Now available to online subscribers
Teaching Business Translation. A Task-based Approach
Author: Defeng Li
In line with the growing interest in the social constructivist approach to translator training, this article proposes that task-based teaching (TBT), a method initiated and popularized in the field of second language instruction, should be adopted in business translator training. However, given the considerable differences between teaching a second language and training translators, adjustments will have to be made to the TBT methodology to enable its application in the translation classroom (Gonzalez Davis 2004). It is proposed here that task cycles in translator training consist of six stages, including pretask, task, convening, analysis, revising and reflection. While the adoption of this model may pose challenges for translation teachers and students, these are outweighed by the advantages of TBT, an approach that (1) shifts the focus from teaching to learning, (2) draws students’ attention to the translation process, (3) develops reflective practices among students, and (4) most important of all, activates and develops translation competence, the ultimate goal of all translation training programmes.
Keywords: Task-based teaching, Teacher-centred learning, Learner-centred learning, Social constructivism, Transmissionism, Business translation, Translation competence
Undergraduate Consecutive Interpreting and Lexical Knowledge. The Role of Spoken Corpora
Author: Richard Bale
With a decreasing number of students enrolling on undergraduate courses in foreign languages in the UK, universities have a smaller pool of students from which to recruit. Many of these applicants come with poor foreign language skills. These weaknesses, which are prevalent in formal spoken registers, are particularly noticeable in those degree programmes containing interpreting modules - for these require a high level of competence in the students’ foreign language(s) as well as their mother tongue. This paper suggests that undergraduate interpreter training should address both the need to acquire interpreting skills and to enhance students’ foreign language competence. It reports on the findings from an empirical case study based on the BACKBONE corpus. Over a six-week period, eight English and German native speakers used corpus-based exercises to practise interpreting and to learn terminology related to education. Students’ interpreting competence and lexical knowledge were tested at the start and end of the study. The findings indicate that those who engaged more with the materials made greater improvements in lexical knowledge in both the terminology and interpreting tests.
Keywords: Undergraduate interpreter training, Spoken multimedia corpora, Lexical knowledge, BACKBONE corpus
The Effectiveness of Targeted Subject Knowledge in the Teaching of Scientific Translation
Author: Hala Sharkas
A great number of undergraduate and postgraduate translator training programmes include scientific translation among the areas of curricular specialization offered to their students. In these pedagogical settings, trainers are often faced with translation students who have little or no subject knowledge in the field of science. This article sets out to gauge the extent to which reading introductory specialized texts written originally in the target language may help trainee translators to produce accurate translations of scientific texts. To assess the effectiveness of targeted subject knowledge in the teaching of scientific translation, two groups of undergraduate translation students were instructed to translate a passage from a scientific report. While the two groups were allowed to use specialized dictionaries, only one was provided with an introductory target-language article on the same topic prior to translating the text. It was hypothesized that a smaller rate of translation errors by students reading the introductory text would confirm the effectiveness of elementary background knowledge in helping produce accurate translations.
Keywords: Targeted subject knowledge, Scientific and technical translation, Translation teaching, Accuracy, Documentary research
Examining Students’ Perceptions of Computer-Assisted Interpreter Training
Author: Lily Lim
Audio-cassette recorders have traditionally been central to interpreter training facilities, including labs and interpreting suites. With the growing ubiquity of information and communication technologies, however, integrating computers in the interpreting classroom and exploring their pedagogical potential has moved higher up the research agenda of interpreter trainers. This study explores the effectiveness of a Computer-Assisted Platform (CAP) in assisting student interpreters with their interpreting practice. Rather than examining the usefulness of this platform from the teacher’s viewpoint, this research focuses on the students’ perception of what computer-assisted training offers them, comparing it with their learning experience using audio-cassette recorders. Subjects in this study identified five attributes as central to their perceptions of CAP-based interpreting training. The findings also suggest that subjects prefer the computer-assisted approach to the traditional form of interpreting practice involving audio-cassette recorders. The paper articulates the reasons for their preferences, and explores the potential of the CAP as an alternative approach to interpreter training.
Keywords: Chinese/English, Interpreter training, Computer-Assisted Platform, Student perception, Three-channel mode
Virtual Worlds in Interpreter Training
Author: Mehmet Sahin
With translators and interpreters being increasingly expected to develop sophisticated computer skills to succeed in the translation and interpreting industries, interpreter trainers must explore new and effective ways of integrating new technologies in their courses. Virtual worlds have quickly exceeded the affordances of social networking tools and are now assuming an important place in educational settings worldwide. This article outlines the main features of a popular virtual world (Second Life) and explores how it might be used as a platform for interpreter training. After contextualizing the pedagogical use of virtual worlds within the wider approach to computer-assisted interpreter training, the article examines the advantages derived from learners’ access to multi-sensory stimuli as well as quasi-professional practice settings that Second Life facilitates. This is followed by an overview of the ways in which Second Life supports blended learning without compromising the degree and quality of practice and feedback involved in such courses. The final section outlines the main steps to cover in setting up an interpreting course using Second Life.
Keywords: Interpreter training, Virtual worlds, Information and communication technologies, Computer-assisted interpreter training, Second Life
The Quest for ‘Perfection’. Multidisciplinary Reflections on Aptitude and Affect in Interpreter Selection and Training
Author: Alessandro Zannirato
This paper explores the hypothetical construct of interpreting aptitude, with particular reference to its current operationalization for student selection purposes. The idea that there is a universal ‘ideal’ student profile, identifiable through a yet to-be-developed ‘perfect’ screening examination, is a recurrent theme in the interpreting literature. Indeed, the debate over interpreting aptitude has recently concentrated on personality-related traits of successful interpreters, and on potential interventions to test such traits in order to screen suitable candidates. After providing a brief theoretical overview of the research on interpreting aptitude and personality, this article describes some conceptual and practical challenges posed by the above-mentioned views, and presents reflections on alternative conceptualizations of interpreting aptitude that may inform not only student selection, but also training practices.
Keywords: Interpreting aptitude, Student selection practices, Personality, Affect in interpreting
Jody Byrne. Scientific and Technical Translation Explained: A Nuts and Bolts Guide for Beginners
Reviewed by Elisa Calvo Encinas
Louise Haywood, Michael Thompson and Sandor Hervey. Thinking Spanish Translation. A Course in Translation Method: Spanish to English
Reviewed by Maria Gonzalez Davies
Jeremy Munday. Introducing Translation Studies: Theories and Applications
Reviewed by Sara Laviosa
Sabine Braun and Judith L. Taylor (eds). Videoconference and Remote Interpreting in Criminal Proceedings
Reviewed by Luis Alonso Bacigalupe
Lukasz Bogucki. Tlumaczenie wspomagane komputerowo (Computer-Aided Translation)
Reviewed by Magdalena Dombek
Anne Lafeber. Translation at Inter-governmental Organizations: The Set of Skills and Knowledge Required and the Implications for Recruitment Testing
Beatriz Cerezo Merchan. La didactica de la traduccion audiovisual en Espana: Un estudio de caso empirico-descriptivo [The Didactics of Audiovisual Translation in Spain: An Empirical and Descriptive Case Study].
To join the International Association of Translation & Intercultural
Studies, click here: