Signing SQA Exams
Presented on Wednesday 3 February 2010
What is translation?
- The process of moving from a source text to a target text
- The exam paper and the BSL video version
- The student's video answers and the written English version
What does the translator do?
1. Analyses the source text:
- Degree of formality
- Cohesion (how text is organised)
- Thematic structure (information organisation)
- Cultural references from source culture
- Use of idiom, ambiguity, double meanings
- Possible reason the author made particular vocabulary and grammar choices
2. Understands the text in its cultural context (pragmatics)
- Real meaning of the text in its cultural context
- How the audiences for the text are likely to understand it (Hatim & Mason, 1997)
3. Restructures the meaning in the other language
- Doesn't focus on the surface structure or individual words
- Tries to give the target text the same communicative intent (Davis, 2000)
- Takes account of the systematic differences between the languages
A good translator has...
- Complete comprehension of the source text
- Complete command of the subject matter and technical terms
- Good cohesion and information structure
- Native-like use of collocation patterns in target language (the way words / signs cluster together in familiar patterns)
- Complete accuracy - no grammar or spelling mistakes
- A clear relationship with the formatting of the source text
Can anyone do translation?
- Fluency in both languages
- Deep knowledge of both cultures
- Often translators work into their first or stronger language
- ⪚ a deaf translator may work from written English to BSL (Collins & Wilson, 2006)
Implications for translating exams
Centrally produced DVD in BSL made by a deaf translator?
A BSL / English interpreter to translate BSL to written English?
Implications for deaf pupils
- They may often not be fluent in BSL
- If not, then their use of BSL should have started long before the exam year
- If they use SSE, do we need a transliteration from English to SSE?
Collins, J & Wilson, J (2006) The role of the Deaf interpreter, In: Locker McKee, R (ed) Proceedings of the inaugural conference of the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters. Trowbridge: Cromwell Press
Davis, J (2000) Chapter 9 in: Roy, C (ed) Innovative practices for teaching sign language interpreters. Washington: Gallaudet University Press
Hatim, B & Mason, I (1997) The translator as communicator. London: Routledge&