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Title: Applying translation theories and pedagogy : a multiple case study exploring postgraduate translation programmes in China and the UK
Author: Zou, Meilan
ISNI:       0000 0004 5357 733X
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2014
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Research in translation studies has paid relatively little attention to translation pedagogy and how students, as potential professional translators, may understand and apply the range of current theories and concepts to practical translation tasks. This research explores the construction of translation knowledge and its application with groups of postgraduate students from two universities in China and one in the UK. In the light of new insights into translation teaching, this exploration focuses on the application of translation theories and pedagogical issues. The thesis investigates the three cases qualitatively to ascertain the extent to which the participants used theoretical elements, their perspectives on translation theory, together with comments from Chinese and British translation teachers and the documents of translation courses similar to the case study programmes. This study aims to provide empirically an in-depth understanding of the construction of translation knowledge and expertise related to students’ learning of translation, translation theories and their application and the complexity of these features in their particular social contexts of learning. The research employs the triangulated methods of analysing a translation task performed by students, subsequent interviews with them and with translation teachers, and the analysis of documents relating to British and Chinese translation courses. Data analyses within and across the three cases of translation programmes serve the exploration from triangulated perspectives. Additional complementary data are analysed to support the results. The findings indicate that the differences between and across the three groups are partly due to local contextual and institutional variation, but are largely due to different conceptions of the roles of translation theories and translation pedagogy. Explorations of the three programmes show the features between them, in particular how the two Chinese groups have inadequate knowledge of translation. The findings indicate how constraints on the two Chinese groups promote a tendency towards incompetence in translation performance, through relatively incoherent course content, lack of pedagogical planning, and lack of practical and professional training. This shows a need to reconceptualise translation pedagogy in the Chinese cases, and arguably in similar Chinese contexts; findings show that traditional language pedagogy with non-specialist teachers remains the chief element in translation pedagogy. The principal findings are further evaluated and interpreted by considering linguistic approaches, the use of translation briefs, the quality of translators, a holistic view of translation theories and the need for enhanced systematic translation pedagogy in Chinese translation studies contexts. A need is shown for Chinese students to learn to go beyond the mechanisms of putting one language in terms of another. Developments could include the holistic consideration of combining translation product-process-translator processes, as shown in a chart derived from Williams’ (2013). These findings are corroborated by the reflections and comments from university teachers of translation in China. The results contribute to a wider understanding of translation theories and pedagogy applicable to translation teaching in a Chinese context. Further suggestions include practical ideas to enhance translation pedagogy in China.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: P Philology. Linguistics