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Translator Training and Transferable Skills Against the Academic / Vocational Dichotomy John Kearns IATIS / ITIA.

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Presentation on theme: "Translator Training and Transferable Skills Against the Academic / Vocational Dichotomy John Kearns IATIS / ITIA."— Presentation transcript:

1 Translator Training and Transferable Skills Against the Academic / Vocational Dichotomy John Kearns IATIS / ITIA

2 Translation & Academia “...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: 23 Problems: a) Presumes a one-size-fits-all curricular ideology. b) Doesn't sufficiently acknowledge variation in translator-training cultures (especially in terms of different levels of development).

3 Practice & 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

4 The Two Traditions Academia Development through trivium and quadrivium von Humboldt Newman’s Idea of a University Cultivation of the Mind Vocational Education Apprenticeships Preparation for a job ‘Upgrading’ of many vocational institutions to university status in recent years Concerns about ‘front-end loading’

5 The Dilemma Are we training students to work in specific jobs or are we educating them for life?

6 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.

7 Translatorship is not conferred at degree awards ceremonies – it is granted by society.

8 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)

9 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, Galtung, Johan. (1981) “Structure, Culture and Intellectual Style: A Comparison of Saxonic, Teutonic, Gallic and Nipponic Approaches.” Social Science Information 20:6, González Davies, Maria (2004) “Undergraduate and Postgraduate Translation Degrees: Aims and Expectations.” Translation in Undergraduate Degree Programmes. Ed. Kirsten Malmkjær. Amsterdam / Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 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, Toury, Gideon (1995) Descriptive Translation Studies and Beyond. Amsterdam / Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

10 Thank you! John Kearns


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