College English Translation Training Strategies

By Steven Holmes,2014-10-02 15:29
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College English Translation Training Strategies

    College English Translation Training Strategies

     外国语学院英语071 何璇 200710074127

Key words: college English teachingtranslationstrategies.


    As one of the important part of college English training, translation training has a big implication for English learning and improving teaching quality. This paper introduces the importance of college English training, trying to figure out the achievable translation training strategies, so as to promote the effect of translation teaching and improving students’ integrated skills in using



    As the globalization enhances, the needs and requirements for all kinds of translators will be from strength to strength. However, there are no specific lessons for translation in the college English teaching plans, not to say there are any specialized teaching materials. In such situation, students’ translation abilities have became a question of common concern which needs to reconsider the importance of translation and figure out some achievable methods.

    The importance of translation teaching in college English training:

    Translation teaching makes great contributions to promoting the quality and effectiveness of college English. “Translation is a kind of linguistics activity which is to interpret the meaning of

    one text in one language to an equivalent text in another language.”(Feng Qinghua, 288:2)

    Therefore, the essence of it is the transition of two language codes, which concerns understandingexpressing and proofreading. Especially, it requires the integrated skills of handling the two language systems and two kinds of cultures. To be more detailed, the words

    phrases sentences and paragraphs, the logical relationships and contents, all of which are needed to be understood comprehensively. When doing the translation exercises, one needs to understand 90% of the materials, even up to 100%. But in general reading task, 70% understanding can meet the needs.

    1. College English training can improve students’ listeningspeakingreading and writing

    abilities, with which the translation training can build up an unbreakable entirety. By means of

    large amounts of English-Chinese translation exercises, students obtain the general knowledge

    of knowledge of language and the differences of two expression systems. Besides that,

    students may figure out the inherent law of translation and strengthen English way of thinking

    and expressing.

    2. Improving students’ translation abilities on a large scale is an important and indispensable part

    of targets of college English teaching demand. In a broad sense, cultivating the translating

    ability is running through the whole college English training. It is connected, directly or

    indirectly, with other teaching contents. As to non-English major students, especially those

    who major in science and engineering. It’s also a very useful way to develop their practical

    applied ability. The current published text books for college training ability lay more stresses

    on cultivating translation ability and on balancing the relationship of language input and


    3. Translation is not only a means of cross-linguisticcross-cultural communication, but also an

    instrument for transmitting culture. It’s an important technique for improving language

    acquisition which encourage social development.

    The analysis of college English translation strategies:

    There is no doubt that the college English training results and effects contribute a lot to the improvement of students’ translation strategies. The teachers, therefore, should know well some translation theory and experienced with some translation practices. They should be familiar with the differences between the Chinese and English language systems. Being qualified, teachers are required to diversify the teaching methods, to pay attention to cultivate the basic essential translation abilities, to raise students’ interest of both the cultures and translation.

    1. Translation theory should be connected with translation teaching as a guide, in which lies

    about the importance of translation theory. With the foundations of the theory, translation

    practice could be goal-directed learning orderly and systematically. As to non-English major

    students, basic translation theories and skills is of necessity, which can guide students to think

    of translation from new angles, feeling motivated to participate in translation activities. With

    teachers’ analysis of various examples, students will find it much more easier to understand

    the translation theory. By that time, their understanding will be strengthened if some

    specialized exercises are provided in the class. To enhance the effects, teachers should prepare

    some purposive materials for students after class, comment and appraise students’ homework.

    By doing that, the abstract translation theories students learn in the previous class will be transformed into their own real skills, which could used and practiced in their daily translation exercises and lives purposively and unconsciously. Here I’d like to share some linguistics

    experts opinions about translation strategies with you

    Krings (1986:18) defines translation strategy as "translator's potentially conscious plans for solving concrete translation problems in the framework of a concrete translation task," And Seguinot (1989) believes that there are at least three global strategies employed by the translators:

    (?)translating without interruption for as long as possible;

    ?) correcting surface errors immediately; (

    (?) leaving the monitoring for qualitative or stylistic errors in the text to the revision stage. Moreover, Loescher (1991:8) defines translation strategy as "a potentially conscious procedure for solving a problem faced in translating a text, or any segment of it." Taking into account the process and product of translation, Jaaskelainen (2005) divides strategies into two major categories: some strategies relate to what happens to texts, while other strategies relate to what happens in the process.

    2 Cultural comparison between West and China should be added up to the teaching plans to reinforce students’ understanding of Western culture. In terms of the relationship between language and culture, “language is the carrier of culture, the symbol of culture, the reflection of culture.”(Chen Xinren,316:54) So “translator must be the real intellectual and literate.”Wang Zuoliang, 1997 During the college English teaching, teachers should teach students some cultural knowledge and background information systematically and orderly, so as to improve the effectiveness of translation training. Nowadays, in spite of the globalization enhancement, the cultural differences between nations still exist. Conflicts and clashes are unavoidable when people from different cultural background are communicating with each other. That’s why there are so many difficulties and obstacles for translation. Therefore, a better understanding of the cultural differences contributed a lot to cultivating students’

    culture literacy and raising interest of translating.

    3 Students should know more about these two language systems to assure the translation’s accuracy. Being lack of a comprehensive understanding of distinction and similarity between

    English and Chinese expressions, non-English major students will find it very hard to transform these two language codes fluently and smoothly. During the translation training, comparison is an important skill which includes the language contentmeaningpatterns and

    structures. Teachers are required to guide students to compare them, to encourage students to discover the differences of the idiomatic expressions, to increase the rational knowledge of both the differences and the similarities. With the help of translation materials, students can build up a habit of thinking logically, can follow the expression habits of target languages.

    4 Teachers should vary the chances for students to learn how to translate, especially in the intensive reading classes. The traditional teaching pattern is almost fixed: students preview the lesson——teacher explain and demonstrate the lesson——students do the exercise after

    class——teacher comment the exercises. This kind of teaching pattern emphasizes the input of language excessively, ignoring students’ free expressions, which is the output. the condition has become worse because of the restriction of class periods. However, the “well selected essays and articles in the New Horizon College English(the second version)”Zhen

    Shutang,155:11are qualified enough for students to do the translation exercises. Therefore, by making full use of intensive reading class period, students can combine the intensive reading and translation exercises together, which benefit dual sides. Of course, it’s teachers

    job to balance the time of each teaching parts and arrange some purposive translation skills exercises.

    5 Difficulties in translating should be taken seriously: we should know what is blocking our way and study them and overcome them.

    (?) Words take different meanings: A single word like "dog" or "trunk" in English can

    have many meanings which makes translation complicated. One dictionary lists no less than four distinct words "dog." It has only one entry for "trunk," but there are six distinct senses listed under it.

    (?) Sentence formation differs from language to language: In translation we also must deal with the meaning of whole phrases, sentences, and paragraphs, not simply isolated words. Each word in a sentence contributes to the meaning. But what we want is to translate the message, the meaning of the whole, not simply single words. Therefore, translators must take into account the many ways in which word meanings interact when they occur in discourse.

    (?) How to keep a balance between form and meaning: In fact, all the translators want to

    express the same meaning in English as was expressed in the original. To achieve this goal,

    they must not simply translate mechanically, word for word. That is, they do not preserve

    form. They should alter forms, precisely in order to express the fullest possible meaning most

    accurately in the target languages.

    The distinctiveness

    People usually lay stresses on English major students’ translation training and ignore the urgent and necessary needs of non-English major students. This paper is trying to put myself in others’ shoes (since I am an English major student) to introduce the importance of college English translation. I’d like to attract people’s attention and concern to their needs and desires, to find out the proper ways and achievable strategies of college English translation training. Conclusion:

    With the increasing international communication, the importance of college students’ integrated skills which include listeningspeakingwriting and translating are emphasized from strength to

    strength. Teachers should lay equal stress on translation and vary the ways and resources of translation training. Translation teaching is to put students into cultural exchanges and cultural communications, which enhance the understanding of both culture and translation.

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