Title: Educating translators for new roles and responsibilities : interfacing with corporate and technical communication
Authors : Massey, Gary
Wieder, Regine
Conference details: didTRAD 2018: Fourth International Conference on Research into the Didactics of Translation, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Barcelona, 21. Juni 2018
Issue Date: 21-Jun-2018
License (according to publishing contract) : Licence according to publishing contract
Type of review: Peer review (Abstract)
Language : English
Subjects : Translation; Translator education; Translation didactics; Corporate communication; Technical communication
Subject (DDC) : 370: Education
418.02: Translating and interpreting
Abstract: The major challenges facing translator education today are closely tied to changes confronting the translation profession itself. Socio-ethical, regulatory and economic requirements to provide universal, comprehensible access to information and services are extending the roles and responsibilities expected of translators, with user-centred text design (Byrne 2010; Suojanen et al. 2015) regarded as an increasingly important feature of technical and general translation work. At the same time, artificial intelligence is reshaping the way we work, as neural machine translation (NMT) looks set to change the distribution of tasks in the translation profession. The predicted advance of NMT into the routine cognitive work hitherto done by human translators (e.g. Massardo et al. 2016; Massey and Ehrensberger-Dow 2017) is likely to increase demand for adaptive, consultative experts able to advise on, identify and deliver the added value of human translation services such as accessible, user-centred multilingual text production, transcreation and intercultural mediation (cf. Katan 2016; Liddicoat 2016). Yet, survey data on translators’ self-concept and role perceptions (Katan 2011; Massey and Wieder 2018) show working professionals to be currently underequipped to adopt the advisory, evaluative and (co-)creative roles that such services imply. Revised models of translator competence are called for to accommodate the extended profile. At the same time, new approaches to competence development are needed to tap the potential of interfacing with disciplines that will continue to require advisory and creative human translation services: technical communication, where user-centred design is key, and corporate communication, in particular its strategic and reputational dimensions. After presenting survey data on role perceptions of translation professionals, this paper describes pilot collaborative and experiential learning scenarios bringing together translation students with those studying corporate or technical communication. These were intended to expose students to the demands of future professional core tasks, to break down task boundaries between them and, by pooling cross-disciplinary competences, develop an extended role perception among the groups. The paper proceeds to report on the design and rationale of the learning events and consider student, teacher and institutional responses. Some of these indicate that, despite weaknesses in project design and execution, students exposed to the approaches conceptualise translation in a way more congruent with the predicted profile of future human translation than many of the professionals appear to. The paper ends with appropriate recommendations for future teaching and action research, and tentatively proposes supplementing translation competence models with more comprehensively adaptive, evaluative, creative and advisory components.
Departement: Angewandte Linguistik
Organisational Unit: Institute of Translation and Interpreting (IUED)
Publication type: Conference Other
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/7536
Appears in Collections:Publikationen Angewandte Linguistik

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