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A Short History..
Trinity College Dublin was founded in 1592, and in its early years one of its prime tasks was teaching Irish (Gaelic) to intending clergymen. Gradually, the college settled down into a programme of study very similar to that found all over Europe, with much stress on Latin and Greek.
In the eighteenth century - one of the highpoints both of the College's and the country's history - two chairs of modern languages were founded by Provost John Hely Hutchinson in 1776 (year of the American War of Independence): one of French and German, and one of Italian and Spanish. These were the very first official chairs of modern languages anywhere in the world. Thus, a great part of the college's scholarly effort has been devoted to language learning, since its inception.
Currently, the Faculty of Arts Letters has courses involving a total of 19 Modern Languages and Classics. Former students of the College's language departments occupy leading positions in universities all over the world, and some, like Samuel Beckett, have achieved literary pre-eminence.
The aim of the Literary Translation MPhil course is to bring together in an interdisciplinary framework the expertise which has developed in the university's language departments over a period of centuries, and to create a unique programme for practitioners, future practitioners and students of the art of translation. The target language is English, and currently we work with the following source languages: French, Italian, Spanish, German, Russian, Czech, Latin and Greek The programme is taught by experienced lecturers, and guest translators, and features a seminar in which students present and discuss their own work.
The illustration above shows a detail from the Book of Ballymote, a fourteenth-century Irish manuscript written in Ballymote Castle, County Sligo, and containing genealogical, topographical, biblical and hagiographical mterial as well as a key to the Ogham alphabet. The Book of Ballymote also has versions from Latin of the Destruction of Troy and the History of Philip and Alexander of Macedonia. Reproduced by kind permission of the Royal Irish Academy. For full-page view click hereback to top