Our Projects - Department of English Translation and Interpreting | İzmir University of Economics

FACULTY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

Department of English Translation and Interpreting

Our Projects

2012-2014

Project Type: Tübitak 1001-111K344

Project Title:

A Systemic Functional Grammar Model for Explicitation in Interpreting Studies with Respect to Three Parameters: Mode of Interpreting Directionality and Text Type

Within the framework of a learner-based corpus and Halliday’s Systemic Functional Grammar Model, this project accounts for translational behavior of student translators in interpreting studies with respect to explicitation, which is considered to be one of the so-called translation universals. The aim of is project is threefold (i) to test Blum-Kulka’s explicitation hypothesis in terms of English-Turkish language pair (ii) to analyze explicitation with respect to three parameters, namely, modes of interpreting, directionality and text types (iii) to examine the contribution of explicitation phenomena to translation/interpreting education within the framework of a learner-based corpus. The project is based on a learner corpus of 232 recordings generated by 20 undergraduate senior students attending İzmir University of Economics, English Translation and Interpreting program. The corpus material consists of evenly distributed informative texts (6), expressive texts (6), and their sight interpretation, and consecutive and simultaneous interpretation. Our findings based upon the comparison of source texts with the target texts, seem to partly concur with the Blum-Kulka’s explicitation hypothesis. In other words, in contrast to Blum-Kulka’s explicitation hypothesis which postulates an observed explicitness from source language to target language texts regardless of the linguistic and textual differences between the interacting languages, our leaner-based corpus has displayed a parameter-sensitivity in their translational behavior with respect to modes of interpreting, directionality and text types.

Project Coordinator: Assoc. Dr. Neslihan Kansu-Yetkiner

Researchers: Prof. Dr. Lütfiye Oktar, Prof. Dr. Yasemin Yavuz

Project Assistant: Murat Özgen


2013-2015

Project Type: Tübitak 1001-112K388

Project Title:

PLAGIARISM IN TRANSLATION

A new kind of plagiarism has emerged in the literary field in Turkey in the last thirty years: translational plagiarism. In this kind of plagiarism, an older translation of a book is superficially amended and the new text is published under the signature of a new translator.

This new phenomenon, which is seen in retranslations, is getting widespread. The retranslations of classical literary works which are included in school curricula and of other popular works are mushrooming. Therefore, it is essential to take necessary measures to prevent translational plagiarism.

This project will focus on the retranslations of works that are included in the 100 Must-Read Book List declared by the Ministry of Education. The works which appear in the form of retranslations and which are launched in the market by different publishing houses with the signature of different “translators” need to be analyzed to check whether these works contain any element of plagiarism so that a distinction can be made betweeen “a genuine retranslation” and “a fake retranslation and that awareness can be raised on the issue of translational plagiarism both in translation education and in the translation field in general. Three works will be analyzed in depth after being transferred to digital format:

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Within the framework of this project, a report on plagiarism in translation will be written on the basis of empirical evidence out of the analyses of quantitative and qualitative data on the elements of plagiarism identified in retranslated works. Through documentary research, corpus linguistics, and text linguistics; instances of plagiarism will be detected and various forms of plagiarism will be categorized based on the results of the analyses. The results of the report will be shared with the translation studies and literary circles and with concerned publishing institutions and will be made public. In this way, it is aimed to increase public awareness about plagiarism in translation. It is also the priority of the project to help translators; novice translators in particular, understand the possible threat of this new phenomenon through the analyses of and discussions on the samples of plagiaristic versions of retranslations. Another priority of the project is to ensure that the translations of books offered to students in school are original and high-quality translations by disclosing plagiaristic characteristics of the fake retranslations of the books listed in the 100 Must-Read Books declared by the Ministry of Education of Turkey.

Project Coordinator: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mehmet Şahin

Researchers: Asst. Prof. Dr. Derya Duman, Sabri Gürses

Project Assistants: Damla Kaleş, Merve Avşaroğlu


2015-2017

Project Type: Tübitak 1001-114K718

Project Title:

INTERPRETING AND TEACHING INTERPRETING IN VIRTUAL WORLDS

The most important feature of virtual worlds is the fact that they present quasi-authentic environments with the help of recent developments in audio and video features. In this respect, virtual worlds can be embedded in the practice and teaching of interpreting as an ideal complement since interpreting can be excelled with the help of more practice along with the theory.

Interpreting courses are given mostly by the professionals who actually work in or are retired from the field of interpreting and the busy schedule of professionals can sometimes affect the sustainability of interpreting courses in a negative way. Interpreting practice is usually limited to laboratory context and students can study only during the course hours. It is a fact that learning and studying habits of the students are changing. However, in spite of the flexibility provided by the technological developments, students with different learning styles and rates are exposed to the same curriculum and methods. Diversity of materials and contexts is of vital importance for interpreting students in their post-graduate lives but this diversity cannot always be provided for within the current interpreter training programs. The fact that interpreters usually have to travel around and that physical conditions in the conference rooms can sometimes be inconvenient can affect interpreters’ performance in a negative way. This also creates a huge constraint for interpreters with physical disabilities or for people with physical disabilities who wish to be interpreters.

Productivity in interpreting and interpreter training can be enhanced with the use of virtual worlds. Through blending formal and distance education, the aforesaid constraints can be overcome. Learning management tools such as Sloodle can be used to ensure effective course management. With constructivist approach, support tools can be presented to students for the aspects to be improved. Students can either assess themselves or their peers, as well as receive oral and visual feedback from the instructor. Students’ motivation can be increased with the use of such technologies since students adopt new technologies quickly.

The main objectives of the project are, through an interdisciplinary approach with contributions from translation and interpreting studies, education, and computer sciences, to explore the effectiveness of the use of virtual worlds in interpreting and teaching interpreting, to receive feedback from students, instructors and interpreters about this new learning and working environment, and to contribute to the field of translation and interpreting studies by investigating positive and negative aspects of using such an environment for interpreting. In this respect, a new learning and working environment will be created in Second Life (SL), which is a 3-D virtual world. All the contents in SL are created by its users and the program works online. Each user is represented by at least one avatar and users interact with each other and other objects in SL via their avatars. Visual aspects of the program are very important and written and oral communication is possible. Communication can be either private or public. It is possible to witness multilingual interaction in SL since there are users from all over the world. One can also attend conferences or seminars organized in SL, or take courses taught in SL, which all shows the important role and potential of this innovative environment.

The participants will include 3rd and 4th year English Translation and Interpreting students at a foundation university and at a public university, instructors of interpreting courses at those universities, and interpreting professionals who are actively working in the field or already retired. The researchers will collect data by conducting fieldwork through participant observation, as well as through surveys and interviews. Experiment and control groups will be formed out of each student group. The activities conducted in the virtual world by students and instructors will be recorded and interpreting performance and interactions in this environment will be analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively. The results of the study are expected to contribute to the field on interpreting and teaching interpreting both on a theoretical level and practical level.  It will be possible to implement the core of the project for language pairs other than English-Turkish and the project has a potential to stand as an exemplary for other fields especially such as foreign language learning, design, fashion, medicine and architecture.

Project Coordinator: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mehmet Şahin

Researchers: Asst. Prof. Dr Şeyda Eraslan, Asst. Prof. Dr. Gazihan Alankuş

Project Assistants: Damla Kaleş, Özge Altıntaş, Yasin Sinan Kayacan, Mert Künan, Yiğit Can Parıltı


2015-2017

Project Type: Tübitak 1001-115K145

Project Title:

Translation through an Ecocritical Lens: A Descriptive Diachronic Approach to “Environmental Literacy” through (Re)translations in Children’s Literature

Considering the limited number of approaches that integrate translated children’s literature with environmentally-oriented comparative studies in a cross-cultural perspective, this study has been designed to analyze environmental literacy transfer and the related translational behaviors in the retranslations of children’s books through textual and paratextual analyses within the framework of diachronic Descriptive Translation Studies. In order to test environmental literacy transfer by means of measurable and detectible parameters, the definitions and classifications in the literature were scanned and Roth’s (1992) framework for environmental literacy was adapted and modified to develop an instrument for this project (ELITT: Environmental Literacy Instrument for Translated Texts). Within the scope of the project, 10 books in English Children’s Literature and a total number of 104 retranslations into Turkish published between the years 1929 (after script reform) and 2013 have been analyzed. In other words, a descriptive diachronic approach having been adopted, within the framework of ELITT and by means of a research design based on three variables (equivalence, process, translator), the project has been mainly aimed at determining and classifying the levels of environmental literacy (nominal and contextual environmental literacy) in translated children’s literature from English into Turkish by comparing source texts and target texts, identifying translational methods and detecting via measurable parameters whether interlingual/intercultural transfer of environmental literacy is achieved or not

Project Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Neslihan Kansu-Yetkiner

Researchers: Asst. Prof. Dr. Derya Duman, Prof. Dr. Yasemin Yavuz

Project Assistants: Merve Avşaroğlu, Elifnur Uysal ve Osman Tufan


COMPUTER-AIDED TRANSLATION

TÜBİTAK 5000 ACADEMIC E-BOOK PROJECT

Project Coordinator: Assoc. Dr. Mehmet Şahin

Project will focus on technology which is an emerging topic in Translation Studies and affects the translation practice, translation teaching and translation researches. Like all the disciplines, new technologies and tools in translation studies have changed the existing practices of translation, created new demands in the field, and had a huge impact on the translator profile. Number of the courses on technology has been increasing or the new technology courses are being added into curriculum of the departments. There is a limited number of articles and, as far as is known, only one book on the relation between technology and translation in Turkish. Technology is a subject that requires a learning environment with a very high level of interaction. Therefore, an electronically created and visually enriched material will be utilized as the primary source in related courses. Electronic books supported by audio-visual elements will allow for the students to practice by using available online resources and downloading trial version of the tools introduced in the electronic books. The exercises at the end of each chapter prepared in electronic environment will reinforce their theoretical knowledge. In this sense, this e-book will be a tool for the students in terms of the theory and practice in computer-aided translation to raise them as more qualified translators.

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