Re: [EST-training] science texts
- Brian's question should not go unanswered.
What I do to teach the translation of scientific texts (at postgraduate
1. Teach students how to find and use parallel texts, information and
terminology on the web. (This has changed everything in the past ten years...)
2. Make them work in groups of three to five on fairly substantial
projects, dividing up the tasks (project manager, terminologist, someone to
locate and contact experts)
3. Encourage them to contact experts (most students are afraid of
telephones). This usually means going into some other department of my
4. Pay experts to correct and evaluate the results.
5. Not insist that translators (or translation teachers!) be experts in
specific scientific fields.
A note on directionality:
I used to teach Spanish speakers how to translate into English, and then I
would tell them never to do it professionally, since their English was not
good enough. I no longer give this sad piece of advice. If students know
how to use parallel texts found on the web, they can quite quickly grasp
the terms and discourse conventions of specific fields, and their L2 output
can attain quite high levels of quality. All we have to do is encourage the
astute use of plagiarism (for a change).
Universitat Rovira i Virgili
Plaça Imperial Tàrraco, 1
E-43005 Tarragona, Spain