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Teaching Translation in Brazilian Universities: A Study about the Possible Impacts of Translators’ Comments on the Cyberspace about Translator Education

Authors: Erica Lima


The objective of this paper is to discuss relevant points about teaching translation in Brazilian universities and the possible impacts of blogs and social networks to translator education today. It is intended to analyze the curricula of Brazilian translation courses, contrasting them to information obtained from two social networking groups of great visibility in the area concerning essential characteristics to become a successful profession. Therefore, research has, as its main corpus, a few undergraduate translation programs’ syllabuses, as well as a few postings on social networks groups that specifically share professional opinions regarding the necessity for a translator to obtain a degree in translation to practice the profession. To a certain extent, such comments and their corresponding responses lead to the propagation of discourses which influence the ideas that aspiring translators and recent graduates end up having towards themselves and their undergraduate courses. The postings also show that many professionals do not have a clear position regarding the translator education; while refuting it, they also encourage “free” courses. It is thus observed that cyberspace constitutes, on the one hand, a place of mobilization of people in defense of similar ideas. However, on the other hand, it embodies a place of tension and conflict, in view of the fact that there are many participants and, as in any other situation of interlocution, disagreements may arise. From the postings, aspects related to professionalism were analyzed (including discussions about regulation), as well as questions about the classic dichotomies: theory/practice; art/technique; self-education/academic training. As partial result, the common interest regarding the valorization of the profession could be mentioned, although there is no consensus on the essential characteristics to be a good translator. It was also possible to observe that the set of socially constructed representations in the group reflects characteristics of the world situation of the translation courses (especially in some European countries and in the United States), which, in the first instance, does not accurately reflect the Brazilian idiosyncrasies of the area.

Keywords: Cyberspace, teaching translation, translator education, university.

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