Karin Bosshard

Thesis title: Translating heteroglossia in contemporary Scottish fiction into German - the case of Ian Stephen's 'A Book of Death and Fish' from a theoretical and practical perspective

Background

After completing a BA in Multilingual Communication at Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Karin moved to Scotland where she studied for an MSc in Translation at Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh, graduating with distinction in November 2011. After a time spent as an in-house translator, Karin has been a freelance translator since 2013 working from English and French into German, starting her part-time PhD in 2016.

Karin’s research focuses on literary translation and on how translation theory and translation practice inform each other. For her PhD, she investigates  linguistic variation in contemporary Scottish fiction and its translation. Her practice-based thesis will take the form of a translation and a scholarly commentary. The former will consist of a translation into German of a longer extract of A Book of Death and Fish – a novel by Hebridean writer Ian Stephen published in Glasgow 2014 – which tells the life story of Lewisman Peter MacAulay and is written in an idiosyncratic blend of Scottish English, Hebridean dialect, Scots and Gaelic. The theoretical commentary will suggest a framework for dealing with such linguistic variation in the German translation. As a whole, the thesis explores from a theoretical and a practical perspective how a complex heteroglot text can be translated without homogenising or toning down the linguistic diversity.

Qualifications

BA in Multilingual Communication/Translation from Zurich University of Applied Sciences (2009)

MSc in Translation and Computer-Assisted Translation Tools from Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh, awarded with distinction (2011)

Responsibilities & affiliations

Co-organiser of the Translation Studies Research Seminar Series at University of Edinburgh (academic years 2017/18 and 2018/19)

Qualified Member (MITI) of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI), deputy convenor of ITI Scottish Network (ITI ScotNet) 2018-2021

Member of the German association of literary translators (VdÜ)

Member of the European Society for Translation Studies (EST)

Postgraduate teaching

Karin is a part-time Teaching Fellow in Translation Studies at the University of Edinburgh. For more information on her teaching responsibilities, please see https://www.edweb.ed.ac.uk/profile/karinbosshard.

Research summary

Literary translation, contemporary Scottish literature, translation of linguistic variation, interaction between translation theory and translation practice, translation as a creative practice, heteroglossia, Bakhtinian theories of language, sociolinguistics, stylistics and translation

Papers delivered

"Translating linguistic variation in contemporary Scottish fiction – ​a practice-based PhD project". Presentation as part of the Translation Studies Research Seminar Series 2016/17, University of Edinburgh, 15 February 2017.

"Applying Antoine Berman’s “Analytic of Translation” to translating linguistic variation in contemporary Scottish fiction". Presentation as part of the Translation Studies Research Seminar Series 2018/19, University of Edinburgh, 16 January 2019.

"Translating heteroglossia in contemporary Scottish fiction – a Bakhtinian perspective". Presentation as part of the Translation Studies Research Seminar Series 2019/20, University of Edinburgh, 5 February 2020.

"Dialect in contemporary Scottish fiction in translation – enabling fluidity and disrupting the flow". Paper delivered at the Postgraduate Conference in Translation Studies and Comparative Literature (University of Glasgow) "Fluidity", 13 May 2020, held online.

"A Stornoway cove and a Broch quine – thoughts on regional voices, identity and attitudes to language in Ian Stephen’s A Book of Death and Fish". Presentation as part of the Language in Context seminar series (University of Edinburgh School of Philosophy, Psychology and Languages Sciences – Linguistics and English Language). 23rd October 2020, held online.

"Literary dialect as a constraint and creative opportunity - thoughts on translating north-east Scots into German". Presentation as part of the Translation Studies Research Seminar Series 2020/21. University of Edinburgh, 10 March 2021, held online.

“A stroll down the hoil for a fry of mogs and skeds” – the Stornoway voices of Ian Stephen’s 'A Book of Death and Fish' in German translation”. Presentation as part of the Forum for Research on the Languages of Scotland and Ulster (FRLSU) Conference, Munich. Held online 28-30 October 2021.     

“Translating heteroglossia in contemporary Scottish fiction – exploring the use of target language dialects as a translation strategy”. Presentation as part of the Translation Studies Research Seminar Series 2021/22. University of Edinburgh, 10 November 2021, held online. 

"Über Hummer reden" (Das Narr 31, Basel, April 2021). Translation into German of "Talking about Lobsters" by Victoria MacKenzie (New Writing Scotland 34, ASLS, Glasgow, 2016)