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Pathways to Translation

Pedagogy and Process

Donald C. Kiraly

192 pages
The Kent State University Press

Professional translation and translators have assumed a critical role in the modern world.  The globalization of economies and communications has led to an increasing demand for professional translators to act as linguistic and cultural mediators in a growing exchange of scientific, technical, commercial, and legal information.

For almost 40 years European universities have struggled to meet the demand by establishing professional translator training programs and building translation curricula.  Sometimes these curricula have not been based on clear understanding of the process of translation itself.  Donald C. Kiraly in Pathways to Translation examines the state of the art of translator training in Germany and Europe and finds a number of significant problems.

Beginning with a critical analysis of the problems facing modern translator education, Kiraly presents a survey of new approaches in translation teaching and a discussion of the contributions second language education theory and practice can make to translation education.  Using his years of experience as a teacher of translation, he proposes a pedagogy based on a clear understanding of the social and cognitive realities of translation.  He then attempts to chart a course to more effective translator education using an innovative socio-cognitive model of the translation process and the results of an empirical study of the differences between professional and non-professional translators.

Pathways to Translation provides in extensive detail the research background of the empirical study, including previous work in the psychology of translation and a research method known as the think-aloud protocol (TAP).  In his final chapter Kiraly proposes some new directions for more effective translation teaching and learning.  This volume is essential reading for translators, translation teachers, second language educators, and psycholinguists seeking a better understanding of the complex realities of professional translation.