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The Inaugural Issue of
Translation Watch Quarterly is Available.

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Volume 1, Inaugural Issue, December 2005

This special issue looks at issues of quality and professional recognition in various translation settings.


Why Translation Watch Quarterly?
Mary Vasilakakos
RMIT University, Melbourne 

In this editorial, Mary Vasilakakos, Senior Educator, Curriculum and Project Design in Translation and Interpreting, at RMIT University, Melbourne, and co-author of Liaison Interpreting, introduces this inaugural issue of Translation Watch Quarterly, which "attempts to provide a forum for practitioners working with the ‘pragmatic’ and cultural aspects of Translation to raise training, accreditation, practice, standards, and other relevant issues".

Audio Description: Professional Recognition, Practice and Standards in Spain
Pilar Orero
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain

Audio description is the mode chosen to access audiovisual media for those who have sight problems in the new information society. After the Athens Conference in 2003 the European Union drew up some general guidelines for those countries which had not developed a national plan of accessibility. This article looks at the context of accessibility in Spain, and after a general picture of the Spanish reality on media accessibility it goes into describing and analysing the standard for audio description approved in 2005 by the Spanish Ministerio de Trabajo.

Professional Recognition in the Canadian Translation Industry: How Is It Perceived by Translators and Employers?
Lynne Bowker
School of Translation and Interpretation, University of Ottawa, Canada

Canada is home to a number of professional translators associations, including the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO), which enjoys legal recognition of the reserved title of Certified Translator. But what does professional recognition actually mean to those inside and outside the translation industry? Following a description of the certification process, this paper explores the perceptions held by translators and their employers with regard to professional recognition. The opinions of translators have been gleaned though a survey of the professional literature published by ATIO, while the opinions of employers have been assessed by evaluating a collection of 151 job advertisements for translation positions. It appears that while translators themselves appear to value professional recognition, certified status is not a qualification that is highly sought after by employers.

From Professional Certification to the Translator Training Classroom: Adapting the ATA Error Marking Scale
Geoffrey S. Koby and Brian James Baer
Kent State University, USA

Evaluation of translation quality is a central issue in translation pedagogy. The use of the error marking scale developed by the American Translators Association for the grading of certification exams is discussed as a way to introduce professional standards of error marking into the translator training classroom. The problems of adapting a product-oriented and testing-oriented scale for process-oriented classroom evaluation are explored, as well as the technical details of mathematically adapting the scale to an A-F grading system. An Excel spreadsheet is used to calculate grades and adjust for length of text.

NAATI Accreditation for Translators in Australia: Theoretical Underpinnings and Practical Implications
Leong Ko
School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies
University of Queensland, Australia

A mismatch exists in expectations about the requirements of translation between NAATI and those attempting the NAATI test, be they translation practitioners, graduates from translation training programs. This article will examine issues concerning NAATI accreditation for Translators at the professional level in terms of the relevant theoretical frameworks of translation, and assess translation practice in the real translation world, in order to contribute to a better understanding of the NAATI Translator test, its theoretical underpinnings and practical implications.

Machine Translation in the Arab World: Overview and Perspectives
Rana Raddawi and Wessam Al-Assadi
American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

The aim of this article is to shed light on the field of machine translation in the Arab world: where it started, its development, drawbacks and future perspectives. The choice to focus on MT in the Arab world is for various reasons. First, it is a domain that remains relatively unresearched. Second, Arabs have yet to ride the wave of one of the most profound technological phenomena in the history of humankind – the Internet. The Arab user’s potential inability to access pages in English on the Internet urges the need to translate those pages by machine. Thus, MT is a field that merits examination since most Arabs who have no command of foreign languages and particularly English cannot, in this age of information and knowledge but use translation to keep up with breakthroughs in a competitive global market. It is worth noting that Human Translators’ endeavors are never excluded from MT research and technology, as they constitute the driving force for the advancement of machine translation.

The Translation Profession in Australia: Viability or Survivability?
Ali Darwish
RMIT University, Australia

Australia has recently seen an upsurge in translation and interpreting activity on the back of successive waves of refugees and illegal immigrants from war-torn countries in the Middle East, Horn of Africa, Afghanistan, and South East Asia. Ensuing demands have resulted in a flourishing translation market and have turned translation into a lucrative business for many translation service providers, old and new. However, in an unregulated industry that is subject to seasonal fluctuation, most translation and interpreting work has been traditionally carried out by freelancers or “contractors” on behalf of these providers. In a fledgling profession still in the process of defining itself, sustainability and professional recognition become inseparably intertwined and the question of viability becomes a real one in an unstable market.

Translation of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Problems and Solutions Formula Names as a Case Study
Duoxiu Qian
Department of Foreign Languages
Beihang University, Beijing, China

Chinese medicine has gained popularity as an alternative medicine in the West in recent years. Though many translations have been done in this area, many problems may hinder the growing acceptance of it. This case study illustrates such problems as lack of linguistic accuracy and standardization in The Pharmacopoeia of the People’s Republic of China (2000) and suggests some systematic methods in translating the names of Chinese medicine contained in the first volume of it. It is hoped that through such a systematic improvement, translations done in this area will become more accurate linguistically and acceptable culturally.

Editor's Choice
Working with Interpreters

A s part if its Good Corporate Citizen Program, VITS LanguageLink has recently released an interactive training CD-ROM titled Working with Interpreters. This latest undertaking by VITS aims to promote greater awareness of the role of the interpreter, the need for professional services and greater appreciation for the specialist skills provided by professional interpreters and translators.

Book Review
Basil Hatim and Jeremy Munday's Translation: An Advanced Resource Book

“Can translation be taught” is a question that haunts the minds and hearts of sincere translation educators every time they front a classroom full of students of varying abilities, interests and achievement levels. What is the best methodology for teaching translation? What theoretical framework is most suited to the learning needs of such translation students? What are the best ways to develop identified key competencies in translation students? These are some of the many questions raised by the notion of translation teachability, which leaves many a seasoned teacher frustrated by the misgivings of students, who are more often than not already practising professionals, about the credibility of theoretical models.

With its reader-centered approach, this new publication, Translation: an Advanced Resource Book, lives up to its promise. It is a rich, portable library of translation studies for serious translation students and teachers. It integrates theory and research into the nature of translation learnability and applicability.






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