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URA Archive
Scholars 2009 - 2010

Allison Isberg

Allison Isberg, Interdisciplinary Studies – Medieval Linguistics
“Translating a Medieval Will for Modern Readers”
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Gail Orgelfinger
Expected Graduation Date: May 2011  

The purpose of this study is to explore the process of translating a medieval document for a modern audience. Medieval wills are particularly suited to introducing an audience to the medieval world, since they record details of people’s daily lives, from those they loved and the faith they practiced, to the dishes on their tables. I will start my research this summer, exploring the different methodologies involved in handling medieval texts and translating them, as well as the different theories on translation. In the fall, I will travel to the Borthwick Institute for Archives in York, England in order to gain access to a medieval will. I will research the document and its historical context and produce several different translations. In the spring, I will pull my research and translations together and present them at URCAD. My presentation will be oriented towards an audience that may not be familiar with the Middle Ages at all. This will allow me to demonstrate how a medieval document can be translated and presented in such a way that the audience can gain a new, and hopefully much greater, understanding of the people and culture of the Middle Ages.