Translation and Interpreting Program


The Translation and Interpreting Program at The Ohio State University is home to several initiatives and events:



Hui YAO is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures. Her research interests include modern Chinese literature, wartime cinema, the interplay between cinema, traditional theater, and spoken drama, and literary translation practices. Her dissertation focuses on Republican-era director Fei Mu (1906-1951), a significant, yet understudied filmmaker and spoken drama director, whose cultural activities exemplify a translingual, cross-cultural, and inter-medial trend in 1930s and 1940s Shanghai. Her committee members include Professors Kirk Denton, Patricia Sieber, and Meow Hui Goh. She is a native Mandarin Chinese speaker with near-native fluency in American English and basic Standard Japanese competency.

Hui is currently working as a Graduate Administrative Associate in the Translation and Interpreting (T&I) Program at the Center of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (CLLC) for summer 2021, fall 2021, and spring 2022, a position made possible by a Global Arts and Humanities Discovery Theme Graduate Student Professional Development grant. In collaboration with Professors Patricia Sieber and Clarissa Surek-Clark, she will facilitate several initiatives to enhance communication among the T&I research, practice, and learning communities, create a newsletter to showcase student accomplishments and present potential T&I opportunities, and reach out and develop language needs assessments for partner organization within and beyond OSU.

In the wake of rampant anti-Asian racism over the last year, she will also engage in an individual project designed to empower the under-represented voices of Chinese students in the U.S. The project encompasses (1) a Chinese-to-English translation of a set of Chinese plays popular among Chinese student drama troupes in the U.S. and (2) interviews with members of the production teams. Both parts of this project will be presented in a bilingual manner. The translation of these plays as well as telling the production teams’ stories and feelings, will amplify the voices that Chinese students in the U.S. have found and carve out a space for them in the current “Stop Asian Hate” discussion. The plays can also serve as pedagogical materials, through which Chinese language students learn to listen to, feel, perform, and think with others. Acquiring this kind of ability has an immediate urgency in our increasingly split society.

Hui has received formal training in translation from courses such as English-Chinese Translation at Shanghai International Studies University and Chinese Translation Workshop at The Ohio State University. Prior literary translations range from modern Chinese play subtitling and film script translation to dynastic Chinese song translation. Her reflections on and practice of sanqu song translation can be found in “In Search of Pure Sound: Sanqu Songs, Genre Aesthetics, and Translation Tactics,” a multi-author essay that appeared in the Journal of Chinese Literature and Culture (8: 1 2021): 163–202.

In the past few years, she has taught Chinese language courses from level one to level five and a high-enrollment gateway course, East Asian Humanities. She has also served as the Chinese coordinator at the Individualized Instruction Learning Center (IILC) in the 2017-18 academic year. She is passionate about teaching and enjoys helping students achieve their own goals.  


To enable students to experience the joys, master the challenges, and reap the professional rewards of Translation and Interpreting is at the heart of the Translation and Interpreting Certificate. The Translation and Interpreting Program:

  • Offers all undergraduate students with intermediate competency in a language other than English the opportunity to earn an Translation and Interpreting (T&I) Certificate (12 credits).
  • Allows students to deepen their interests and training in different subfields of T&I such as Literary Translation, Professional Translation, and Community Interpreting.
  • Regularly offers core courses in Community Interpreting (CLLC 5100), Professional Translation (CLLC 5101), and Literary Translation (CLLC 5102).
  • Regularly offers a T&I practicum course (CLLC 5103) to allow students to gain practical experience and professionalize themselves in their specific area of T&I interest through the shadowing of professionals, volunteer work, internships, and/or paid work at OSU and/or in off-campus settings.
  • Coordinates with units across campus to regularly offer T&I related courses in Language Departments and Programs (e.g., ASL, EALL, FRIT, GLL, NELC, SPPO, SEELC) and other units across campus (e.g., English, Linguistics, Comparative Studies)
  • To declare for the T&I Certificate, contact Emily Carpenter (ASC Advising):
  • To find out more about T&I resources at OSU and elsewhere, contact Prof. Patricia Sieber (Director, Translation & Interpreting Program).

CLLC 5101

Introduction to Professional Translation

By providing a comprehensive overview of the requirements for a successful career in translation, this course focuses on practices used in the field of professional translation in the United States. Students will explore paths in the life of a translator, alongside industries that rely on translation, such as the fields of business, medicine, law, entertainment, cooking and food, and education. Assignments include terminology research, glossary building, translating, and editing. The course is open to any language pair, and students can expect hands-on experience in using their linguistic skills.

Fall 2021

Class days/times: Monday (over Zoom) and Wednesday (in person) from 12:20pm-1:40pm at Hayes Hall 025

Instructor: Prof. Clarissa Surek-Clark (


CLLC 5102

Introduction to Literary Translation

This course will give students with at least intermediate knowledge of a language other than English an opportunity to develop their ability to move between the written domains of their language pair. Specifically, the course seeks to deepen everyone's capacity to bridge their languages through practical exercises. Each student decides what level of textual material in their non-native language they feel comfortable working with. Students who are just beginning to delve into the formal written domain of their non-native language can choose to work with materials appropriate to their level; students with advanced capabilities in two languages could consider pursuing projects that might lead to publication. In all cases, the course seeks to expand everyone's toolkit around what it means to be a working translator. Instead of focusing on translation in the abstract, the course is focused on the student in their capacity as a translator-to-be.

More specifically, the course is structured around six interrelated areas: (1) Becoming aware of the agency and power of translators and learning about the ubiquity of translation in our lives; (2) Understanding the practice of translation as a form of community building with other translators and with other people past and present; (3) Seeing the translator as an intermediary between cultures who often does difficult, fraught, and consequential work; (4) Understanding the process of translation as a series of dilemmas that each translator needs to confront; (5) Developing critical vocabulary and practical tools to address such dilemmas; (6) Gaining a practitioner's confidence to make meaningful translation choices.

In order to begin this process of developing agency and community, class assignments will explore different social modalities of translation—individual, collaborative, and collective. In order to become aware of role models, students will also interact with the work and the voices of practicing literary translators in their own language area. And most importantly, students will work on several small and on one major translation project of their own. Students will be asked to offer and receive peer feedback from peers, the instructor, and possibly other mentors. Such a give and take for the student translations is meant to (1) help each student formulate their own translation philosophy and (2) to make work done for the class potentially usable for authentic contexts outside of the class.


Spring 2022

Class days/times: Wednesday/Friday, 9:35am -10:55am (in person)

Instructor: Prof. Johanna Sellman (


CLLC 5103

Translation & Interpreting Practicum

This is the capstone course for the Translation and Interpretation Certificate. The purpose of this course is to offer students an opportunity to consolidate translation/interpretation skills in their working languages in real life settings that are meaningful to each student and that are relevant to their career aspirations.

The precise configuration of the practicum experience varies from student to student. Ideally, instructor and student are in communication about practicum possibilities prior to the start of the semester, but arrangements should be made and agreed upon between the student, a third party, and the course instructor no later than the end of the second week of the semester. The scope, objectives, process, and remote nature of the practicum will be documented in a jointly developed Memorandum of Understanding to be signed by the two key parties (student, supervisor of practicum) and reviewed by the instructor. Ultimate responsibility for securing a practicum site rests with the student. In addition to the instructor and the practicum supervisor, the student should select a faculty mentor proficient in their working language who will collaborate with the course instructor to assist in overseeing the practicum experience.

The practicum in conjunction with the instructional activities (class work and intensive one-on-one mentoring with instructor) and the completion of the class assignments (most notably, the development of a professional portfolio) will be an important stepping stone for the professionalization of the members of the class as they plan next steps involving the professional use of their language pair(s). That process of professionalization will culminate in practicum showcase and the development of a professional portfolio.


Fall 2021

Class days/times: Monday/Wednesday 3:55 pm-5:15 pm

Instructor: Prof. Clarissa Surek-Clark (


Spring 2022

Class days/times: Monday 1-4 pm (hybrid)

Instructor: Prof. Patricia Sieber (





To promote an interdisciplinary network in Translation and Interpreting, the Translation and Interpreting Program:

  • Connects faculty, instructors, and researchers with interests in Translation and Interpreting in units across campus to foster increased collaboration.
  • Seeds new courses in Translation and Interpreting, enabling students to explore new areas and deepen their knowledge.
  • Helps support lecture series and conferences to share new perspectives that enrich research and curricula in Translation and Interpreting Studies.
  • To publicize and develop T&I lectures and events, please contact Prof. Paul Reitter ( and Prof. Johanna Sellman.
Sharon Deane-Cox

Sharon Deane-Cox
Senior Lecturer and course director of the MSc Business Translation & Interpreting
Director of Postgraduate Teaching in the School of Humanities
University of Strathclyde
January 25, 2021, 2-3 pm EST

‘Interpreting the Belsen Relief Effort: Voices from the Archives’

Historians have paid much detailed attention to the urgent medical and logistical challenges faced by the British liberators of the Nazi camp in 1945. However, despite the fact that first-hand accounts by the medical relief staff make frequent reference to the ‘language difficulties’ they encountered, the nature, impact and attempted resolution of those difficulties have gone wholly unexplored. Drawing on archival material, this paper will chart how and to what effect the relief effort was negotiated through a range of ad hoc (non)verbal communication strategies. These insights from the past will also be brought into dialogue with contemporary approaches to non-professional interpreting and crisis communication.

Sharon Deane-Cox is Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies at the University of Strathclyde. She has long been fascinated by questions of how ideas, values and identities travel across languages and cultures. Her first monograph, Retranslation: Translation, Literature and Reinterpretation (Bloomsbury, 2014) explores the phenomenon of literary retranslation from stylistic, paratextual and contextual perspectives. A British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship (University of Edinburgh, 2014-16) then allowed her to investigate the ethical and epistemological dimensions of translating French experiences of the Holocaust. A recent Carnegie Trust Research Incentive Grant focused her attention on recovering the history of translation and interpreting during the Belsen Relief Effort in 1945, and she currently leads the RSE-funded 'Translating Scotland's Heritage' research network. Sharon is also Associate Editor of the Translation Studies journal and co-editor of the forthcoming Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation and Memory.

Register here for January 25, 2021, 2-3 pm EST


Shaden M. Tageldin

Shaden M. Tageldin
Associate Professor of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature
University of Minnesota
January 29, 2021, (noon-1 pm EST)

Race, Recitation, and the Riddle of Translation:
World Literature and World War in Salih’s Season of Migration to the North

Most scholarship on the celebrated 1966 novel Mawsim al-Hijra ilā al-Shamāl (Season of Migration to the North), which catapulted the Sudanese writer al-Ṭayyib Ṣāliḥ (Tayeb Salih) to the Arab, African, and world literary stage, privileges William Shakespeare’s Othello and Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness as the novel’s chief intertexts.  Largely ignored is the English poem that Mustafa Sa’eed, Season’s central figure, recites one night, unleashing the novel’s core narrative.  Yet that poem—Ford Madox Hueffer’s Antwerp (1915), which eulogizes Belgium’s resistance to the Germans during the First World War—upends Season’s economies of race, history, and language.  Mustafa’s recitation of Antwerp ties Belgium and England, the Congo and the Sudan, and the shadow of Whiteness within and beyond Arabness and Blackness in a complex translational knot that begs detangling.  Moreover, the fact that his recitation transmutes English literature into orature and dissolves English into the appearance of Arabic—what Mustafa says in English is given, to the Arabic reader, in Arabic translation on Salih’s page—at once ushers modern Arabic and African literatures into the world through the medium of English and, paradoxically, resubmits English literature to the protocols of Arab-African and Islamic orature.  This lecture reads Denys Johnson-Davies’s English translation of this pivotal moment in Salih’s novel with Salih’s Arabic original and Hueffer’s Antwerp.  In Season, I argue, world literature is born of world war.  Mustafa’s recitation of Antwerp poses a question:  if Arab-African literary memory is buried in a modern “world” dictated by European colonialism, can Arabic and other African and Asian languages overcome the hegemony of English and other European languages—and re-dictate world literature anew?

Shaden M. Tageldin is Associate Professor of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota.  The author of Disarming Words: Empire and the Seductions of Translation in Egypt (University of California Press, 2011), awarded the Honorable Mention for the 2013 Harry Levin Prize of the American Comparative Literature Association, she is currently completing a second book, provisionally titled Toward a Transcontinental Theory of Modern Comparative Literature.

Register here for January 29, 2021, noon-1 pm EST


Shelly Frisch

Shelley Frisch
Literary Translator 
March 22, 2021 (12 noon)

 “Tell All the Truth But Tell It Slant”: Teaching the Art of Translation

When we translate, we engage in the “slant” truth-telling that Emily Dickinson extolled in her oft-quoted poem. We look behind the words of our source text to discover what lies within, then generate new language to (re)create its message and medium. This talk explores ways to help students recognize and work through the semantic, syntactic, punctuational, and tonal commonalities and divergences between source and target languages, and identify the appropriate register for their texts. As we tease out students’ linguistic prowess with a variety of exercises and assignments, we enhance their ability to produce accurate and appealing translations into English while opening their eyes to the field of translation as a potential career path.    

Shelley Frisch’s award-winning translations from German include biographies of Friedrich Nietzsche, Albert Einstein, Marlene Dietrich, Leni Riefenstahl, and Franz Kafka. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Register here for March 22, 2021, noon-1 pm EST


Uganda Kwan

Uganda Sze Pui Kwan
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

The Literary Rewriting as Paratext: The Censored Chinese translation of The World of Suzie Wong

The World of Suzie Wong  has gained global popularity, since its publication in 1957, because of its use of aesthetic, sentimental and romantic tropes. It is also a novel which is built on a broad array of stereotypical images wherein the Orient is allegorised in the story of a sexy and submissive Asian prostitute who is being trampled on. With good fortune, she is rescued and liberated by a white British man. Myriad literary researches have critiqued the racist discourse that underlies the story and its various adaptations on the stage since the 1960s. Still, no previous research has taken on the translated Chinese version, The Barmaid (1988), that came out at the historical juncture of Britain’s handover of Hong Kong when the capitalist colony was used instrumentally as a bridging tool to pave the way for China’s open-door policy in the 1980s. Despite being the only official translated version available on mainland China, during the new millennium, any information related to this translation has either remained obscure or has been deliberately wiped out. Through a careful intertext reading among translation and creation, and between the censored and original publication, this paper unveils the politics behind the censorship. With social, political and historical analyses of the genealogical evolution of the literary icon “Suzie Wong”,  this study argues that the earlier literary rewritings of the racist discourse by Sinophone writers in the early 1980s has become the paratext to facilitate the translation and the subsequent censorship of the translation. 

Uganda Sze Pui Kwan is associate professor of Chinese literature at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. She has written widely on the history and theory of translation. Her publications include the acclaimed co-edited volume Translation and Global Asia. Last year, she received a Hong Kong Biennial Award for Chinese Literature.

Register here for April 12, 2021, noon-1 pm EST



Life long learning and continuing professional education is a central aspect of a career in Translation and Interpreting. Therefore, the Translation and Interpreting Program:

  • Seeks to bring current CLLC core courses to the attention of working professionals so that they can enroll through OSU Extended Education (
  • Is in the process of developing a Professional Certificate geared toward working professionals.
  • Plans to support and organize T&I-focused career and professional development events at OSU, in the K-12 sector, and in community and professional contexts.
  • Seeks to build connections with professional associations such as The American Translation Association, the Commission on the Certification of Healthcare Interpreters, the National Board for the Certification of Medical Interpreters, and the Community and Court Interpreters of Ohio.  
  • For further information, contact Prof. Patricia Sieber.