Using Parallel Corpora in the Translation Classroom: Moving towards a Corpus-driven Pedagogy for Omani Translation Major Students
Author: Lamis Omar
Keywords: Arabic-English translation, Omani translation major students, parallel corpora, translation challenges, translation classroom, translator education
Research has shown that parallel corpora have potential benefits for translator training and education. Most of the current available Arabic corpora, modern standard or dialectical, are monolingual in nature and there is an apparent lack in the Arabic-English parallel corpora for translation classroom. The present study was aimed to investigate the translation problems encountered by Omani translation major students when translating from Arabic into English with a view to proposing some corpus-informed pedagogy approach for training student translators to overcome these challenges by looking at some model samples of professional translation. Thirty students voluntarily took part in the investigation. The study adopted a combination of both corpus and qualitative methodology whereby some typical problems students would encounter when translating from Arabic-into-English were selected along with some specific Arabic texts involving these problems were prepared and the participants were asked to translate them into English. The participants were provided with some samples of the parallel English translated texts and were asked to compare and contrast their translations with these samples and reflect on the overall experience. They were then interviewed to explore their impressions about and the extent to which they think that parallel corpora would help them improve their translation. Results of data analysis indicated that the participants experienced several translation challenges. They, however, showed an overall positive attitude towards parallel Arabic-English corpora as they reportedly found them very helpful in improving their translation. Pedagogical implications for corpus-informed translation teaching, training and materials design and development are presented and discussed.