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Volume 3, Issue 1, 2007

This issue looks at three interrelated themes in Translation Studies: acculturation, pedagogy and assessment.


Poetics and Politics of Translation: Acculturation, Pedagogy and Assessment
Ali Darwish, Central Queensland University

Shocking as it may sound, there are those in the translation industry and in certain quarters of academia who still, towards the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, believe that culture in translation is not important or at the very least cultural literacy is acquired primarily through language learning and language contact. This view seems to stem from the lingering notion of communication as transmission that has dominated western scholarship for most of the last century. The inseparability of communication and culture however stands uncontested in practical terms, and every communication act is a cultural practice that adds to the formation of cultural maps of individuals and communities...

Acculturation and Translation: Chinese Translation History as a Case Study
Shi Aiwei, Xinzhou Teachers’ University, China

Translation today is hardly regarded as a mere linguistic act. It is instead thought of as a cultural act. It is no longer seen as a one-way act, but a two-way process through which two relevant cultures interact or react (acculturate) with each other. This paper studies the historical development of the Chinese translation tradition, offering an explanation of the acculturation process in different periods. There are four translation waves in Chinese history, each having evidently different thoughts and attitudes toward acculturation. The four waves are translation of Buddhist scriptures, translation of the Bible and the Christian doctrines, translation of the western philosophical thoughts and science, and translation since the year 1949 to the present time.

A Semantically Based and Pragmatically Oriented Pedagogical Model of Translation
Adil Al-Khufaishi, Copenhagen University

The objective of this paper is to develop a semantically based and pragmatically oriented model of translation. The model serves as a guideline for trainee translators to help them identify the semantic, textual, cultural, pragmatic, thematic and stylistic aspects which should be considered in the translation processes of text analysis and conversion. It also highlights the translation strategies that trainee translators need to acquire. The model views the text as a subcomponent of the communicative context, which in turn is a subcomponent of the context of culture—the meaning of the textual elements is determined partly in relation to their co-text, pre-text and post-text and partly in relation to the parameters of the communicative event and the context of culture. The model helps the trainee translators to make their own choices and reflect upon the effects such choices. Decisions should not be made solely on the basis of the Source Language text; rather equal attention should be accorded to both Source Text and Target Text.

Scaling Untranslatability: Evaluating Poetic Translation from the Reader's Perspective
Kadhim Ali, University of Basra

This paper attempts to launch a scaling system for the translations of poetry based on readers’ responses. It brings together three problematic and uneasy areas, namely the translation of poetry, translation quality assessment and reader response. The aim is to establish an objective scaling model of the quality of poetic translation(s) that is based on readers' responses. The most recurrent key words in the responses of (25) proficient speakers of English (with multicultural backgrounds) to three different translations of the renowned Iraqi poet Badr Shakir As-Sayyab's "Song of Rain" are be elicited, catalogued and used to form an evaluative scale.

The Turney Letters: Linguistic Evidence of Fraudulent Authorship
Roger T Bell, University of Westminster and Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

This paper tests the authenticity of British sailor Faye Turney's letters through evidence of idiosyncratic usages which appear non-native and, from those, infer the existence of a covert author, distinct from the overt writer. Probing the full texts of the three letters for signs of idiosyncratic usage reveals that there are in the region of 30 questionable occurrences, realized by an aggregate of 113 words in a total of 450. 

This paper is a short forensic linguistic case study which tests the hypothesis that, while there is no doubt that Faye Turney wrote the letters, she is not the originator of them: writer and author are not the same person. The motivation for the study was to find linguistic evidence which would give substance to the air of “foreignness” journalists and commentators sensed in the texts and, by completing the investigation before information about the treatment of the captives became publicly available (after 7th April), raise awareness of the significant role forensic linguistics can and should play in situations where the authenticity of texts is at issue.

Quality Control versus Quantity Control in Training NAATI Translators and Interpreters
Leong Ko, University of Queensland

In 2001, the Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs introduced a new policy that allowed translation and/or interpreting practitioners with NAATI qualifications as Translators and/or Interpreters to migrate to Australia. Since then, all NAATI-approved programs at this level have been inundated with inquiries and applications. New programs at both public and private training institutes have been approved by NAATI, with many more still likely to be developed in future.

This paper looks at various issues in this area, including problems that have been identified with training, issues surrounding quality control, impact on the translation and interpreting market, the role of NAATI in overseeing the quality of training, and the future prospects for translation and interpreting training in Australia. It focuses on the training of NAATI Translators/Interpreters and mainly deals with the Chinese language, including Mandarin in the case of interpreting. 

Implementation and Evaluation of a New Learning Approach in Arabic: Implications for Translator Training
Ghassan Hassan Al Shatter, Australian National University
Khalifa Ali Al Suwaidi and Anil Sharma, United Arab Emirates University

This paper discusses planning and implementing a new learning approach for teaching Arabic as part of the University General Requirements Unit at the United Arab Emirates University. The new learning approach challenges the traditional teaching methodology used in the United Arab Emirates. The planning and implementation scheme is analyzed, and training, teaching style, and classroom management processes are evaluated. The study examines responses by the University administration, faculty members, and students to the introduction of this new teaching methodology. It suggests that teaching standard Arabic as part of the University's general education requirements is important for Arab students who wish to be successful in their studies at the University as well as in their professional lives. The implications for translators are also addressed.


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