Posted by: Sharon
Posted by: Sharon
Translation services make up a wide and interesting area of the language services industry. One of its academic branches is translation theory, dealing with how a text should be approached and what underlies the translation process.
A leading translation theorist is the American Lawrence Venuti, who in his book ‘The Translator’s Invisibility’ presents an interesting argument. He writes that when we read prose fiction in translation, we – and most book reviewers – appreciate the fact that the text reads fluently, as if it was not a translation. In addition, in novels we are usually more interested in its content rather than stylistic features. By doing this, we leave out the set of cultural values brought by the original language. This brings in a new element to the discussion: are these culturally adapted texts accurate translations? What should be the focus of translation services? It depends on your perspective.
This approach promotes both the invisibility of the translation, because we do not want the text to read as such – as well as as the translator (hence the book’s title), because fluency is considered of paramount importance. Venuti blames translators themselves, as well as publishing houses, and underlying economic values for this attitude. However, since the majority of us are readers, I think it is easier to look at things from our perspective. So, this attitude is ...Continue Reading →
The International Tourism Trade Fair, Fitur, recently took place in Madrid. After the “Word Travel Market”, which takes place in London in November, Fitur is the world’s second most important international fair for travel and tourism. What support can business translation services provide to this hugely influential sector?
Thousands of tourism professionals, companies and providers of tourism services (hotels, travel agents, tour operators, government bodies..) from the entire international tourism industry, representing over 170 different countries and regions, meet to show off their best holiday ideas, discuss the state of the sector and new trends. Travel and tourism is the main source of income for many countries, such as Egypt, Greece, Spain, Malaysia and Thailand, and many island nations, such as The Bahamas, Fiji, Maldives, Philippines, where tourism and travel activities have become a vital driving force in creating economic growth and employment in the country.
According to the advance release of the World Tourism Barometer, presented for the occasion of the Madrid fair, by The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in 2010 there have been 935 million international tourist arrivals worldwide, representing an increase of 7 percent compared to 2009 (the year in which global tourism fell 4 percent due to the economic crisis). In 2011, growth is expected to continue at an average rate of 4-5%. The travel and tourism industry generates about ...Continue Reading →
Sometimes when we think about languages in general, we might be likely to miss out Sign Language, and especially British Sign Language (BSL). Just to give you an idea, BSL was recognized as a minority language in Britain in 2003 and it is spoken as a first language by between 30,000 and 70,000 people in the UK. Even if it is not spoken, you can still find regional variations and even ways of signing that exist only in a specific area, in the same way that the Mancunian accent differs from the Geordie one. However, the way sentences are constructed in BSL doesn’t have anything to do with the English language.
Until recently, I believed that American Sign Language and BSL were the same because both Britain and the US are English-speaking countries (although I am aware of the differences between American and British English). False! Actually, a friend who has been studying BSL for quite a long time told me that American and British Sign Languages are very different from each other.
Since BSL is a proper language, there are certifications that you can study for, as well as you would do for English, French, German and so on. In addition, you could become an interpreter or a CWS. BSL interpreters have their own body – the Association of Sign Language Interpreters – which provides further training as well as information to those ...Continue Reading →
Ofsted, the Office for Standards in Education, has criticised the standard of language learning in British schools, referring to language lessons in secondary schools as “weak”. It reported that many pupils had few opportunities to use the language they were learning, and that teachers were often reluctant to use the language they were teaching, meaning that students “were not taught how to respond to everyday requests”.
Language learning stopped being compulsory in 2004, and uptake of language classes has fallen sharply as a result. National Union of Teachers (NUT) general secretary Christine Blower commented that the decision to make modern languages optional was “mistaken”. Steps have been taken recently in an attempt to revive modern languages in Britain, and primary schools are now teaching the foundation stages of modern languages, in an effort to prepare children for secondary school. Although Ofsted found that primary schools were succeeding in this role, and encouraging an enjoyment of languages, the fact remains that only 44% of British GCSE students studied a language in 2010. This is frankly shocking, especially considering the role that globalisation is going to have in the future – languages have never been so important.
Veritas believes that we have to encourage a love of languages, and has committed itself to doing so. Veritas has given talks to students as part of its work with Go Wales, and helps graduates to get on the ...Continue Reading →
If you really want to learn a language, the best thing you can do is move to the country that speaks it. At least, this is what my personal experience has showed me.
You can take plenty of language courses, which will undoubtedly be useful in improving your level. But if you really want a fluent command of a language, it does not matter how well you know each of the grammar rules, verb conjugations and big lists of vocabulary, it will never be enough. Learning a language is not just a matter of theory – it takes lots of practice.
This is something that I took some time to realize. I couldn’t say how many English courses I took in Spain, how many hours I spent in studying the language, in front of books, huge lists of vocabulary, grammar rules and verb conjugations. I especially remember studying phrasal verbs, those endless lists that we had to memorize for the exam, forgetting them in the next few days … But what was the point of studying all these phrasal verbs, if we did not know how to use them?. My exam marks were always high, as my memory is quite good, and I was able to memorize all the words needed to “fill the gaps” of the exam’s typical exercises and get a good grade. But when it came down to it, my level of English left much to be desired, a fact that I realized during my first trip ...Continue Reading →