In Portuguese, we have a saying that goes way back to Orkut time (when people wrote testimonials about their friends. “O que dizer da tradução tecnico-científica que eu mal conheço mas já considero pacas?” – wow, it takes a real expert to translate this! According to google, it would be something like: "What about the technical-scientific translation that I barely know but I already consider pacas?" well google, almost there!
This Orkut testimonial means that even though I have almost zero experience, translating and learning more about this new world has been quite an experience – and a fun one! Of course it is no piece of cake, but finishing the work you’ve translated tastes sweet: it feels like you also own that text. That’s what I felt re-reading my segments on the surfing article or the midterm.
During this course I’ve discovered many different tools that are simply genius: corpus work as antconc and skell, learning how to properly research on google scholar and how to translate through smartcat. I found something interesting about myself – I can spend hours and hours going through this softwares discovering new functions and researching details (and, if my classmates feel like it, I can write an email explaining everything….). Even my word skills improved, because being resourceful makes a big difference, and technology really comes in handy while translating. I guess we all have less prejudice now with google translator, he just needs a little help from his friends (humans. Or language experts?).
The midterm made me feel alone, not only because it was one-on-one time with the computer, but especially because I wasn’t able to discuss my doubts and thoughts with my classmates. The course showed me how important team work is, and that indeed two heads think better than one - full of clichés! Of course the midterm is not a criterion, but I feel like I’m still a bit impulsive translating in 3 columns – I need to spend more time thinking about the word choices and their implications.
This course has been, so far, a great opportunity to discover a new me at the university. As they say – it is never too late to do something new. In my last semester at Letras course, I never thought I could develop a whole new interest – and an interest I never thought I could have. But most of all I have to thank this course and all this process for giving me confidence to work with academic texts and academic English. This is the most remarkable part of the course so far: leaving the impostor’s syndrome behind and starting to feel like I own my knowledge of English.
While I discussed this wordlist with Helena on the past week and after my individual analysis, I noticed some interesting aspects about it. Since I chose to build a corpus related to a topic I’m familiar with, I was able to be more critical about it. The words “education”, “international” , “internationalization”, “higher” and “students” are at the beginning of the list, even before some verbs and prepositions - I would expect that, but still it is important to me, as a researcher, knowing that “internalization” for instance is a consolidated term in the applied linguistics field. Many words that are frequent in this corpus have to do with what I could expect from the literature I know, words related to national identities and countries, English (and languages), policies, foreign, academic , globalization, abroad, teaching, government, cultural, overseas. Two words that called my attention and that I would need to use AntConc tools for a deeper analysis (or a more careful look of the words in context) are “health” and “transnational”.
Other experience that I had with the wordlist was that I built a corpus using only 5 articles and then another corpus using 15 articles - my final wordlist, and the one I analyzed, was the 15 articles. The smaller wordlist, even though is similar in the most frequent words, is not as rich. I also noticed some specific terms, such as “tropical”, “Singapore”, “sagepub”, “unesco”, “medicine” – which relates to “health”, word that I wanted to look at, and even “knjiznica” and “narodna”, which are Slavic words I understand from Croatian language – meaning “national library”. This is a funny coincidence!
Click here to see my wordlist about internationalization.
The experience of translating the surfing article was really nice. Even though I had some timing problems, Alexandre and I worked really well as a team, and by the end of the task he edited my part and I edited his.
The sharing and discussion experience is fundamental to the translation process!
Also, we used corpus tools to hel us. I never imagined I would work with surfing injuries in an academic article!
To see the full group translation, click here.
Brief summary of the course:
In these four weeks, I feel like we’ve done a lot and the rhythm was fast regarding different resources and technology, even though we started with exercises in “smaller scale”. The
approach to scientific translation was slowly getting more complex and because of this gradual improvement, I felt less intimidated by the translation of specific language – although I am still a bit intimidated by it.
One of my favorite parts of the course, besides getting to know different resources and tools for more efficient translation, was “losing the fear” of working with scientific language and feeling confident enough, as a “language expert”, so identify problems and suggest solutions. So far I’ve always felt like I didn’t know the language or the article structure enough to edit or translate scientifically, but the hands-on activities and the contact with real life material helped me see this through a new perspective.
Until the end of the course, I hope I can improve my abilities with the translating tools and use them with more confidence, and I would like to develop my scientific vocabulary regarding the methods. I hope I can transit between different articles and areas of knowledge feeling like a truly "language expert".