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Teaching Translators in Iran
Seyyed Mahdi Sadati
MA student of English translation
It is obvious that translation plays an important role in the human communications. From ancient time up to know there has been debates about method of translation. Some scholars preferred word for word and some others like Cicero and Saint Jerome preferred sense for sense. Translators have a very important task to bring the sense of the text from one language to another language and like a bridge connect two cultures to each other. By translation new thoughts, philosophy and points of views are entered into country. Translators like other professionals need to be trained and educated. In this article some methods for training of translators in Iran are introduced.
For being a translator a person should know at least one language except his native language well. Two important qualifications for every translator are being able to express ourselves fluently in the target language (our native language) and having an understanding of the text we are translating.
In Iran universities there are translations courses which students of translation pass during their education. After finishing their graduate degree they are formally translators. But whether they are good translators or not?
In Iran for being a translator you need just need the 2 qualifications cited above but for being a professional translator you need more than knowing another language. Geoffrey-Samuelsson-Brown (2004: 2) in the book "A Practical Guide for Translators shows us the essential skills that any translator needs:
With a quick glance we can find that translator is not a person who just know one language but a person with multi skills which each one of these skills are necessary for being a successful translator.
Many of people have some misconceptions about being a translator which here I cite some of them:
1. As a translator you can translate every thing.
2. If you speak a foreign language then you can translate into it.
3. Translators can produce any text without consulting others.
By considering these misconceptions we can conclude that most of the people do not know translation well. It can be guessed that most of the people think that translation is something replacing the foreign words with other words in the target language and a translator is some one who knows a lot of words.
Translation during the past centuries has gone through a lot of changes. At first there was a discussion about how to translate text, word for word or sense foe sense. Some scholars like Cicero and Saint Jerome believed in sense for sense translation. At present the main focus in translation is to produce the exact message of the original text into target text as accurate as possible.
It is necessary for translators to become familiar with the history of translation. They should know about the scholars and their recommendations for a better translation and their proposed methods for translation.
Translator as a human being lives among the human beings and as we know the translator should be able to express himself well in the target language. It shows that the translator needs to know the writing rules. By knowing the writing rules he can express the meaning of the original text very well in the target language.
Translators should study and read diverse types magazines and books in order to be enrich his mind with different style of writing. Reading and studying keep the mind of translators fresh and up to date about new knowledge and this familiarity makes the translation easy for translators.
In Iranian universities which translation course is offered, at the graduate level the general topics about translation are taught and students become familiar with the translation. They have some courses about translation of documents, journals and stories. It can be said that students get the idea about what is translation.
In post graduate the students of translation study about translation more deeply, but there is not any recommendation for students to become professional in some particular text like legal, journal, technical and others. Students study more about translation and theories. It is useful if the translation courses in universities become distinctive and students decide about which kind of translation, simultaneous, consecutive, conference, and text they want to study and in the universities they get deep and profound knowledge about them.
Translation as a business
Translators which decide to do translation for earning money should know about translation business and clients. Translators should study about business and the governing rules of the translation business in order to have enough knowledge to survive. They should know about client's needs and how to make contract.
Another important area which should be taught to the students of translation is about IT and its role in translation. There are a lot of online dictionaries, forums for translators and online training which young translators can benefit from them. In translation forums like www.proz.com translators share their experiences about translation problems they faced and their solutions for them. Students of translation can use the experiences of these translators and contact them if the have questions.
Samuelsson-Brown, Geoffrrey (2004). A Practical Guide for Translators, 4th ed. Great Britain: Cromwell Press