Education In The Global Context–Translation Of Curriculum

The quality of education varies throughout the world. The developed countries of Europe, America and a few Asian countries like China and Malaysia are far ahead in the field of education than the under-developed countries of Asia and Africa. This disparity has been extensively studied by academic researchers. Developed countries know the importance of revising and redesigning their curriculum every year.

As researchers gain new insights on impoved and develop improved instructional techniques, the curriculum taught in schools, colleges and universities must be updated. But research shows that many underdeveloped countries are still teaching the same syllabus they used 25 years ago. To improve the quality of education, curriculums must be constantly updated. In some developing countries where English is not the official language, curriculum from developed countries is translated with a few modifications. This is another good solution to the problem we are facing today, that is, lack of uniformity in the educational standards of different countries.

A Hindi translator working for The Marketing Analysts Translation Services Company based in Boston told us, that he and his team of certified Hindi translators have translated books that were going to be a part of the curriculum, on many occasions. He also mentioned that for the translation of curriculum from one language to another, field specific translators are needed who can translate the subject related terms in a better way, finding the most apt replacement for them in the target language. Translating any book demands skill, precision and a professional experience in translating.

One may ask the importance of the translation of curriculum from one language to another. Underdeveloped as well as developed countries benefit from translating books as translation of schools’ curriculum in another language is a source of spreading knowledge from one part of the world to another. The recent globalization commands for uniformity all over the world, in health facilities, the standard of education and living, social equality and employment opportunities etc. Still a lot needs to be done in this respect. Translating curriculum is one step towards creating uniformity in the standard of education worldwide.

The point of concern here is the choice of language translator who will carry out the translation of curriculum. Trusting freelance translators to carry out the job of curriculum translation can prove to be disastrous at times. You may get the job done in low rates but there is no guarantee that it will be a correct translation. Only renowned translation companies can be trusted for such a task. Translations of curriculum must be done correctly as they have to be taught in schools and faulty translations may result in imparting faulty information.

The Consumer Culture In Russia and Translation Services

As the Soviet system collapsed in the early 1990’s, a shift occurred in the culture of Russia. Russia became more commercial in its approach, slowly turning into a consumer society. Globalization and the Western culture invaded Russia with full force. The country underwent an extreme form of capitalism and all expressions of culture, whether the cinema or art or literature, underwent full commercialization. This sudden change in Russia called for translation services and translation companies.

Russia now trades with many Asian and European countries, as well as United States.  The new financial framework of Russia has allowed its economy to diversify. Russia’s bilateral trade with the United States has remarkably increased over the past few years, occurring at the same time that financial experts have noted an upward trend in the Russian GDP. Concurrently, the demand for Russian translators and interpreters has encouraged people to take the translation profession more seriously. Russia’s major exports to US include petroleum products, iron, steel and railway equipment. Trade agreements and inter-cultural communication between Russia and other countries would not be possible without certified professional translators, observed an analyst from The Marketing Analysts Translation Services company.

Because capitalist economies thrive on advertising, the postwar business-oriented economy of Russia has also come to depend on advertising and publishing. Thus advertisements and flyers must be translated into languages different from Russian and vice versa. The Russian economy, like all other capitalist economies, depends on advertising and branding, which is indispensable to attract consumers’ attention. Banks also advertise their new investment schemes profusely.

According to the United States Census Bureau, for the first seven months of 2008, the total Russian exports to US totaled $19.26 billion. The trade between the two countries will definitely increase in future and has increased after the year 2008. Russia has emerged as a growing economy and has recovered from the aftermath of the disintegration of Soviet system. It has now become a consumer-centric economy where opportunities for Russian language translators abound. Translation service companies see many prospects for acquiring additional business from Russia.

Investors now want to invest in long-term projects in Russia. Their key concern is to reach out to the ordinary Russian through affordable commodities and products. With international hotel chains, restaurants and tourist spots being built to attract foreign tourists and business developers, translators and interpreters definitely have a promising future.

Social Harmony and Translation Services

With the world having become cosmopolitan, social harmony on a national and international level has become exceedingly important as individuals and as a nation. Sociological imagination, a term coined by C. Wright Mills, refers to the connection between personal lives and the social setting in which we live. An individual’s our level of contentment or dissatisfaction affects our performance at work. Welfare states know the impact of personal problems on society and since individuals make societies the state takes responsibility for every individual.

Translation services have some responsibility in connecting nations and in working towards global harmony. Although technology and communication have been major factors in globalization, without translation services it would be challenging to bring linguistically different nations together. A Houston Spanish translator working for The Marketing Analysts Translation Services shared his views about the importance of language translation. He believes that while globalization has resulted in the loss of individual cultural identities, the benefits of globalization are more important than those losses.

People are affected by some of the same problems that exist throughout the world. People need access to good jobs, good education and health care services. People want to prosper and need loans to set up businesses. Terrorism is a threat that can be combated with collective efforts. To address these global concerns, cross-cultural interaction is necessary. Translators who work in specialties such as medical translation and working for NGO’s or providing legal translation services, directly or indirectly cultivate harmony within and across the borders.Considering the goal of sociological imagination, it is apparent that a job of government must be to provide employment and meet the basic requirements of its citizens. Instead of viewing unemployment as a person’s personal failure, it should be seen as a social problem that millions of people are facing all over the world. Social factors are largely responsible for private problems. Social harmony is fundamentally important for a country to prosper and no one else plays a more substantial role than translators to create uniformity in societies.

Working To Solve Social Problems Through Translation

impoverished-childrenIn a 2006 Gallup asked a random sample of Americans, “What is the most important challenge facing the United States today?” The most popular responses included the war in Iraq, terrorism, the economy, unemployment, immigration, health care, education, the energy crisis, and poverty and homelessness. In all of these responses, it’s interesting to think about how certified translators were needed, how they were used to addressing these problems and develop solutions.

But translation services workers aren’t only hired to work on solving domestic social problems. Translators, particularly French and Portuguese translators are commonly hired to help NGO’s solve even more complex problems in Africa. In 1990 the United Nations Development Program published its first annual Human Development Report, which measured the well-being of populations around the world according to a “human development index.” The human development index assesses three aspects of human growth: life expectancy; intelligence; and standard of living. The most recent report concluded that unless global action is taken right away, the world will gradually expeience mass poverty, division based on heavy inequalities, and threaten from common insecurities. Throughout the world, translation services are breaking down communication barriers, transmitting the message to audiences and have been instrumental in helping to develop proactive solutions.

Problems related to poverty and malnutrition, insufficient education, AIDS, substandard medical treatment, civil war, oppression of ethnic and religious groups, environmental destruction, and other social issues are international concerns. Such problems present both a threat and a challenge to our national and global security. Translators working with various NGO’s help facilitate increased awareness and understanding of these problematic social conditions throughout the world and are working to develop solutions.

A Peek into the History of Translation Services

Chaucer-First-Translations

Geoffrey Chaucer

The unimaginable speedy trend of technology diffused the borders between different states and gradually improved the level of interactional communication between people. This caused people to become more indulged and interested regarding others’ cultures. One of the most popular ways of being familiarized to the other cultures was through their literature.

The concept of translators in literature dates back to the times between first and third centuries when the dispersed Jews in Alexandria who had forgotten their ancestral language, needed to translate their original holy scriptures into Greek. Likewise, in Asia due to the spread of Buddhism, large-scale translation efforts were consistently being made.

The first initial translations in English were made by Geoffery Chaucer in the 14th century. He made Italian translations,French translations and Latin translations. Meanwhile, in the Renaissance period of Italy, the works of Plato, Erasmus, Aristotle and Jesus were also translated. This caused uproar in the readers who demanded accuracy of the translations. They asserted that the strength of the religious and philosophical beliefs expressed in these works depended on the exact words of their authors.

Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, the idea of translation was more like that of adaptation. The main aim of the translators and translation services was that of ease of reading. What they considered to be monotonous and boring or found something in the text that they did not understand, they simply omitted it. The advent of 19th century brought new standards for accuracy and style in the translation procedures, such that, as J. M. Cohen puts it, the rule for translation became ‘the text, the entire text, and nothing else but the text’.

Today, the modern translation requires text to be understood by readers while simultaneously maintaining the sanctity and expression of the original text. This is especially done for classic literatures like that of Bible, or works of William Shakespeare.

The translation of religious texts has played a significant role in history. The first translations in this context were made in the Old Testament which was translated into Greek by the Jews of that time as mentioned before. Considered one of the greatest translations of religious text in history is that of Saint Jerome, who rendered Bible text into Latin translation. Gradually this period saw the translation of Bible into other local European languages as well.

The services of these translators spread the valuable messages of the ancient civilizations to the entire world with the passage of time. Sharing their knowledge through means of translation had a meaningful impact on how different concepts in our world are understood and perceived today. These translation efforts maintained that intellect and creativity should know no boundaries and are meant to be enjoyed, appreciated and analyzed by readers present all over the world.

References

www.wikipedia.org

www.onlinetercumanlik.com

Can We Do Something For The Impoverished Masses Of Africa?

Everyone knows about the recent oil and gas discoveries of Africa in recent years and the influx of foreign investors in the region. According to an estimate of the financial experts of World Bank in 2006, the oil revenues of Africa were expected to increase by a $200 billion between 2000-2010. But why is it that the masses are still wallowing in poverty and abject misery? Are only a chosen few reaping the benefits of the new discoveries in the African natural resources? Creating translation jobs could be a solution, though other measures need to be taken by the African governments.

impoverished-childrenIt is indeed a sad state of affairs that the whole continent is in the grip of poverty and half of the population on the continent is still living abominable lives with no decent jobs, no education for their kids, no health facilities and an uncertain, bleak future. Where the recent investments have created thousands of jobs for the literates, still an alarming percentage of the African population is   getting no share in the benefits reaped by the other half of the population. Human rights activists have shown their concern over this situation. There are families sustaining themselves on less than $1 dollar per day and one can imagine about the living standard they would have.

The land of Africa is abound with natural resources but an unequal distribution of them has resulted in high poverty rate. All African countries are battling with poverty including Nigeria, Sudan, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Congo to name a few. With foreign investors and excavators coming to the region, the more literate ones can be offered jobs as French, Portuguese and even Spanish translators whereas the less educated people can serve as interpreters on the field to communicate with the labor if not in official meetings. But due to illiteracy rate being high, not many poor Africans know a second language and they can only communicate in their regional dialects.

The African governments need to wake up from their slumber and address the needs of their people by offering them jobs, decent housing schemes, health insurance and education for their kids. Food deficiency and malnutrition in African kids has always been a problem for Africa. It is high time to solve these long standing issues to alleviate the misery of the local populace. The developed nations coming for investments in Africa also need to communicate with the common African people and to bring them on-board with the recent developments in the economies of their countries. The common African man feels resentment towards the foreign investors because the foreign investment has widened the gap between the rich and the poor. Professional and certified translators working in Africa have this great responsibility on their shoulders, to interact with the local public and communicate their concerns and problems to the foreign investors who can then play their part in taking small measures for the local masses. But the African governments cannot be absolved of their responsibility towards the poverty-ridden masses of their countries.

Nepotism is rife in the African governments where politicians like to reward their supporters, family members and friends after coming into power, resulting in “big governments” which the region cannot afford at the moment. Corruption is another factor involved in the present decrepit condition of half of the African population. It has been recently reported that foreign investors bribe the government officials in African countries to obtain permits etc.

A change should come for all and not for a chosen few because it then results in political instability and unrest among the population which would prove to be a big obstacle in carrying out trade and foreign investment agreements with the developed nations.

Communication, its cultural context and translators

communication-among-culturesThe book “Communication between cultures” by Samovar, Porter and McDaniel is a deep study in cultural interactions. According to the authors, communication is a set of rules that are governed and vary from culture to culture. According to Sarah Ahmed, a professor of Cultural Studies and French translator with The Marketing Analysts Translation Service:

When a person operates in his own culture and communicates with his own people, he knows the rules of communication already. He knows when to talk in a friendly tone, when to argue, when to be authoritative and when to be respectful. He knows where to communicate formally and on what occasions he could use informal figures of speech or slang.

Universality of Rules Depend on Context

cross-cultural-communicationThere is a proper way to behave and communicate in different surroundings. In our workplace, we communicate with people according to their rank and stature. Our communication with our manager is different from our interaction with the colleagues of our own rank. We remain solemn during a religious ceremony in a church or temple. Similarly we behave differently in school, in a hospital, during a wedding ceremony or in a funeral. This proves that context is everything. One would not feel a stark difference in the rules of communication adopted by different cultures in the same context. In a hospital, communication would be to-the-point and in hushed tones whether we go to Japan, United States or Malaysia. This means that there are some universal rules of communication which every culture follows depending upon the context.

business-communication-among-cultures

Cross-cultural interaction and rules of communication

Though to some extent, rules of communication in a social setting may be the same, not all rules overlap from culture to culture. This creates confusion and misunderstanding when interacting with people belonging to a foreign culture. Especially, in business dealings with other cultures, it is important to have knowledge about their rules of communication. For example, Americans usually have a very informal way of conducting business meetings and they like to get down to business as soon as possible without indulging in unnecessary conversation.  It is quite different in African or Arab countries, where people expect a polite exchange of niceties before they get down to the actual purpose for which the meeting is being conducted. Similarly, while conducting business with people from a different culture, one needs to take into consideration their preference for dress, time, non-verbal behavior and other mannerisms. Not taking into account their rules of communication might offend them or portray you as an uncouth and uncultured person. In western countries, men and women would shake hands without any discretion in gender. In many Asian and Arab countries, men and women greet each other only with a nod. In some cultures, there is no extraordinary level of formality between junior and senior officers or teachers and students. In other cultures, it is disrespectful to address senior officers or teachers informally.

Translators and intercultural communication

It is the job of translation services workers that puts them in contact with foreigners all the time. Only knowing a certain language and being fluent in it does not proven that a person is knowledgeable of the rules of communication. Rules of communication in a certain culture can be learned by either living in that culture for some time or by studying them. Taking into account the rules of communication in a certain culture isn’t only beneficial in business dealings. It shows one’s respect and acceptance for the other culture and thus helps creating an atmosphere of love and peace throughout the world.

Globalization, Cultural Conflicts and Language Translators

Global-Village-World-PeaceGlobalization has been defined from economic, political and social perspectives by different scholars. It generally means “available goods and services, or social and cultural influences, gradually becoming similar in all parts of the world.” Cultural exchanges have taken place over the past, as a result of cross-cultural interactions. Spices, tea and herbal concoctions found their way to Europe from China and Asia. Similarly Westerners introduced modern weaponry, modern medicine and things as mundane as bread, cheese and chocolates to the Far East on their voyages. But due to the advancement in technology, cultural interdependency is increasing day by day and the future holds a promise of even greater cultural connectivity. The world has now become a “Global Village” where societies rely on professional translation services and cannot live in isolation. Their mutual interests bring them together. The question arises: Why societies are interconnected more so than ever and what brings them in close contact with each other? Many factors have contributed to develop this cultural interdependency. Fastest means of traveling, expansion of world trade, multitudes of international companies and improvements in telecommunication have resulted in what we call “Globalization.”

How to avoid cultural conflicts

The increasing inter-connectivity of cultures being established, it is now important to understand its ramifications. Dealing with people belonging to other cultures is bound to arise some conflicts. Confucius thinks that human beings have a common nature universally but “habits and customs keep them apart.”  As human beings, it is hard to accept other people’s customs and beliefs because they appear alien to us. This reaction is quite natural. But a global citizen needs to be more open and accepting than the people of the past. In our educational institutions, at our workplaces, in markets and other social settings, we run into people belonging to other cultures,speaking different languages and having different social etiquette than ours. Our first reaction is to become judgmental. Anything which is alien is unacceptable for human nature. To have a surface level knowledge of other cultures is important for every individual in the world. But people who have cross-cultural dealings on a regular basis need to have a deep knowledge of the customs of other cultures,which would develop an attitude of acceptance towards others in them.

Integrated efforts—a step towards the solution of Global Threats

In the modern world, different nations not only have mutual political and economic interests with each other, they are also facing common threats like international terrorism, environmental changes and rapid increase in world population. Epidemics when break out in one part of the world become a threat for other countries as well, not to mention fatal diseases caused by viruses like AIDS and Hepatitis-C.  Combating against these threats requires coordinated efforts and mutually devised strategies. These huge challenges faced by humanity cannot be overcome by individual efforts of nations. In today’s world human beings need to set aside cultural differences. Working together on a global scale, can be the first step towards resolving these magnanimous issues.

Role of language translators in the modern world

Language translators working for various translation companies such as The Marketing Analysts Translation Service, interact with different people across the border. Their job requires a high level of tolerance for other cultures. Developing amiable work relationships can help create an atmosphere of mutual respect and tolerance across the world. Translators and interpreters can serve as links between different cultures. Whenever international companies set themselves up in foreign cultures, they require the aid of translators to communicate with the local populace. This has increased the demand for translators tenfold. French translators, German translators, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese translators are needed to interact in the oil producing African countries which used to be French, Portuguese and Spanish colonies. This need has arisen due to the ever-increasing interest in the exploration of new resources.

It is our responsibility as peace-loving inhabitants of this planet, to play our role collectively in making this world a better and safer place to live in. The key to this goal is to cast away our cultural differences. Resisting the cultural interdependency of today’s world can lead to disaster.