Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Seminar 1 - 5 March 2010

Last month I attended a seminar on 'Peculiarities of Written, Consecuitive and Simultaneous Translations' organized by the Association of Professional Translators of Moldova.

Personally, I found it interesting and useful. What I liked most is that I had the opportunity listen to professional translators who were willing to share their experience with us. I believe it is much more interesting to listen to people speak from their own experience than read books in theory of translation.

Don't get me wrong. I don't deny the importance of the theoretical background a translator should possess. Yet, I think an aspiring translator needs more practice than theory. In order to become a good translator one should practice translation not study it.

At the opoening of the seminar, Ms. Eleonora Rusnac, the president of the associaiton, gave us a hearty welcome. She has an impressive carrer as a translator.

The first day Ms. Rusnac and Ms. Rufa simulated consecuitive and simultaneous translations. The organizers of the seminar invited two Americans. Ms. Rusnac did the consecutive translation of the official speech delivered by one American (the speach dealt with human rights). Ms. Rufa did the simultanious translation of the financial speech of the other guest.

I was extremely impressed by the professionalism. They did not teach but they actually showed how a professional translation should be done. These two simulations helped me realize what exactly a translator's job consists of and how he behaves.

I noticed, for example, that in consecuitive translation, the translator was making notes. She also made sure she could see the speaker's face. Simultaneous translation seemed very difficult to do and I had the impression that the translator was very tense. I think this is normal as the translator should understand and translate the speaker's message at one and the same time. Moreover, the translated message should be extremely close if not identical to the original. (Three days later I found out that in simultaneous translation translators work in teams, where one takes the place of the other in 15 - 20 minutes.)

At the end od the first meeting another professional translator, Ms. Elena Bivol, spoke on 'Advantages and Disadvantages of Being a Translator'.

The next day the younger generation of professional translators gave a presentation on 'Written Translation'. Although there were issues I disagreed, I still found interesting and useful what they had to say. I especially liked the proposed way of evaluating a written translation. They also gave a lot of useful sites a translator may use and they shared their own tips.

Wednesday was dedicated to consecuitive translation, where Ms. Rusnac explained its peculiarities and involved the audience in practical activities. The next day we were taught simultaneous translation step by step. The last day was a great closing of the seminar.

What I liked at this seminar is that its organizers tried to involve the audience in practical activities. Yet, the participants were too shy and insecure. They were afraid to cut a foolish figure in front of professional translators.

My belief is that the information got at the seminar together with our persevierence and hard-work will help us become professional translators as well.

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