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Overview of Translation and Translation Training

3730 words (15 pages) Essay in Education

09/07/18 Education Reference this

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Background of translation (300w)

According to Newmark (1988), translation is a process of “rendering the meaning” of information from a language (usually called “source language”) into another language (usually called “target language”) following the intention of the author, the purpose of the information themselves and the demand of the target language’s readers. Translation, sometimes, is a definition used for both written and oral transferring; however, it is considered as “written information” transferring more often. Oral transferring refers to “interpretation.” In this research, we define translation as the transferring process of written information from a source language into another target language, which can “[…] convey its original tone and message” and blind the barrier of cultural and regional diversity between the two languages.

There are now available two popular methods of translation: semantic translation and communicative translation. It is classified so based on the comparison in meaning and contents with the source languages texts. Semantic translation is considered as “faithful translation”, this translation method looks on the author, his/her words choice, structure and expression are saved carefully. Whereas, communicative translation looks on the readers, the purpose of this method is to give information, so the translator should render the meaning and the aim of the article. There are also other methods of translation, such as: word for word translation, literal translation, faithful translation, adaption, free translation, idiomatic translation, etc.

The function or the nature of translation, similar to language is to communicate. As a result, a good translator should not only choose one suitable method for the text or only focus on transferring the messages from one language into another. A good translator can, however, deliver those to the readers of the target language and balance the both cultures and regions in his/her translation. To meet this demand, a translator should understand the writing of the target language thoroughly and know the socio-cultural situation of the text deeply. According to Harris Brian (1976), “translation should continue to be practiced in our secondary schools and might even be extended in some places to primary school”. Being a good translation, a learner has no choice but practicing to improve his/herself.

Background of translation training (700w)

Wu Lei (1999) defined translation training as a process where the application of translation theories is widely spread or delivered to linguistic learners. To clarify the importance of translation, Wu Lei has taken an example in China, where translation is an indispensable element in industrialization and modernization process of the country. Moreover, translation shows its influence in analyze the professional of linguistic learners. Their profession in translation reflects the abilities of them in both their mother tongue and the foreign languages because, a learner have to master at least both of the languages to ensure becoming a translator. In conclusion, people realize the roles of translation in both linguistic training and in the distribution of a country.

Although translation has appeared and marked its importance for thousand years with the mission of contributing the world, motivating knowledge discovery, enhancing human life as a mean for communicating and interacting among cultures and regions; translation studies has just been recognized since the 20th century. It is no doubt that translation training is still included in the new area to study, in compare with its appearance and its undeniable roles in the development of human being.

In China, translation is taught, generally, in the third year, after linguistic students of a university finish their advanced writing courses or after they finish the course about 4-basic English skills in China. In compare with Vietnam, the linguistic students can also have a chance to study translation and theories of translation in the first year like Schools of Foreign languages or Hanoi University. It is taught so because the students may cope with many difficulties in translation learning if their four basic English skills is not professional. In addition, translation training in the early year just focuses on translating materials from other languages into the translator’s mother tongue. Not until the development of industrialization and modernization process in some countries, particularly in asia, happens, does translating from the translator’s mother tongue into other languages catch more attention.

Despite the awareness of people about translation roles in modern time, translation methodology and training faces many difficulties. The experts understand that translation must concentrate on the cultural difference or, in other words, it is that translation into target language should be accurate, “accurate” means that ensuring the whole meanings of sentences or a document, and the cultural suitability of the translated texts. A translator must make sure that they have a wide range of background knowledge about every field and area and master all the linguistic skills required.

Nowadays, translation teaching is clearly illustrated in two main ways. The first way is that the lecturer first gives the piece of writing for the students to translating. After that, the students will translate it into the target language and explain the methodology they use and skill related to the exercises. The second way, theories and methodologies are delivered to the learners first, then, they will use them to translate a given text. These two methods still have their disadvantages, especially, they base on the profession of the lecturers. A lecturer should have knowledge on all aspects of the world and master all translating skill and theories to deliver them to their learners correctly and effectively; it says that, a lecturer has to be extremely hard-working and excellent. Moreover, it expresses the limitation in learning materials, self-practicing and human resources. The problem is that learners who want to improve themselves cannot just rely on their lecturers but on practicing itself.

In terms of reference resources, students could get the information in parallel texts. Printed dictionaries, company sites and specialized press in addition to online dictionaries. These tools can be a convenient guide during translation processing, along with in-class activities, for terminology and documentation purposes.

In general, due to the shortage of materials and research about translation training until now, the resources about how to learn and to teach translation at university are still limited, except for practicing and improving oneself.

The roles of human in translation process is undeniable, however, writing in his research about “Machine Translation over fifty years”, John Hutchins (1976) said that, although internet and technology in 20th century is not developed enough to meet the need of people in translating fields, machine translation will be used more widely in the future. It leads to the fact that a translator should try harder to win the limitation of machine translation and to meet the requirements of the market. For more optimistic, John strongly highlighted on the development of technology that can play a role as a supporter for human, especially translator in the future.

An Overview of ICT and e-learning (500-600w)

Definition of ICT (100w – Thanh)

Generally, ICT or Information and Communicative Technologies are understood as technologies that support activities involving information. More specifically, according to Random House Dictionary, ICT is defined as “a branch of knowledge” (as cited in Khaled S. & Lynne B.) that includes “the combination of informatics technology with other, related technologies, specifically communication technology” (Gokhe, p. 1), and as referred by Stephen Heppell, is the foundation of creativity and productivity (as cited in Megha Gokhe, p. 1). It is “a diverse set of technological tools and resources used to communicate, ad to create, disseminate, store and manage information” (Meenaksi, 2013) which implies to be used, applied and integrated into all activities related to life, society and particularly in education.

E-learning: An application of ICT in daily life (150w – Công)

ICT has been applied in many ways in daily life. Celebic and Rendulic (2011) indicate several applications of ICT, namely providing internet services such as e-commerce, e-banking and e-government; facilitating e-learning and teleworking environments; and setting up virtual communities.

The concept of e-learning varies in different research studies. In the broadest sense, e-learning means any form of learning that is enabled electronically (Abbad, Morris, & Nahlik, 2009; Celebic, & Rendulic, 2011). Its concept, however, is narrowed down to mean any learning that is internet-enabled or web-based (LaRose, Gregg & Eastin, 2003 as cited in Abbad et al., 2009).

E-Learning brings about many benefits for students, teachers and educational institutions. Firstly, e-learning benefit students by improving access to education and training (Alexander, 2001; as cited in Gilbert, Morton, & Rowley, 2007); giving them adaptive time, place and pace of learning; providing them with unrestricted repetition of lectures; and creating multimedia environment with video, audio and text (Celebic & Rendulic, 2011). Besides, for teachers and educational institutions, it reduces costs of conducting teaching, enables educational staff to implement the respective education in a short time and allows simple upgrade of materials. (Celebic and Rendulic, 2011).

  1. Web-based Learning and Web-based Application in Translation Training (1400w)
  1. Definition and current situation of Web-based learning and Web-based

Application in Translation Training (200w – Thanh)

Web-based learning is defined as “a subset of e-learning and refers to learning using an internet browser such as the Moodle, Blackboard or Internet Explorer” (Mikre, 2011, “Operational definition of terms”). Sarıca (2008) defines web-based learning theory as “education that occurs only through the Web, that is, it does not consist of any physical learning materials issued to students or actual face to face contact” (“Theory of Web-Based Learning”, “Web-Based English Language Learning”). Cook (2007) states “web-based learning encompasses all educational interventions that make use of the internet (or a local intranet)” (p. 37).

Currently, web-based education is a promising field with the rising number of students enrolled in online classes (Su, Bonk, Magjuka, Liu, & Lee, 2005). Several studies (Lewis, Alexander & Farris, 1997; Waits & Lewis, 2003) estimates that the number of students taking distant programs has gone up from around 750,000 to more than three million within six academic years from 1994-1995 to 2000-2001 (as cited in Su et al., 2005). This learning form requires a network like the World Wide Web which enables language learners to overcome the physical barriers in terms of time and space and quickly access materials in many foreign languages and cultures. Peter J. Yang’s article mentions several advantages of learning via networks including access to authentic materials, flexible scheduling, location independence and enhanced communication (n.d., pp. 81-82).

Roles of web-based learning (400w – Thanh)

Sarıca identifies several roles including knowledge generation, collaboration and process management. In a web-based learning setting, the learner is expected to work out solutions to problems. Also, they are responsible for viewing issues and questions of the teacher and other students. Besides, students in the web-based learning environment are recommended to work collaboratively and cooperatively so as to come up with deeper levels of understanding of the course material. They are expected to share the resources and materials that they are finding with alternative learners. As for the role of process management, students are supposed to participate with “minimal guidelines, interact with one another and speak up when the discussions are moving into an uncomfortable zone” (Sarıca, 2008, p. 6).

Strengths and Weaknesses (300w – Công)

In general, online learning environment offers many advantages in comparison with traditional classrooms. Evans and Fan (2002) suggest three main benefits of learning online, namely place independence, flexible time and adaptive pace for study (as cited in O’Donoghue, Singh & Green, 2004). In addition, e-learning enables learners to select proper courses and learning material that can be reviewed as many times as necessary to enhance their understanding and specific skills (Jingyu, 2014). However, the learners may face several challenges and risks during online courses. Jingyu’s study (2014) shows unreasonable time management may pose them to the possibility of procrastination. As a result, learners must have much self-motivation, wise organization and plan to keep up with online courses (Jingyu, 2014). Besides, another concern is the loss of face-to-face interaction. The 2011 study carried by the University of Plymouth implied that online environment reduced both student-instructor interaction and the interaction with learners’ peers, which can cause feelings of isolation (as cited in O’Donoghue, Singh & Green, 2004).

According to Micu and Sinu (2012), web-based tools has both advantages and disadvantages in terms of teaching and learning language translation. As to teaching written translation, they rely on the Internet accessibility. Regarding learning translation, Abraham indicates (2003) that students may benefit from “web-based machine translation sites, online dictionaries, and language-related websites are sources that may frequently be consulted and used by foreign language learners” (as cited in Micu & Sinu, 2012, p. 124). However, they may misguidedly use these web-based tools due to lack of discussion and employment of such resources as part of their class activities. Another negative aspect is that resources from the Internet are not always reliable and of good quality since “anyone can post information on the Web, including non-experts, and Web documents are not always subject to an editing process in the same way that printed documents usually are” (Bowker, 2003 as cited in Micu & Sinu, 2012, p. 124).

Constructing and Utilizing Web Applications (500w – Công)

Background and construction of web applications

Over the years, the World Wide Web has rapidly evolved from a delivery system for static documents to a popular platform today for programming distributed web applications. According to Stuttard and Pinto (2011), the World Wide Web formerly consisted only of information repositories that contained static documents, and the information flowed in one way, from server to browser. Nowadays, most websites are highly functional applications counting on two-way flow of information between the server and browser (Stuttard & Pinto, 2011).

Joshi, Aref, Ghafoor and Spafford (2001) illustrate a web application as “a three-tier architecture” that consists of “a Web client, network servers, and a back-end information system supported by a suite of databases.” (p. 38). Chlipala (2015) claims that a web application of rich functionality today must “generate HTML, for document structure; CSS, for document formatting; JavaScript, a scripting language for client-side interactivity; and HTTP, a protocol for sending all of the above and more, to and from browsers.” Common functions of a web app include shopping, social networking, banking and interaction information, etc. (Stuttard & Pinto, 2011).

Vosloo (n.d.) refers to using a Content Management System (CMS) and using a web framework as two main ways of building web applications today. CMSs, normally coming with such pre-built modules as discussion forums, FAQs and online polls, allows non-technical users with little knowledge about web development to add pages and content. A web framework, on the other hand, is intended for a more technical user. Web frameworks originate from the reusable code that is put in libraries for doing tasks repeatedly (Vosloo, n.d.).

Utilizing the Web App and Interaction in online learning

In her article, Sarica (2008) points out communication technologies are classified as asynchronous or synchronous. In the former one, technologies such as blogs, forum and e-mail are utilized so that people can participate and engage in the community without depending on others’ involvement at the same time. The later form – synchronous, on the other hand, involves real-time activities of exchanging ideas and information among participants. The participants can take advantages of web-based learning because they can access resources in multiple formats anytime and anywhere as well as learn more independently and actively.

Interaction is often regarded as a significant component of a successful online learning. Palloff and Pratt (1999) claim that the “keys to the learning process are the interactions among students themselves, the interactions between faculty and students, and the collaboration in learning that results from these interactions” (as cited in Su et al., 2005, p.1). In addition, the evidence from some other research (Irani, 1998; Zhang & Fulford, 1994; Zirkin & Sumler, 1995) suggests more interaction means more students’ satisfaction and better learning outcomes (as cited in Su et al., 2005).

Moore (1989) classified interaction into three categories, namely learner-instructor, learner-learner and learner-content. Learner-instructor interactions create an environment in which students are encouraged to have better understandings about the content. Moore also indicate that learner-learner interactions take place among learners with or without the real-time presence of an instructor (as cited in Su et al., 2005). According to Garrison (1990), this type of interaction is found to motivate students and enable them to have better learning experiences (as cited in Sabry & Baldwin, 2003). Sabry and Baldwin (2003) pointed out two forms of learner-learner interactions including “asynchronously (non-real time) through using, for example, email or discussion boards, or synchronously (real-time) using, for example, conferencing and chat facilities” (p. 445). Learner-content interaction is defined as the process of learners interacting intellectually with content, leading to changes in their understanding and perspective (Moore, 1989 as cited in Su et al., 2005). However, there is not much to discuss about it because interaction patterns vary on different contents (Su et al., 2005). Other types of interactions (as cited in Su et al., 2005, p.3) that are not widely discussed include “vicarious interaction” (Devries, 1996; Sutton, 2001) and learner-self interactions (Soo & Bonk, 1998; Robertson, 2002).

Su et al. (2005) suggest several technologies and instructional activities that will enhance learners’ understanding the subject matter and deepen their critical reflection and analysis skills. Some frequently used technologies that may be applied in online education to promote interactions include textbooks; multimedia combining texts, audio and images via the Internet or CD-ROM; streaming audio and video; as well as synchronous and asynchronous communication tools, for instance discussion boards, instant messaging and file-sharing (McGreal, 2004 as cited in Su et al., 2005). The study by Gilbert, Morton and Rowley (2007) showed that students appreciated discussion forums or threads, and that many used them as their main mode of interaction. In addition to technologies, instructional activities can also promote course interactions, thus enable students to understand the content better and improve their engagement in learning. Su et al. (2005) also cited several examples of educators employing instructional activities to enhance interactions and improve learning. Learner-instructor, for example, can be enhanced through virtual office hours (Branon & Essex, 2001). Teamwork is emphasized in learner-learner interactions by Peter (2000). Likewise, Sutton (2001) stimulated students to read others’ discussions to learn through vicarious interactions. In respect of learner-content interactions, Kerka (1996) recommends students reply to questionnaires so that they can self-examine their views related to the content (as cited in Su et al., 2005).


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