Thank you, USM for the opportunity to present this workshop.Thank you to participants for cominghere today.This workshop is primarily for English language teachers in Malaysian schools. I’d like to suggest that we consider incorporating some translation activities regularly into the EL lessons and this workshop will take you through some suggested activities which you may adopt for different levels. Apologies.....to those who do not speak Malay, this workshop is primarily for Malaysians who teach English here so most of the activities here are based on Malay texts. Suggest you sit next to a Malaysian and ask for more explanations .... To Malaysians as my own command of Bahasa is pretty shaky so I will be depending on you as walking dictionaries from time to time. FYI - I’ve used Oxford Fajar Advanced Learner’s English-Malay dictionary ( published in 2000).
This was a gamemy classmates and I invented during our secondary school days. In between lessons, before our teacher showed up, we’d write movie titles on the blackboard and do literal translations into Malay. For instance....
That was how we amused ourselves in those days before smartphones, FB etc.
Here’s an example that may be more familiar to the younger generationDoes anyone want to suggest some translated titles?
You get a few laughs from deliberately translating literally word for word but then you begin to appreciate how difficult this job is if you were to take it seriously –Is there a Malay equivalent for the Eng idiomatic expression, “being a wallflower”?Does the word ‘perks’ have exactly the same meaning as advantages? Do the Malay words like “kelebihan, faedah, manfaat” sound as catchy?
Accurate translation also requires an understanding of the context as well as an awareness of the possible range of meanings. I have never seen this Jap movie but it’s interesting to note how ‘the ring’ from this Jap horror film was translated by some Russian for moviegoers in Moscow into “The Call”.
But what if we had to do the reverse? What if we wanted to promote our local film industry and reach out to a wider audience. Suppose we wanted to have a mini-Malaysian Film Festival in London. How would we translate these home-grown movies for English speakers? What English equivalent could a translator find for our home-grown Pontianak or orangminyak for instance? = hantuperempuanygsukamengambilanakkecil/ mengganguorangberanakbanshee = esp Irish , female spirit with a distinctive wail, thought by some to warn of death in a houseWe need to teach our students to be aware of cultural-specific terms which may create problems in translation.
Mata Sepet – slit-eyed OR Sepet = SLIT ? NB This movie poster gives us a clue – the tagline under the movie title reads, “One Chinese boy, One Malay girl, One Unforgettable love story” – perhaps the late, great Yasmin Ahmad decided it wassimply unnecessary to translate the title for the international audience because the different languages in the poster echoed aptly the ideal of a society equally at home with both languages and cultures.
Group Work – 20 Movie Posters of Malay Movies. ( Work in Small Groups of 3 /4 ) Translating Movie TitlesPick some titles of Malay TV programmes ( see below ) and offer three / four translations as in an MCQ ( group of 4; 2 to discuss, 2 to record). Those recording the discussion can then report to whole class the most interesting points of contention.Each group starts first in front of a different film poster. Discuss and write a possible translation for the movie title and put it up under the poster. Move around and do the same for the other posters. Then discuss as a class each poster title and decide which is the best title for each film.Translate extracts of dialogues from movie scripts. Criteria for Good Translations:It should be true to the original meaning.It should sound as catchy as the original.It should be as economical as possible ie not too laborious or lengthy
Role of the note-taker in the groupDuring the group discussion, the note-taker will record points of disagreement or controversy raised by others in the groupFor the post activity class discussion, the note-taker shouldreport on interesting points of contentionto share with the rest of the class.
What else? Notices
What else??? Notices - Manglish, ChinglishUsing Humour In Class to Make Language Lessons Memorable – Differences in Grammar - Adjectives & AdverbsXiao xin = be careful OR carefully hua2 luo4 = 1. go down 2. drop / fall. Moral of the story – Teach our students to be aware of inflections. Segue into Activity 1 = Jalan-jalan
Stride / strodeBerjalandenganlangkahpanjang Tip-toe/ tip-toedBerjalandengandiam-diamdanberhati-hatidiatashujungjari kaki; berjingat Stagger/ staggeredTerhuyung-hayang; berjalansecaratidaktetap Tramp / trampedMerayau – rayaumencarisesuatu Trudge / trudged Langkah yang memerlukanbanyaktenaga; Tertaktih-taktihberjalan March / marchedBerkawad Sashay / sashayed Berjalandenganbergaya/ dengancarabersahaja; menunjuk-nunjuk Stomp / stompedBergerakmenghentak-hentak kaki denganbising; denganlangkahberat Pace / pacedBerjalanmundar-mandir; denganlangkahnalar Glide / glidedBergerakdenganlicin and selanjar ; Meluncur Creep / creptMendekam ( menunjukkankerahsiaan) Slink off / slunk offMeredap; bilamaluatautakut; Biasamenundukkankepala Shuffle / shuffled Seret kaki; berseret-seretWaddle / waddled Terkedek-kedeksepertiitik Limp/ limpedTerhencot-hencot COME AND GET IT!Participants are given card with Malay word to hold and keep secret; Ps must demonstrate walking style according to word on card; group members to guess the word in Malay and English so that P can choose and collect the right card with English equivalent at the end of the path.When all the cards have been collected, groups will translate the sentences from Malay to English. REFLECTION AFTER ACTIVITYWhat’s Lost? =music of L1; Prob v little if at all; straightforward descriptive sentences; fewer difficulties when translating prose. What’s Found? = What we have in common? Purposes for walking; hopefully a richer vocabulary; an appreciation of the range of words used to describe actions; precision in meaning. What do you mean, “He moved”? How exactly did he move? Options to exploreShe spoke ( whispered/ warned / advised / promised/ insinuated/ etc)They ate ( gobble / nibbled / gulped / picked at their food/ wolfed down their meals)It is big ( large, enormous, gigantic, sizeable, huge)I am ( angry, irritated, annoyed, in a rage, livid, outraged, furious)
Jap anime has enjoyed a strong following in many parts of the world but it hasn’t been easy fornon-Japanese speaking fans to find good translations. Sometimes there are just so many culture-bound references that it is quite a challenge for translators to provide elegant subtitles.
Reproduced with kind permission of the author:From Amir Muhammad’s “The Break-Up” in his collection of short stories, ROJAK.Pair / Group work – Mini whiteboards and pens.Identify the parts of the letter which are direct translations from Malay idiomatic expressions or proverbial sayings.Translate this extract into English, using wherever possible, English idioms instead. Letter writing conventions – how to open a letter in English vs MalayIdiomatic expressions - can we find English equivalents for our peribahasa or simpulanbahasa?
When I taught Literature to junior college students in S’pore a long time ago, I liked to use the analogy of a juggler to describe the challenges writers face –whether you are composing a poem, writing an expository piece or fictional prose, you need to keep several balls in the air. You begin with a purpose for writing – to vent, to persuade, to provoke, to inspire, to questionAnd then you have to consider how you can convey what you want to say through various devices – through imagery : similes, analogies, metaphors, figurative language Through tone: tongue-in-cheek, sarcasm, ironyThen there’s the music of language whether in prose or verse – the rhythm through the tension between the long, complex clauses and the succint, abrupt phrasesThe writer needs to pay attention to the different aspects at the same time.
So whether you are interpreting or translating a foreign language into your mother tongue or vice versa, you have an even greater challenge.Interpreter – ahliinterpretasiataujurubahasaTranslator – orang yang menterjemahkanterutamasekalisesuatuygbertulis
Michael Lewis recommends translating chunk for chunk ( not word-for-word translation).Carmen TerezinhaKoppe “Translation in the EFL Classroom: How and What to Work” : Translation should become a form of a conscientiousthinking which is the lexicalapproach central technique.
Activities for GETARAN JIWATask A – Specific Questions –What is the overall meaning of this song?What is the thing which stirs the soul?Line 3 – arranged by the notes OR the notes are arranged?Which is better for line 5 – modest or simple?How best to translate ‘insan’? Men, human beings, mortals, people? Line 8 – Realise what?Task B - Editor to translator – Some things about the translation below don’t sound right. I’ve underlined the parts which sound awkward to me. Can you please revise them?The stirring of my soulOvercomes my heartArranged by the notesOf rhythm and songIf it's only modestNever mindPerhaps it could stirRealise all you mortals.Never will they vanishRhythm and songIt will bloomIt will always lingerIf they be separatedThe song and rhythm They'll be soulless and weakAnd emptyTask C – Editor to Translator Sheila Majid is having a concert in London next year. Please translate the lyrics for the concert programme into English for the benefit of the non-Malay speaking audience.
Translator unknown – Review of Penang Philharmonic Orchestra’s Evening of AriasFrom http://penangphilharmonic.org/main/index
That’s why I would compare a translator or interpreter to this kind of juggler who has to keep different balls up in the air while moving on a unicycle.So many things can go wrong and there are greater risks. So are we ready to hand over this arduous task to the likes of Google Translator?
Google Translator’s version of GetaranJiwa
Interesting exercise to compare two translations from a government ministry website ( on the required dress code)
Carmen TerezinhaKoppe “Translation in the EFL Classroom: How and What to Work” - Translation activity has a place in lg teaching –ONLY if properly designed and used at the right time and with the right students.
Deformed vs Disabled – why Chinese translate it that way?On sign = Can2 ji2 ren2 nan2 ce4 suo3 = Deformed men’s toiletCan2 = incomplete, deficient, deformed, maimed, disabledCan ji = deformityJi2 = disease, swiftWhy not use can2 fei4 =crippled / physically disabled ( fei4 = abandon, abolish, waste, scrap, useless) perhaps because the implication sounds worse???? I learnt a lot more when I stopped sniggering and actually trawled through my TIMES New Chinese –English dictionary to understand what could have caused this misinterpretation. The Inuit people in the Arctic are said to have specific names for different kinds of snow – language reflects the way we look at the world and it is a mirror to our culture.
Still, there are times when we do have to be carefulesp these days with a globalised world.
Vocabulary- building esp for beginners / lower levels / younger learnersConcentration / Memory Games – matching words pairs ( English – L1); before role playMatching cards with words in two languages and identical picturesExample of a Set with the theme: At The Station:Arrival =ketibaan departure - berlepas OR bertolak????a return ticket = tiketpergibalikaisle seat = ???? luggage = bagasi sold out = habisdijual sleeping berth = koctidur reservation = = tempahan
Concentration / Memory Games – matching words pairs ( English – L1)Vocabulary- building before role play esp for beginners / lower levels / younger learnersSet 1 At The Station – bus station / departure time – leave / platform / ticket counter / aisle seat / luggage / sold out / next available / sleeping berth/ reservationSet 2 At The Clinic – fever / pain / injury / medicine / operation / serious / pain-killers / medical leave / prescription / poor appetite
Bilingual concentration game for reinforcing new vocabulary or stock phrases for higher levels of proficiency.
Jim Scrivener’s Role-playPrepare a pack of cards with everyday situations on them - especially ones in which a foreign tourist needs to do something in an English-speaking country - e.g. 'buying a ticket at the train station', 'asking what time the film starts', 'booking into a hotel' etc.In groups of three, one student is a foreign tourist (who doesn’t understand Malay). The other people are (i) the person they are talking to (e.g. a ticket seller who only speaks Malay) and (ii) an intermediary who speaks both languages.
Some Reminders Get the overall picture ie understand the purposeAvoid thinking in the L1Explore alternatives before choosing the best translation
Form 4 English Lit componentMalay version of poem “In The Midst of Hardship”From Rodney Tan’s blog http://englishteachernet.blogspot.com/2010/09/poem-in-midst-of-hardship-original.html
Lost & found in translation workshop
LOST & FOUND IN TRANSLATION
ILLC November 2013 Workshop
Lim Siew Lian ( email@example.com) KDU University College
Example: MCQ for Movie Titles
A. KELEBIHAN MENJADI
BUNGA DI TEMBOK
B. FAEDAH SEBAGAI BUNGA
C. MANFAAT SESEORANG YANG
TIADA RAKAN MENARI
THE RING –
Before you die, you see....
Russian translation –
Before you die, you hear....
Accessory - Cincin?
b. Shape - Bulatan?
c. Sound - Bunyi Loceng?
OMBAK RINDU – English???
a.True to the original
b.Economical - not too
laborious or lengthy
d.Tone of the original?
Activity 1: Transformers
20 movie posters
Work in groups of 3 or 4 (
2:2 or 2:1 –either 2 or 1 to
record points raised) on
Write an MCQ of 3 or 4
Put up poster & MCQ on
Time: 5 minutes
Promenade to Discuss Other Movies
and Choose from MCQs – 5 minutes
OMBAK RINDU =
a. Wave of Longing?
a. Wave of Yearning?
a. Waves of Passion?
Post Activity Reflection?
Focus on points of contention during
Ask students to justify choices of best
Refer to T.E.S.T. Criteria
True meaning/ Economy / Sound/ Tone?
Besides movie titles, what else?
Activity 2 : Jalan-Jalan
6 groups – please sit in circles;
enough space to walk around behind those seated
Take turns to mimic the walking style on your
card. Your group must guess the word in
Malay and English.
Collect from the centre the card in English
which is called out by your group.
Check if all your cards match.
Translate the sentences from Malay to English.
Reflection After Jalan-Jalan
What‟s Lost ?
music of L1
What we do/ don‟t
Prob v little if at all;
have in common?
a richer vocabulary
an appreciation of the
range of words used
to describe actions
precision in meaning
fewer difficulties when
Reflection After Jalan-Jalan
What do you mean, “He moved”? How exactly did
Options to explore
a.She spoke ( whispered/ warned / advised /
promised/ insinuated/ etc)
b.They ate ( gobble / nibbled / gulped / picked at
their food/ wolfed down their meals)
c. It is big ( large, enormous, gigantic, sizeable,
d.I am ( angry, irritated, annoyed, in a rage, livid,
Activity 3 – Be A Wet Blanket
a.Identify the parts which are
direct translations from Malay
idioms or proverbs.
b.Translate into English & use
wherever possible, English
From Amir Muhammad’s “The Break-Up” in his collection of stories,
ROJAK. Reproduced with kind permission of the author
To the front of Wati who is now in Bukit Tunku,
whom I hope is well.
I think our relationship should end here. My love
for you was so real but I have been clapping with
one hand. You were so mean to me at your
becoming-day party, just because you were with
your rich friends while I’m from a difficult
family. I never knew there was a prawn behind
the rock all this while: you were using me to
make your ex- jealous! How my liver hurt when
you showed your true self. I guess what they say
is true: hornbills with hornbills, sparrows with
sparrows. Let me now bring myself.
Reflecting After The Break-Up
1.Letter writing conventions – openings & closings
in English vs Malay
2.Idiomatic expressions - can we find English
equivalents for our peribahasa or simpulan
3.Follow-up Activity – Challenge students to
continue the letter in the same vein. Fun &
instructive to make mistakes deliberately for peers
to spot and correct.
Partner Up for Getaran Jiwa
Sheila Majid is having a concert
in London next year.
Translate the lyrics of
for her concert programme
for the benefit of
the non-Malay speaking audience.
Irama dan lagu
Walau hanya sederhana
Tetapi tak mengapa
Moga dapat membangkitkan
Sedarlah kamu wahai insan
Tak mungkin hilang
Irama dan lagu
Lagu dan irama
Lemah tiada berjiwa
Specific Questions for GETARAN JIWA
a.What is the overall meaning of this
b.What is the thing which stirs the soul?
c.Line 3 – arranged by the notes OR the
notes are arranged?
d.Which is better for line 5 – modest or
e.How best to translate „insan‟? Men,
human beings, mortals, people?
f. Line 8 – Realise what?
Note from Sheila:
Some lines in your translation don’t sound right.
Could you please revise them?
The stirring of my soul
Overcomes my heart
Arranged by the notes
Of rhythm and song
If it's only modest
Perhaps it could stir
Realise all you
Never will they vanish
Rhythm and song
It will bloom
It will always linger
If they be separated
The song and rhythm
They'll be soulless
ThAnK YoU FoR
YoUr AtTeNtIoN & PaRtIcIPaTiOn
Translation activity has a
place in language
ONLY if properly designed
and used at the right time
and with the right
- Carmen T Koppe
Careful How You Translate -1
“We'll Eat Your
Careful How You Translate - 2
Also, in China:
“We bring you back
was read as:
“We bring your
from the grave.”
1.Cards all face down.
2.Take turns to open 2
cards at a time.
3. If they match, you
keep the pair and
open 2 more cards.
4. If not, turn over the
cards and the next
person will take his /
Example 1 - Concentration Game
Examples 2 & 3
A pair of shoes
May I borrow
Scrivener - Role-Plays
In Groups of 3
Tourist A monolingual
2. Ambassador /
Local B monolingual
3. Interpreter to
mediate - bilingual
Example of Situation for Roleplay
You want to buy a
return train ticket
from Butterworth to
KL for Sat night.
You prefer to book a
Find out the
departure and arrival
Sleeping berths are
fully booked for Sat
There are a few
available for Sun.
Upper RM 50 Lower
Departure 10 pm
Arrival 720 am.
the water. Seken,
throw the water littlelittle into the
IN THE MIDST OF HARDSHIP
At dawn they returned home
their soaky clothes torn
and approached the stove
their limbs marked by scratches
their legs full of wounds
but on their brows
there was not a sign of despair
The whole day and night just passed
they had to brave the horrendous flood
in the water all the time
between bloated carcasses
and tiny chips of tree barks
desperately looking for their son's
albino buffalo that was never found
They were born amidst hardship
and grew up without a sigh or a complaint
now they are in the kitchen, making
jokes while rolling their cigarette leaves
Mereka pulang ke rumah
waktu subuh hari
dengan pakaian robek basah
menghampiri api tungku
lengan mereka penuh calar
kaki mereka penuh luka
tapi di kening mereka
tidak kelihatan rasa kecewa
mereka mengharungi banjir
berendam antara bangkai ternakan
dan serpihan kulit tumbuhan
kerbau balar si buyung
masih belum ditemui.
Mereka dilahirkan dalam bencana
tidak ada keluhan dan kutukan
kini mereka berjenaka di dapur
sambil menggulung rokok daun
…natural and necessary
…..in offices, banks, factories,
shops and airports –
translation is going on
all the time.
Why not inside the classroom?
( DUFF,1989/1996, p.6)
• in class for peers
• signs and notices...
• instructions & letters for friends etc.
From The Place Of Translation In Language Teaching
- Radmila Popovic
Duff‟s Translation (1989/1996):
When we translate, we should know:
• what we are writing or speaking about,
• where the language occurs and
• to whom it is addressed
if context is the what, where and to
whom, then register is the how.
Translation activities can train
to search (flexibility)
for the most appropriate words
to convey what is meant ( clarity)
( Alan Duff 1989:7).
The place of translation in Language
Teaching - Radmila Popovic
Principles to follow:
a. The rightness or wrongness of the
source language influence
b. The style of the original text may
be changed, depending on the
purpose of the translation text
c. Idioms have to work in L2, even
though they are notoriously
Criteria – for translation activities
- language is used for a purpose,
2. - they create a desire for communication,
3. - they encourage students to be creative and
contribute their ideas,
4. - students are focused on what they are saying,
rather than how they are saying it,
5. - students work independently of the teacher
6. - students determine what they want to say or
(after Nolasco, Arthur 1995:59)