Thursday 24 May 2018 1:45pm
A Chinese translation paper is available at Otago for the very first time.
The University of Otago is offering Chinese translation paper for the first time from the start of next semester – and is promoting it with the help of an entertaining video.
In the short video, produced by the University’s Media Production Unit (MPU) and starring two postgraduate students, a business negotiation goes wrong due to a slight mistranslation.
Head of Languages and Cultures and Chinese Programme Coordinator Associate Professor Paola Voci says the new paper – CHIN 250 Practical Chinese – is the first of its kind at Otago.
“The paper adopts a practical approach towards teaching cross-cultural communication through the translation of tourism brochures, films, newspaper headlines, advertising features, music lyrics, fiction and blogs. This emphasis on the everyday relevance of the skills students acquire through the paper is reinforced through the requirement that students develop a portfolio of their translated work,” she says.
"The paper adopts a practical approach towards teaching cross-cultural communication through the translation of tourism brochures, films, newspaper headlines, advertising features, music lyrics, fiction and blogs."
She says the paper is designed to fit into any degree – in humanities, commerce and science – and will offer students the chance to practise translation in real-life situations and apply it to their own field of study.
“We have a huge community of Chinese-speaking students here, who come to Otago to do a variety of degrees. We also have students who are from second or third generation New Zealand-Chinese families, who might be fluent speakers of Chinese but not writers. We wanted a course that would appeal to these groups, as well as to our already established Chinese programme students.
“It took us a long time to come up with the best way to do this Practical Chinese paper, which was flexible enough to accommodate lots of different kinds of needs – but we are really pleased with the result.”
She says she is thrilled with the promotion video, which is light-hearted but practical.
“We don’t want to laugh at or shame miscommunication, we want to show that translation requires more than just language skills and this is a space where we can all make a mistake.”
She says she hopes the paper is popular – and if so, will consider creating a Distance Learning option or short course along the same lines.