Studies on Slavonic and Non-Slavonic Languages in Contact
Edited By Vladislava Warditz and Beatrix Kreß
Development of Translation Skills in Russian-Finnish Bilinguals
180 Finnish-Russian bilinguals aged from 9 to 58 were asked to translate eight sentences from Russian into Finnish and eight sentences from Finnish into Russian. The tasks had covered traps that could be avoided if participants were fluent in both languages and had some translation experience, especially translation studies oriented toward the pair of languages in question. The results were analysed linguistically and statistically, qualitatively and quantitatively. Experimental results illustrate the stages of language acquisition and interference between languages; they permit to discover hybrid formations, semantic lacunae and syntactic gaps in bilinguals who have not studied translation or comparative linguistics. The research evidence supports the idea that translation must be included into the mother tongue (heritage language) course if it is studied outside the nation in a contact language situation. Bilinguals are often hired as interpreters or translators, but without having received the necessary preparation, they cannot be responsible for the outcome of their translator efforts.
With the growing market for translation and interpreting services, one can believe that having learned two languages from an early age on guarantees to get a job as translator or interpreter. Yet, we have quite a lot of evidence that translating and interpreting is a real professional ability that needs very high levels of fluency in both languages and in addition good training in contrastive analysis for the two languages. Intuition may play a role, but is not enough to become responsible for...
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