Translation as an Act of Communication, Rosario Durao

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Class given for the M.A. students in Translation at Lisbon University's Faculty of Letters, by invitation of the "Language, Discourse and Translation" course professor, Margarita Correia, Ph.D.

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Translation as an Act of Communication, Rosario Durao

  1. 1. Rosário Durão “ World of Communication”, Dawn Hudson Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa M.A. In Translation Seminar on «Language, Discourse and Translation» Professor: Margarita Correia, Ph.D. November 27, 2008, 8-10 p.m.
  2. 2. CONTENTS <ul><li>Questions </li></ul><ul><li>Chief characteristics of the world today </li></ul><ul><li>Towards a formal understanding of translation </li></ul><ul><li>In that case... the students’ reassessment </li></ul><ul><li>My point of view: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One or two definitions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The context of professional translation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Translation as international professional communication </li></ul></ul>27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication
  3. 3. CONTENTS (cont.) <ul><ul><li>An illustration of international professional communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The double commitment of international professional communicators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professionals and documentation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Documentation and its experts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NOTE 1 : The title for the class and this presentation was given by the students. </li></ul><ul><li>NOTE 2 : The text in grey refers to the students’ replies. </li></ul>27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication
  4. 4. QUESTIONS FROM THE STUDENTS <ul><li>Q: What was the title of your dissertation? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A: “Scientific and Technical Translation: Proposal for the Education of Multicompetent Translators Specialized in the Production of Scientific and Technical Documentation from English into Portuguese” . It was carried out under the advisorship of Professor Carlos Castilho Pais. </li></ul></ul>Translation as an Act of Communication 27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m.
  5. 5. QUESTIONS ABOUT THE TITLE OF THE DISSERTATION <ul><li>Q: Why does the title speak about multicompetencies, and to which multicompetencies do you believe the dissertation refers to? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Linguistic competencies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural competencies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Research competency </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Capacity to think like the original author </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Capacity to bring the reader close to the original author. </li></ul></ul></ul>Translation as an Act of Communication 27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m.
  6. 6. QUESTIONS ABOUT THE TITLE OF THE DISSERTATION <ul><li>Q: Why do you think I spoke about the “production (...) of documentation” instead of “translation”? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A: Because “translation” is an exclusively mental activity. You cannot see it, or touch it. But you can see and touch the result of that activity, which is the text, or rather, the document written in a specific language. </li></ul></ul>Translation as an Act of Communication 27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m.
  7. 7. QUESTIONS ABOUT THE STUDENTS <ul><li>Q: Why are you doing this M.A.? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The B.A. was worthless </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To specialize in a field of translation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Because I like foreign languages and I like to contact people from other countries </li></ul></ul></ul>Translation as an Act of Communication 27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m.
  8. 8. QUESTIONS ABOUT THE STUDENTS <ul><li>Q: What do you plan to do when you get your degree? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Translation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Work in a company </li></ul></ul></ul>Translation as an Act of Communication 27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m.
  9. 9. QUESTIONS ABOUT THE STUDENTS <ul><li>Q: How is this program a part of your career plan? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>It opens the door to new opportunities </li></ul></ul></ul>Translation as an Act of Communication 27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m.
  10. 10. QUESTIONS ABOUT THE OBJECT OF STUDY AND ITS APPLICATION <ul><li>Q: What does the word translation mean to you? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Intercultural communication </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A form of connexion and understanding </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Getting to know the culture of others </li></ul></ul></ul>Translation as an Act of Communication 27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m.
  11. 11. QUESTIONS ABOUT THE OBJECT OF STUDY AND ITS APPLICATION <ul><li>Q: What does being a translator mean to you? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A bridge between different cultures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>An intercultural and interlinguistic mediator </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Someone who understands others and who knows how to make other people understand others </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A specialist </li></ul></ul></ul>Translation as an Act of Communication 27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m.
  12. 12. THE STUDENTS IN CONTEXT <ul><li>Q: How would you describe today’s world? </li></ul>27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication
  13. 13. THE STUDENTS IN CONTEXT <ul><li>Q: How would you describe your place in the world? </li></ul>27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication
  14. 14. THE STUDENTS IN CONTEXT <ul><li>Q: Click on the link below and watch the video clip. While you watch, pay attention to your reactions. Does the video change the way you perceive the world? Does it change the way you perceive yourself in it? Make a note of the changes, if any. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Did you know 2.0 ” (June 2, 2007) </li></ul>27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication
  15. 15. MAJOR CHARACTERISTICS OF THE WORLD TODAY <ul><li>Universal instant communication </li></ul><ul><li>It is expected that, soon, everyone in the world will have instant access to all types of information </li></ul><ul><li>Rapid development of IT </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>In 2015, the amount of international commercial transactions is expected to be greater than the amount of national commercial transactions </li></ul><ul><li>Online communication </li></ul><ul><li>Technology and Commerce </li></ul>27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication
  16. 16. TOWARDS A FORMAL UNDERSTANDING OF TRANSLATION <ul><li>The national classification of education and training areas ( “Classificação nacional das áreas de educação e formação [ CNAEF ]” ), published by the Portuguese department of labor and labor relations suggests a threefold understanding of translation education and, consequently, of translation as well: </li></ul>27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication
  17. 17. TRANSLATION AS FOREIGN LANGUAGES <ul><li>1) TRANSLATION = FOREIGN LANGUAGES </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Foreign Languages and Literatures (222) area “refers to the study of their composition and structure” (my translation ) . (DGERT) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This area, explicitly, includes the programs in Translation. (DGERT) </li></ul></ul>27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication
  18. 18. TRANSLATION AS COMPOSITION <ul><li>2) TRANSLATION = COMPOSITION </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Audiovisual and Media Production (213) area refers to the “techniques necessary for the production of books, newspapers, radio and television programs, films, videos, music and graphical reproduction (...) it also refers to the methods of color reproduction, photography and graphical computation, (...) to the association of images, text and illustration in order to produce books, journals and magazines, advertisements and publicity, etc.)” (my translation ) (DGERT) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This area includes the following programs: written composition, online text production, computer-assisted production, multimedia production, among others. (DGERT) </li></ul></ul>27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication
  19. 19. TRANSLATION AS COMMUNICATION / INFORMATION <ul><li>3) TRANSLATION = COMMUNICATION / INFORMATION </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Journalism and Reporting (321) area refers to “the study of the theory and practice of journalism/reporting for the media, as well as the study of the processing and content of messages. It includes the gathering of information and the writing of news, commentaries, articles of public interest, etc.” (my translation) (DGERT) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This area includes the following programs: communication sciences, mass communication (writing and content), information (writing and content), journalism (press), among others. (DGERT) </li></ul></ul>27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication
  20. 20. IN THAT CASE  THE STUDENTS’ REASSESSMENT <ul><li>Q: Translation is... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A foundation for everything. </li></ul></ul></ul>27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication
  21. 21. <ul><li>Q: Translators are... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Vehicles. </li></ul></ul></ul>27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication
  22. 22. <ul><li>Q: The context is </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The environment of translators </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>There can be no translators without a context. </li></ul>27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication
  23. 23. MY POINT OF VIEW <ul><li>One or two definitions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A definition of translation : Translation is “a human activity that, because os its human nature, is constantly in flux (...), [it is] basically a practical activity, a whole and indivisible phenomenon of communication. This activity comprehends the intralingual reformulation, interlingual conversion and intersemiotic transmutation of information, or content (generally presented in the form of documents), of any sort. The information, or content, is related to a specific context, but intended for a different context. It may have one, or more than one purpose. Translating may be done in isolation by a single translator, or collaboratively by two or more translators. To carry out this type of activity, you need special knowledge and competencies.” (my translation) (Durão 2007: 21-22) </li></ul></ul>27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication
  24. 24. <ul><ul><li>Definitions of translator : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Translators are people with a degree in (general) Translation.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Specialized translators are people with a degree in Specialized Translation (in scientific, technical or other area, or areas, of specialty).” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Specialist translators are people with two degrees, one in Translation, the other in a scientific, technical, or other area of specialty.” (my translation) (Durão 2007: 24-25) </li></ul></ul></ul>27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication
  25. 25. <ul><ul><ul><li>Professional translators are people “with a degree in Translation, or in Communication or other domain or knowledge with a minor or concentration in Translation, that translate on a regular, remunerated and responsible basis, while adhering to general and translation-specific ethical standards.” (my translation) (Durão 2007: 26). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The work of professional translators takes place in a complex network of people and professional relations (  Fig. 1 ). </li></ul></ul></ul>27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication
  26. 26. 27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication Fig. 1. Participants in the process of translating and their relations (from Durão 2007: 264 [greatly based on Nord 1997])
  27. 27. <ul><ul><ul><li>“ Translation service providers (TSP) are people who supply translation services, but who do not have a degree in Translation, or one that specifically includes Translation.” (my translation) (Durão 2007: 25) </li></ul></ul></ul>27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication
  28. 28. <ul><ul><li>Definition of context : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Context is the sum of the professional translator’s human environment + the communicative interactions in which he participates . </li></ul></ul></ul>27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication
  29. 29. <ul><ul><li>The context of professional translation: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In professional translation, communication occurs, invariably, between professional cultures. Professional cultures show similarities and differences among themselves. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Professional translators are specialists in the (inter)mediation of professional communication. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Professional translators belong to the intermediate culture of professional dealing, which is both similar and different from the professional source culture and the professional target culture (  Fig. 2 ). </li></ul></ul></ul>27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication
  30. 30. 27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication Fig. 2. The intermediate culture of professional dealing (from Durão 2007: 216)
  31. 31. TRANSLATION AS INTERNATIONAL PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION <ul><li>Professional translation can represent different forms of professional communication: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>National professional communication (e.g. between an English car company and an English client); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>International, intercultural, and unilingual professional communication (e.g. between an English car company and an American client); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>International, intercultural, and bilingual professional communication (e.g. Between an English car company and a Portuguese client); and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transnational (or global) , multicultural, and multilingual professional communication (e.g. between an English car company and Engish, American, Portuguese, and clients of other nationalities). (adapted from Durão 2007: 269) (  Fig. 3 ). </li></ul></ul>27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication
  32. 32. AN ILLUSTRATION OF INTERNATIONAL PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION 27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication Fig. 3. International professional communication (from Durão 2007: 267)
  33. 33. THE DOUBLE COMMITMENT OF INTERNATIONAL PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATORS <ul><li>Be profitable </li></ul><ul><li>Contain costs </li></ul><ul><li>Be the first to market in a particular area of the world </li></ul><ul><li>Export products simultaneously around the world </li></ul><ul><li>Cultivate consumer loyalty </li></ul><ul><li>Achieve quality certification </li></ul><ul><li>Satisfy national and international legal requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Minimize product liability </li></ul><ul><li>Language </li></ul><ul><li>Learning style </li></ul><ul><li>Communication style </li></ul><ul><li>Visual literacy </li></ul><ul><li>Technical literacy </li></ul><ul><li>Computer literacy </li></ul><ul><li>(from Hoft 1995: 1-2) </li></ul><ul><li>The company’s needs </li></ul><ul><li>The users’ characteristics </li></ul>27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication Working as a professional translator or as any other type of international communication professional comprises a double commitment, on the one hand, to the company’s needs, on the other, to the users’ characteristics.
  34. 34. PROFESSIONALS AND THE PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTATION <ul><li>Lawyers accuse and defend people, professors teach and research, civil engineers design and oversee the construction of buildings and other structures, doctors treat and cure patients, meteorologists study and predict weather phenomena... </li></ul><ul><li>In the course of their work, these and other professionals spend a lot of their time writing. </li></ul><ul><li>BUT the documentation they produce is not always efficient. It is not efficient mainly because it is not designed with the target-audiences’ expectations, needs and characteristics (e.g. age, gender, cultural background, level and type of literacy, degree of specialization, etc.) in mind. </li></ul>27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication
  35. 35. DOCUMENTATION AND ITS EXPERTS <ul><li>Producing efficient documentation is the task of a specific group of professionals: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>International Professional Communicators </li></ul><ul><li>among which one finds </li></ul><ul><li>professional translators . </li></ul><ul><li>These are the experts in the production of efficient professional documentation. </li></ul>27/11/2008 - 8-10 p.m. Translation as an Act of Communication
  36. 36. SOME LINKS <ul><li>International Technical Communication SIG da STC </li></ul><ul><li>Multilingual guides </li></ul><ul><li>rosariodurao.net </li></ul><ul><li>Tcworld magazine </li></ul><ul><li>techcomm7e Web (companion site for Michael Markel’s Technical Communication ) </li></ul>27/11/2008 - 20-22 horas A Tradução como Acto de Comunicação
  37. 37. <ul><li>Rosário Durão </li></ul><ul><li>rosariodurao.net </li></ul><ul><li>rosariodurao.net/CommunicationStudio </li></ul>Thank you for your presence and collaboration!

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