Educating Autonomous Translators in Distance Learning: a Neglected Area in the ‘Map’ of Translation Studies
Keywords:distance learning, learner autonomy, translation training, functional translator, translation textbook
AbstractSurprisingly, translator training in distance learning is under-researched in Translation Studies and the scholars in the field have simply ignored the fundamental differences between distance and traditional modes of translator training. This study is a preliminary attempt to draw attention to this neglected area of research. Firstly, the study made an attempt to determine a set of criteria for educating functional and autonomous translation trainees in distance learning through a contrastive and critical review of the related literature. Taking a functionalist-communicative stance, ideas were borrowed from distance learning, second language teaching and translation theories for this purpose. The most important criteria must be learner-orientedness, process-orientedness and use of authentic real-life translation tasks. Later, the criteria were employed to evaluate a self-instructional translation textbook. The evaluation showed that these criteria could serve as a roadmap for assessing and/or designing self-instructional textbooks for distance learning mode. Finally, it was suggested to add translation training in distance mode to the applied branch of the so-called map of Translation Studies to promote further research in this area.
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