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Importance of Translation Skills Essay

The present-day rapid development of science and technology, as well as the continuous growth of cultural, economic, and political relations between nations, have confronted humanity with exceptional difficulties in the assimilation of useful and necessary information. No way has yet been found to solve the problems in overcoming language barriers and of accelerated assimilation of scientific and technological achievements by either the traditional or modern methods of teaching. A new approach to the process of teaching and learning is, therefore, required if the world is to meet the needs of today and tomorrow.

Georgi Lozanov, Suggestology and Outlines of Suggestopedy (1971) The study of translation and the training of professional translators is without question an integral part of the explosion of both intercultural relations and the transmission of scientific and technological knowledge; the need for a new approach to the process of teaching and learning is certainly felt in translator and interpreter training programs around the world as well. How best to bring student translators up to speed, in the literal sense of helping them to learn and to translate rapidly and effectively?

How best to get them both to retain the linguistic and cultural knowledge and to master the learning and translation skills they will need to be effective professionals? At present the prevailing pedagogical assumptions in translator training programs are (1) that there is no substitute for practical experience – to learn how to translate one must translate, translate, translate – and (2) that there is no way to accelerate that process without damaging students’ ability to detect errors in their own work.

Faster is generally better in the professional world, where faster translators – provided that they continue to translate accurately – earn more money; but it is generally not considered better in the pedagogical world, where faster learners are thought to be necessarily careless, sloppy, or superficial.


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