A holistic approach on translator traning

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  • Publicado : 14 de junio de 2011
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Records indicate that translation has existed as means of massive communication since the times of the Achaemenids, when Darius immortalized in three different cuneiform script languages his victory over the treacherous Gaumata in 522 BCE. Ever since then, translation has played a fundamental role in the social and economical life of all cultures as it has bridged thecommunication gap of many –if not all– civilizations. As a consequence of the so-called globalization and the boom of communication medias, the interest on this discipline has dramatically increased in the past decades. The increment in the translating activity calls for a translative competence; currently, there is a plethora of translation institutions around the world offering undergraduate, andpostgraduate programs to train translators. However, Sabaté-Carrové (1999) complains that the tools, methodologies, and training that trainees are given in these programs have failed to prepare them adequately for their professional careers. In her view, most translation training programs and methodologies have been designed on a “hit and miss” basis. She also complains about the lack of academicdevelopment of translation pedagogy. Likewise, Hurtado Albir (2002) observes that the lack of curricular design and development for the didactics of translation has encouraged some academics to mechanically include, with no pedagogical considerations, works on linguistics or traductología (e.g. Larson’s, Newmarks or Vázquez-Ayora’s manuals) in their programs. Both authors agree that this gap in translationpedagogy has lead some authors to attempt their own theoretical frameworks on translator training models (Kaßmaul, Robinson, Baker, etc.), but that these represent merely a small step in the direction of constituting translation pedagogy as a discipline.

The lack of a field of study entirely concerned with the teaching of translation is reflected in the design of many TT syllabuses. The Plan90 of the Facultad de Idiomas de la Universidad Veracruzana (FIUV) may have been one case where the “hit and miss” basis was evident. At any rate, many students –including myself– from the Translation Area of the FIUV felt insufficiently prepared for their professional lives as translators. Why? This question, perhaps, can be illuminated if we consider that there was an absence of a broaderapproach to translation theory and teaching: the main source for translation theory –if not the sole source– we used came from Vázquez-Ayora’s work Traductología (1977). The teaching focused mainly on the learning his version of the technical procedures conceived originally by Vinay and Dalbernet (1958) with no pedagogical considerations. We were taught to use the technical procedures as a method oftranslation –a methodological mistake according to Delisle (1980)– rather than helping us build our understanding of the translation process, which would help us develop our own method of translating. The technical procedures seemed inoperative to me at the moment of exegesis, as they relied on prescriptions that were hard to follow when facing real texts. Delisle support my view on technicalprocedures:
“The term “procedure is misleading, because comparative stylistics does not study the process by which equivalences are established […] the categories of comparative stylistics (and particularly the so-called translation procedures) cannot really be applied to the analysis and re-expression of messages, or even to the verification of equivalences […] Compared stylistics short-circuits theinterpretive process of translation…” Delisle (1980: 72, 73, 74)
Overall, I believe that the translation theory program failed to meet my expectations due to its un-dimensional focus on compared stylistics. Furthermore, it seemed to me that the inclusion of Introducción a la Traductología (1997) lacked a pedagogical foundation.
We also took three translation workshops of diverse natures. The...
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