Fostering social competence in translation studies
Zita Krajcso |
Centre for Translation Studies, University of Vienna
Social competence for translators? Is social competence not a privilege for students of medicine, pedagogy and economics? Is translation not a course of studies preferred by students who are shy and introverted? By students lacking self-confidence? Hiding themselves as translators behind the computer, isolated from the outside world? Obviously this image of the translation profession belongs to the past, before the information age. Globalization and worldwide competition influence the language mediation market, which is programmed for perpetual change. But, to what extent are translation education programmes ready to meet the ongoing, changing needs of the market, which call for able and well-qualified translators?<p>Indeed, if translation education wants to succeed, it should keep up with the current market and equip students not only with strong skills but also with social competence to meet the needs of society. But can social competence be taught? And which methods are appropriate in translation studies to convey it? These questions will be discussed in this paper.<p>While social competence is now commonly employed in the fields of economy and pedagogy, there has not yet been any significant movement to introduce this approach in the area of translation training programmes. I will present some recommendations based on the results of an empirical study. As the study was carried out in the course “oral communication” at the Centre for Translation Studies, University of Vienna, the attention is focused on the German-speaking environment, especially on the Austrian context.<p>
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