Our collaborative translation workshops at Warwick have come to a close. They gave us the opportunity to explore the use of translation for language learners in an informal teaching context, with a particular interest in how student confidence and cultural knowledge impacts upon foreign language learning.
We offered the following two workshop streams:
- Beginners/Improvers ITALIAN for native/fluent speakers of ENGLISH
- Intermediate/Advanced ENGLISH for native/fluent speakers of ITALIAN
We created a ‘translation conversation’ in the first language of the students, in which we addressed the key points of the text that we analysed. We weren’t looking to teach translation techniques, but investigate how far the collaborative translation model can succeed in promoting an inclusive ‘linguistic sensitivity’ amongst language students. We tackled questions of accents, stereotypes, and the extent to which cultural insights can impact upon language learning.
We have published the following articles discussing their format and outcomes:
- Focus on Language Sensibility: Collaborative Translation in the Language Classroom
- Language Explorers: Critical Reflexivity and Collaborative Translation – look for it in our Special Journal issue
- Gioia Panzarella and Caterina Sinibaldi, ‘Translation in the language classroom: Multilingualism, diversity, collaboration’, EuroAmerican Journal of Applied Linguistics and Languages, 5:2 (2018), pp. 62-75
As coordinator of the English language-learning element, I owe a big ‘grazie’ to all the transcollaborators: Alessia, Argentina, Arianna, Caterina, Chiara, Daniele, Davide, Debora, Erica, Federica T., Federica S., Lisa, Martina, Monica, Sabrina, Sara, e Simona, grazie mille! I have really enjoyed working with you to explore the value of translation in the language learning process. I hope it has been as stimulating – and productively challenging – for you as it has for me.
Particular thanks to Emily for her invaluable contribution as a facilitator and inspiring ideas for engaging material. A proposito di material…I’ll leave you with some of the examples of our creative approach to idioms. This is very definitely a work-in-progress (but as you know, we’re all about the process rather than the product!), and it was really interesting contemplating together the cultural implications of these idioms and proverbs from different perspectives: thinking about what is ‘lost in translation’, as well as what is perhaps gained. After all, sciuscia e sciurbì nu se peu!
Some #transcollaborate idioms and proverbs: do you have any alternative suggestions?
nella botte piccolo sta il vino buono / they don’t make diamonds as big as bricks; good things come in small packages
gallina vecchia (fa buon brodo) / cougar (female); silver fox (male)
chi dorme non piglia pesci / the early bird catches the worm
tanto va la gatta al lardo che ci lascia lo zampino / curiosity killed the cat
sciuscia e sciurbì nu se peu; non si può soffiare e succhiare / have your cake and eat it; juggle too many balls at once
una volta ogni morte di papa / once in a blue moon
can che abbia non morde / his/her bark is worse than his/her bite
non dire gatto se non ce l’hai nel sacco / don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched
non fasciarti la testa prima di cadere / we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it; don’t cross your bridges before you come to them
gatto ci cova / I smell a rat!