ERIC Number: ED333753
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Translators and Interpreters: Professionals or Shoemakers?
Translators and interpreters are not currently trained as professionals, but taught a "do-as-I-do" system inherited from the medieval guilds. Most are self-made, having acquired technique and applied it to languages already known. However, there is now enough known about mediated interlingual communication to teach translators and interpreters how to be successful practitioners. Training should include the following: the general theory of language, including universal principles of human communication, linguistic communication, oral vs. written communication, and mediated interlingual communication; and discourse analysis, including quantity, cooperation, idiomaticity, and situationality. Arguments against teaching theory to translators and interpreters include that they are arts requiring natural talent that can not be taught, and that writing and speaking are natural, not scientific, pursuits. The intellectual process of translation must be the focus of translator training, which should use practical models emphasizing deverbalization and theoretical conceptualization. Students should also be encouraged to broaden their knowledge base. Interpreter training should focus on the uses of oral language, maximizing extra-linguistic cues, and intelligibility. In addition, typology of oral texts, anatomy of the phonatory organs, and practical experience are essential. It is time for the translating and interpreting professions to develop professional training. (MSE)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the First Language International Conference (Elsinore, Denmark, May 31-June 2, 1991).