Monthly Archives: June 2019

Special Journal Issue: Collaborative Translation

mtm: A Translation Journal. Special issue: Collaborative Translation. Volume 10, 2018.  Edited by Jessica Griffiths and Christian Griffiths. ISSN 2645-0312.

This special issue is a significant accomplishment for TransCollaborate, as it represents our largest research output to date, and moreover provides an important resource for future work in the field of collaborative translation.  We hope that it will provide a touchstone for all of those within our network who wish to explore and experiment with our collaborative methodologies.

Selected articles and translations

  1. Gramling, David, Christian Griffiths and Jessica Griffiths. “Seven stadia long: On the disorderly social sojourn of collaborative translation.” https://transcollaborate.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/mtm_10_introduction.pdf
  2. Griffiths, Jessica and Harry Williams. “History studies and collaborative translation: the role of disciplinary expertise.” https://transcollaborate.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/mtm_10_43_-63.pdf
  3. Luisa Geisler. “The Fold”. Trans. Lorrayne Caetano Mayer and Alice Whitmore. https://transcollaborate.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/mtm_10_146_155.pdf
  4. Zuleta, Estanislao. “In praise of the difficult”. Trans.  Alvaro Eduardo Sanchez Amador and Basil Cahusac de Caux. https://transcollaborate.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/mtm_10_156_162.pdf
  5. Rothe, Hans. “German Shakespeare: Hans Rothe on his translations” An English translation from the German by Hans Rothe (1966). Trans.  Christian Griffiths and Madeleine Bieg. https://transcollaborate.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/mtm_10_163_177.pdf

All TransCollaborate members receive a PDF copy of the special issue. To become a member, join here.

Chinese Classroom Translations

In 2019, EAL students of the Australian Technical Management College in Melbourne, Australia recently undertook collaborative translation with their trainer. The source texts are taken from a Chinese textbook featuring texts of 300+ words on a range of general topics. 

Translation 1

23/05/2019

The first text to be translated covered the story of the historic satellite link between Shanghai and Toronto, Canada on the night of the new millennium, January 1st 2001.

You can find the translation here.

Translation 2

13/06/2019

The next text was a magazine article about the Chinese lottery. The article investigates people’s expectations of winning the lottery, and what they would intend if they actually won.

You can find the translation here.

Translation 3

27/06/2019

This text is an anecdote told by a father about attending a parent-teacher interview at his son’s school. From a cultural perspective, it is interesting to note that the father’s irreverent response to the rather strict attitude of the school skewers the many of the myths we may hold about parental expectations of student academic performance.

The translation itself was highly accurate in meaning, but it departed significantly from the semantic structure of the original text. This could be a sign that the collaboration has grown in confidence from its first attempts.

You can find the translation here.

Method and outcomes

The collaborations take place between a class of pre-intermediate students, all Chinese speakers, and their trainer, a native-English speaker. The translations take just under 90 minutes. The process is usually energetic, and it clearly activates the students, who otherwise may struggle to express themselves in the classroom. The translation offers multiple opportunities to teach and illustrate grammar and vocabulary. It also offers opportunities for cultural exchange, where collaborators can describe cultural practices of different times and places.

The feedback from these activities is positive, with all participants requesting copies of the completed translations, and with some asking if the exercise could be repeated in future classes.

This collaboration has confirmed or supported the following insights for TransCollaborate:

  • That collaborations with pre-intermediate students are possible, if the source text is sufficiently simple in grammar and vocabulary.
  • That collaborative translation is an excellent classroom activity for monolingual learner groups, as it productively integrates a range of language skills.
  • That an experienced target collaborator can collaboratively translate a text of around 300-400 words in a 90-minute session.