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Constructing Translation Competence


Edited By Paulina Pietrzak and Mikołaj Deckert

«The volume reflects latest trends and developments in the field of translator and interpreter training research, reconciling both theoretical and empirical approaches. The strength of the edited volume lies in its thematic and conceptual consistency, presentation and application of a variety of innovative methodologies and approaches and providing interesting, research-based practical solutions that can be effectively used in the classroom. I am deeply convinced that the volume constitutes a valuable, thought-provoking and useful contribution to the field that will be of interest to the community of researchers and educators.»
Dr hab. Joanna Dybiec-Gajer, Associate Professor, Pedagogical University of Cracow
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Janusz Wróblewski – Translation problems for translation trainees


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Janusz Wróblewski

University of Łódź

Translation problems for translation trainees

Abstract While it is certainly true that in most cases translation is a professional, commercial activity which requires a very complex set of translational competences, including the ability to use CAT tools, it is equally true that translation is also an operation on texts, and sometimes only that, in which case the required competences are limited to those involved in understanding the original and in producing a translation, and it is this set of competences that I focus on primarily in my teaching. This paper presents a selection of translation problems which I offer to my students as a way of developing their general translation competence. The problems include difficult words which cannot be found in standard dictionaries (or which can be found, but which do not have adequate target-language equivalents), obscure syntax, polysemous words which are often misinterpreted because the reader / translator focuses on the meaning(s) he/she knows and does not suspect that the given word has another meaning (for example, my students have a tendency to translate the word why as dlaczego, even if it is used as a simple exclamation), idioms (and allusions to idioms, which are even more misleading), archaic language, dialects and slang, including Cockney rhyming slang, all sorts of language deformations (a character lisping or talking with his mouth full), “secret languages” like Pig Latin, culture-specific language items and, finally, wordplay.

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