Orozco Jutorán, Mariana (2012). Metodología de la traducción directa del inglés al español. Materiales didácticos para traducción general y especializada.
Granada: Comares, Colección Interlingua 105, pp. 293, €22.00. ISBN 978-84-9836-918-2
Learning and teaching of translation in the classrooms of higher education institutions is rarely carried out following a textbook so lecturers of English-Spanish translation should welcome Orozco’s Metodología… as a one-stop shop from where to select topics, exercises and translations to work with students in a classroom environment. This is Orozco’s first authored book despite having published extensively. She has also worked as a professional translator and interpreter.
This book is not a scholarly treatise or a handbook for translators nor pretends to be. Translation theory is not explained neither are translation schools: this knowledge is implicit. In the introduction, the author makes her intentions clear: to share her insights and, most importantly, some of the materials gathered over 16 years of teaching translation in higher education. Although translation students will ultimately benefit, the target readership is fellow translation lecturers.
Orozco´s introduction precedes the 17 chapters of the book and an appendix, which suggests guidelines for educators to work with the texts in class. Each chapter includes a personal reflection of the author on the topic in hand. The tone of this reflection is far from erudite; on the contrary, it is delivered in a quasi-oral manner and is reminiscent of the type of comments a lecturer might make during class.
Each chapter also includes texts to be translated (or revised) and suggested exercises. The texts and exercises included in the book range in difficulty (some might be suitable for first year students but the majority are geared towards final-year and MA students) and have been chosen according to the topic covered in each chapter. There is a wide range of general and specialised texts as well as exercises dealing with translation points, revisions and translation as a profession. Some chapters include recommended readings and tables which teachers will find useful.
Students as independent learners are at the centre of the book and this is clear from the first chapter, entirely devoted to a questionnaire for learners, which is intended as a diagnostic assessment. This questionnaire is included again in the final chapter in the form of self-assessment; this time the author suggests the answers although, she is at pains to stress, there might be no right or wrong answers.
Chapters 2 to 11 deal with aspects covered traditionally in undergraduate programmes. The titles of the chapters: Equivalence (3), Naturalness in the Target Language (9), Cultural Differences (11), to name of a few, give an idea of the type of topics covered.
A welcome addition is Chapter 12, which deals with the often-forgotten professional dimension of the translator and suggests exercises (this is after all, a book that proposes a task-based approach) which students will find invaluable: writing a CV, finding out about translator rates, and raising an invoice with the correct VAT are a few examples.
Chapter 13 also deals with a task considered minor by some, the revisions of translations. Here, the author suggests several exercises and texts which will hopefully give this task its due status.
In the final three chapters, 14 to 16, which deal with specialised translation, the author stresses the importance of research, parallel texts and suggests some techniques for word search.
This book which, although not revealing anything new, is full of tips which will make the lives of English-Spanish translator trainers a great deal easier.
Inma Pedregosa, University of Roehampton, London