Translator Training and Transferable Skills

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Translator Training and Transferable SkillsAgainst the Academic / Vocational DichotomyJohn Kearns IATIS / ITIA“...universities in systems with strongly academic…
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Translator Training and Transferable SkillsAgainst the Academic / Vocational DichotomyJohn Kearns IATIS / ITIA“...universities in systems with strongly academic traditions will not formulate their overall aims in the same way as those with a more vocational tradition. One might indeed question whether the former would actually be interested in translator training programmes at all!” Dorothy Kelly 2005: 23Problems:a) Presumes a one-size-fits-allcurricular ideology.b) Doesn't sufficientlyacknowledge variation in translator-training cultures(especially in terms of different levels of development).Translation & AcademiaPractice & Academe
  • “...an underlying question in our field and indeed in any other professionally oriented programme of university studies is: practice versus academe or practice plus academe?” Maria González Davies 2004: 79
  • AcademiaDevelopment through trivium and quadriviumvon HumboldtNewman’s Idea of a UniversityCultivation of the MindVocational EducationApprenticeshipsPreparation for a job‘Upgrading’ of many vocational institutions to university status in recent yearsConcerns about ‘front-end loading’The Two TraditionsThe DilemmaAre we training students to work in specific jobs or are we educating them for life?Problems with Vocational Models
  • Universities cannot constantly factor technological change in industry into a coherent model of translation curriculum development (cf. Pym, Esselink).
  • There is no longer one big labour market for translators anyway.
  • Translatorship is not conferred at degree awards ceremonies – it is granted by society.Transferable Skills...
  • ...enable mobility between different areas, rather than specific training for one particular job
  • ...as such, are not typically vocational, (cf. Latin)
  • Many already exist in what is being taught in university curricula (though need to be highlighted)
  • References
  • Belam, Judith (2001) “Transferable Skills in an MT Course.” MT Summit VIII: Proceedings of the MT Summit Workshop on Teaching Machine Translation. Eds. Mikel L. Forcada, Juan-Antonio Pérez-Ortiz, and Derek Lewis. Geneva: European Association for Machine Translation, 31-34.
  • Galtung, Johan. (1981) “Structure, Culture and Intellectual Style: A Comparison of Saxonic, Teutonic, Gallic and Nipponic Approaches.” Social Science Information 20:6, 817-856.
  • GonzálezDavies, Maria (2004) “Undergraduate and Postgraduate Translation Degrees: Aims and Expectations.” Translation in Undergraduate Degree Programmes. Ed. Kirsten Malmkjær. Amsterdam / Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 67-81.
  • Kelly, Dorothy (2005) A Handbook for Translator Trainers. Manchester: St. Jerome.
  • Pym, Anthony (2003) “Redefining Translation Competence in an Electronic Age: In Defence of a Minimalist Approach.” Meta 48:4, 481-497.
  • Toury, Gideon (1995) Descriptive Translation Studies and Beyond. Amsterdam / Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  • Thank you!John Kearnskearns@pro.onet.pl
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