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Sight translation Master I LEA HMLA202

Shona Whyte January 2014

Translation, interpreting, and sight translation

We usually think of translation as transforming a written text in one language into another, while interpreting involves oral language.

Translation, interpreting, and sight translation

Interpreting can be consecutive, when the interpreter presents a speech in another language immediately following the original presentation, or simultaneous, when translation occurs at the same time as the original speech, often using headphones. A third form of interpreting is called liaison interpreting and is used in meetings and discussions conducted in two languages with an interpreter translating in both directions.

Sight translation
Somewhere between translation and interpreting we have sight translation, which involves the oral translation of a written text.

Sight translation
Somewhere between translation and interpreting we have sight translation, which involves the oral translation of a written text.

Sight interpretation
"Interpreters have to listen, translate and read at the same time, using two input channels. At the extreme, the interpreters may even be provided with a previously prepared translation to read from, yet they still have to listen to the speakers in order to synchronise with them. It's called sight interpretation (by analogy with sight translation []). In addition, there's the matter of all the background documentation that interpreters should skim through in preparation for a meeting.

Sight translation
Sight translation: translating a written text orally. So it's a hybrid of written translation and interpreting. Faster and more economical than writing the translation. It's more widespread than people realise, much of it in the form of dictated translation, in which a Professional Translator dictates into a recorder for transcription by a secretary or, nowadays, into a computer equipped with speech recognition software.


Class schedule

Monday 11-12, room 229! Monday 15-16h room 167 12 class sessions, 27 January 21 April


1." oral translation: improve uency and accuracy of oral translation into English 2." translation analysis!: analyze oral translations to develop translation technique 3." learner autonomy: develop skills for independent translation

Translation topics and texts

The LEA programme is oriented towards the use of language in international and business contexts. Translation topics therefore involve international current affairs, recent social, political or cultural issues in Englishspeaking countries, and business and nance.


Classes will be organized around oral translation activities. Each student will record at least one translation in class, then analyse the translation. At each class meeting, we will discuss the previous weeks translation and make recordings of a new text.

What you have to do

1. Prepare for the oral translation of the new text. (before class) " Read about the topic in English and French and save weblinks to authoritative sources " Make a French-English glossary of key terms

2. Share information and vocabulary on the topic in preparation for oral translation. (in class) Make a recording of an oral translation " Individually OR " As part of the class group Participate in group debrieng

3. Transcribe your individual oral translation (after class) " Analyse your translation sentence by sentence " Make corrections using suggested online resources (dictionaries, corpora) " Type up a nal report including analysis, correction and justication of your revised translation

4. Share your questions, problems and solutions in class, making sure to submit your nal report before the start of class.

" Submit your report by the Friday following class.

Class session

1. prepare new translation topic, record oral translation 2. review previous translation topic, evaluate suggested translations


1. 25% class participation (preparation of translation topics, class contributions) 2. 75% nal translation report (recording, analysis and justication of revised translation

Online materials

http://jalon.unice.fr http://e.unice.fr

Shona Whyte whyte@unice.fr