Academic journal article K@ta

Translation: A Multidimensional Task

Academic journal article K@ta

Translation: A Multidimensional Task

Article excerpt

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to shed light on the pedagogical function of translation, and how it can contribute to teaching or fostering language acquisition using either traditional tools of language teaching such as textbooks, and handouts, or by technological means. In this paper the role of L1 (the learner's first language) is emphasized as an assistant to second language teaching (L2). The facts presented in this article are the results of my experience working on translation shared with a group of students enrolled in the Intensive English Program before they were admitted in their major.

Key words: translation, pedagogical level, teaching languages

(ProQuest Information and Learning: ... denotes non-USACII text omitted.)

There is no doubt that in the multicultural and multilingual "global village" in which we currently live, translation cannot but play a vital role. Globalization of the world in general and the work market in particular have led to an environment without borders, in which people of multiple cultural and linguistic backgrounds interact. These individuals need to communicate, to interchange ideas, beliefs and principles but are sometimes faced with linguistic barriers while communicating. Translation is always the solution, whether directly (the act of professional translation and interpreting) or indirectly (by pedagogical translation). The purpose of this paper is to show that translation is not only a practical and efficient means of communication between cultures and civilizations, but also a multi-dimensional and multifunctional subject which can be used as a method for language teaching.


Translation the Science

The meaning of translation has changed tremendously over the last 50 years. It is no longer simply a bridge between people with different linguistic backgrounds but also a science unto itself. With the emergence of translation studies, translation has become an academic subject, (Holmes, 1972), and theories of translation are taught all over the world whether at the undergraduate or graduate levels. Some academic institutions which offer translation studies programs are: The University of George Washington (USA), Laval University (Canada), the Sorbonne, ESIT (France), King Fahd University (Morocco), Edinburgh University (UK), and the American University of Sharjah (United Arab Emirates). The American University of Sharjah (AUS), for example, offers an accredited Master Degree Program in Translation and Interpreting, with 36 credits, over 2 years.

Translation the Practice

In this case, it is the process of translating that is in question (Munday, 2001). In other words, the translator tries to understand a text spoken or written in one language and conveys its meaning into another text spoken or written in the target language (Raddawi, 1999).

Translation the Product

Once the act of translating is accomplished, the product or the result obtained is also called a translation; be this product an article, a book, a brochure or any other discourse.


With the focus on the disciplinary aspect of translation, we can state the 3 levels of translation (Seleskovitch & Lederer, 1986).

Linguistic level

This is the first level of translation. At this stage, the translating process is done word for word, and is used at two times. First, when the translator is a beginner, they fear to veer away from the original text and therefore they comply with the contents and form of the words they are translating. Second, linguistic translation is used for comparative studies purposes. In the latter, the linguist's aim is to compare two different code systems and their functionality. This type of translation is called linguistic because it effectively represents the macro level of translation.

Pedagogical Level

Translation in this case is used as a means to teach or deepen the acquisition of a language. …

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