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What is translation?

Watch the course educators dispel some myths about translation, discuss some definitions and key concepts.

In this first session we will try to dispel some myths about translation, discuss some definitions and key concepts, and invite you to reflect on your experiences as translators (or interpreters) as well as users of translation.

As we progress, there will be plenty of examples for you to look at and activities to try out and we’ll ask you to share your ideas.

Your translation diary

One of the tasks that you are encouraged to do as we move through the course is to keep a “translation diary”. It is easy not to notice translation as we meet it in our daily life. What happens if, instead, we pay attention to it?

In your diary, you might want to jot down when you encounter a sign, or a leaflet, in multiple languages. (Some of which will be translations, but can you tell which ones?)

Or you might want to note whether the book you are reading at bedtime is a translation. Or whether you went to the cinema and the film you saw was dubbed, or subtitled.

And of course you may find yourself translating, too: for your own benefit, or in order to help others understand a message they do not have the ability to decipher.

Writing down some notes on these encounters with translation, or perhaps taking a quick photograph of what translations look like, will help you store ideas that you can bring back to the course: to compare them with some of the examples we will provide and also to share them with other learners.

Together, we might be able to produce the most complex picture ever put together of what translation looks like around the world!

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Working with Translation: Theory and Practice

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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