Translating Digitally: Language/Code/Medium

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N. Katherine Hayles, Distinguished Research Professor of English, University of California, Los Angeles. Talk at Centre for artistic research PDA event 5.3.2019. 
Digital technologies have opened the field of translation studies far beyond its traditional purview, offering avenues of investigation that intersect with computer programming, code play, and artificial intelligence, among others. This talk will explore some of these strategies through a broad understanding of “translation” as a process of finding equivalences amid radical differences through creative interpretation. Three case studies will be explored. In the first, the vocabulary of related works changes completely but the code structure remains the same. In the second, the store of words remains constant but its presentation through code ranges radically. In the third, translation in a traditional sense is offered as an option, but the primary interest is on evolving poetic language through the intervention of artificial intelligence. In addition, a translation into a different medium raises profound questions about the processual nature of code versus the material resource of the codex. The talk will conclude with some comments about machine translation.

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