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Translation in Practice: A Bridge to the Future (304-0-20)


Rana Raddawi
Crowe 4-121
Dr. Rana Raddawi holds a PhD in Translation Studies from Sorbonne University in Paris, France. She masters five languages and has more than 15 years of teaching experience in the West and the Middle East at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She is the editor of the book Intercultural Communication with Arabs (published by Springer), and she is the translator of several books into Arabic such as "Happiness is a Serious Problem" and "Natural Medicine for Cold and Flu".

Meeting Info

University Library 5746: Mon, Wed 1:00PM - 2:20PM

Overview of class

This unique foundational course introduces students to translation skills to provide them with a competitive edge on the job market where professional translation is in high demand in every sector of the global economy. Translation has always been a crucial means of communication in spreading and preserving ideas and information. The Bible has been translated into more than five hundred languages and no matter what each of us believe, the impact on history and culture is undeniable. Translation enables people all over the world speaking diverse languages to communicate and understand each other through their own cultural lens, hence building bridges between cultures and societies. Being able to translate with linguistic precision and cultural accuracy from one language to another is an important skill to cater to the high demand of professional translation necessary to the development of a global economy. Translation is also important for personal enrichment and academic advancement.

Registration Requirements

Prerequisite: Excellent performance in Arabic 211-2 or equivalent, or permission of the instructor.

Learning Objectives

This translation course has the following linguistic and cultural goals:
1. … to help students understand the history of translation and how important translation was for the sharing of cultural ideas in the development of society;
2. .. to provide examples of and basic training in consecutive and simultaneous interpreting and sight translation in the legal, healthcare and business fields;
3. … to develop awareness of current issues in translating/interpreting practices including foundational principles in the standards of ethics and practice of translation;
4. … to introduce students to real-life working environments through guest speakers, video sequences, and in-class simulations;
5. … to enhance student's linguistic competence in Arabic;
6. … to increase cultural awareness of contrasting elements between the two cultures;
7. … to compare, contrast, and formulate typical Arabic and English constructions through general hands-on practical translation of sentences based on grammatical principles;
8. … to draw upon background knowledge in Arab politics, economics and history, to make connections between the translation and the real world;
9. … to compare source texts and translations based on cultural perspectives and biases, facts and opinions and to interpret them accordingly.
10. … to equip students with self-assessment techniques and reflective practice skills.

Teaching Method

Honing grammatical as well as stylistic facility in Arabic, this course promotes higher-level linguistic analysis and interpretation by following a problem-solving approach in translation. Each detailed text analysis is conducted in three phases: pre-translation considerations, translation work, and editing and evaluation. Practical assignments will involve translation into and out of English and Arabic. Students will work on and discuss a variety of text genres, from literary sources such as poems, short stories or excerpts from longer works, to more technical texts in the field of medicine and law, to examples from the news media. To aid their work, students will be introduced to and work with conventional and digital resources used for translation. As a final project, each student will work on a longer translation of their choice or design a community project to help native speakers of the target language navigate English language sources.

The course encourages a deeper and fuller understanding of how language connects and represents the various diverse groups of speakers in the Middle East. The course materials is presented through print and online in a multisensory way using texts, pictures, graphics, audio and video sequences. Its interactive mode makes use of current instructional technologies and tools to supports student learning.

Class Materials (Required)

The class materials will be provided by the instructor.