METM17 presentation

Swimming against the tide? Teaching translation out of the mother tongue. An experience with students from the UAB

Fiona Kelso, Barcelona, Spain
A few years ago I gave a joint presentation at METM with a colleague about specialised “inverse” translation from Spanish to English from the viewpoint of the student at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). At the time, I was a Master’s degree student at the UAB, and, while for my colleague the translation was inverse in the true sense, for me it was direct from Spanish to English. However, we focused on the translation problems of working from and to our native languages and working as a team. Having now taught inverse translation, that is, translation out of most of the students’ mother tongue, for the last four years, both specialised and non-specialised, in this presentation I would like to present delegates with the need, the value and the approach to translating both specialised and non-specialised texts out of the mother tongue into another language – in this case from Spanish into English – from the point of view of the translation trainer. I would like to present the benefits of working in a direction which has often been called into account, and demonstrate the value of being able to translate out of the mother tongue even in specialised areas such as medicine, finance and law, as well as less specialised fields such as advertising, information and news.

Fiona Kelso is a full-time translator at the Servei de Llengües of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, where she is also an adjunct lecturer at the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting, specialising in cultural issues and inverse translation. She graduated in geography from the University of Leeds and obtained her Master’s degree in translation studies from the UAB. She has been an active member of MET for several years and is currently a member of the REICIT research group in Intercultural Studies and Translation.