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Wednesday, 20 February 2013

التعليم «عن بعد» في الجامعات العربية.. هل أصبح «عن قرب»؟

Distance learning in Higher education (The Arab World)

Please check the link
http://www.aawsat.com/details.asp?section=55&issueno=12501&article=717717&feature=1#.USXA3TDI8Rw

Friday, 15 February 2013

Empowering Future Student Translators/ Novice Translators on facing real world risks after their graduation:

(a personal experience and initiative on my Students)


I will share with you an initiative I took a couple of years ago in the hope to find a possible solution to the pleague of exploiting new freelance translators (students...) that has been haunting our profession for quite a while..It is not only the translation agencies that demean us ...the issue is social as well....society underestimates who translators are and what they do ?. Whose fault it is : US.

Coming back to my initiative : I designed and facilitated a training course on translation ethics and professional realities at the university I worked in (Arabic/Englis MA programme in Morocco) . Its aim was to empower future translators and engage through authentic real life scenarios to get acquainted with the potential UNJUST and  PATHETIC behaviors from translation agencies onlien or in their home countries. I used material that extracted from  online resources in addition to my own expereinces inmy early days of translation. This type of study material, plus the personal expereince of the trainer (myself) may make students think critically and intelligently about how they will posture themselves in the onlien translation market. The objective is that they will be able toTRANSFORM the existing deploring status quo (liek negotiating a JUST and fair pricing rate and be the ones who decide what to ask for for providing langauge services and not the opposite) when they are on the field after graduation. Again , I stress that this is a risk calculation strategy for future translators who might be thinking of working for their own. Like in any business , there is always a margim of risks...it is normal practice.

My idea was that the solution remains with what the new cohorot of student can do to improve and transform(eventually) the way thngs are in the translation market. That is what happen when parasites get into a trade as artisans who never sought to get professional development or have never though of taking a decent ( I reapeat : a decent) university translation programmes. This does not mean that the current translators ( freelance translators, especially virtual translators) cannot do anything about it,  on the contrary, they need to put their heads up and get professional developments and get INFORMED....our profession should not be seen only as an 'artisanal activity', it moved far beyond this...conferences are held on translation and translators, academic programmes (even PhDs) and research on translator behavior and practice are mushrooming....we need to participate in this trend of institutionalisation to improve our status as social actors and gain the respect. Society has its own way to perceiving things. Let us play the game as well.

Some of my students now succeeded in forming  teams of translators and have their own virtual or physical agencies ..BUT THEIR BUSINESS APPROACH AND PHILOSOPYY IS DIFFERENT....(So the educational and social objectives I designed in my training course has been fulfilled/ tehre has been an impact: students achieved a meaningful and life long learning experience) ...we hope to have to more examples like this, for it is a viable solution to the problem we dicuss in this forum. IT all starts with EDUCATION ( Know how ' to do things' . 'to be someone  and ' to become like that person (translator)'.............

Fouad

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Do we need a Translation degree to work ?...THE CANADIAN CONTEXT.

Response to a colleague on a professional forum on LINKED IN

Here is what I said: 
(http://www.linkedin.com/groupItem)

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Canada has a long tradition in translation practice and training alike. The Federal Governmnet's Translation Bureau is the largest recruiter in the country. To be recruited you need  to have a BA in Translation (compulsory). Why? that is because the 4 yrs training at the university folows a rigorous and practical process. In Canada , you may either take a 'coop BA' model  which includes paid internship for about 3 yrs, or take a traditional BA course with contents on linguistics, translation theory and practice as well as translation technologies but no field work. So, students gain experience in the field ( companies , agencies) and get paid for it.

A second point I would like to refer to is the importance of taking degrees or getting further professional development. I personally see resistance against this as degrading our professional status as social actors. Why shouldn't we have the same professional status like other traditional and old professions like medicine or law?. Doctors themselves started their practice (in ancient times) learning by doing (hit and miss principle), but they developed as professions over time and were institutionalized via education and training (social and political recognition). Why us translators need to be always timid and lacking self esteem to make our voices heard in the community? we are doing the same social jobs like doctors and lawyers or engineers...So, getting disciplinary knowledge and be informed is important for our lifelong learning and social status.

Our social contribution needs to be recognized. We are: transferring what is not known to be known via language, creating powerful relations between nations and people via putting them together via linguistic communication...building knowledge heritage..ect. This is serious and it is not only about doing the business of doing Excellent translations and keeping clients...this is good , but its is not the end of the story...we need to look at our profession from various angles.We need education at higher level as well as doing' the artisanal job'. All professions undergo similar processes: from learning by doing (artisan way) to theorizing and institutionalizing the profession...to GAINING SOCIAL RECOGNITION AND RESPECT. We cannot stay invisible and act and carry on acting behind the scene all the time. We need to act . We need to gain a type of metalanguage to talk about our work and profession that we could well enhance within professional or academic training contexts ...and - most of all- in participating to conferences and symposiums about translation...like we do in here in LINKED IN as an online community.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

List of online or distance courses in Translation and Interpreting


No wonder the trend is growing. In Europe, Asia pacific, south Africa and North America, we find full BA programmes (not only certificates and MA's) , which are fully recognized by employers....I mean, those Dipolmas that are deliverd by traditional universities themselves in a fully ONLINE or Semi-Online (Hybrid) format.

(None of the universities  from the Arab world is on the list...perhaps the trend is still new or else!)



Please check below link:

http://www.languages-and-translation.com/online-and-distance-learning-courses-for-translators-and-interpreters/



Fouad