The 3rd Conference of the International Association for Translation & Intercultural Studies (IATIS) was held at Monash University, Melbourne, in July 2009. The theme of the conference was 'Mediation & Conflict: Translation and Culture in a Global Context' and embraced such topics as cultural translation, the translator/interpreter as cultural broker in a trans-national world, the role of literary translation in challenging or reinforcing cultural difference, new media in translation, and political and ideological dimensions of translation. This is an excerpt from a paper presented by Dr Leah Gerber, of Monash University.
Many German publishers were unwilling to publish a German translation of Stasiland because the subject matter remained sensitive at the time of the book’s release. When the translation finally appeared, some German readers demanded to know why Funder thought she had the right to write about German history. The act of translation was also complex, as has been discussed by literary translation scholar Leah Gerber in this essay. Just one example is that Funder interviewed subjects in German, but then translated the interviews into English. “One of the key challenges posed to the translator,” Gerber notes, “is how to present a ‘reversed’ translation situation.”