2023 The Challenges of Interpreting and Teaching “the Second Culture” in Local Contexts | Call for Papers

Purpose: Handling a foreign language resides in the mastery of social values which the words can take charge of, but also in the selection of forms of an appropriate syntactic and discursive organization.

The messages are constructed with respect to the potentialities of language, but frozen sequences to varying degrees, more or less ritualized speech facts also inform us on the cultural a priori of the societies that generate them, convey them, censure or repress them.

The norms governing the subjects, such as the textual and gestural schemas vary from one culture to another. What can be said in one language can become troubling in another language. My rhetorics, my idiomaticity, my stereotypes, my humor are obvious for me while they are not for others…

Learning of a language is the sum of indispensable linguistic elements (pronunciation, lexicon, grammar, pragmatics …), structuring the perception of foreign realities in addition to one’s own culture, requires a field of observation which is larger than that of linguistics.

Observing and comprehending daily realities, habits and attitudes implicates that the language course be conceived as an open door on a space much vaster than the one language as it is described in the grammars and dictionaries.

All acts that are accomplished by the individual bear the trace of its belonging to a community. Way of behaving, of expressing oneself constitute an essential part of identity and contribute to the production and the reception of meaning in both native and foreign language.

Culture is therefore not a separate discipline. It is the permanent backdrop of any language teaching program at all levels. The teacher conducts the study of language and culture conjointly, without settling for simply juxtaposing them.

The learning of a foreign culture must not be led outside the language but rather, be led precisely into the language that conveys it. The cultural contents are not autonomous, and it seems difficult to convey them without the language that carries them.

The realization by the learner of cultural knowledge inscribed in languages native and foreign:
a) favors L2 acquisition and the discovery of foreign cultural realities, without, however, disarticulating its own linguistic capital;
b) allows the expression of one’s own culture through the new language, and enables the communication in this language of one’s singularity and difference (“saying who one is”);
c) allows one to express oneself on one’s own realities and new realities (as connected to the target culture, the local world and the globalized world) in his exchanges with foreigners;
d) contributes to reducing the margin of incomprehension and erasing the “foreignness” that one may experience before a “foreign language” (that one may experience as a world that he is excluded from).

If placed in situations where he needs to observe, evaluate and simulate the conduct of members of the targeted cultural community, the non-native learner will not reproduce entirely the authentic in the course of social interactions.

One can learn to act and to react, to negotiate and to master an ensemble of various situations, but the learner’s act of “vouloir dire” (= wishing to express) will never be equal to his act of “pouvoir dire” (= being able to express).

On the other hand, he can acquire interpretation fluency of the authentic, that is, a capacity to identify the cultural in language exchanges. Competence in cultural interpretation is called upon to help the learner, once he is autonomous “on the field” and immersed in daily life, once he has become a language user confronting communication and survival needs, so as to appropriately respond to cultural obligations.

Interpreting in foreign language learning is a skill allowing to render intelligible at once the ordinary reality of target speakers, and the collective experience of the source community.

At the same time, the localization of cultural translation can help us take a look at our land, Taiwan, again. It also makes us easier to pay more attention to the surrounding phenomena than we were in the past and carefully observe the variety of people, places, and things in Taiwan. In the past, there were many things that we did not pay much attention to, such as one’s mother tongue, i.e., activities that could be done without a second thought, making us more observant and attentive to the differences between the present and the past.

Furthermore, by comparing to translations, we could discover the local characteristics of Taiwan. Many things we find natural, or details that we are used to in our daily lives, can be shown through translation comparison, hitting us fast and hard that these are not natural in foreign countries. Not only does it highlight Taiwan’s local values, but it also teaches students what our culture is and what our values are at teaching sites, thus cultivating their tolerance for foreign cultures.

Consequently, Center for Translation and Cross-cultural Studies, College of Foreign Languages and Literature, National Chengchi University believes that the issue of “second culture” should be explored in greater depth and has decided to hold a conference to discuss the following seven main topics.

  1. Foreign Translation of Taiwanese Culture
  2. Multicultural Teaching
  3. Multilingual Education and Bilingual Policy
  4. Issues from Translate Teaching Fields
  5. Research and Prospects of Machine Translation
  6. Language and Cultural Identity
  7. Language Education Policies for New Residents

Organizer: College of Foreign Languages and Literature, Center for Translation and Cross-cultural Studies, National Chengchi University

Venue: No. 64, Sec. 2, ZhiNan Rd., Wenshan Dist., Taipei 116, Taiwan (R.O.C) (tentative)

Time: 4 November 2023 (Saturday)

Language: Chinese and other foreign languages

Presentation: 20 minutes for each presenter, and 10 minutes for Q&A

Submission: No later than 10 February 2023 (Friday), please submit your title and abstract (500-600 words in Word file, including 5 keywords or less; submitting abstracts in foreign languages and English, if presented in foreign languages), attached with your curriculum vitae to trancfcs@nccu.edu.tw. Not accepted if documents are incomplete or overdue.

Acceptance Notice: Conference Preparation Committee will review all submissions and decide accepted abstracts. Acceptance letters will be mailed on 24 February 2023 (Friday), together with full paper format.

Revised Abstract Submission: Revise your abstract, accepted by Conference Preparation Committee, according to review comments and return your revision from 10 March 2023 (Friday) to 17 March 2023 (Friday).

Full Paper Submission: Due by 15 September 2023 (Friday) to trancfcs@nccu.edu.tw.

Address: Conference Preparation Committee, Center for Translation and Cross-cultural Studies, College of Foreign Languages and Literature, National Chengchi University. No. 64, Sec. 2, ZhiNan Rd., Wenshan Dist., Taipei 116, Taiwan (R.O.C)

Phone: +886-2-2939-3091#62743

Fax: +886-2-2938-0459


Contact: Mr. Lin, Ms. Ho