New Series, Vol. 1
Edited By Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk, Marcel Thelen, Gys-Walt van Egdom, Dirk Verbeeck and Łukasz Bogucki
Assessing Translation Competence at Eduardo Mondlane University
Abstract: This paper assesses the translation competence of Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM) students in order to establish the major barriers to translation competence development in undergraduates and to provide suggestions for improving the didactics of translation. The research was designed as a multiple case study and was conducted at UEM from 2013 to 2014, involving 50 students and 11 lecturers. A questionnaire and a corpus of texts translated by the students were used for data collection. According to the questionnaire data, lecturers and students disagree about the UEM students’ level of translation competence, but both groups identify curricular, attitudinal/motivational, pedagogical and infrastructural/instrumental factors, coupled with substandard bilingual skills, as the main barriers to translation competence development. Moreover, the macro- and micro-textual analysis corroborates concerns regarding the poor quality of students’ translations and suggests that two types of translation errors negatively impact translation competence development: (i) Source-language-originated errors and (ii) Target-language-originated errors. These findings have two major implications for UEM: (1) reviewing the current curriculum to make it more conducive to translation competence development; and (2) investing in modern infrastructure, translation technology and research resources. Furthermore, in respect of UEM translation instructors, translation competence development in students necessitates the use of teaching strategies specifically designed to help students to: (1) get a grasp of the source-language text message, (2) maximize message accuracy during the transfer process and (3) hone their target-language text production skills.
Keywords: didactics of translation; translation competence; translation competence development; translator training; translation...
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