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HOÀNG THANH AN
SIGHT TRANSLATION STUDIED BY THE FOURTH YEAR STUDENTS OF TRANSLATOR AND INTERPRETER TRAINING DIVISION, ENGLISH TEACHER EDUCATION FACULTY, UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY
submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of bachelor of arts (TEFL)
Supervisor: NGUYEN PHUONG TRA, ma.
Hanoi, May 2011
I hereby state that I: Hoàng Thanh An, class 07E20, being a candidate for the degree of Bachelor of Arts (TEFL) accept the requirements of the University relating to the retention and use of Bachelor’s Graduation Paper deposited in the library. In terms of these conditions, I agree that the origin of my paper deposited in the library should be accessible for the purposes of study and research, in accordance with the normal conditions established by the librarian for the care, loan or reproduction of the paper. Hanoi, May 4th, 2011
Table of contents
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ABSTRACT LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES i ii iii
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1.1. Rationale 1.2. Aims and objectives of the study 1.3. The significance of the study 1.4. The scope of the study 1.5. The methodology 1.6. An overview of the paper
1 1 2 2 3 3 4
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1. Key concepts 2.1.1. Translation and interpretation 22.214.171.124. Translation 126.96.36.199. Interpretation 188.8.131.52. The comparison translation and interpretation 184.108.40.206.1. The similarity translation and interpretation between between
7 7 7 7 9 10 10
220.127.116.11.2. The difference translation and interpretation 2.1.2. Sight translation
10 12 13 14 15 15 17
18.104.22.168. The definition of sight translation 22.214.171.124. The characteristics of sight translation 2.2. Related studies 2.2.1. An overview of related studies in the world 2.2.2. An overview of related studies in Vietnam
CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY 3.1. Participants 3.1.1. Fourth year students in Translator and Interpreter Training Division, English Teacher Education Faculty, ULIS, VNU 3.1.2. Lecturers in Translator and Interpreter Training Division, English Teacher Education Faculty, ULIS, VNU 3.2. Data collection instruments 3.2.1. Questionnaire 3.2.2. Interview 3.3. Procedures of data collection 3.3.1. Phase 1
18 18 18
20 20 21 23 23
3.3.2. Phase 2 3.3.3. Phase 3 3.3.4. Phase 4 3.4. Data procedures analysis methods and
23 24 24 24
CHAPTER 4: DISCUSSION
26 26 34 39 42
4.1. Research question 1 4.2. Research question 2 4.3. Research question 3 4.4. Research question 4
CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION 5.1. Major findings of the study 5.2. Pedagogical recommendations 5.3. Suggestions for further studies 5.4. Limitations of the study 5.5. Contributions of the study
49 49 50 51 52 53
I owe profound indebtedness to many people for their invaluable help during the conduct of my research. Initially, I would like to express the deepest gratitude to my supervisor Ms Nguyen Phuong Tra, M.A for her support, helpful guidance and considerable encouragement which are the decisive factors in the completion of the study. Secondly, I would like to show my gratefulness to my teacher, Mr. Vu Hai Ha, who inspired my interest in learning English. As well, I send my sincere thanks to the teachers who effectively contributed to my research and supported me to overcome enormous obstacles. I am also grateful to the students for their enthusiastic participation in the surveys. Without their help, I could not complete this research. In addition, words of thanks are addressed to my classmates who supported me strongly. Finally, I am deeply indebted to my family and my two colleagues, Mr. Audley and Ms. Hong Van in ILO for their constant encouragements.
This paper investigated the actual situation of learning and teaching sight translation in the fourth-year curriculum of Translator and Interpreter Training Division, Faculty of English Teacher Education, University of Languages and International Studies. The study was conducted to withdraw the pedagogical methods of exploiting sight translation in training interpreters/translators. To achieve this aim, the data were collected by questionnaires and interviews. Through data collection and analysis, the research showed the obstacles to an effective teaching of sight translation. Overall, sight translation has not been paid proper attentions in training interpreters/translators. This could be explained by tight curriculums and students’ poor language skills to learn sight translation. Therefore, the paper emphasized on the reforms for a better teaching of sight translation. However, the study remained some limitations, which shed light on the further studies. Finally, some pedagogical recommendations for further exploitation of sight translation were offered in the given context.
List of tables and figures
Table1. Comparison between interpretation Table 2. Comparison among sight translation, translation and interpretation Table 3. A classification of the student participants according to their classes. Table 4. Frequent methods used by the lecturers to instruct sight translation Figure 1. The summary of the number of students studying sight translation in class Figure 2. The summary of difficulties students encounter when performing sight translation (as perceived by students) Figure 3. A summary of obstacles to an effective teaching of sight translation Figure 4. A summary of trainers’ attitudes toward the necessity of sight translation in the fourth-year TITD curriculum. essential skills for translation and
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
The opening chapter refers to the rationale, the aims and the objectives as well as the scope of the study. Furthermore, the research questions are mentioned as an adequate instruction for the paper. 1.1. Rationale
In the time of globalization, interpretation and translation have become a growing industry in Vietnam. Business affair, formal conferences all need interpreters/ translators to avoid linguistic misunderstanding and language barriers. As a result, interpreters/ translators have become a promising job. Being aware of this issue, University of Languages and International Studies (ULIS), one of the leading language teaching universities in Vietnam, has developed a completed translator and interpreters training course to satisfy the increasing demand of this occupation. Although many researches have been carried out to investigate the effective approach to teach interpretation/translation, no study on effective teaching of sight translation in fourth-year students of Translators and Interpreters Training Division has been conducted. This has stimulated the researcher to undertake the paper “Sight translation study by the fourth year students of Translators and Interpreters division (TITD), Faculty of English Teacher Education (FETE), ULIS, Vietnam National University (VNU)”. This paper is a serious attempt to examine the utilization of sight translation in interpreters/translators training. Moreover, through investigating the use of this method, the study aims at seeking feasible ways for students to overcome difficulties in studying sight translation.
2. Aims and objectives
To begin with, the research is expected to find out whether the fourthyear students in Translators and Interpreters Training Division, Faculty of English Teacher Education, ULIS have been taught sight translation. If already, a detailed insight into how sight translation is taught and what obstacles the students encounter. Afterwards, the paper will investigate problems to an effective teaching of sight translation, thus offer some pedagogical method to a better teaching of sight translation. In brief, the objective of the paper will attempt to answer these following questions: 1. Whether sight translation is taught to the fourth year TITD students in ULIS, Vietnam National University (VNU)? If yes, in what ways? 2. What difficulties do the fourth-year TITD students encounter when they perform sight translation? 3. What are obstacles to an effective teaching of sight translation in training interpreters/translators? 4. Was sight translation considered necessary by interpreter trainers in the fourth-year TITD curriculum? If yes, what are trainers’ suggestions for an effective teaching of sight translation to the fourth year students?
3. The significance of the paper
Once completed, the paper will serve as one of the first to study the use of sight translation as the pedagogical method in FETE, ULIS. Therefore, it may be of great use for students, teachers and other researchers alike.
Specifically, this paper will reveal students’ and teachers’ opinions about sight translation as a pedagogical method. Therefore, the recommendations from the paper hopefully will assist teachers to have a better approach in teaching and training. Furthermore, researchers who share the same interest will find useful information from this research to conduct further studies into this relatively unexplored area.
4. Scope of the paper
As the title implies, the study focuses on the study of sight translation by the fourth year students. Therefore, the paper places a stronger concentration in exploring the factual situation of teaching and learning sight translation.
Moreover, the samples of the paper were restricted to the fourth year TITD students. Nevertheless, the samples were deliberately chosen. As a result, the results would reliably reflect the whole picture of teaching and learning sight translation in HULIS.
1.5. Methods of the study Two popular methods of interviews and questionnaire were employed during the data collection. In particular, one questionnaire was used for all fourth-year TITD students. The questionnaire would help the researcher to gather the data of studying sight translation. Furthermore, one set of
questions was designed to carry out the interviews with the lecturers of TITD who were teaching the fourth year students so that the in-depth inputs of trainers about learning and teaching sight translation would be learnt. For the procedure, the interview with the lecturers would be conducted to find out whether sight translation was taught in their classroom or not. If no, the interviewees would be asked to explain the reasons for no exploitation of sight translation. If yes, their pedagogical methods as well as their own problems will be investigated. Furthermore, the respondents would be asked about the students’ problems from their observation while they were teaching sight translation. Meanwhile, the survey would be distributed to the students in order to find out whether sight translation was taught in their classroom or not and their problems in learning sight translation. Notably, two types of data will be collated and they will follow up each other.
1.6. An overview of the paper This paper consists of five chapters as follows:
Chapter 1 (Introduction) serves as the guideline for the whole study by stating the rationale, aims and objectives as well as scope and data collection methods. Chapter 2 (Literature Review) supplies the theoretical frame for the paper. To be specific, key terms related to the context of the study would be explained and the related study would be discussed. Chapter 3 (Methodology) illustrates the participants and instrument of data collection as well as the procedure to carry out the research. Furthermore, the choice of participants and data collection methods would be justified in this chapter. Chapter 4 (Results and Discussion) analyzes the collected data in order to answer the research questions. Chapter 5 (Conclusion) summarizes the issues discussed in the study, the contribution of the research as well as its limitation and some suggestions for further studies. The last parts are Appendices and Bibliography
Summary: In this chapter, the following points were elaborated:
(1) Statement and rationale for the study (2) Aims and objectives of the study (3) Scope of the study (4) Methods of the study (5) An overview of the paper In general, the first chapter serves as the justification for the main content of the study as well as the guideline for the whole study.
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
In this chapter, all the key concepts such as “translation” and “interpretation” as well as “sight translation” will be explained adequately as the frame for the study. Also, a brief overview of the context of teaching and studying sight translation in ULIS will be presented clearly. Finally, related studies will be analyzed in order to find out the research gap.
2.1. Key concepts
2.1.1. Translation and interpretation
To understand sight translation thoroughly, it is absolutely essential to clarify two major concepts, “translation” and “interpretation”.
Several definitions of translation have been given from many viewpoints. However, they can be mainly categorized into two types of perspectives. To begin with, translation is defined specifically as a process. According to Hartman and Stork (Dictionary of Language and Linguistics, London 1972, p. 713), Translation is the replacement of a representation of a text in one language by as equivalent text in a second language. The aim is to as accurately as possible all grammatical and lexical features of the “source language” original by finding equivalents in the “target language”. At the
same time all factual information contained in the original text…must be retained in the translation. This standpoint is further supported by Larson(Meaning-based transaltion). In particular, he divides translation process into three main steps as followed: study the ST, analyze the text, and reconstruct it into TL. However, many linguistics and educationalists consider translation as a skill. This stance is officially given by Newmark(Approaches to Translation): Translation is a craft consisting of the attempt to replace a written message and/or statement in one language by the same message and/or statement in another language By stating the word “craft” and “attempt”, he directly implies that translation requires efforts and skills to transmit the message from one language to another language. Because this scope of the paper is put into the context of teaching and studying, the paper will refer to Newmark’s definition whenever the term “translation” is stated. In spite of clear dissimilarity between two viewpoints, both cross at one crucial point that is translation renders the meaning of a source-language text into the target-language in accordance with the original intention of the text. Moreover, Newmark emphasizes that both forms of source and target texts are written.
Alike in the area of translation, numerous definitions are offered in the field of interpretation. Moreover, interpretation is classified into two kinds: According to National Association for Interpretation (America, 2000), interpretation should be understood: Interpretation is a communication process that forges emotional and intellectual connections between the interests of the audience and the inherent meanings in the resource. So interpretation is a process and interpreters orally translate by conversing different languages in order to communicate between audiences and the resource. Defining interpretation in its other characteristics, Kate (1968, cited in Introducing interpreting studies, 2004, p.10-11) thinks interpretation is a “form of translation” but in which: • The source-language text is presented only once and thus cannot be reviewed or replayed, and • The target-language text is produced under time pressure, with little chance for correction and revision. Kate emphasizes on the “immediacy” of interpretation, which is interpreters have only one chance to translate in very short time. More importantly, Kate uses the word “text”, which can be understood in various ways such as “utterance” or “acts of discourse” or “message”. Therefore, this definition covers the nature of sight translation to some extent. As a result, Kate’s definition of interpretation will be utilized as the reference for this paper.
126.96.36.199. The comparison between translation and interpretation
In light of the definitions of translation and interpretation, the resemblance and dissimilarity between them can be pointed out.
188.8.131.52.1. The similarity between translation and interpretation
In their in-depth scholarly research, Cay Dollerup, Lena Fluger and Anne Zoëga (1992) indicate that the fundamental similarity between translation and interpretation is their aim and their mental process as well as their basic skill. Both types endeavor to maintain the meaning of the source text to the greatest extent. In general, translators/interpreters are required to be faithful to the original materials. Furthermore, the mental performances in both translation and interpretation are commonly delivered in the same way. First of all, translators/ interpreters need to understand the source materials. Then they have to re-express the text in the target language. And above all, it is compulsory for them to master equally the source and target languages.
184.108.40.206.2. The difference between translation and interpretation
On the contrary, Dollerup, Fluger & Zoëga also conclude that translation differentiates from interpretation in the aspect of spatio-temporality of the “communicative context” and the accessibility of the text. Regarding the spatio-temporality, “the performances of the sender, translator, and receiver take place in physical separation” in translation. The translators have time to decode the source language and encode it in the target language as well as review the work in a long time before sending it to
the readers. Meanwhile, in interpretation, “all parties are integrated in the communicative situation”, that is speakers, hearers and interpreters will be in attendance at the same time. The process of decoding and conveying message will happen in a short span of time. In addition, the accessibility of the text is also the significant dissimilarity between translation and interpretation. Commonly, the text in translation is written, thus, it is usually well-ordered and permanent with information succinctness, grammatical precision. In the process of translating, translators can re-read the source text as many times as he/she wants and utilize any reference to understand the text better. However, in interpretation, the text is commonly flexible and easily influenced by speakers and hearers. For instance, the speakers can add any extra-information which they come up with when speaking. Another example is the interaction between speakers and hearers such as Question-Answer part. Interpreters will have only one time to transmit the message and obviously, they cannot refer to any other materials. Furthermore, Harris (1981, cited in Translation studies: perspective on an emerging discipline, 2002, p.82) and Kalina (1998, also cited in Translation studies: perspective on an emerging discipline, 2002, p.84) add one significant difference between translation and interpretation related to the forms . According to their opinions and the definitions aforementioned, translation basically deals with written forms of input and output. Conversely, interpretation is mainly involved with spoken materials. Besides, according to Northeast Ohio Translators Association, skills required for translation and interpretation are different as in the following table:
Translation - Reading and writing skills - Cultural knowledge - Subject knowledge
Interpretation - Listening and speaking skills (including public speaking) - Cultural knowledge
- Good ability to use the library of - Subject knowledge dictionaries and reference materials - Good memory - Note-taking skills
Table 1. Comparison between essential skills for translation and interpretation However, it is necessary to mention about the difference between subject knowledge in translation and interpretation. Kalina (1998, cited in Translation studies: perspective on an emerging discipline, 2002, p.84) clarifies that subject knowledge can be acquired pre-, in-stage and posttranslation process. However, interpreters have to study specific information in advance because the interpreting performance only happens in minutes.
2.1.2. Sight translation
As mentioned above, one of the agreed signals for distinguishing between translation and interpretation is the forms of material input and output: translation- written forms and interpretation-oral forms. However, this classification causes not a big, yet troublesome overlapping problem, which is when interpreters have to orally interpret a written document. The input is written form but the output is spoken one. And this type is called sight translation.
220.127.116.11. The definition of sight translation Multiple academic definitions for sight translation have been offered in numerous researches. Lambert (1998, cited in Sight translation as a
cognitive tool in language learning, 2009) states that Sight translation involves the transposition of a text written in one language into a text delivered orally in another language. Since both aural and visual information processes are required, sight translation could be defined as a specific type of written translation as well as a variant of oral interpretation. Lamberts mentions two-faced characteristics of sight translation, which is written text for output and oral text for input, yet he does not classify sight translation into either translation or interpretation. Sight translation is considered as their hybrid. Some other scholars such as Seleskovitch (1986, cited in Sight translation as a cognitive tool in language learning, 2009) tend to connect sight translation with translation when pointing out the process of “conveying message” in sight translation is the same as the one in translation. In the light of this point of view, sight translation belongs to translation. However, Jean Herbert (1992, cited in Sight translation and interpreting: A comparative analysis of constraints and failures, 2004, p.2) categorizes sight translation as a mode of interpretation due to its traits. Firstly, sight translation and other types of interpretation share the same oral outcome. Moreover, sight translation requires speed. Besides, interpreters can not access to reference materials when they perform sight translation. This stance is support by Pratt (1991, cited in Sight translation as a cognitive tool in language learning, 2009). Pratt concludes that “the processing of information resembles the simultaneous interpretation at sight”. This
classification is universally accepted. Currently, most linguists consider sight translation as a part of interpretation. Lambert’s definition will be taken as the hypothesis for the whole paper. Finally, it is also noteworthy that sight translation is mainly used as a pedagogical method/ exercise in teaching translation and interpretation.
18.104.22.168. The characteristics of sight translation Despite the controversial categorization, it can be pointed out some distinctive characteristics of sight translation. This paper will point out the traits by comparing sight translation with translation and interpretation in the table below Sight translation Skills - Reading skill -Reading and writing Listening and skills Translation Interpretation
required - Speaking skill skills (including public -Cultural knowledge speaking) -Cultural knowledge -Subject knowledge -Subject knowledge(acquired
(including public speaking) -Cultural
pre-, in-stage and post- knowledge translation process) -Subject
- Good ability to use the knowledge before
(acquired before library of dictionaries (acquired translation process) and reference materials - Analytical skills translation process)
- Analytical skills -Ethical behaviour -Ethical
- Good memory -Note-taking skills
- Analytical skills -Ethical behaviour
1. Reading for 1. understanding
for 1. Listening and
understanding the text in understanding the text in source
the text in source source language language 2.Translating mentally 3.Orally performing target language in 2. Translating
3. Performing in written 2. Interpreting form in target language 3. performing target language Orally in
Table 2. Comparison among sight translation, translation and interpretation
2.2. Related studies Despite numerous studies on translation or interpretation, sight translation is unexplored topic or may be paid little attention to. Moreover, the heated controversy on the nature of sight translation as well as the effective way to utilize sight translation as pedagogy has been a matter of great concern for teachers and researchers not only in Vietnam but also in the world.
2.2.1. An overview of related studies in the world
Sight translation is popularly considered a simple task and has little usage in real life. Commonly, sight translation is thought to be used in health care, judicial interpretation. Even in training interpreter/translator training, sight translation is often given short time as Romero comments in her article
“Sight translation: A Prelude to Simultaneous Interpretation”. Therefore, only few remarkable efforts are made to address the role as well as the utility of sight translation. In her research “Sight translation and interpreting: A comparative analysis of constraints and failures”, Agrifoglio tries to point out the differences among sight translation, translation and interpretation as well as the failure of interpreters/translation when they carry out sight translation. Therefore, she suggests some methodology to train sight translation in general. Additionally, some scholars study sight translation as an effective tool of learning language. For example, Visintin & Campos, in their research “Sight translation as a cognitive tool in language learning” point out the assistance of sight translation in improving linguistic performance. Notably, several studies have been conducted to link the connection among sight translation and two popular types of interpretation: simultaneous and consecutive interpretation. In “Shared Attention during Sight translation, Sight interpretation and Simultaneous Interpretation”, Lambert confirms that sight translation should be used as “a cognitive approach to a simultaneous –interpreter training program”. Shared the same opinion, Romero in her article “Sight translation: A preclude to Simultaneous Interpretation” states that sight translation is a crucial step to move from consecutive to simultaneous interpretation. Notably, in 2008, Charles W Standsfield developed a complete assessment for sight translation, which is very useful for teaching it. While few systematic researches have been found, numerous of quick guidance for sight translation has been offered, mainly by interpreters and translators training institutes.
2.2.2. An overview of related studies in Vietnam Professional training for interpreters/translators has been developing recently and the skill standards for interpreters/translators have not been built up. The curriculum in professional training institutes has been in the development process. Additionally, limited class hours, tight study schedule and student’s low incentive for self-studying provide teachers with little time to introduce and instruct sight translation. Consequently, it can be said that no study is carried out to investigate sight translation in Vietnam in general and ULIS, VNU in particular.
Summary This chapter provides readers with the explanation of key terms as well as the general idea about sight translation’s role in previous researches.
CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY
In the previous chapter, the hypothesis is supplied for the paper. Moving to the feasible area, the study strictly sticks by reasonable methods of data collection and analysis for ensuring its credibility and trustworthiness. 3.1. Participants
The process of collecting data included the participation of both lecturers and fourth-year students as in the following description: 3.1.1. Fourth year students in Translator and Interpreter Training Division, English Teacher Education Faculty, ULIS, VNU As previously mentioned, one of the target participants of this research is the fourth year students in TITD; thus, the participation of those students plays an essential role in this study. The fourth-year students were selected because they were supposed to have some learning experience as well as some ideas about sight translation at least through the lessons of Translation Theory. Meanwhile, in the training course, interpretation and translation are actually taught at the beginning of the third year. The second-year students only get familiar with translation practice. The third year students do not have enough experience with interpreting and just perform some basic interpretation. Hence, fourth-year students will provide the best picture of the sight translation study in ULIS.
Below is the graphic demonstration of the student participants, from both mainstream and fast track classes. Therefore, the differences in studying and teaching sight translation can be investigated.
E17 Mainstream class E18 E19 Fast track class E20
13 23 21 6
Table 3. A classification of the student participants according to their classes.
Notably, to compensate to some extent for the limited number of student participants Notably, the limited number of student participants was made up to some extent when the interviewed lecturers reported the students’ performance as well as the evaluation.
3.1.2. Lecturers in Translator and Interpreter Training Division, English Teacher Education Faculty, ULIS, VNU
As “the study of sight translation” is clearly clarified as the subject of the paper, the lecturers’ position is extremely significant to the study. Because they directly facilitate and evaluate the students’ sight translation performance, they have a detailed insight into the difficulties that students face as well as their own obstacles when teaching sight translation. Moreover, they can share their invaluable experience for the better
exploitation of sight translation from the viewpoint of a professional translator/interpreter and the stance of a teacher. Furthermore, the lecturers’ teaching experience ranges from 3 to 15 years. This provides diverse viewpoints on sight translation. Last but not least, these teachers have experience in both teaching fast track and main stream class. Based on the factual situation and time limitation, the number of the lecturers participated in the paper is 5.
3.2. Data collection instruments
Questionnaire and interviews are fully employed for a quantitative and qualitative data collection to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the input.
A questionnaire (Appendix 1) was designed to collect fourth- year students’ written response to sight translation. The questionnaire was written in Vietnamese to avoid any possibility of misunderstanding, which can cause the inaccurate outcome of the paper. Some first lines served as the brief introduction to the research topic and the confirmation about confidentiality of any personal information as well as the instruction for answering questions. On the following rows, both close-ended and open-ended questions were employed to facilitate the data gathering and comprehensive analysis of factual, behavioral and attitudinal information ( Brown, 2001, cited in Hoang & Nguyen, Research Methodology, 2007, p.17) of the fourthyear students about sight translation.
Thanks to its advantages, questionnaire is utilized in this paper. Due to time-constraint, using the questionnaire helped the researcher to immediately collect a large amount of information from the fourth-year students (approximately 60). Moreover, the result from the questionnaire can be processed rather fast and conveniently (Gillham, 2000, cited in Hoang& Nguyen, 2007, p.18). More importantly, the short questionnaire made the unmotivated students more willing to finish all the questions. The questionnaire is intimately related to the research questions. In particular, the two first questions in the questionnaires served as the collation between the factuality of studying sight translation and the lecturers’ interviewing response. Therefore, it helps to find out the answer for the first research question (Whether sight translation is taught to the fourth year students in TITD, ULIS, Vietnam National University?). The third questions were mainly to answer the second research question (What difficulties do the fourth-year students encounter when they practice sight translation?). The last question provided students’ personal opinion in the usefulness of sight translation for assisting them in mastering
translating/interpreting skills. As a result, this opinion would help to back up the lecturers’ suggestion for finding out the effective pedagogical method for teaching sight translation together with instructing translation and interpretation in the fourth research question
The researcher chose interviews (Appendix 2) as a qualitative method to collect the lecturers’ perspectives in teaching sight translation. Firstly, the
researcher introduced the research topic and the aim to the lecturers so that they could have an overall picture. All the interviews were not time-fixed. Unlike the questionnaire, only open-ended questions were selected and all interviews are semi-constructed because this type offers the interviewees “power and control” during the interview and the interviewer “a great deal of flexibility” (Hoang & Nguyen, 2007, p. 52). For example, in-dept questions and additional necessary inquiries can be included in the interviews. Moreover, the interviewees were encouraged to share all their knowledge about sight translation as well as their stances as both the professional interpreter/translator and lecturers. As mentioned in Questionnaire (3.2.1), the interview and the questionnaire will be collated and support each other to produce an adequate answer for the research questions. Similarly to the questionnaire, the interviewing questions also focused on answering the research questions. The first main question was aimed at investigating the current situation of studying sight translation by the fourth year students. Teaching methods were also expected to be explored. Afterward, the lecturers were asked to evaluate students’ performance on sight translation, students’ problem and the difficulties in teaching sight translation. These answers were to respond to the second and the third questions. (What difficulties do the fourth-year students encounter when they practice sight translation? and What are obstacles to an effective teaching of sight translation in training interpreters/translators?). Followed are the lecturers’ different standpoints of the necessity of sight translation in the interpreter/translator training course. Consequently, they could offer a more exhaustive exploitation of sight translation in training
interpreters/translators. Their answer helped the researcher to collect data for
the last research question (Was sight translation considered necessary by interpreters trainers in the fourth-year TITD curriculum? If yes, what are suggestions for an effective exploitation of sight translation in training interpreters/translators?)
3.3. Procedures of data collection The data collection process can be divided into four phases
3.3.1. Phase 1 The initial phase was spent for preparing data collection. The schedule for distributing questionnaire and conducting face-to-face interviews were arranged. Notably, all personal information of all participants will certainly be kept confidential. Furthermore, the questions for the questionnaires and the interviews were designed. To carry out this work, some small talks or informal conversations with students and lecturers took place so that the researcher could adjust the drafted questions. For example, the small talk with some fourth year students revealed that they did not know about sight translation. Thus, the research put the first questions “what is sight translation” to check students’ basic understanding of sight translation.
3.3.2. Phase 2 The final versions of the questionnaires and interviews were completed. Afterward, the timetable of the fourth-year students was
checked to have a convenient available time for the students in order to avoid their unwillingness.
Before filling in the questionnaire, the research topic was fully explained to the students. Moreover, the confidentiality of personal information was affirmed so that the students could feel free to answer all the questions. To avoid any misunderstanding, all students’ doubt about the questionnaire were adequately answered while they were filling into the survey
3.3.3. Phase 3 In this phase, the interviews were carried out. The appointments for the interviews together with the brief introduction of the research topic and the purpose were made via telephone. At first, the interviewed lecturers were given time to read quickly the questions. Afterward, the interviews were conducted and recorded. During the interviews, additional questions were often asked to have in-depth information from the lecturers. Besides, the interviewees were encouraged to share all their knowledge and experience about sight translation, especially in teaching sight translation.
3.3.4. Phase 4 In the last phase, the interviews were transcribed and translated into English to serve as the reference later on. Afterward, all the collected data were synthesized and analyzed thoroughly and adequately to provide a full answer for all the research questions.
3.4. Data analysis methods and procedures All the data collected from the students and the lecturers were utilized to answer all the research questions, as mentioned clearly in Questionnaire
(3.2.1) and Interview (3.2.2). However, their responses were combined and analyzed to answer each research question. Particularly, to address the first question on the ways of teaching sight translation, the data were gathered from the interviewed lecturers and categorized into different groups. From the classification, the advantages as well as the weak points of each method were evaluated thoroughly. For the second question, the responses from both the students and lecturers were employed to find out the difficulties which students encounter in sight translation performance. The answers from the questionnaires were graphically illustrated. Moreover, the lecturers’ comments on the students’ performance in the interviews were to mainly explain the reasons for the difficulties. The data to address the third question were taken from the interviews. Chart and graphs were utilized for a clear illustration. The last questions were mainly answered by the lecturers’ responses. However, the opinions from the students were considered to some extent. Last but not least, quotations from the interviews and the questionnaire were frequently cited to support data analysis.
Summary Overall, the selection of two groups of respondents was adequately explained in this chapter. Moreover, the data collection instruments were introduced and justified. Also, the detailed data process was described in detail. This chapter helped to justify the credibility of the outcome in the next chapter.
CHAPTER 4: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The preceding chapter has described fully and justified the selection of respondents, data collection instruments as well as the data analysis methods. Relying on collected data, this chapter will provide the answers for all the research questions. Notably, the theoretical framework mentioned in the Literature Review will be referred to compare with the findings of the paper.
4.1. Research question 1: Whether sight translation is taught to the fourth year TITD students in ULIS, VNU? If yes, in what ways?
This research question aims at exploring the actual situation of teaching sight translation in ULIS, especially for the fourth year students. The collected information from the interviewed lecturers revealed that due to various reasons which are preferably discussed later on, sight translation has not been employed much in interpreter and translator training course in TITD, ULIS. The outcome coincides to some extent with the result from the questionnaire. More than 60% of surveyed students said that they only knew sight translation through the subject “Translation Theory”, which only introduced briefly the definition of sight translation with few lines. No instruction for sight translation is mentioned in “Translation Theory”, thus it can not be confirmed that sight translation has been adequately taught to this group.
Translation theory Interpretation Transaltion Do not remember
Figure 1. The summary of the number of students studying sight translation in class
However, the accumulated data from the interviews revealed that the lecturers indirectly introduced sight translation to students to some extent, yet did not say the name of sight translation. Furthermore, these techniques have been used diversely in both main subjects: translation and interpretation. More interestingly, it also shows the controversial nature of sight translation as aforementioned in Literature Review (22.214.171.124), that is sight translation is the hybrid of both translation and interpretation and can be categorized into either of the two types. By and large, the pedagogical methods which are frequently utilized can be summed up as in the following table:
1. Integrate sight translation as a quick form of 2 checking exercises in translation class 2. Introduce and instruct sight translation as a form of 3 interpretation in interpretation class 3. Ask students to practise sight translation at home 1
Table 4. Frequent methods used by the lecturers to instruct sight translation.
Notably, the lecturers have exploited sight translation with a range of purposes in different situations and adjust sight translation training to fit their intentions. Each technique as well as its strengths and weaknesses are adequately demonstrated as below:
• Integrate sight translation as a quick form of checking exercises in translation class
In the curriculum, translation usually occupies 2 or 3 periods per week, thus completing all the tasks and checking students’ written performance are time-consuming. Consequently, to save time for checking students’ assignment, instead of reading one by one which takes much time; the lecturers called one student and asked him/her to orally translate the required text. For example, Teacher B, revealed that: “I sometimes integrated sight translation into my lessons. I mainly used it when there was a shortage of time and students had to give immediate answers or in case the translated sentences were simple and students could look at it and translate right away”. Sharing the same opinion, Teacher E also said that “I applied sight translation as a tool of checking homework or in-class exercise, I called one student to read his/her translation and everyone will listen to it and find out any mistakes”
This technique can assist students to familiarize with the pressure of immediacy when they perform sight translation. As aforementioned in the
Teacher B’s words, students have to give immediate answers after looking at the text. Even though this application can be useful for the lecturers to save time, it cannot be said that the method shows students the proper way of performing sight translation. Doing this exercise sounds like students were performing sight translation. However, with an in-dept insight, it can be seen that the processes are different. Initially, the essential skills for sight translation are not given in this technique. Obviously, lecturers do not have enough time to complete the lesson, thus, they employ this technique for speeding up checking exercise. As a result, it is hard for the lecturers to offer some amount of time to instruct fully the skills required to sight translation. Lecturer B said that “I have never intended to teach sight translation” and he just simply told students to read aloud their answers for the translation exercises. As a result, even students themselves are not aware that they are doing sight translation.
Moreover, students can prepare the translation at home and they actually just read aloud their prepared translation. It can not be called “the instantly oral conveying of written message”, which is the process of performing sight translation. Only the case of in-class assignment can help students to practise immediate sight translation.
interpretation in interpretation class Currently, this technique is employed by the largest number of the interviewed trainers. Simultaneously, the accumulated data from the survey also reflected this result.
This method has offered a better clear objective and a more systematic pedagogical measure for teaching sight translation than the previous technique. Commonly, official class time for studying sight translation lasts 2 or 3 weeks (with 2 or 3 periods per week). The first week is spent for introducing sight translation and its required skills. The followings weeks are used for practicing and testing students’ performance. Various material sources such as short funny stories and opening speech have been utilized to keep students interested.
This approach provides students with not only theory but hands-on experience as well. Step-by-step measure has been applied to develop students’ necessary skills for performing sight translation. According to Teacher D, “at first, I broke the text into some smaller units. Then I required students to do sight translation with those smaller units. When students get familiar, I increased the length of the text and even the difficulty level of the text. For example, the text would include the long sentences and complicated structures such as inversion…..verb appears before noun”. As seen in her description, the level of difficulties has been increased gradually together with the essential skills students need to acquire. They, at first, just have to analyze short text with simple words. Later on, they are assigned to practise with longer complicated materials.
To create a more authentic situation for sight translation, exercises which reflect real life situation has been designed. For instance, students have to listen to a recorded speech and read its text at the same time. This assignment requires student to do sight translation while still focusing on
listening. Explaining the purpose of this exercise, Teacher E said that “it is like a real situation which an interpreter has to use sight translation…mainly in conference or workshop….especially when speakers deliver an opening speech…This exercise reminds students not only to concentrate on reading the text but also keep track of what speakers are saying”.
In brief, this technique could provide students with a general overview of sight translation as well as “a long vision” (Teacher D) about the role of sight translation and the proper method to master sight translation skills.
However, time limitation for instructing can restrict the lecturers to give “detailed comment and gives a mark” (Sampaio, Mastering sight translation skill,2003). Even some students do not have chance to perform sight translation in class because the lecturers cannot call all students within 50 minutes (a normal class around 20-25 students)
• Ask students to practise sight translation at home Being aware of time-constraint in class, the lecturer has introduced sight translation and assigned students to practise it at home. This method gives students a great deal of flexibility. They can choose whatever topic they like. Moreover, the length or the difficulties of the text diversify from a piece of news, an article to even student’s own reading assignments or a novel. From the survey, some students say they practise sight translating lyrics of songs. It is pointed out that choosing song as “sight exercise” can bring lots of benefit. Firstly, music can amuse students and help them to
maintain their interests. Furthermore, it is a good environment that student can both listen and read at the same time. They have to translate in tune with the rhythm of the song. Besides, lyrics are short and contain a great deal of slangs/ idioms, which possibly help students to increase their vocabulary and imitate the way of using language in a natural way (because songs are written by the native speakers)
Apart from being flexible in choosing materials for sight translation, students can practise it at any convenient time for them. Practising at home can reduce shy students’ constraint and “interference” and “fear of interference” (Literature review, p.17) which they usually encounter in class. As mentioned above, students usually choose songs, which are good at relieving students from the stress of performing sight translation.
However, this technique reveals some fundamental weaknesses. To begin with, the quality of students’ sight translation performance can not be controlled. The lecturers cannot know students’ mistakes or problems to help them correct and overcome those errors. As aforementioned, even in class, the teachers cannot give full detailed comments and correct mistakes for each and every student so surely, it is more difficult for lecturers to assure the quality of students’ sight translation performance at home.
The biggest problem of this technique is the lecture’s difficulty to ensure that students really practise sight translation at home or not. For example, Teacher D commented that “my students are very lazy. They do not follow the follow-up activity at home. They hardly practise sight translation at home”.
Therefore, to apply this technique effectively, it is necessary to motivate students to practise sight translation at home. The way to motivate students is preferably reserved for the later part of the study.
• Design and facilitate sight translation as a buffer from consecutive to simultaneous interpretation
The difference between this technique and the second aforementioned one is their objectives. In the previous method, the lecturers are aimed at instructing students a form of interpretation. In contrast, this technique intends to utilize sight translation as a supplementary subject as a buffer between consecutive and simultaneous interpretation. Sharing the same opinion with Romero (A Prelude to Simultaneous Interpretation, cited in Related studies, Literature Review), the Teacher C thought that sight translation and simultaneous interpretation share a relatively similar mental process. She explained, “when students study simultaneous interpretation, they have to listen and interpret at the same time. It is difficult for them to comprehend the speaker’s ideas, and then of course they can not interpret. So I have to use written text. Written speech is much clearer”. After getting familiar with written text and orally translating at the same time, students will continue with oral materials. Obviously, the natures of two types of texts are different. In oral speech, the speakers usually use short and simple sentence structures. Slang and idioms are frequently employed (except it is formal speech in conferences/ workshop). However, writer tends to use flowery words and indirect expressions. More difficultly, some texts are full of connotation,
which can cause trouble to understand them. Therefore, to meet the aim of this technique, the lecturer has used simple texts or the transcribed speeches.
Like the schedule of second technique, time for instructing sight translation as the buffer also lasts from 2 to 3 weeks. The instructions are alike. The strength and weakness of this technique are familiar to some extent with the ones of the second method. However, the skills of sight translation would be divided into smaller units and the steps would be lasted longer. Therefore, students would thoroughly understand how to decode the message in the right and fastest way and how to select words and so on. Besides, students would have exercises and activities so that they can selfstudy it later.
4.2. Research question 2: What difficulties do the fourth-year TITD students encounter when they perform sight translation? In Teacher C’s comment, sight translation is sometimes more difficult than consecutive or simultaneous interpretation. As the input of sight translation is written and the output is oral, there exists a gap between spoken and written language. The difficulty lies on how to deal with a number of sensory inputs at the same time or handle more than one input (Broadbent, 1958, cited in Shared Attention during Sight Translation, Sight Interpretation and Simultaneous Interpretation, 2010). Even though various techniques have been applied to instruct students about sight translation, both the collected data from the questionnaire and the interviews indicated that students encounter a great deal of difficulties when they perform sight translation.
The chart indicates the summary of the problems students encounter when they perform sight translation through the questionnaire.
20 15 10 5 0 A B C D E F A B C D E F
A. No difficulties B. Shortage of time to understand text C. Shortage of time to interpret text in target language D. Background knowledge deficit E. Unnatural feeling of both reading and interpreting at the same time F. Other difficulties Figure 2. The summary of difficulties students encounter when performing sight translation (as perceived by students) From the chart concluded from the questionnaire, the biggest challenge the students encounter is a shortage of time for sight translating. It can be explained that the written text are usually longer with complicated structures. Noticeably, students tend to translate each and every word like in translation. Meanwhile, the given time for translating is short like in interpretation. Therefore, the students felt they did not have enough time to complete sight translation. As in Teacher C’s explanation, students do not know how to scan through the text in order to determine which information
needs translating and which are unnecessary. It can be indicated that students lack analysis skills and weak at making decision in translating.
Interestingly, problems chain to one another. Students’ second biggest difficulty is their deficiency of time in understanding the text. As repeatedly mentioned, the input of sight translation is written material. As the matter of fact, the written language is more formal and well-structured than spoken one. Wording and sentences will be finely chosen. Therefore, some academic words are unfamiliar with students. They do not have enough time to understand the literal meaning of words, let alone the connotation behind the expressions. From the interview, both Teacher C and Teacher D shared the same opinion that, students’ inadequate reading skill is the main problem which prevents students from understanding the text. Taking students’ reading competency into consideration, Teacher C commented that even being given more time, students can not understand the text, let alone given a limited time. As a result, trouble in text comprehension leads to difficulties in delivering sight translation.
To be more specific, Teacher D stated that poor vocabulary results in insufficient reading proficiency. Assessing the students’ essential
vocabulary, Teacher D gave an example explaining why students do not understand the material: “The phrase in the text was “after the fall in 1975, the south of Vietnam…They wondered why in the south there is a fall…but they still sight translated it as “ sau muà thu năm 1975”…the right translation should be “ sau s s p ñ năm 1975”. The problem lies in the students’ misunderstanding of the polysemy of the word. In this example, the word “fall” has two meanings: a season and a collapse. Consequently,
the students conveyed a wrong message of the text. Apart from the polysemantic words, the students also lack thematic vocabulary. According to Teacher D, her students did not have a wide range of glossary in some unfamiliar topics such as climate changes, environments and so on. Notably, they lacked words even in their mother tongue.
As said before, those problems are interdependent. From Teacher D’s example, one more reason can presumably explain the students’ poor sight translation performance. It is the students’ narrow background knowledge. Back to the mentioned example, one historic event happened in 1975. It is Vietnam’s victory over America and the collapse of the South Vietnam’s government. It is a famous event and apparently all Vietnamese should know it. However, in this case, the students did not have enough historical knowledge to understand the translated context. Or their general knowledge was equivocal and they could not recall it to assist them into understanding the text and performing sight translation. In the example, the text’s background was relatively familiar and presumably popular, yet students still had problems with it. Thus it will be more difficult if they have to sight translate topics unfamiliar to them.
Moreover, the unnatural feeling of orally translating and reading at the same time posed a serious obstacle for the students to perform sight translation. Students’ survey indicated 13% of them face this problem. Some reasons were revealed from the interviews with the lecturers. Through the Teacher D’s observation, her students paid too much attention and scrupulously adhered to texts, hence they did not give enough notice for speaking. Conversely, when Teacher D required them to oral translate
without texts in their hands; they performed sight translation more easily. It can be inferred from this observation that students possibly did not know how to select necessary ideas to translate. Again, this backs to insufficient reading skills aforesaid. Moreover, Teacher D’s remarked that her students usually made the “interference errors”. As cited in “Toward a theory of translation pedagogy”, Kaumal defined “interference errors” as the mistakes translators make when something disturbed the translation process. To be specifically, in this case, when her students were translating, they suddenly encountered any problems such as a new words appearing in the texts, they would feel hard to continue translating, which resulted in the halting and unsmooth performance. Emphatically, Teacher D said that it is due to students’ inadequate practice. As said above in analyzing the techniques, sight translation activity in class occupies small amount of time. Besides, students did not regularly practise at home. Another reason is students’ personal characteristics. According to the Teacher B, his students felt shy and uncomfortable when they orally translated. Meanwhile, if he assigned them to write down the translation, the quality will be better than oral translation.
Last but not least, one issue which can negatively affect students’ sight translation performance is their difficulty in concentrating on both listening and reading at the same time. As mentioned above, in Teacher E’s technique, sight translation has been applied whereas students have to listen to the recorded speech simultaneously. Some students focused entirely on reading text and forgot to listen. Therefore, they could not catch the possible difference between the recorded speech and the texts in order to adjust their sight translating accordingly. Sharing the same opinion, Teacher C also
emphasized that inactive listening can leads to students’ wrong sight translation. It is required to harmonize the attentions for both reading and listening.
In brief, students’ common problems in performing sight translation have been thoroughly analyzed. Noticeably, those problems are strictly interdependent to prevent students from carrying out sight translation properly. 4.3. Research question 3: What are obstacles to an effective teaching of sight translation in training interpreters/translators?
The chart below indicates the possible obstacles to an effective teaching of sight translation in TITD. The number of teachers out of 5 found them obstacles are presented on the vertical axis.
Teacher's competence Difficulty to motivate students ST unnecessary to students Tight curriculum ST too difficult to students
Figure 3. A summary of obstacles to an effective teaching of sight translation As seen in the chart, the lecturers’ competence was not a problem to an effective teaching of sight translation to the fourth year students because none of them found difficulty in instructing students. This result clearly shows that the lecturers in TITD were fully aware of sight translation as well
as the required skills for sight translation and knew how to instruct sight translation.
However, one trainer considered sigh translation training unnecessary. The reason for this opinion was stated by him. To begin with, from his perspective of working as a professional interpreter/translator, sight translation was not applied too much in real life. According to him, “an interpreter rarely applies sight translation technique. When doing written translation, obviously a translator has documents, text, reference and a relatively long time to complete his/her translation. When interpreting, he/she mainly focuses on what he listens to and interprets but rarely needs to read and translate. This case just happens when a speaker suddenly quotes something from a document in his speech and a interpreter has this document and read and do oral translation at the same time. Another case is that in companies, boss requires employees to translate partners’ documents right away”. Therefore, an interpreter rarely needs to perform sight translation. From this standpoint, he did not appreciate sight translation much. As a result, he thought other skills such as note-taking and memorizing should be focused more than sight translation.
Furthermore, the current curriculum posed a big obstacle for an effective teaching of sight translation. The amount of time for either interpretation or translation class was limited. Teacher C asserted that tight time frame paralleling with an intensive curriculum resulted in her difficulty in equally allocating time to different interpreting skills. Since other basic skills such as note-taking and memorizing are regarded more vital, sight translation was almost “forgotten” in the curriculum. Additionally, as
explained by another trainer, sight translation has limited application in practice, thus, it was unnecessarily included in the course. Moreover, this teacher stated that the students lacks of both linguistic and
interpreting/translating skills. As a result, it would be a waste of time to teach sight translation whereas students still have problems with basic skills such as reading, listening or note-taking. Besides, sight translation was not utilized in the end-of-term exams so that little motivation was provided by both lecturers and students to study sight translation. In brief, given tight schedule and students’ poor language skills, sight translation has not been introduced in the curriculum.
Last but not least, one lecturer found difficulty in motivating the fourth year students to study sight translation. As in the curriculum, followup activity was required after class. Yet, her students rarely performed any sight translation practice at home. More interestingly, she observed that when they learnt sight translation in class, they showed their strong interest and considerable enthusiasm. They eagerly participated in practising in-class sight translation such as voluntarily performing sight translation, exchanging documents with classmates, actively discussing and commenting classmates’ performance. However, after class, they rarely continue sight translation practice. Therefore, students could not exploit the material more thoroughly in order to sharpen their skills.
To conclude, it could be seen that most of the obstacles to an effecting teaching sight translation mainly resulted from the objective factors, noticeably tight curriculum. This fact clearly indicates that reforming the
syllabus and developing an appropriate schedule are necessary to teach sight translation more effectively.
4.4. Research question 4: Was sight translation considered necessary by interpreter trainers in the fourth-year TITD curriculum? If yes, what are teachers’ suggestions for an effective teaching of sight translation to the fourth-year students?
Necessarily, it should be discussed whether sight translation is desirable in the curriculum for the fourth year students in TITD or not before some pedagogical suggestions are offered to an effective teaching sight translation in TITD.
Yes No To some extent
Figure 4. A summary of trainers’ attitudes toward the necessity of sight translation in the fourth-year TITD curriculum.
The pie chart clearly shows that most of the interviewed teachers support giving sight translation in the curriculum for the fourth year students in TITD. Only one teacher extremely objected to the necessity of sight
translation in the syllabus. As aforementioned, he gave the reason that from the perspective of a professional translator/interpreter, he found sight translation unimportant. The interpreter/ translator rarely has to perform sight translation. Therefore, it is more essential to instruct students other vital skills such as note-taking and memorizing in the restrained curriculum.
Nevertheless, most other lecturers asserted that sight translation is important to students. More interestingly, they reviewed the role of sight translation also from the perspective of a professional translator/interpreter. One teacher stated that “Recently, for 3 years, I have realized that the role of sight translation has become increasingly important due to working requirement, especially for an interpreter. For example, sometimes due to the confidentiality of the materials, the document is not given to interpreters until some last minutes before workshop. The organizer of the workshop only gives the documents maximally 30 minutes before the opening ceremony. Therefore, if an interpreter does not have sight translation skill to pre-translate the document in quick time, they will feel very uncomfortable to process the information in the documents”. She emphasized that due to the working requirement of interpretation, sight translation is very important. Another aspect of the usefulness of sight translation was confirmed by another teacher. According to her, sight translation is essential, especially when interpreters/translators apply for jobs. In her experience, “In the interview, the interviewers will give a document and require interpreters/translators to sight translate a document. Based on the performance, they will decide who will be chosen. In this case, sight translation becomes more important than other things because if interpreters/translators can not perform sight translation well, how can they
receive that job?” The researcher also experienced this case once when applying for a translator position for a company. The employer gave the document and required the researcher to orally translate after little minute preparation. No dictionary, no reference materials are there for use. Furthermore, two teachers pointed out the importance of sight translation in interpreting opening speech in conferences.
To sum up, most lecturers recognized the essential role of sight translation in real life. As a result, they feel teaching sight translation is necessary to support students’ future career.
From the necessity of sight translation in practice, the teachers were asked to suggest some effective ways of teaching sight translation in the context of TITD, HULIS. Fascinatingly, their suggestions are almost alike.
Obviously, when sight translation is covered in the curriculum, many questions are put forward such as What should be taught? How to teach? The amount of time for teaching? pedagogical recommendations Below is the synthesis of their
• Integrate sight translation as a skill in interpretation/translation class.
All the lecturers suggested that sight translation can be given 2 or 3 weeks in the curriculum. Possessing few theories, sight translation can be instructed within 4-6 periods with 1-2 periods for theory and the rest of time
for practice in class. After having a “long vision” and a full awareness of sight translation, students can practise it at home.
1st semester of 3rd year 2nd semester of 3rd year 4th year
Figure 4. A summary of teachers’ opinion about the suitable year to teach sight translation.
In the current curriculum of interpreter and translator training course of TITD, translation and interpretation are started to be taught officially at the beginning of the third year. (The second year students have only got familiar with translation practice). It is quite reasonable because two first years in the course for students to sharpen their linguistic skills, specifically in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Reading and writing skills are important for translation and listening and speaking ones for interpretation. Therefore, third and fourth year students are “mature” enough with possession of essential language skills to learn interpretation and translation. One teacher suggested that sight translation can be taught at the beginning of the third year, therefore, it will be a useful orientation for students to practise by themselves later on.
However, in two other lecturers’ recommendation, sight translation should be given a short of time in the syllabus of the fourth year students. According to Teacher B, “sight translation should be briefly taught as one of supplementary skills for the fourth year students before graduation”. In their opinion, due to the short theory of sight translation, students with good linguistic skills could learn it quickly. Therefore, some notice for sight translation is enough. One trainer gave a specific time for sight translation: the second semester of the third year for fast track students and the first semester of the fourth year for mainstream students. According to her, fast track students should learn it in the second semester of the third year as a buffer from consecutive to simultaneous interpretation. The mainstream students would study sight translation in the first semester of the fourth year when their skills are better.
Interestingly, all the lecturers agreed that even sight translation can be taught at the first year if students’ skills are good enough even though they did not optimistically expect that. Furthermore, all the lecturers emphasized that sight translation should be repeated each semester ( in short time) to recall students’ knowledge of sight translation and give any further instruction if necessary.
However controversial the nature of sight translation, all the lecturers in TITD agreed that sight translation should be a form of interpretation and instructed in interpretation class. Their suggestion is based on the output form of sight translation. Yet, one teacher recommended that after sight
translation is instructed in interpretation lesson, it can be integrated as an exercise in translation or reading class for stirring up the class air.
• Design and facilitate sight translation as a buffer from consecutive to simultaneous interpretation
This suggestion intends to utilize sight translation as a supplementary subject as a buffer between consecutive and simultaneous interpretation. Sharing the same opinion with Romero (A Prelude to Simultaneous Interpretation, cited in Related studies, Literature Review), the Teacher C thought that sight translation and simultaneous interpretation share a relatively similar mental process. She explained, “when students study simultaneous interpretation, they have to listen and interpret at the same time. It is difficult for them to comprehend the speaker’s ideas, and then of course they can not interpret. So I have to use written text. Written speech is much clearer”. After getting familiar with written text and orally translating at the same time, students will continue with oral materials.
Obviously, the natures of two types of texts are different. In oral speech, the speakers usually use short and simple sentence structures. Slang and idioms are frequently employed (except it is formal speech in conferences/ workshop). However, writer tends to use flowery words and indirect expressions. More difficultly, some texts are full of connotation, which can cause trouble to understand them. Therefore, to meet the aim of this technique, the lecturer has used simple texts or the transcribed speeches.
Time for instructing sight translation as the buffer lasts from 2 to 3 weeks. The skills of sight translation would be divided into smaller units and the steps would be lasted longer. Therefore, students would thoroughly understand how to decode the message in the right and fastest way and how to select words and so on. Besides, students would have exercises and activities so that they can self-study it later.
• Separating sight translation as a short supplementary course. As the curriculum for interpreter and translator training course is developed and reformed to suit the credit-based system, two lecturers suggested that some short intensive course can be established to teach sight translation. In her opinion, sight translation can be covered in a short independent course. To be more specifically, the course will last a few weeks (around 4 or 5 weeks) and will be registered according to students’ needs and interests. If they feel interested in studying sight translation more thoroughly, they can register for those short courses. This subject will enable students to be exempted from one of graduation exams.
Summary This chapter fully analyzed the actual situation of studying sight translation by the fourth year students in TITD and students’ problems as well as the obstacles to an effective teaching of sight translation in the context of TITD, HULIS. From the current situation, some suggestions are given by the lecturers so that sight translation can be taught more effectively.
CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION
The previous chapter fully analyzed the data collection to find the results of the research. This chapter will summarize and assess the outcomes of the paper by reviewing the findings, limitation and, contributions of the whole study. In addition, some recommendation will be proposed for further studies and a more effective teaching of sight translation in TITD, HULIS.
5.1. Major findings of the study
Broadly speaking, this is a comprehensive paper on sight translation study by the fourth year students in TITD, HULIS. Through a critical analysis and discussion of the data accumulated from the questionnaire and the interviews, significant findings to answer research questions were revealed as follow:
To begin with, the fourth year students were taught sight translation through various pedagogical methods. To be specific, sight translation was mainly taught in three forms. First, it was employed as an buffer exercise to help students study simultaneous interpretation more easily. Second, it was taught as a form of interpretation. Finally, it was used as a tool of quick checking in-class exercise and homework in translation class.
Secondly, main obstacles to students for performing sight translation well are limited linguistic skills, specifically reading skill and poor interpreting skill such as on-the-spot decision making. Besides, narrow
background knowledge as well as irregular practice prevent students from satisfactorily performing sight translation to some extent.
Next, the problems to a more effective teaching of sight translation for the fourth year student were investigated in detail. The most obvious are the curriculum restraints as well as inability to motivate students.
Finally, the paper indicates that lecturers perceived the importance and the frequent application of sight translation in real life. To fully support students in their future career if they intend to become a professional interpreter, it is necessary to give sight translation a proper place in the curriculum. For a better employment of sight translation in the curriculum, two pedagogical methods were suggested by the trainers. On the one hand, sight translation can be officially taught as a form of interpretation or a buffer between consecutive and simultaneous interpretation. Afterward, it can be repeated and used as a tool of quick checking in translation class. On the other hand, a short course for sight translation can be independently developed. Finally, all the trainers emphasized the willingness of students to self-practise.
5.2. Pedagogical suggestions for a more effective teaching of sight translation to the fourth year student in TITD.
The researcher is grateful to trainers’ recommendations on pedagogical methods for more effective teaching of sight translation. Those suggestions are valuable and should be taken into consideration by policy
makers. Nevertheless, there existed one obstacle which have not discussed yet.
Even though lecturers emphasized on the students’ practicing sight translation at home, they have not mentioned any effective way to motivate students. The direct motivation is inserting sight translation into the test format. Students would try to practise sight translation at least for their scores. Furthermore, some alternatives for testing such as continuous assessment could be exploited. Moreover, teachers can use some entertaining sources as exercise in order to stimulate students’ interest in sight translation. Besides, teachers can help students to create groups and guide them to practise at home.
5.3. Suggestions for further studies
As sight translation remains a relatively unexplored area in TITD, HULIS, other researchers are encouraged to conduct further studies in order to create a full overview of teaching and learning sight translation.
First of all, this study was carried out with the low number of students, thus other papers can be undertaken in larger scope with the participation of students and trainers from other language universities. Moreover, with larger samples, a wider range of techniques applied to teach sight translation would be explored. Some arguable issues such as what is the most suitable technique to teach sight translation could be investigated. Furthermore, the effectiveness of each technique could be examined. This may require experimental studies which collate the effects of each
method on different groups of students. Expectedly, the outcomes of those studies would be highly useful in supporting lecturers and policymakers to consider a further exploitation of sight translation in training
interpreter/translator in HULIS particularly and Vietnam generally. In addition, as referred in Literature review, sometimes sight translation is considered as a cognitive tool of learning language. However, this study only evolves around the employment of sight translation in training interpreter/translator. Therefore, further researches could explore the relation between teaching sight translation and other linguistic skills such as reading. For instance, sight translation could be exploited regarding a supplementary exercise in reading class.
5.4. Limitation of the study
Although the researcher took a great effort to complete the study, some certain limitations exist due to time constraint and sample size of respondents
Firstly, the number of students participated in the research remained comparatively low in comparison with the large number of students in TITD and in other institutes for training interpreter/ translator. Therefore, to compensate for this shortcoming in collecting data, the researcher tried to gather information about students’ study of sigh translation indirectly via the interviews with the lecturers. In addition, as the researcher was fully aware of this limitation, most of the outcomes related to students’ studying of sight
translation were considered as initial findings, thus it offers chances for other researchers to carry out further studies.
Secondly, the questionnaires for students could have been improved with more questions related to their study of sight translation. For example, their recommendation for a better learning method could have been explored.
Despite the shortcoming mentioned above, the researcher tried to maintain the validity and reliability of the study through justified data collection and serious work. However, other researchers should take these limitations into consideration when conducting further studies in the future.
5.5. Contributions of the study
Overall, the research could be considered useful for the fourth year students, lecturers and the policymakers as well as other researchers concerning about this area.
As for lecturers, the study investigates the more effective utility of sight translation for the fourth year students rather than the current methods. As a result, the paper would assist lecturers to become more aware of sight translation in training interpreter/translator. Moreover, it also offers lecturers with some useful recommendations so that they could creatively apply to exploit effectively sight translation in their own classroom.
As for policymakers, the study has pointed out the main problems in effectively teaching sight translation. Therefore, it proposes HULIS’s policymakers to carry out some appropriate reforms.
Finally, other researchers who desire to learn more about sight translation could rely on this study to find reliable and useful information for their studies in the future.
1. Sokolovsky, Y., (2010): On the Linguistic Definition of Translation,Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 2 (2010 3) 285-292 2. P. Newmark, (2001) Approaches to Translation, Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press 3. Franz Pochhacker (2004), Introducing Intepreting Studies, The Cromwell Press, Trowbridge, Wilshire. 4.Cay Dollerup, Lena Fluger and Anne Zoëga (1992), Interpreting and Translation-Two Sides of the Same Coin?, Journal of Linguistics, 8,1992. 5. Riccardi,A., (2002), Translation Studies: Perspectives on an Emerging Discipline, University Press, Cambridge, 2002 6. Visintin, A., Campos, V. (2009), Sight translation as a cognitive tool in Language Learning, Memorias del V Foro de Estudios en Lenguas Internacional, ISBN 978-607-9015-05-3 7. Romero, E. (2002),Sight translation: A Prelude to Simultaneous Interpretation 8. Agrifoglio, M. (2004), A comparative analysis of constraints and failures, John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1384-6647 9. Sampaio, G., Mastering Sight translation skills (2003) 10. Standsfield, C. (2008), Guidline for Sight Translators, Second Language Testing, Inc., Rockville, MD, January 2008 11.Northeast Ohio Translators Association, (2011)The Difference Between Interpreting and Translation, Retrieved 3rd April 2011 from http://www.notatranslators.org/whatsthedifference.aspx 12.National Association for Interpretation, (2011), The definition of Interpretation. Retrieve from 3rd April 2011 from http://www.interpnet.com/ 13.Hartman, R.R.K. and Stork, F. C.(1972)Dictionary of Language and Linguistics, London : Applied Science Publishers, 1972. xviii, 302 p. : ill. ; 23 cm. 14. Larson, M. Meaning-based translation-A Guide to Cross-Language Equivalence 15. Hoang & Nguyen (2007), Research Methodology, Vietnam National University,2007 16. Lambert, S.(2004) Shared Attention during Sight Translation, Sight Interpretation and Simultaneous Interpretation, Translators' Journal, vol. 49, n° 2, 2004, p. 294-306.
17. Carrové, M. (1999), Toward a theory of translation pedagogy, Department of English and Linguistics, Universitat de Lleida.
I. Interviews with trainers 1. Teacher A
1. Have you ever taught sight translation to students Instructed? You mean ..teach right? I have never instructed sight translation to the students of Interpreter and Translator Training Division (ITTD) Actually, sight translation skill had not been paid attention much before. The lecturers only pay attention to important skills such as memorizing, note-taking, interpreting or understanding speaker’s ideas, interrupting the speaker or sentence analyzing. Yet, sight translation has not been mentioned and has not been taught to students. 2. Do you think its necessary to teach sight translation Recently, for 3 years, I have realized that the role of sight translation has become increasingly important due to working requirement, especially for an interpreter. For example, sometimes due to the confidentiality of the materials, the document is not given to interpreters until some last minutes before workshop. The organizer of the workshop only gives the documents maximally 30 minutes before the opening ceremony. Therefore, if an interpreter does not have sight translation skill to pre-translate the document in quick time, they will feel very uncomfortable to process the information in the documents 3.In your opinion, which year is the suitable time for students of TITD to learn “sight translation”? In my opinion, sight translation should be taught at the beginning of the third year that is when students start to learn interpretation. The second year students just start with translation practice. Since the fifth semester ( the first semester of the third year, students start to learn interpretation, thus I think sight translation should be taught with other skills. As a result, students can gradually get familiar with sight translation. Moreover, it should be taught in translation because sight translation is related to translation.. it deals with written text…you read and translate at the same time.
4. Do you think whether “sight translation” should be instructed officially in schedule as a supplementary exercise? In which subject? In which level? As I said before, sight translation should be taught with other skills such as memorizing, note-taking, paraphrasing, thus time for sight translation should be equal to time for other skills. It should not only introduced but also practised. Trainers can instruct sight translation in class and spend some time practicing or give students homework. For example, students can find material at home, practise and afterward, teachers will evaluate the effectiveness of students’ practice.
The amount of time spent for sight translation will be like time for notetaking, for example from 1 to 2 weeks. Interpretation in the third year occupies 2 periods per week therefore, 1 or 2 weeks have only 4 periods? As a result, it requires regular at-home practice and students should be assessed for their preparation. Sight translation or any other skills related to interpretation should be consolidated in all the terms of TITD course since the third-year. It is not like note-taking was taught then it will not mentioned again in next semesters. Students should master basic skills of sight translation before the advanced skills are mentioned. Introducing advanced skills depends on students’ perception ability. 5. Do you have any difficulty in teaching sight translation? TITD has not official curriculum for sight translation. Only some lecturers introduced sight translation to students. I have never been taught sight translation because I mainly taught interpretation in laboratory. In contrast, sight translation is related to translation. You can interview other trainers who taught sight translation to have more information
In my opinion, it will support both interpretation and translation. Regarding translation, for example when I translated, I never started the computer and
translate right away. I always print the material and sight translate to have the whole viewpoint of the material and arrange my words. The plans help me to smoothly translate in computer. It assists translation. Moreover, it supports interpretation. Currently, when interpreters come to workshop or conference and are given the 5/7 page speeches without reading it before, they will translate more actively if they have sight translation skills. As the matter of fact, sight translation occurs in a short span of time with great pressure. After few seconds, interpreters have to translate right away. In the future, maybe next semester, our division will apply …actually our division is developing sight translation as a subject to replace one of graduation exams. It means if students learn it, they will not have to take one of exams for graduation. It is a plan of our university Students will not have to take graduation exams but have to learn many substitute subjects, sight translation is one of those subjects. And our division is required to prepare those substitute subjects related to translation and interpretation. 6. can you explain more about students’ problems? Due to this problem, students have to learn sight translation so that trainers will instruct them the skills to process the information, even the way to scan the text. How your eyes scan the text from left to right or the whole sentences, where your eyes should stop and so on… Obviously, when our division introduces this subject to students, there will be a pre-discussion with students, maybe give them a pre-test … it means before teaching, we come to know students’ problems and the way to overcome the problems. For instance, with no experience, maybe students will read each sentence and will not understand the relation among the sentences, but experienced person will scan the whole text to catch the main idea. 7. Should sight translation be integrated in reading class? Teachers of translation and reading class can discuss with each other to get to know what they will teach and support each other . But we should not merge sight translation and reading because the objectives of two subjects are different. Reading class is to make students’ linguistic skill better; translation class is for advanced skills.
The sight translation skills should be taught by interpreter/translator trainers.
3rd year students start to learn interpretation but translation is taught since the 2nd- year therefore, students’ translation background is better and I think sight translation should be integrated in to translation class not interpretation class. It is not difficult for students because they know how to translate documents…the matter is how to process information in high speed and speak it out. Students read and orally translate is one form of translation. The difference is just in sight translation they orally translate but in translation they write it down. 2. Teacher B 1. Have you ever taught sight translation? I have never taught sight translation as an official subject because it is required to have a detailed schedule, objective as a subject. But when I taught translation and interpretation, I sometimes integrated sight translation into my lessons. I mainly used it when there was a shortage of time and students had to give immediate answers or in case the translated sentences were simple and students could look at it and translate right away. 2. Do you think which subject should sight translation be taught? As a skill in interpretation/translation or as an independent subject? In my opinion, sight translation should be considered as a skill trained in interpretation but not as an independent subject. The reasons is - In my professional interpreting experience, an interpreter rarely applies sight translation technique. An interpreter rarely applies sight translation technique. When doing written translation, obviously a translator has documents, text, reference and a relatively long time to complete his/her translation. When interpreting, he/she mainly focuses on what he listens to and interprets but rarely needs to read and translate. This case just happens when a speaker suddenly quotes something from a document in his speech and a interpreter has this document and read and do oral translation at the same time. Another case is that in companies, boss requires employees to translate partners’ documents right away
So due to sight translation’s limited application, it should be taught as a skill in interpretation class, not an independent subject 3. Which subject should sight translation be taught? Translation Theory provides theory of translation and interpretation so sight translation just needs briefly mentioning in Translation Theory. About applying sight translation, of course it should be used in interpretation so that it should be taught in interpretation not translation. 4. In your opinion, which year should sight translation be taught? Actually, learning translation and its skills should be taught since the first year, even when students still study in high school. However, in my opinion, sight translation is small skill among various important skills therefore it should only be taught in the fourth year when students are to graduate, not in the third year 5. But you have said it should be taught since the first year? No. I don’t mean the case it should be taught since students learn foreign language. I mean the knowledge to create a translated sentence should be acquired since they learn foreign language. They look at the text and read it therefore they have to analyze the sentence structure, scan and skim. Actually when they learn reading, they translate in their mind but they don’t speak it out. The sight translation was available in students’ mind since they learn foreign language. Now we just teach them how to say it out. I think it should be in the fourth year because this skill is not time-consuming. We only focus to help students to read it out fluently. I do not think we need to invest too much time for this skill
I think it is only a supplementary skill as I said before, per my experience applying sight translation in practice is not frequent. I still confirm that sight translation is necessary but it is not high priority. Other skills are more important because they are applied frequently in reality. 6. Do you have any difficulty in teaching sight translation?
I have not applied sight translation in my teaching. I just use it when time is up and I still have to check students’ translation or in case the sentence is simple, I do not require students to write it down and I just tell them to orally translate. Developing a subject depends on the strategy of our university and our division. However, in the context of our university, that is tight time frame and students’ poor language skills and, sight translation should not be taught now. Especially, many other important skills need time then sight translation should not be included now. 3. Teacher C 1.Have you introduced / instructed “sight translation” to students of Translators and Interpreters Training Division (TITD)? Especially the fourth year students? About sight translation, before I developed the new curriculum according to the contract with our university about reforming pedagogical methods, I taught the fourth year students or the third year students in the second semester in interpretation. It is little bit different between mainstream and fast-track class. In fast-track class, I introduced sight translation in the second semester, but as a buffer from consecutive to simultaneous interpretation. It is the purpose of sight translation About mainstream, sight translation is included in the first semester of the fourth year so that students get familiar and then they will study a little bit about whispering, they will not be taught simultaneous interpretation. Actually, some people told me that the level of students now cannot be taught simultaneous interpretation. But in my opinion, it is skill in interpretation then it should be introduced, otherwise students will get unfamiliar if they work as an interpreter in the future. In practice, sight translation will not be used much when you serve clients, however it is used to qualify the applicants for interpreter positions. The employers will give you a text and tell you to sight translate it. It is more important because it help you to get the job. Therefore, I think sight translation should be introduced to both fast track and mainstream students.
2. Do you think whether “sight translation” should be instructed officially in schedule as a supplementary exercise? In which subject? In which level? Difficulties are obvious. Sometimes, sight translation is more difficult than consecutive or simultaneous interpretation because the input is written and the output is spoken. Therefore it has the name sight translation not sight interpretation. The input is written text; the written and spoken languages are different. Spoken language is direct, they speak what they think. But in written language, people think and write then revive. They can put this sentence first or that sentence first to make some effects, interpreter needs to discover the implication. Commonly, interpreters are tested with informative text. The gap between spoken and written language is not too much in informative text, this type of text focuses on term. Moreover, nowadays, English is more direct than before. When instructing students, the biggest problem is their poor language skills, especially reading and listening skill. In sight translation, the important skill is reading comprehension. Given more time, students may still not understand the text, let alone short time. So to practise sight translation, the steps will last longer; I will divide the skill into smaller units. First, how to decode the message in the right and fastest way. After decoding, how to select words. Of course, it is a process and when students learn it, they will be instructed with exercises and activities. Therefore, they can self-practise later on. Sight translation is taught around 3 weeks. Interpretation has too many skills and I have to allocate time equally to those skills. I need to consider which skills are more important, which students can self-practise. Moreover, if students practise only one thing in class, they will lose their interest 3.In your opinion, which year is the suitable time for students of TITD to learn “sight translation”? According to some scholars, they arrange sight translation into interpretation because the output of sight translation is oral. And actually it is interpretation, because it required immediacy, you do not have time to search, to modify your translation like in translation. Regarding many aspects, it is related to interpretation not translation.
Translation theory covers both translation and interpretation but in the aspect of theory not practice. Therefore, I don’t think it is reasonable to arrange sight translation in Translation theory. Sight translation should be included in interpretation. Before, we do not have a complete curriculum because the level of students are different, thus based on the current situation of each class, the trainers developed different curriculum. If students still have problems with basic skills, then it is waste of time to introduce advanced skills, it will be a waste. I do not think we need to develop sight translation as a subject, I think we just need 3 weeks, even 2 weeks , but 3 weeks are best to teach students what sight translation is, the skills because sight translation is a supplementary for students to practise more. In my new designed curriculum, I focus on two basic skills: memorizing and note-taking. Then I tell students about two modes of interpretations: consecutive and simultaneous. I choose sight translations as a buffer between two modes. It means they should be ok with consecutive before learning sight translation. Moreover, students’ translation should be good to learn sight translation because if their translation is not good then they will misunderstand the text and wrong sights translate. When students study simultaneous interpretation, they have to listen and interpret at the same time. It is difficult for them to comprehend the speaker’s ideas, and then of course they can not interpret. So I have to use written text. Written speech is much clearer. However, the natures of spoken and written languages are different, the word choice is different therefore, and sight translation should be introduced to some extent. And I have to find a suitable texts, usually simple texts or text transcribed from a speech. Afterward, sight translation can be practiced at home. 4. In which year should students learn sight translation? It depends on students’ level, if their skills are good, they can learn it since the first year. If students are not mature enough with good language skills, they should not be taught. It is a buffer for students to learn simultaneous interpretation. Its skills are related to simultaneous interpretation
5 What are students’ obstacles? They understand but they can re-expresse it I have to break the information into smaller units. For instance, a speech about advertising and students do not have background about it. The argument given in the speech about advertising misleading is sleeping pill. I have to break message into very very smaller so that students will perceive them more easily. Those smallers units will compound to make a message; it is like making a puzzle. The simpler a puzzle is, the easy you will complete it. 4. Teacher D 1. Have you ever instructed sight translation to students, especially for the fourth year students? Do you have any difficulties in teaching sight translation? I have instructed sight translation to TITD students. For the fourth year students, sight translation is in their curriculum. I taught sight translation to E19 at the beginning of the first semester and talked about it much. The difficulty I encounter when teaching sight translation is the students are lazy. The fourth year students rarely perform follow-up activities. For instance, they participate eagerly in class when I give them exercise or they exchange materials with their classmates. However, they rarely doing sight translation at home and perform follow-up activities. It is regretful because they can exploit the material more thoroughly to horn their skills 2. Which year should sight translation be introduced? Actually, sight translation can be taught in any year, even in the first year. In the second year, students learn translation practice, they use sight translation much but they do not know it is sight translation. For instance, they have to prepare the translation but they hardly write it down, they look at the paper and read it when teachers call them. It can be taught in each year, but the requirements for each year will be different. For example, in the first year, texts will be simple, sentences will be short. When Mr Nghiem taught us translation, he used sight translation much. He gave us very difficult texts. At that time I was in the fourth year. The given text is difficult because the preposition phrase is in the middle of a sentence, the verb does not follow the subject. Sight translation can help
students to improve many skills. For example, how to scan texts, catch the logic of texts, choosing important words not translating every words. In brief, I think we can teach sight translation in every year, but the requirements are different. In my opinion, the level of difficulty will increase after each year, for instance, in the first year, texts will be simple and will not contain difficult words and it may be a little entertaining so that students can practise their fluency. Afterward, texts will be longer with many new words, topics are more difficult and requires background knowledge such as the name of some organization. 2. Should sight translation officially taught in the curriculum? If yes, how? Demandingly, learning anything is good. Now we have credit-based system, students can choose subject, if they think a subject is necessary to them, they can choose it, if they think they can learn it, they do not need to register for it. Therefore, in my opinion, we have more and more subjects for students to choose, it will be better. But I do not think it should be a subject, maybe just short courses for sight translation, short term memory… it should be supplementary course. Sight translation is between translation and interpretation. Theoretically, it belongs to interpretation because it is related to oral interpreting. Practically, students apply it more in translation. I think it should be taught in interpretation in case speakers deliver a speech, interpreters are given the speech and sights translate it. Or they can read the instruction or slides to orally translate. I think sight translation is applied much. I think it should be a supplementary subject because in the context of our university, we should develop it as an exercise for 2-3 weeks so that students will have a long vision about it and recall it each later year. Sight translation does not require many skills; the bottom line is students’ self-practice. Sight translation does not have few theories. Some traditional skills of interpretation such as short term memory do not belong to sight translation. 4. What are students’ difficulties according to your observation?
Mainly student encounter vocabulary problems. I remember that many students lack words, misunderstand message or cannot interprete all 100% of the message. Sometimes, some students feel hard to both look at papers and fluently translate texts because they stick too much to the texts. Sometimes, when they are translating, they encounter some problems such as new words; they will feel hard to continue translating. It is due to their lack of practice. I remember that once I gave them a text. The phrase in the text was “after the fall in 1975, the south of Vietnam…They wondered why in the south there is a fall…but they still sight translated it as “ sau muà thu năm 1975”…the right translation should be “ sau s s p ñ năm 1975”. Even they lack Vietnamese words, thus they response and translate English into Vietnamese slowly or sentences are lengthy. When they regularly read Vietnamese documents and practise, they will speak better. Time pressure and language both make interpreters’ unconfident or uncomfortable. But in opinion, time can not cause too much pressure because when performing sight translation, you can summarize the information, make it shorter, and unnecessarily translate every words or sentences. 5. Teacher E 1. Have you introduced / instructed “sight translation” to students of Translators and Interpreters Training Division (TITD)? Especially the fourth year students? Yes, I have mentioned and made students practise. It is a form interpreters easily encounter when they interprete in workshop or conference. Do you have any difficulty in instructing students? No Per your observation, which obstacles do students encounter when performing sight translation? The biggest problem students need to listen actively and sight translation. Sometimes, speakers are reading text and suddenly speak according to what they thinks, not what in the text. If interpreters rely on the text too much, they will lose track of what speakers are saying
2. Do you think whether “sight translation” should be instructed officially in schedule as a supplementary exercise? In which subject? In which level? It should be integrated in interpretation curriculum and considered as a frequent situation interpreters encounter. 3. In your opinion, which year is the suitable time for students of TITD to learn “sight translation”? It should be in the fourth year when students are mature enough with good language skills
II. Questionnaire Phi u ñi u tra cho sinh viên
Tôi mu n nh b n giúp b ng cách tr l i các câu h i liên quan ñ n vi c h c ti ng Anh dư i ñây. ði u tra này ñư c th c hi n b i Hoàng Thanh An sinh viên l p 07.E20, trư ng ð i H c Ngo i Ng - ð i H c Qu c Gia Hà N i nh m hi u sâu hơn v vi c h c “ sight translation” c a sinh viên năm th 4 h phiên d ch. Vì ñây không ph i là m t bài ki m tra nên không phân bi t câu tr l i ñúng hay sai, và b n có th yên tâm r ng b n s không b nh n di n trong b t kì m t th o lu n d li u nào. ð tr l i các câu h i này, r t mong các b n hãy ñưa ra câu tr l i b ng cách khoanh tròn ch cái ngay c nh l a ch n c a b n, ñánh d u √ vào ô thích h p nh t v i ý ki n c a b n thân ho c phát bi u ý ki n c a b n thân vào ch tr ng. C m ơn các b n r t nhi u 1. Theo b n, “ sight translation” là gì ? ...................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................
2. B n có ñư c gi i thi u “ sight translation” trong chương trình h c không ? Môn nào ? Năm th m y ? ...................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................... 3. B n ñã t ng th luy n t p “ sight translation” hay làm th trong cu c s ng bao gi chưa ? .................................................................................................................... 3.1N u có ,b n c m th y khó khăn nào dư i ñây ? A. Không khó khăn B. Thi u th i gian ñ hi u ý ño n văn C. Thi u th i gian ñ di n ñ t l i trong ngôn ng ñích. D. Thi u ki n th c ph thông E. Không quen khi v a ñ c v a d ch nói. F. Khó khăn khác 4. Theo b n, “ sight translation” có giúp b n nâng cao k năng d ch nào không ? C th là k năng nào ? ...................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................
R t c m ơn s c ng tác c a các b n!
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