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The Potential of Role-Playing as a Translator Training Tool: Students’ Performance and Reflections

Author/Editor: Hui, Ting Ting

Year of publication: 2013

Keywords: role-playing simulation, translator-client relations, translator training

Place of Publication & Publisher: Dublin: New Voices in Translation Studies

Publisher URL: http://www.iatis.org/index.php/publications/new-voices-in-translation-studies

ISBN/ISSN: 1819-5644

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Limited correspondence between university training curricula and translation labour market demands has long been noted by researchers. Aiming to reduce this gap and equip students to better adapt to the varying market demands, the researcher carried out an experiment involving role-playing with a group of Hong Kong beginner students of translation, in which simulated translator-client relations were introduced. This paper reports on the subject groups’ translation performance and reflections on the role-playing exercises. According to my findings, the creative renditions of names by student translators generally won the simulated clients’ approval; however, only three of the six translation projects on the whole satisfied the clients’ expectations. This pinpoints the importance of students’ acquiring some experience of translator-client interaction before they serve real clients in the future. The paper suggests that role-playing can be a useful pedagogical tool in addressing this gap in translator training: it gives learners an opportunity to learn about what is at stake in the translation transaction, helping them construct their own knowledge based on prior knowledge and achieve autonomy to follow a path of lifelong learning. 

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