Making Use of Food to Learn German Translation

Since every human being needs food to exist, it is natural students in translation studies programs to be interested in the subject.The reason is that people from all nationalities and cultures have an opinion on it. Regardless of the language that a person speaks, everyone involved in translation, from beginning students to highly skilled professionals, have a set of beliefs that pertain to it. The reason is that food involves people emotionally. An indispensable part of our lives, good food also is a material component of various events such as national holidays, religious celebrations, birthday parties, wedding receptions, and gatherings with friends and neighbors.

All translation students and professionals have opinions about food and just about everything related to it. While Russian Translation Professionals enjoy talking about their blini, German Translation workers boast about their sausage, while Medical Translation workers just tell us to consume healthy food. In addition, all translation workers prefer one particular style of food or other such as fast food, junk food, cafeteria food, ethnic food, restaurant food, and the snacks and popcorn you munch at a movie theater. In addition, we all have different thoughts about what we like to put on our food like salt, ketchup, red pepper, barbeque sauce, steak sauce, sauerkraut and so on.

Our series of articles titled, Hungry For Russian Translation, focuses on food. The topic of the series is food, however, we offer a wide variety of language-related instructional activities. In one article we might be providing a quick lesson on verbs, the next for something on vocabulary, and the next for a writing topic. Some days, we will add only a word game or some task that will focus students’ attention on the languages they study.

A large part of the activities in our series of writings include games and encourage creativity. The reason is that in my opinion language games have a crucial role in building language skills. Students need to get interested in words and their quirkiness, changeability and power. English teachers have to do their best to turn kids on to language. Play is a powerful tool to do so.

Althought the idea to write this series of articles was mine, I was not the only one to contribute to it. What I did was only a small part of the effort that went into making it possible. Sarah Von Seggern, a German Translation worker and Michael Antipov, a Russian Translation professional, contributed to it and assisted me in various ways – writing, proofreading, checking facts and other.   I also have to thank to Sandra Hernandez, a Spanish Translation professional, who also cooperated with me in the development of this series. I hope you enjoy The Translation Is Ready and find it useful in your translation teachings.

What do you and your students share when talking about food in class? Do you discuss a time when you were unsuccessful in preparing a special meal? Do you enjoy thinking about the memories of your great-grandmother making homemade ravioli? Did a humorous event take place to a family member in a restaurant? Do you have your little jokes about how you all hated to eat the food, prepared by a relative because it tasted terrible?

In the first task, we encourage you to write a story about food. If you need some help thinking of one you may ask your classmates, friends and instructors to make suggestions. If you still find it difficult, share any kind of memory you have relating to food – maybe a special meal, or a special occasion.

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