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Garant, Mike (Ed.) 2010. Current Trends in Translation Teaching and Learning, volume III.

University of Helsinki, 163 pp. 15.00 €   ISBN: 978-952-10-6666-5.

Current Trends in Translation Teaching and Learning puts forward articles that focus on many of the current themes in translation teaching and learning. The aim of the series is to be useful in helping both novice and expert translators evaluate and improve translation education. The third volume published in 2010 includes six articles from teachers and researchers working in different countries (Finland, USA, Spain and Estonia) and teaching different subjects (marketing, translation, interpreting …).

The first article in this volume by Leena Aarikka-Stenroos addresses building business know-how in translation studies. The paper describes how to build a bridge between business studies (especially service marketing) and translation studies in order to profile translating as a professional service, and to bring a business and marketing approach to translating. First, the article describes the basic concepts and models of service marketing, selling and buying. Secondly, it provides a description of translating as a service type, on the basis of qualitative interview research among translation agencies and their customers. Thirdly, it concludes with the challenges that the translators, project managers and other experts in the translation industry face when they execute their profession in a genuine work environment. Aarikka-Stenroos shows that good interaction between the agency and the client makes it easier to pinpoint the desired service outcome and process.

Sight translation and process-oriented approaches are dealt with in the article by Erik Angelone. The paper discusses the potential benefit of including sight translation, historically regarded as a form of interpreting rather than as a form of translation, as a core curricular component of process-based early-stage translator training. The pedagogical advantages of this type of translation are explored from perspectives of uncertainty management and metacognitive behavior. Two paramount questions emerge: how can translator trainers help students become more consciously aware of the processes and strategies in which they are engaged when translating and, how can teachers structure training activities so that students can model behavioural indicators of expertise in a relatively risk-free manner. In order to answer these questions, a general translation-oriented sight translation training model is proposed, structured in a sequence of 10 stages and applicable in any small, group-based learning environment.

In the third article, Maria Brander de la Iglesia addresses the issue of conference interpretation for humanitarian purposes, specifically the requirements for training the volunteer interpreters who take on this task. The aim of the paper is to present the development of DidactiBels (Didactic Issues in Babels), a free software environment that will facilitate the teaching and learning for volunteers interpreting in this specific context. First of all, Brander de la Iglesia introduces the concept of “interpreting for development,” then she shows how the ethical background of DidactiBels corresponds to the principles of the World Social Forum and the Babel Charter. Later, she contextualizes the project by outlining its background and the possibility of finding shared values within the translation and interpreting community. Lastly, she gives information about the practical implementation of the project and encourages readers to participate in its development.

María-Dolores Olvera-Lobo and Juncal Gutiérrez-Artacho consider that the access and management of information resources is a highly important skill that translation training must develop. This is also the starting point for  a group of teachers from the University of Granada (Spain) who have created and developed a “Professional Approach to Translator Training” (PATT). This innovative learning project builds a dynamic, virtual model of translation briefs and familiarizes students with real-life work environment and tasks. This didactic approach combines elements of role-play, team-based task learning, case study and simulation. The group has drawn up other didactic tools (work guide, interactive multimedia tutorials, etc.) intended to assess the impact of this innovation on the students. It also seeks to determine their levels of knowledge and their capability as ICT users.

In the fifth article, Marta Arumí Ribas presents the socio-cultural theory as her conceptual framework before analyzing the application of its principles to the interpreting classroom. In this context, assessment takes on a dynamic nature and is interwoven with self-regulating processes. Based on this theoretical approach, a pedagogical learner-centred proposal is put forward which aims to promote self-regulation. A portfolio is the tool used with a group of students beginning simultaneous interpreting. The purpose is to enable them to effectively compile all the information generated during the course, reflect about their learning process and demonstrate the levels of competences they are reaching. Arumí Ribas concludes that self-regulation requires a period of apprenticeship, which must be carefully considered when designing strategic curricular contents.

The last article by Ljuba Tarvi takes on a more theoretical approach to Translation Studies. University studies in Translation are supposed to combine two major aims (and two types of knowledge): learning to do something (procedural knowledge) and learning how to know something (declarative knowledge). Currently theory is important for students since they are expected to be able to analyse text for translation and research. The topic of Tarvi’s paper is reflecting on different ways of adapting potentially useful theoretical material to a meaningful practical use. With this objective, she offers different adaptations (“vulgarisations”) of some theoretical models which have one goal in common: to make translation theory and students of translation meet halfway, a crucial task in today’s educational climate.

Maria Dolors Cañada Pujols
Departament de Traducció I Ciències del Llenguatge, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain