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A Separate Mandatory Translation Course in College – why not?

A Separate Mandatory Translation Course in College – why not?
on March, 07 2014

The mandatory general education subjects required in the higher education curriculum of different countries usually include Science, Math, Languages, Culture and the Arts. The number of subjects required in each country depends on their goals of education. In some countries, students are required to take subjects in which they learn more about their local language while some others are required to learn a second language. For languages, the subjects may focus on Grammar, Vocabulary Building and Literature. In almost all countries, there is no mandatory translation course in college. Some colleges offer the course, but as a special subject or a course offered only to those who major in languages or literature. However, a lot of studies have proven that students get benefits from learning the skills of translation.

Benefits of Learning How to Translate

• Students who learn at least 2 languages become more critical. Translating a text also comes with analysis and decision-making. Therefore, if students are taught how to translate, it encompasses other skills that are essential for lifelong learning.

• Graduates will have better career options. If they can understand several languages and can handle documents written in different languages, more companies will be interested to hire them. In fact, even if they don’t want to push through with their selected course and just go on to become a translator, there is also a wide array of opportunities waiting for them.

• Instill interest in reading. In almost all countries, reading courses are required. The only problem is that many students are not so keen in reading. They tend to read in passing or read without necessarily understanding the meaning of what they have read. If these students are taught to translate, simply scanning the document won’t suffice. They have to read the whole text first before they can translate it effectively. Thus, they become more adept in translation and start to love reading as well.

• The tourism industry will forever be a good field to venture into. Students who wish to further a career in tourism can utilize what they have learned in the translation class.

How to Deliver Translating Courses

To make the mandatory translation course more effective, it has to be taught in line with the degree that a particular group of students is pushing for. Here are some of the ways to effectively deliver a translation course:

• Use texts that utilize field-specific words. For instance, in handling a group of engineering students, they must also be asked to translate Engineering-related articles or texts. This becomes more meaningful for them.

• Vary the activities to be given to the students. It will be boring if they are asked to do text translations for the entire semester. They must also be given exercises via sound or video recording.

• Interpreting must also be a part of the curriculum. Interpretation is the oral counterpart of translation. This is more exciting for the students as they make someone understand certain texts.

The main goal of general education subjects is to instill lifelong skills that graduates will make the most out of whatever their chosen career in the future is. With all the skills and knowledge they can get out of translation, there is no reason why a separate mandatory course for translation should not be created.

Bernadine Racoma

Bernadine is a writer, researcher, professional and multi-awarded blogger and new media consultant. She brings with her a rich set of experience in the corporate world, as well as in the field of research and writing. Having taken early retirement after working as an international civil servant and traveling the world for 22 years, she has aggressively pursued her main interest in writing and research. You can also find Bernadine Racoma at .

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