Teaching Translation and Interpreting

Teaching Translation and Interpreting: Challenges and Practices

Edited by

Łukasz Bogucki

Newcastle upon Tyne. without the prior permission of the copyright owner. stored in a retrieval system. NE6 2XX. or transmitted.Teaching Translation and Interpreting: Challenges and Practices. Edited by Łukasz Bogucki This book first published 2010 Cambridge Scholars Publishing 12 Back Chapman Street. in any form or by any means. mechanical. ISBN (13): 978-1-4438-2500-9 . photocopying. UK British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Copyright © 2010 by Łukasz Bogucki and contributors All rights for this book reserved. recording or otherwise. ISBN (10): 1-4438-2500-X. electronic. No part of this book may be reproduced.

..... Adam Sitarek Criteria for the selection of lexical items that are false friends between English and German..........Table Of Contents Introduction……………………………………………………….... Łucja Biel The textual fit of legal translations: focus on collocations in translator training……………………………………………………………….. 1 3 15 25 41 51 69 81 99 Paulina Pietrzak and Mikołaj Deckert Teaching translation to evening students at the University of Łódź – a perspective on directionality……………………………………..… Aleksander Gomola Teaching translation of religious discourse in Poland…………………...............……………......... 121 ............ Joanna Janecka and Magdalena Kizeweter Perils or perks? Teaching translation as part of Practical English curriculum for undergraduate English Studies……………………...... Fiorenza Mileto and Luigi Muzii Teaching computer-assisted translation and localization: a project based approach……………………………………………………............. German and Polish................ Janusz Wróblewski Sensitizing learners to multiple equivalence……………………….…............….…. and Polish and English for the curriculum of translator training in the Polish educational system....... Michał Kornacki Teaching “computer translation skills” to English philology students at the University of Łódź…………………………….......… Marcin Zabawa Teaching translation at the university: should students be taught their native language?.....

.....vi Table of Contents Michał B........ 179 Andrzej Łyda.. 137 Jolanta Sak-Wernicka Interpretation and interpreting – how does it work in Relevance Theory?.................... Paradowski From catering college to the naked chef – teaching LSP and culinary translation……………………………………………….............. 239 .............................. Alina Jackiewicz and Krystyna Warchał To get what you want...........……………...................................... Triggering agentlessness in the consecutive mode…………………………………………………………………… 193 Zuzanna Łopacińska Dealing with speakers’ errors in interpreting – indispensable skill for a well-trained interpreter………………………………………………… 213 List of Contributors…………………………………………………........................... 167 Janusz Sikorski Interpreter aptitude in testing procedures......

The contributions talk about the challenges and solutions in a translation and interpreting classroom by combining theory and practice. the first was held in April 2008. the second almost exactly a year later. there is evidently a need among translation scholars and translators to exchange information on the process of becoming a translator – issues like the optimum profile of a translation adept.INTRODUCTION Translator and interpreter training has recently received ample attention. It is meant as a response to the developments in translation didactics which result from the recognition of the role of the translator/interpreter and the consolidating status of Translation Studies. the volume offers varied perspectives on analogous issues to arrive at a comprehensive up-to-date account but also to discuss outlooks for the future. What is more. manifested in numerous articles. if any. the Department of Translation Theory and Practice. The volume contains thirteen papers delivered at the aforementioned events plus one invited contribution. contrasting the Italian perspective (Fiorenza Mileto and Luigi Muzii) with . part of the Chair of English Language and Applied Linguistics at Lodz University. hence allowing for implementation of the different methods in real-life situations. As the authors come from a number of institutions and countries. the volume hopes to offer an opportunity to discuss the design of translation and interpreting teaching tracks as they actually function in different institutions within Poland and across Europe. the most efficient methods for guiding students who wish to pursue the career or balancing formal education with practical training. The present volume is an outcome of these two events. The rationale behind the publication is manifold. has organised two conferences under the title "Teaching Translation and Interpreting". However. not made"? In an attempt to address these and other questions as well as to exchange experience and expertise regarding translation curricula in Poland and abroad. are "born. books and conference papers. that is teaching computer-assisted translation. First. The first two articles address an issue of increasing relevance. Should translation and interpreting be taught within the curricula of language studies or independently? What is translator competence made up of? Which of its elements can be developed through practice and which require coaching? What kind of translators and interpreters. many central issues still appear controversial.

Mikołaj Deckert and Janusz Wróblewski assisted with both events and the publication itself. Most importantly. Janusz Sikorski tackles the issue of aptitude for interpreting. Paradowski comments on LSP in translation on the example of culinary language. Michał B. all the contributors ought to be given credit for their valuable and relevant work. English and Polish. the technical editor. Marcin Zabawa discusses the role of students‘ first language in translation classes. This section opens up with a paper by Jolanta Sak-Wernicka on the application of Relevance Theory. for their support. Joanna Janecka and Magdalena Kizeweter talk about teaching translation to undergraduates as part of the practical English programme. however. The paper by Łucja Biel focuses on collocations in legal translation. Dean of the Faculty of Philology as well as Professor Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk. Finally. Łukasz Bogucki Łódź 2010 . Adam Sitarek offers a comprehensive outline of false friends and ensuing translation problems in German. Head of the Chair of English Language and Applied Linguistics. The remaining four papers concern interpreting studies. while Paulina Pietrzak.2 Introduction the local one (Michał Kornacki). Michał Kornacki. Mikołaj Deckert and Paulina Pietrzak follow up with a discussion of translation courses offered to postgraduates. Andrzej Łyda. Alina Jackiewicz and Krystyna Warchał focus on consecutive interpreting and agentlessness. Janusz Wróblewski offers a variety of instances of ambiguity at word level and discusses problems trainee translators may face. Thanks are due to Professor Piotr Stalmaszczyk. has put in a lot of effort into preparing the volume. Zuzanna Łopacińska embarks on coping with speaker’s errors in interpretation. Aleksander Gomola tackles the rarely addressed topic of religious discourse in translation.

then as professional translators and localizers. approaches and solutions. and students generally tend to focus to exams and grades rather than actual learning but when they get into business. In this framework. in our experience as students first. The approach used for teaching computer-assisted translation and localization at the faculty of interpreting and translation at the “S. Let me do and I understand. translation schools in Italy have become sterile conservatories for accepted ideas. universities should be the place for continuing education. the common theoretical “conduit” view of learning still predominates in translator education. This does not mean that translation schools should churn out instantly productive professionals like so many human widgets. and the level of expertise offered by graduates is far from the realities and requirements of the workplace. In fact. Unfortunately. yet we believe that students should not be considered only diploma products. we observed that. and finally as trainers and teachers.CHAPTER ONE TEACHING COMPUTER-ASSISTED TRANSLATION AND LOCALIZATION: A PROJECT BASED APPROACH FIORENZA MILETO AND LUIGI MUZII Introduction Tell me and I forget. including knowledge work. incubators of new ideas. they blame the university since they become impotent witnesses of the unwillingness of employers abdicating their responsibility to . especially over the last few years. Pio V” University in Rome is aimed at helping each student’s skills emerge by shifting his or her focus from grades to experience. Show me and I remember. Confucius Globalization has become a synonym for commoditization of work.

the widespread practice of ceasing hiring in favor of short-term contracts confirms that certificates and diplomas are tickets to nowhere. The teaching approach comes from professional experience and industry knowledge as well as from the continuous exchange of ideas with colleagues and students at LUSPIO and during seminars. In this respect. The approach is based on two key assumptions: − learning is enhanced when knowledge is activated. teacher-led classroom activities. with no theoretical or methodological claims. to help the development of translator competence. The purpose of this paper is to outline our approach for studentcentered classroom activity. and help students to get accustomed to goal setting as they will typically bump into on the workplace. This approach is generally less structured than traditional. take on social responsibilities. and find solutions to real problems. and conferences. and the comprehension of all aspects of the translation process learning should be carried within the context of real translation projects. it is designed to be used for complex issues that require students to investigate in order to understand: in a project-based class. work together. As business is the mainstay of modern translation practice. PBL Project-based learning (PBL) is a constructivist pedagogy approach for classroom activity that emphasizes learning activities that are long-term. workshops. special attention is given to the differences in the evaluation systems to appraise the students’ level of competence and maturity. We came up with a “formula” to exploit class teaching at best. On the other hand. The students’ choices lead to artifacts representing what is being learned. .4 Chapter One educate and train their employees. interdisciplinary and student-centered. The paper presents a parallel structure reflecting our individual experiences in a common effort to improve each one’s approach to teaching and evaluation. students often must organize their own work and manage their own time. Within the PBL framework students are asked to team up. This paper is a report of a five-year teaching experience starting with a post-graduate course in localization to continue in the curricular courses of computer-assisted translation and localization.

Teaching Computer-Assisted Translation And Localization 5 − processing knowledge in a problem-solving approach to learning improves the ability to organize. terminology management and information technology. nevertheless. teaching is still based on a trial-and-error approach. narrow exposure to culture. and finally deliver a synthesis of their learning experience in a factual product. trying to devise strategies to pass it with the minimum effort and maximum profit. lack of practical training but also with their ability to organize themselves autonomously or work independently or in teams. and help them build strategies to be armed with to deal with whatever comes their way. Not only do students respond by feeding back information. We do not know of any formal study on translation teaching in Italy. they also actively use what they know to negotiate. The teacher teach students how not be at loss in real life situations. Students are discouraged to be passive receivers of the information transmitted to them from the teacher or the textbooks. the need has become acute to adapt educational practice in university-level schools for translator training to rapidly changing market requirements. The Rationale Over the last few years. traditional classroom activity integrates with “real world” issues and practices. and they are finding that the universities fall short of meeting their expectations regarding the skills and preparation for being on the workplace. They will otherwise end up focusing only to the exam. students attending the computer-assisted translation course and the localization course at LUSPIO are graduates from the major academic institutions in Italy. Running a structured project allow students to practice “real-world” conditions in a “safe” environment. In our experience. . The class changes from a teacher-fronted passive mass to a place of activities. translation buyers and employers have definite expectations of new graduates in translation. In PBL. Nevertheless. reflecting the teacher’s self-deemed superior wisdom and the attempt to duplicate knowledge in students’ minds. store and retrieve it. and no figures are available to tell this is a universal practice. and devise solutions. Instruction has its goal to make the student a selfsufficient problem-solver. The main obstacles encountered when hiring graduates are their preparation for dealing with specialized translation. solve problems or establish and effectively manage social relations on the job.

while newspaper texts are actually rare on the translation market they are still the all-but-exclusive practice material in classes.6 Chapter One Anyway. The computer-assisted translation course Computer-assisted translation is increasingly made the object of study nowadays. which is just the report of a teaching experiment. comparing job profiles with academic programs will make the educational gap clear. and the placement rate is largely satisfactory. and the accomplishment of the educational goals: the rate of abandonment is next to zero. Nevertheless. while translator competence emerges as the result of the collaborative completion of authentic translation work. and to help students achieve a professional-like level of autonomy and expertise they should go through experience by being involved in the collaborative undertaking of authentic translation projects for real customers. . in Italy and abroad. We have been trying to reduce it by introducing a certification pathway and a real-life project experience to endorse each student’s skills. The teacher is supposed to possess absolute knowledge of how to translate. the in-class instructional process is largely reduced to homework review: the instructor essentially identifies the errors in students’ drafts and provides “correct” solutions to translation problems. Last year. The results achieved so far confirm the soundness of the approach. Gaming is a fundamental ingredient in learning. while little has been written on their application to training. and therefore does not take into account the relevant literature and any similar studies/experiments carried out elsewhere. the computer-assisted translation course and the localization course are proficiently and satisfactorily working in the GILT industry. students are mostly enthusiastic in their comments in the questionnaires they are asked to fill anonymously at the end of courses. In the traditional translation education scenario. The purpose of this paper is to show that tech-driven courses need a different approach from traditional courses. Teaching methodologies as to translation tools are out of the scope of this paper. the SDL Trados certification exam was introduced at the end of the computer-assisted translation course: 18 students out of 28 passed the exam. 78% of students from the post-graduate course in localization. A lot has been said and published on TEnT’s.

while a first-time approach to computer-assisted translation can help the teacher take advantage of a total absence of habits and prejudices affecting long-time translation professionals. understand and evaluate their working environment. it is pivotal to foster a collaborative approach by setting up working groups whose members are able to compensate each other for weak points. mature a teamwork attitude. and meet the deadlines. In this way. Therefore. The assisted translation course at LUSPIO starts by presenting the basic concepts of computer-assisted translation and the basic functions of a translation tool through increasingly challenging exercises where attention is focused entirely on technical aspects. This approach is aimed at reconciling education and work-linked training. it is important for students to learn about the industry. and cooperation helps initiative and learning. and develop an unbiased view of a project. Therefore. The next step consists in reviewing a ready-made work with a translation tool. but is more and more widespread in the workplace. while getting accustomed to identify the technical aspects and skills to develop. Individual skills should therefore be used and students should be invited to rely on each other to solve the problems in the classroom positively moving the focus from the teacher to the class team. This makes it possible to integrate translation tools in the working process. The translation is chosen from those done during the course of specialized translation. possibly for poor rehearsal. Working strategy The first step is to encourage students not to be in awe of and suffer from computer and software tools.Teaching Computer-Assisted Translation And Localization 7 The teaching approach for the computer-assisted translation course is borrowed from the experience made in training translators and trainers for the GILT industry as well as organizations and academic institutions. Pros and cons of computer-assisted . and exploit the little time available at best. students can face a non-traumatic impact with the “real world”. The computer-assisted translation course is aimed at introducing students to a working methodology different from “Word and dictionary” and based on translation tools as an integral and indivisible part of the translation process. Teamwork cannot be taught. The working strategy comes from the experience in training the translators where being acquainted with each other helps cooperation.

At this stage the development of termbases. files. The project Once the introductory lessons are over. . the Netherlands. Students are requested to team up and develop a time plan. To help a contrastive analysis. in a controlled environment. and solve any problems with terminology and translation memories. and specialized corpora is also suggested. who will set deadlines and assign tasks. to handle communications with all the parties involved. students are called to participate in a translation project under the teacher’s guidance. while students can work freely and with full autonomy. Working strategies are finally evaluated that would have been faster and convenient. Océ materials proved particularly suitable for training purposes for their relative simplicity and the thorough compilation (style guides. One of the projects was run on materials developed by Lou Cremers during his office at Océ Technologies in Venlo. translation memories. the use of a ready-made translation project proved to allow the teacher to have definite references and goals. instructions. to anticipate problems and “challenges” that students must then confront and win. to the students that will attend the localization course. in a harder setting. while respecting the (virtual) customer’s instructions.8 Chapter One translation are discussed. In the same way. These issues will be repurposed. the course is a convenient introduction to the localization course where a real project will be run. the project is chosen from a bunch kindly granted for academic purposes. the teacher can reproduce the typical issues that students will find in the workplace and give them the chance to cope safely in a sheltered environment. Such “realia” allowed for the arrangement of a “real-world” working environment. and memories). together with the texts that are best suited for processing with translation tools. and to “plan” a few incidents to stimulate technical abilities and problem-solving talent. The student teams will have to deal also with any technical and logistic issues that could occur. In this respect. starting with the style guide. Benefits After a five-year experience.

In many cases. − a working session where students must demonstrate to know how to manage a small translation project. Therefore. The way the exam is broken down reflects the comprehensive combination of skills that students must develop for a profitable working strategy with translation tools. Only 15% of students fail when taking the exam at the end of the course. and only 10% run out of time. The most immediate and rewarding achievement is the abandonment of the exams-and-grades logic: the students’ efforts turn to be goal-oriented. . In a five-year experience.Teaching Computer-Assisted Translation And Localization 9 The teacher can exploit the students’ curiosity to prevent them to approach translation tools in the future to mechanically reproduce a few tasks with no apparent convenience. students must understand the business and operation logic behind them to use them actively and usefully. the best way to assess the students’ achievements is to test the different skills they should have developed during the course. The final exam is aimed at assessing the integration of computer-assisted translation with the translation process and the working methodology. is the development of an integrated approach to translation tools and language and technical and management issues. The most ambitious goal. and the absence of any mnemonic and mechanical use of the programs addressed during the year. which results in greater satisfaction and durability. − an academic session where students must answer a multiple-choice questions test. even though the basic structure of the course has remained unchanged. students are also given the chance to receive certification of their knowledge from tool vendors. Assessments Having experienced some traditional assessment systems with ongoing evaluation. Typically. Running a translation project requires students to waive mechanical or mnemonic learning: translation tools alone are not enough to solve the problems arising and fulfill the assignments. the final exam consists of three parts: − a short essay presenting the features of a translation tool reviewed during the course or a project done using a set of translation tools. small adjustments have been made to the final exam as to topics and duration. the effort required to write the essay has led students to deepen the subject in their final dissertation.

teacher-fronted lessons for basics. in the localization process. At the end of the teacher-fronted lessons on localization basics. flexibly. and in project management principles. and autonomously. every time. in every project. Project contents are aimed at giving students the opportunity to become confident in participating in localization projects. appropriately. At the beginning of the course. and teacher-students interaction. Students are trained in translation techniques for localization. although they are not. and includes a syllabus and examination procedure. students team up. The PBL model in teaching localization is pivoted on the course program. students are taught to devise and implement an overall project strategy that makes translation requirements easier to collect and understand and even apparent. Collaborative learning helps students forge a contingency strategy.10 Chapter One this is the case of students who have erratically attended lessons or with poor IT skills. Finally. and help disambiguation. and its themes to facilitate student autonomy. The localization course The course is aimed at teaching localization basics to translation students in order to provide them with some of the skills and competences needed to work in the localization industry. students receive basic instructions to enable them to use their skills and knowledge confidently. During the course. small classes. something unanticipated happens. assignments should mirror the kinds of job students will do in the workplace. Most of the project is run completely out of the class as coursework to give students the opportunity to learn from experience. The teacher chooses the product to be localized. The business game for “real world” connections In an applied localization program. and coordinate the . its instructional goals. and plays the service provider’s role thus appointing a student as the project leader who will allocate role and assignments. Connections are made with the “real world” in having students participate in a business game around an actual localization project.

Teamwork skills are pivotal in a traditional localization project made up of hundred thousands of words and limited time. especially for students who have secured high grades in exams. and the first lesson learned is on time management to accommodate assignments of different subjects and run the project. Group assignments bring “free riders” and slackers to emerge and team members face them and cope with their ability to exploit the extra efforts of peers. documents. Teamwork could prove very hard. The environment of a typical localization project is then replicated to simulate a workplace situation. students are asked to build an environment for the application of translation. planning. and communication skills. During the production stage of the project. The teacher needs to know his students and be prepared to help them adjust to this kind of learning.Teaching Computer-Assisted Translation And Localization 11 localization student team. and training material. and to use a bulletin board system to post messages. queries. it helps students develop problem-solving attitudes. they also discover spaces for product enhancement. They also get accustomed with the complex processes and procedures that are typical of “real-world” jobs. students learn to monitor progress and make changes to improve their work. Finally. the teacher can train students on specific points as the need arises. students are asked to give an open-ended written reflection on their experience. This offers the chance to give them a view on a typical project management task: writing a post-mortem report. and become more creative. In running the project. Assisting students with some aspects of the production allow them not to be overwhelmed by problem-solving tasks ahead of them. The teacher will integrate experiences with further training during two or more project status meetings. especially if students have never undertaken a lengthy project before. and are usual at ruling. especially when groups are fairly small. while others need guidance. Students are urged to report any problems and queries to the teacher. do not feel at ease in sharing their knowledge. The project impacts mainly on students’ time. and it is what market is requiring: not only does collaborative learning help students learn from each other. computation. . Some students forge ahead with selfdirected learning. During these meetings.

This helps create positive communication and collaborative relationships. Students are encouraged to take risks and fight frustrations. peer review is used to improve planning. At the same time. Tools are increasingly spreading that reduce translation costs. and engages and motivates bashful or indifferent students. with a satisfaction index of 99% over the period.12 Chapter One Benefits The transition from dependence to independence for trainee translators is not an easy process. and affordability. but also to develop problem solving. no abandonment has been recorded. The students expressing . The project approach encourages students to use their specialized skills and talents on individual tasks and responsibilities. and guarantee economic sustainability by standardization and large-scale use. thus eluding the problem of translation sustainability. students are told how the teacher will evaluate the group and the effect group performance will have on grades before any activity begins. and revising processes. student editors are prevented from the unpleasant attitude to make changes purely to demonstrate their authority. During the years a few adjustments have been made. and self-management abilities. These adjustments mostly relate to IT and translation skills. and students are trained to view editors or reviewers in a collaborative endeavor to improve their work. costs. but their increased output and productivity become a reward in itself. Finally. their responses and enthusiasm can be overwhelming. at the same time autonomy help them build confidence and consciousness of skills learnt. reliability. translating. use of resources. Teamwork is then encouraged to create products that are better than one individual could achieve on their own. therefore students are taught to take full advantage of appropriate technology to improve efficiency. based on the cues given by students through the questionnaires they are asked to fill anonymously at the end of courses. Since its establishment. IT and computer-assisted translation skills are now a (non-binding) prerequisite for the course. Since student groups perform best when they have common goals and joint rewards. Students also know from the beginning that their performance will be assessed on content and skills using criteria similar to those in the work world. translation courses generally lack of an “economic” approach with the associated investigation of the cost of errors. especially in an educational Italian system where spoon-feeding and rote-learning are common strategies.

Efficiency. Speed has becoming a larger pressure than quality — provided quality means the same for all. Translation tools are evolving fast. and tools are a means to get those costs under control. . Time to market is an important issue. In the coming future. assessment is used mainly to improve the product and occurs at stages throughout the project. Future scenario LSP’s are interested primarily in productivity and sales. Students will be assessed also on the strategies and skills that are needed to complete the task successfully. real-time production environment. Performance is assessed on an individual basis: quality of deliverables. and the contributions made to the ongoing process of project realization are taken into account. and the big factor for making machine translation systems profitable and convenient is reducing ambiguity in the source text. and the demand for faster production times is increasing. Assessments A schedule and firm deadlines are established. problems. and are leading to a collaborative. Therefore. interactive. missed deadlines are penalized. global economics. if not the prime challenge. Many free technologies are available now to manage huge projects in a much more efficient way than using standard tools.Teaching Computer-Assisted Translation And Localization 13 discontent have ascribed it to a faulty self-assessment of their compliance with the requirements for participation and with the program. Students are involved in the development of assessment criteria and are actively engaged in the evaluation of their own work. Periodic meetings are setup where progress. Keeping costs under budget is a major. strategies and solutions are discussed. they must have a clear understanding of the project’s goals and the ways in which they will be assessed before beginning. In this case. Most students still judge their educational experience by their grades. and this should really matter to translators as well. content understanding. These meetings are also useful to help students work to meet the deadlines and to catch up if they fall behind. One is machine translation.

As the translation and communication industries continue to be confronted with new technologies. and outsourcing it to an undefined. P. Buck Institute for Education This paper has been partly written in Italian and translated in English with a little help from Google Translate. content management. References Barkley E. and translation students should be introduced to web-based translation environments. K. 2003.14 Chapter One translators that are not using machine translation to pre-process their jobs 1 are doing too much work. Collaborative Learning Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty. controlled languages. 2004. the next step consists in educating translators in being conversant in the more “spendable” skills. Special attention should then be given to social aspects (collaboration and sharing through social networks. Howell. and workflow management systems. Project Based Learning Handbook. in the form of an open call. Cross and Major C.. The use of mass collaboration (also called peer production) and open-source technology such as wikis in a business environment to be successful. Jossey-Bass Markham T. 3 2 1 The act of taking a task traditionally performed by an employee or contractor. . generally large group of people. to exploit the same tacit knowledge that people in the field tend to share through discussion and personal interactions. 2 3 wikis and blogs) in a “Wikinomics” or crowdsourcing perspective.

too. and efficiency is one of the factors that the number of jobs we have depends on.CHAPTER TWO TEACHING “COMPUTER TRANSLATION SKILLS” TO ENGLISH PHILOLOGY STUDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ŁÓDŹ MICHAŁ KORNACKI Introduction The profession of a translator has no strict definition in Poland. no other skills will make us translators. Since our students have the opportunity to attend various classes on translation. professionals? Having been a teacher of translation for some time. since they make us efficient in what we do. Yet. But is it enough just to translate to claim that one knows the trade? Or maybe there is something more to it. “an individual translator cannot carry out the task of . Virtually anyone can translate a text and call themselves translators. my primary concern in to make them aware that being a successful translator does not only mean to translate properly. is equally important. those “other” skills are important. hidden beneath the glamorous cover of sophisticated language skills that make us. I use these words as an opening to the translation course I conduct at the Institute of English Studies. translators. especially that the pace of technological progress increases and it is often the case that. but working up to the standards of the market is something else. I try to show them that developing and applying a number of skills. I think I can try to answer these questions. University of Łódź. My goal is to make them at least partly ready for the challenges they will face in their professional life. as Celia Rico Pérez puts it. Of course. Translating is one thing. which many would refer to as “technical”. language skills are vital in this profession – without the knowledge how to render a body of text into another language. such as English-Polish or Polish-English translation. at least partly. ESP (English for Specific Purposes) or literary translation.

The final skill that needs mentioning. optical character recognition (OCR) and other relevant software. It is generally perceived as an advantage. “computer translation skills”. What is more. handling e-mail applications or communicating via internet messengers.) translators need to adapt themselves to this [changing translation market] new environment and learn new skills” (Pérez 2001). as I regard them. however. My experience with 1st and 2nd year students (2nd-year MA course) shows that having mentioned abilities is generally taken for granted by them. and probably one of the most important ones. Generally. Definition of “computer translation skills” It is nothing new to say that global computerisation.. University of Łódź. is related to searching for information on the internet. PL-EN. This applies also to regular freelance translators who often have problems with document formatting or searching for data on the internet. resulted in the need for translators to use computers. it also forces everyone to use the same (or at least very similar) applications and document formats. It is only when someone points out the gaps in their knowledge that they see them.e. post-graduate translation courses) strictly devoted to highly advanced aspects of the trade. .. they include a number of other things such as the use of word-processing software. since it is easier to create. visible in almost every aspect of our lives. leaving more complex issues for classes (i. which I used as teacher of translation (EN-PL. it is worth to think about them for a minute. (. computer-aided translation (CAT) tools. Although mentioning “such” skills may seem obvious at first. The purpose of this paper is to present some of my experience and methods of teaching computer translation skills.16 Chapter Two managing an entire project alone in a reasonable amount of time unless he or she works in a team. edit and send translations over to our customers. How do I translate using a computer? What skills and applications do I use? Asking such questions and answering them not only will give us a better idea of our efficiency when using a computer but also it will enable us to help others in this respect. include such trivial issues as general use of computers. I do not mention more major issues like project management since my aim is only to introduce students to some technical aspects of translation. Using computers in translation is so obvious today that very few people do stop to think about it. ESP) at the Institute of English.

Teaching “Computer Translation Skills” to English Philology Students 17 Computer knowledge that students have vs. they do not know which computer skills. the majority of answers were “a dictionary. i. trying to reproduce graphical form of the original stamp. computer knowledge they should possess There is a huge discrepancy between students’ actual knowledge and the knowledge they should possess. I have noticed that my own students do the same mistake. Our role as teachers of translation should be to introduce our students to the trade and to show them how the market works. It has become a part of our everyday lives to such an extent that nobody bothers to think about it. Nobody used CAT tools. A number of supporting questions revealed that a vast majority of students used MS Word as their primary word-processor and Google for internet browsing. However. This is only one example. Students generally do not know what to expect in regards to translation requirements.: /stamp reading: XXX/ /signature illegible/ In most cases. Once. for example. I used graphic software to cut the stamp and the signature from the original and paste it onto my translation. When asked about tools they use in translation. but dozens could be mentioned. I received series of scanned documents which contained stamps at the end of each document.e. translation agencies require translators to write that a handwritten signature is illegible.e. One or two students mentioned OCR software – which was totally unknown to the rest of the group. Even when it was pointed out to the students. they were unable to specify which computer tools in particular are helpful. will be useful to them while translating. Nobody taught me that the standard is to describe the stamp and put the description into “/ /”. when I was beginning to work as a translator. How are they supposed to .” The fact is that most people do not recognise the computer itself as a translation tool. unless it is in capital letters or followed by name and surname in print. which was not that much of a surprise since they were just starting as translators and CAT software is quite expensive and mostly useful for more advanced professionals. Why do I bring this example up? Recently. A really gifted translator will face many problems in the beginning of his/her career if he will be unaware of. the requirements of translation agencies regarding the final form of a document. Since I did not know what to do with it. if any. their knowledge of MS Word software and of Google was very basic. i.

Though such issues seem to be obvious and only vaguely related to translation at first. If students ask about memory. To start with. at the same time enabling resolutions which will allow us to display two windows side by side so that we can read a text from one and translate into the other one. If they are serious about translating. Display unit we work on should be large enough not to exhaust our eyes too quickly. which again has an effect on how fast we get tired while working. As translators. the most basic one. first of all. which are available on the . Hard drive – two smaller drives seem to be better than one large one due to the need for backup copy storage. the better. we are often required to use our older translations for whatever reasons.18 Chapter Two know what to do? Sometimes the knowledge when not to use our advanced computer skills and do something in a simple way is a skill in itself. It is very important to buy one which is comfortable and relatively silent. That is why my first step in a new translationfocused group is to interview them. I believe we should explain to them what they will need in translation as far as computers are concerned. Last but not least. Technological progress forces us to devote a portion of our time to strictly technical aspects of translation. Can it be any kind of a computer? Not exactly. I always start with websites devoted to translation. check what they know and to give them theoretical base for later practical activities. we should give them advice regarding configuration of their workstation. any up-to-date CPU will be sufficient – computational power of modern processors is more than a successful translator will ever need. they are an invaluable piece of advice for people whom we train to be translators. teaching translation involves much more than focusing on how to put one thing into another language in the best way. Teaching computer translation skills – theory and practise Today. is rather obvious: a computer. we should mention the keyboard. the answer is simple: the more. The first thing. Yet. It is also important to backup such archive in case of primary hard drive failure. The Internet The theoretical base should include general information regarding the translator’s workshop and the issues one should be familiar with. which is why keeping an archive is so vital.

and if yes – how. or compare different language versions of the same site (Wikipedia the Free Encyclopaedia and the ability to switch between different languages defining a given notion – www. as well as thanks to informatics classes.org).Teaching “Computer Translation Skills” to English Philology Students 19 Internet.wikipedia. Globtra (www.com. ProZ (www. but also it indexes *. Software A successful translator needs to know how to handle various computer applications in his/her work.. Such sites contain a lot of information about translators’ everyday work and they unveil many problematic issues a young translator may experience. Due to primary and secondary school requirements. WinRAR). Other software is also present (OpenOffice).com.globtra. That is why basic software used to compress and decompress files should be mentioned (WinZip. yahoo.proz.org). above all. in fact. which may be partly attributed to Microsoft software superiority and its general popularity. Branżowe Forum Tłumaczy (www. etc. However. More and more often we need to verify if a given notion was translated before. Do not forget about PDF and multimedia files readers (images. i. is our primary working environment. And finally. allowing us to browse through their contents in search for a context. altavista.). most people are familiar enough with the software to create new documents. audio). In Poland. The more people use it. use online dictionaries and corpora. etc. great attention should be paid to the word-processor which. which will help them advance in their career.e. The next thing worth discussing is the role of the Internet as a source of information.com. but their use is marginal.com). It is important to use the translations which have been on the market for some time and are recognised by other people. open and edit existing ones and change basic formatting types. most people use MS Word (versions XP. 2003 or 2007). This is where the internet becomes very useful for it allows us to search for a given information (google.com). It is important to mention CAT tools.doc and *.forumtlumaczy. Discuss differences in using different word processors and the (remote) need for audio recording software.pdf files stored on servers. how they work and whether a beginner translator should invest money in them. Describe how an OCR (Abbyy Fine Reader) and localisation (Alchemy Catalyst) software work. the less frequent compatibility issues become. interviews with students revealed that it was . Google itself is a powerful tool since it allows us not only to search for information on webpages.

and. Word Count in MS Word 2007 PL common nowadays.5 (1800 characters. Translations are mostly calculated based on a standard translation page which contains 1800 characters including spaces or. both in theory and in practice in class.docx which can be problematic for owners of older software versions.g. instead of *. As teachers. which are necessary when we need to retain the plan of the original document. I mention such seemingly obvious things to do as setting auto save function to 1 minute interval or the default file format to *. we should be thorough and avoid taking things for granted. which amounts to 6. There are several issues that need to be covered. The tool is most useful since it allows a translator to count how many characters including spaces there are in the document to be translated. . Page Layout and Insert (tables and images) tab and Styles menu (see Figure 2). primary settings of the software should be covered step by step. i. which becomes more Fig 2-1. as teachers.936 characters with spaces. Paragraph menu.doc. Font menu. It is often the case that we have to deal with complex formatting which cannot be altered and our only option is to use advanced formatting options. 1600 characters including spaces (EU standards). Our task. as a matter of fact. all they knew about the software’s functionality. the screenshot to the left was taken from a document containing 10. yet.20 Chapter Two all they needed. e. is to make them realise that the world of translators requires us to use our word-processor more extensively. It is vital to cover them since most users do not know how to access advanced settings for fonts or page layout.e. rounded up) or 7 (1600 characters. It is a very simple tool. Another tool I mention at the very beginning of a course is word count tool (Figure 1). rounded up) standard pages. Furthermore. That is why I always try to go through the interface first and how to adjust it to our preferences. a translator learns about the size of the document and how much he/she will earn by translating it. many people do not know how to use it or where to find it. Using this tool.

The last important issue that needs to be discussed in relation to MS Word is Track changes option (Review->Track changes). That is why we should remove them before and after translation. then selecting “Change” tab and typing in the item to be changed in “Find” line and target item in the “Change to” line.Teaching “Computer Translation Skills” to English Philology Students 21 Fig. but we should observe customer’s instructions. possibly all at once by using “Ctrl+F” (Find) keyboard shortcut and change all double spaces to single ones (Figure 3. If there are no such instructions. The tool is most useful in translation when we can translate and replace source text with our translation. 2-3. fix any bullet-pointing and numbering issues there may be and. dots imitate spaces). we should retain the formatting of the source document and apply general rules only if the source is written carelessly and without consideration for the reception of the document. delete any double spaces. It is also very useful in proofreading – we can mark our . Fig. Find and replace option in MS Word 2007 PL The option can be accessed by using “Ctrl+F” shortcut. Double spaces are most unwelcome in output translation and a translator who leaves them (even if they were made by the customer) can be seen as a kind of scrounger. 2-2. Main options bar in MS Word 2007 PL While discussing the settings. it is important to point out to students that there are certain general rules regarding formatting of the target text. the most important thing. Students should be made aware that in such a case they should align the text.

should they ever need it. or transfer the text from PDF or some other media files to DOC format and prepare it for translation. since it is a must in the translator’s workshop (a real time saver at times). I mention also few handy tricks how to send larger volumes of data (broadband in Poland is still much slower than in Western Europe) – web servers. it should be an environment which holds no secret for a power user like a translator. Even though specialised translation poses much greater challenge than general translation in respect to the form of the document. are not enough. offered as a part of the informatics classes on a regular MA course. FTP connection. which should not happen. Fig. if only to show students that there is such software out there. Only after such introduction can students proceed to pure linguistic aspects of translation. Classes on the topic.22 Chapter Two changes easily and the person who will read the document after us will see them clearly and will be able to accept or dismiss them quickly (Figure 4). all students will benefit from thorough and detailed course on the word-processor and their skills in that area will surely be valued by their future employers. . That is why theory should be followed by practise – students should complete numerous exercises where they need to restore specific formatting to a document which was cleared of it. etc. As a primary tool. apart from MS Word. both in regular translation and when using CAT tools. make new formatting to a document according to specific instructions. 2-4. Track changes tool in MS Word 2007 PL The reason why I explain MS Word in such detail is that it is completely overlooked in translation. As I have mentioned before. I present how other useful software works (using personal laptop). I usually make short presentations on Trados/Wordfast. Alchemy Catalyst and a bit longer one on OCR software. – when such need arises.

which involves developing various. Personal experience shows that most students were more interested in MS Word and its use than in CAT tools. I cannot agree. I believe it is better for students if they learn the basics during a translation class since they can shift easily from translation class to professional work and choose postgraduate courses to broaden their knowledge and work on professional (CAT) tools in greater detail. which may be attributed to the fact that a word-processor is required for translation. translation skills. The word-processor is not the only tool students should be familiar with. students should be made familiar with the subject (theory and practise) so that. However. While it may be argued that such issues should be covered at postgraduate courses. rather than treating them as obligatory. with time. but are not as vital. . only two to three classes are sufficient to cover the theory and to introduce the practical aspects of a word-processor and other basic software. whereas CAT tools are not. knowledge and proper application of which increases the number of orders for translation they receive. In fact. time should be divided between the most important issues (in-class practise) and theory regarding those issues which can be covered at home. graduate students often face difficulties upon the start of their career as translators on the Polish market. Teaching the so-called “computer translation skills” should not take up the entire time of translation class. It also involves a number of “technical” skills. they would not think about the technical aspect of translation and they could focus on translation itself. They quickly learn that translation is not only about ‘translating’ a document. This way we can check if students are making progress and what areas need additional explanation or practise. That is why teaching such skills should become a part of the curriculum. Hence. Further education in this respect should be based on translation assignments (to be carried out at home) which would explore and solidify their skills. On the contrary.Teaching “Computer Translation Skills” to English Philology Students 23 Conclusions Students of the translation track are frequently offered only the basic training in translation. purely linguistic.

Translation Journal. 5 (1). Celia Rico.com/yf2au5o (accessed 12 December. 2009). .24 Chapter Two References Pérez. "From Novelty to Ubiquity: Computers and Translation at the Close of the Industrial Age. Available at: http://tinyurl. 2001.

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