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IPCC Conference in Limerick 10-13 July, 2005 Learning Localization Through Trans-Atlantic Collaboration Birthe Mousten - Aarhus School of Business.

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Presentation on theme: "IPCC Conference in Limerick 10-13 July, 2005 Learning Localization Through Trans-Atlantic Collaboration Birthe Mousten - Aarhus School of Business."— Presentation transcript:

1 IPCC Conference in Limerick 10-13 July, 2005 Learning Localization Through Trans-Atlantic Collaboration Birthe Mousten - bmo@asb.dk Aarhus School of Business

2 2 The Danish-American case: Mediation in translation – a neglected issue! Dilemma ≠ Mediation The requested adaptation to avoid offending or estranging people in the target country market The fidelity of the translator towards the source text and commissioner

3 Birthe Mousten - bmo@asb.dk Aarhus School of Business Text travel and process in a monolingual setting: Engineer/technicianTechnical writer Salesman and/or user

4 Birthe Mousten - bmo@asb.dk Aarhus School of Business Text travel and process in a multilingual setting: Globalised text Local source text Lingua franca Engineer/ technician Technical writer Translator/ localizer Translation/localization Discussion/mediation processes Salesman/ User

5 Birthe Mousten - bmo@asb.dk Aarhus School of Business Globalism/ global market Accommodation and adaptation Local market Communication of action, process and procedure in a multilingual setting

6 Birthe Mousten - bmo@asb.dk Aarhus School of Business Globalism/ global market Accommodation and adaptation Local market Communication of action, process and procedure in a multilingual setting

7 Birthe Mousten - bmo@asb.dk Aarhus School of Business Accommodation and adaptation in multicultural text travel Change of text Addition of text Deletion of text Mediation in the text travelling process

8 Professional responsibilities in general Source text proponent (engineer/technical writer) Target text proponent (translator/localizer) ”the process of transforming information into knowledge is often difficult, and always contextualized. When you change the context, you change the meaning” (Burnett) =>knowledge manager, organizer, designer “translators are first and foremost me- diators. They are the medium by which texts from one culture and language are transmitted to another. Translation is a subset of the larger sets of transmission and mediation. In this respect translation has similarities to other forms of mediation and transmission in our society” (Cronin/18) => filterer, mediator, translator, localizer

9 Birthe Mousten - bmo@asb.dk Aarhus School of Business Two cases of mediation in translation/localization Issue: Calculating body mass index (BMI) Case 1: Successful mediation Case 2: Problematic mediation Issue: Ironing clothes

10 Birthe Mousten - bmo@asb.dk Aarhus School of Business Ironing clothes Parties in mediation: Translator – Danish Anne, approx. 24 years old, past experience odd jobs and school/university Technical writer -American Peter, betw. 35-45, 15 years’ experience in industry, now taking a degree at university

11 Danish translator/localizer – first letter: Hi, my name is Anne Larsen. I am a student at the Aarhus School of Business and I have chosen to translate your text "How to Properly Iron a Shirt". Would you please send me your instructions? Looking forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Anne

12 Technical writer in the US – first letter: Good morning Anne! My name is Peter Smith. I thought I"d tell a little about myself first – I"ve been married for 12 years to Linda + am the father of a boy and a girl. I’ve worked in the entrepreneurial industry for the past fifteen years and will graduate UW-Stout with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management in May 2003. If you have any problems with my Word Document for your translation, please let me know…

13 Danish translator/localizer – second letter: Hi Peter I am sorry that it has taken me so long to get back to you. I have been working with your text now and I would like to say that it has been very easy to work with! It is written in a clear and easily understandable language, so I only have two questions that are important for the translation. I do, however, have a few comments on your text – these comments are really minor details! Nevertheless, I would like you to look at them and see whether you agree with me or not. I enclose a copy of your original text and I have marked and numbered the passages or words that I am going to comment on now.

14 1) Finished product: Can you call an ironed shirt a "finished product"? The product in this case is the ironing more than the shirt – is it possible to find a better word/phrase? (Maybe "the result" or a similar expression). 3) Constructed of: Do you construct a shirt? I would prefer "made of". 4) This will often help determine: I would suggest "this can/will help determine (it will always help you if you look at it). 6) Surface: Is there a more precise term in English? I have found a technical term in Danish which is still easy to understand for non-experts. I prefer this term to the Danish equivalent to "surface". 7) Affected areas: If I translate "affected" directly to Danish it sounds like a disease/an infection or at least something dangerous. 8) This was the sentence that I did not completely understand the first time I read it. I do understand what you are saying, but maybe it is possible to make it a bit clearer?

15 Birthe Mousten - bmo@asb.dk Aarhus School of Business Parties in mediation: Translator – Danish Mette, betw. 40-50, past experience teaching at high-school and translation for the industry Technical writer -American Eve, betw. 35-40, some years’ work experience as a dietrician, now taking a degree at university Calculating body mass index (BMI)

16 Response from US Eve to Danish Mette Hi! I am glad that you had a couple of questions. I will try to answer them as well as I can. MEASUREMENTS Yes! There is a reason that I incorporate the metric system. In my profession we DO use the metric system. Whenever I calculate someone’s BEE it is always done this way. All other calculations that I do on a patient including Body Mass Index, etc. are done using kilograms. The instructions are written as such because unless you are in a professional setting, scales do not show weight in kilograms, only in pounds, and the people completing the instructions would have to convert. You are right about the 2.2 pounds = 1 kilogram, words in the wrong spot, my mistake.…. Thank you for your questions. Please let me know if you have any further questions. Enjoy your weekend. Eve

17 Mette to Eve: I take it that your calculations are "do-it-yourself" instructions for a lay audience. Therefore I am more than a little undecided as to how I tackle the measurements in connection with the Hamwi method. I believe that most Europeans trying out this formula would give up if instructed as follows:

18 Use the Hamwi method to determine you IBW. a) Separate your height into the first 152.4 cm and the number of additional 2.54 cm. b) For males, use 48.12 kg for the first 152.4 cm and add 2.72 kg for each additional 2.54 cm. c) For females, use 45.4 kg for the first 152.4 cm and add 2.27 kg for each additional 2.54 cm.

19 Perhaps this suggestion – although inaccurate – might go down easier: Use the Hamwi method to determine you IBW. a) Separate your height into the first 150 cm and the number of additional cm. b) For males, use 48 kg for the first 150 cm and add 1 kg for each additional cm. c) For females, use 45.5 kg for the first 150 cm and add 0.9 kg for each additional cm.

20 Eve to Mette The first revision that you suggested is correct and I would prefer that you use that one for your translating. My profession uses the metric system a lot, and you are probably right that I am more than used to using the both of them. Oftentimes when I see a patient or a client I am given the height in feet and inches and the weight in pounds and have to convert them to cm and kg to complete any of the equations that I use on every patient. I….Eve

21 Mette to Eve Thank you for answering me. You are the master, and I shall humbly obey your instructions. I could, of course, keep the feet, inches and pounds and then write the instructions for converting the figures into metres and kilos, but somehow I do not think that would be a good idea either. Just to make sure: the instructions are intended for lay people aren’t they? (unless I am mistaken in this assumption you won’t have to reply to this question). ….Mette

22 Eve to Mette Mette – Yes you are correct, they are for lay people. I do not think that it is necessary to keep the feet, inches, and pounds considering the European audience….…Eve

23 Mette to Eve Thanks for your help and assistance. It has been great fun working with you. I attach the final result – I guess you would like to see how it has turned out in gobbledygook (you may have problems printing out some Danish letters which are non-consistent in the "normal" alphabet) …Mette

24 Mediation? Why was the mediation successful the first time (ironing)? Why was the mediation unsuccessful the second time (BMI)?

25 Communication mode: e-mail Expectation: simple behavioral and cultural misunderstandings, but these were surprisingly few. Experience: problems almost always related tothe task at hand. Mediation process: the core issue.

26 Mediation in case one – Roles: He:Open, straightforward, respect, friendliness, common project She:Responds to openness and straightforward attitude, gives credit for writing, asks for permission to change He:Sees changes as suggestions, comments on them, open- ended result (take it or leave it) She:Makes the final result and sends it to him. Consensus was reached. Nobody lost face.

27 Mediation in case two – Roles: US/DK:Open, straightforward, respect, friendliness, common project, but subtle controversies arose: Problems: Foot-pound or metric system Who decides? Communication only possible at surface level! US:Assertive, ’I know better’ attitude, no open ends DK:Assumes the role of underdog, creates ironic distance, waives responsibility for the result DK:Makes the final result and sends it to the US. Consensus was not reached. Who lost face?

28 Open questions: 1) Is this project a replication of the work situations of people in trade, industry and organisations? 2) Do we teach our students the art of mediation in relation to other professional groups? At all? Sufficiently? 3) What can we do to improve the situation?

29 Birthe Mousten - bmo@asb.dk Aarhus School of Business Burnett, Rebecca E. (2005): Technical Communication, sixth edition, Wadsworth, Thomson Michael Cronin (2003): Translation and Globalization. London and New York: Routledge Sources for the presentation:


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