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Desiree Roybal


Writing 2

MW 10:00am 11:50am


For my genre translation I translated an academic article into a letter from war: the

article I used was The Contribution of Economists to Military Intelligence During World War

II, by Mark Guglielmo. It can be difficult to take such a long and tedious article and create a

completely different type of writing while not straying too far from the articles tone, argument

and main ideas. Its important to know how to translate academic articles effectively because

there will be times in college and beyond where you will be given articles, readings, expense

reports, medical research etc. and have to take the data, arguments, and main points and

compose an essay for your professor, a summarized email for your boss, etc. Through

examining the choices I made in my translation based on the significance of the genre choice,

the transfer of information and its challenges, as well as how I utilized the in class readings,

my translation should be able to help anyone in college or beyond to more effectively translate

more difficult writings into new genres; something you will need to know how to do for the rest

of your life.

In your life, as stated before, you will have to consciously choose a genre that can

effectively communicate the important themes of the translated document. I chose to translate

my article into a letter from war because the topic of the article was about the work of

economists during World War II, hence I wanted to keep with the overall context of the article.
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I also chose to translate the article as a personal letter because the authors tone in the article

was very enthusiastic and praising of the economists work, and I felt that with a personal letter

I could put a little more emotion and bias into my translation in order to stay in line with the

tone, plain and simple. What was not simple however was trying to figure out an audience for

my translation.

For most of your translations you will already have a predetermined audience like a

professor, boss, coworker, etc. In the end I chose to write towards students who are studying

the topic of World War II. I had to consider where my audience may encounter my translation

and what purpose it would serve in its location. I believe that a letter from war would most

likely be found by a student in a textbook. In the textbook the letter would serve as a quick and

informative lesson on the contribution of economists; it has to be short and to the point in order

for the student to be able to efficiently absorb the info and move on to the next topic they

would need to study. I found it would have been a bit easier to figure out the target audience

first before picking the genre you wanted to translate into, yet in the end my translation still

made sense for my audience, and I knew there would be more challenges while doing said

translation than just finding an audience.

The most challenges occurred when trying to locate the main points of the article.

Typically an academic article is a very lengthy read mine was about 42 pages long and it

can be difficult to sit there and skim through all these pages and try to find the important

information to highlight on in your translation.

For one of my in class readings, Reading Games: Startegies for Reading Scholarly

Sources, by Karen Rosenberg, Rosenberg creates a guide for people who are reading academic

articles; in her article she highlights some key strategies for reading these articles that doesnt
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have much to do with reading the full article at all. Under the section Strategies for Reading

Scholarly Sources Rosenberg talks about one very unique characteristic of these articles that

can be of great help in extracting the information you will want to include in your translations.

She points out that these articles can contain these special little paragraphs at the very

beginning of an article before the introduction called the abstract: the purpose of it is to

encapsulate the main points of the article, (Rosenberg, 216). Luckily my article did

include an abstract but it wasnt the first thing I looked at when reading my article (Guglielmo,


I naturally went straight to the introduction, but after reading it and still being unsure

of the main points I then looked at the abstract and sure enough all of the important information

I should include in my translation was right there. For example, in the abstract of the article it

references the formula that had been invented by economists working in the Enemy Objectives

Unit of the Office of Strategic Services; I included this information in the fourth full paragraph

of my letter. I would check the abstract first when doing translations, but if your article doesnt

include one then read the introduction because, as Rosenberg states, it serves the same function

as the abstract (Rosenberg, 216).

When translating articles, data, research, and many other documents into new genres,

its important to take into account why you chose the genre, what information to include and

what challenges you may face while translating. In taking the time to do this, it becomes easier

to take long and tedious readings and efficiently transform them into shorter and easier

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Works Cited

1. Dirk, Kerry. "Navigating Genres." Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing. By Charles

Lowe and Pavel Zemliansky. Vol. 1. West Lafayette, Ind: Parlor, 2011. 249-62. Print.

2. Guglielmo, Mark. "The Contribution of Economists to Military Intelligence During

World War II." The Journal of Economic History 68.01 (2008): 109-50.

3. Rosenberg, Karen. Reading Games: Strategies for Reading Scholarly Sources. Reader,