The present article describes specific peculiarities of teaching translation through different methods. It has a theoretical and practical value because the theme is quite topical and can serve as contribution to teaching methodology. There is a description of translation models and their connection with intercultural communication, basically the methods of translation teaching and culture-based courses.
Nowadays it is quite necessary to teach translation because the objective of the implementation of International Standards in teaching is a must for the specialists of any sphere in Uzbekistan. Translation activity takes special significance and the reason is that translators should meet strong requirements. This statement leads to the elaboration of innovation technologies in foreign language teaching. That’s why each strategy is followed by special methodologies which include different methods necessary for teaching translation.
It is worth saying that during the process of teaching, one should try to use methods and strategies which are necessary for the successful educational process. Today those who deal with translation pay a special attention to the models of translation reflecting the essence of the translation process. According to many British, American, German and Russian linguists, transferring the information follows the models which interpret the translation as means of intercultural communication” (Clough 1997).
In this connection as teachers should pay our attention to the fact that translation teaching asks for the development of translation competence and realization of general linguistic, linguocultural and educational functions of the source text.
Moreover, it should be mentioned that the discourse of not only two languages (source and target), but also the discourse of cultures is put into effect during the translation process. Nowadays the teacher of translation is considered to be a specialist in both interlingual and intercultural communication. Nowadays the translation instructor should be not only the translator, but also a theorist who is obliged to explain important moments of language changes during the translation process from the source language into the target language. As the translator is the author of the target texts, he should know specific features of texts and analyze the texts taking into consideration the norm and usage of the target language for the purpose of adequate interpretation of information described in the source texts.
In order to implement the above stated criteria in a more effective way, one should use specific methods and strategies, such as testing and questioning, explaining, modeling, collaborating, creative teaching and so on. By the analysis of different kinds of teaching methods I would like to highlight some definite teaching methods which are beneficial for teaching culture at translation classes.
Teaching culture is considered to be quite important by most language teachers but it is believed to remain insubstantial and occasional in most language classrooms. So that the educational process could avoid such shortages in future, we should rely more on ‘cultural texture’. In other words, we should describe relevant aspects of the culture that we need to be aware of when translating a particular text. To achieve this texture, we are to combine three different methods altogether as the following formula:
‘Modeling + Practical Experimentation + Selling Points = Result’
Learners respond differently to different methods of teaching. Besides, the students have their unique way of demonstrating the acquired knowledge and including or accepting the information that is shared. So, to help this process, the teacher has to adopt some effective methods and techniques. Furthermore, s/he has to collect several methods that are used sequentially and assist the students in retaining the information and increasing their understanding.
In order to get a comprehensive picture of the target culture from many angles, we need to provide our students with different kinds of information (Komissarov. So this can be done with the help of the method ‘modeling’. Modeling is a type of audiovisual aid for teaching as well as learning. It is a known fact that human brain receives more and understands better when visual aids facilitate explanation. Some sources of such visual aids which can be used as materials for teaching culture are Video, CDs, TV programs, Internet, realia shows, interviews, guest speakers, souvenirs, photographs, etc. This method works on three criteria — observing, retaining and replicating. The students learn more by observing the things and acquire it by imitating it repeatedly.
The next step of teaching translation goes along with the method ‘practical experimentation’. This method includes all activity types, such as, quizzes, collaborating tasks, action logs, tests, and so on. Many books which attempt to teach culture offer only ‘discussion’ activities. Discussion is a valuable form of learning in culture, but we cannot expect all students to be able to discuss complex issues at a high level in a foreign language. Even high-level students need some preparatory activities which clear goals before they forward to discussion.
Therefore, practical experimentation is often needed in leaning a new culture. Let us take a type of practical experimentation — quiz as an example. Quizzes are one of the most successful activity types and they can be used to test materials that you have previously taught. As an example, Cullen (2000) suggests the following simple quiz about the country Ireland:
With a partner, answer true or false to the questions below.
- The United Kingdom includes the Republic of Ireland.
- The population of Ireland is less than that of Aichi Prefecture.
- Ireland is totally dark during the winter.
- The Coors, the Cranberries, the Beatles and Enya are Irish musicians.
Here is a different type of quiz that can be useful for introducing the differences and similarities across cultures:
Choose the odd one out of the following items:
- Sushi restaurants
- High level of education
The correct answer is ‘earthquakes’, you can find all the above items in Ireland except earthquakes. In both of these activities, it is not important whether students get the right answer or not, but by predicting students will become involved in finding out the right answer and learning about the culture. For some students, it can even lead to a long-term interest in the target culture.
The last stage of teaching translation in terms of culture-based classes is ‘selling points’. Through this method students get materials which portray different aspects of the target culture. In other words, we need to ‘sell’ different views of the culture to our students, that is, to describe both positive and negative aspects putting in parallel, such as:
- Attractive vs. Shocking
- Dark aspects of culture vs. Bright
- Facts vs. Behavior
- Historical vs. Modern
- Stated beliefs vs. Actual behavior, etc.
This technique allows the students ponder what they have learnt within the first and second ways of learning. Thus they will be able to produce some information about the culture based on the material acquired. Consequently, they will become familiar with specific feature, typical peculiarities of the target culture and will translate into the target language accordingly.
All in all, the translation teaching process plays an important role in the progress of the language acquisition and this process includes different linguistic and cultural aspects. If that is the case, a future translator should learn specific features of the textual competence, translation models and effective ways and methods of translation.