wollongong, the students will work in Brisbane with the supervisor and the Japan-based researchers by email and skype.
Two participants are required to work in close collaboration. They both need to have advanced literacy and translation skills in English and Japanese. Preferred combination is one English native speaker and one Japanese native speaker. However, other factors such as the students' interests and experience in literary studies and translation will be taken into consideration.
Expected outcomes and deliverables:
Scholars will learn about the topic of youth and democracy in post-war Japanese literature, which is highly relevant not only to contemporary Japanese society but across global cultures. They will also gain opportunities to advance their skills in Japanese-to-English scholarly translation under the supervision of, and in collaboration with, the supervisor and other experienced international researchers. They will also learn about requirements and procedures of academic conference presentation. They are expected to provide draft translations of the papers, Powerpoint slides, handouts etc. as required and instructed by the supervisor, and assist other pre- and post- conference tasks that involve bilingual skills. Their assistance will be acknowledged in relevant publications of the researchers. Students will be asked to submit a short report to the supervisor at the end of the project.
This project is suitable for students with advanced J-E translation skills. Native or near-native level of literacy in both languages is required. Students interested in Japanese literature, children's literature, youth culture, post-war democracy, would particularly enjoy the project. UQ MAJIT (Master of Arts in Japanese Interpreting and Translation) and undergraduate students with high proficiency are encouraged to apply.
Interested students should contact the supervisor firstname.lastname@example.org before submitting an application.
Project duration: Four weeks (12 June to 21 July, negotiable dates)
This project aims to translate the testimony of the Pieds-Noirs and Harkis interviewed in the film La Valise ou le cercueil (2011) from French to English to provide a resource for historians and scholars working in European Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Trauma Studies, and history. Though the film has been subtitled in English, the work is not of a usable quality. The production company, Reportage34, has asked me to oversee the English version of the film which contains numerous testimonies of historic significance. The first goal will be to ensure a quality translation of the French transcript of the film, and if time allows, we will also edit the transcript for subtitling.
Expected outcomes and deliverables:
Scholars will gain experience in translation of a film transcript and in thinking through the best way to transpose documentary material into subtitles. Students will need to assess the provided materials in French, create a clear and strategic approach to the translation, and be able to transmit multiple voices and registers into English. The final translation, if successful, will be used for the English language version of the film, La Valise ou le cercueil. In addition to translation practice, scholars will learn about the Algerian War for Independence from first-hand survivor accounts and documentary footage from the war.
This project is suitable for advanced undergraduates in French who have completed an introductory translation course, or Honours or postgraduate students with expertise in French and English. Applicants with background knowledge about the Algerian War for Independence are encouraged to apply. The researcher must have strong French listening comprehension (C1 minimum), translation skills, and excellent written English. The applicant should also be able to conduct independent research, incorporate feedback, manage a flexible schedule, and have solid organizational skills. All applicants are advised that the film contains some graphic documentary footage and descriptions that may cause discomfort.
Contact Amy Hubbell email@example.com for more information.
Project duration: 5 weeks (19 June -21 July )
Measure words are words “used obligatorily to quantify actions (verbal measure words) and referents of nouns (nominal measure words)” (Zheng, 2014: 2). They are one of the most important language elements in the Chinese language. However, strictly speaking, measure words do not exist in English although some quantifiers or “numeral/article + noun + of + noun” units can be seen as equivalents to some Chinese measure words. In fact, English adopts a different system to measure items and actions. For example, although “yi ping shui (一瓶水)” in Chinese can be translated into “a bottle of water” in English, the “article (a) + nouns (bottle) + preposition (of) + noun (water)” structure in English is semantically equivalent but grammatically different as the word “bottle” is a noun that needs to be used together with a numeral and the preposition “of” to act as measuring units. Instead “ping (瓶)” is a measure word instead of a noun in Chinese. It denotes quantity itself.
Due to the cross-linguistic differences in English and Chinese, native English-speaking learners of Chinese find the acquisition of measure words in Chinese are difficult (Dong and Zheng, 2007; Guo, 2008; Guo and Han, 2007; Zheng, 2014). Zheng (2014) have found that that even though English native speakers have difficulties in the application of most of the Chinese measure word categories, some are easier than others to acquire. Specifically, the CFL learners in Zheng (2014) are found better at weights and measures, collective nominal measure words and container measure words than standard verbal measure words, borrowed verbal measure words, individual nominal measure words and temporary nominal measure words. The proposed project aims to replicate Zheng’s (2014) study with Australian CFL learners and see whether this cohort of learners have similar difficulties as those of Zheng’s (2014) CFL learners from the UK.
The findings will definitely enhance our understanding of CFL learners’ acquisition status of the Chinese measure words in general. At the same time, pedagogical suggestions based on the research findings will enlighten Chinese language instructors in teaching Chinese as a second language.
Expected outcomes and deliverables:
The scholar selected may gain skills in research in general through training in literature review, questionnaire design, research approaches, data collection and data processing, etc. The successful applicant will be expected to conduct the project under my supervision. The outcome will be a co-authored research paper to be published in one of the peer reviewed journals on second language teaching and learning. If not drafting the paper, the scholar is expected to produce a report.
This project is targeting at MA students who are studying Master of Applied Linguistics in the School of Languages and Cultures at UQ who:
- are Chinese or knows the Chinese language;
- whose IELTS score was 7 or above when enrolled;
- had some experience in teaching English or Chinese as a foreign language
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for general questions.