Becoming a Translator: An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Translation

I’ve decided to adjust how I go about my book posts. Nothing much will change, except that I’m documenting what I term “continuing professional development” reading separately from the fun reading, or the reading I might recommend to English students. My purpose here is not to review anything as such, but rather to publicly document my own reading and my commitment to professional improvement. Hence these will be rather brief and say-nothing.

Becoming a Translator: An Accelerated Course is one of a number of books recommended by the IoL Educational Trust in their DipTrans Handbook for Candidates. It’s a companion book to Becoming a Translator: An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Translation. I was able to borrow the second as well as third editions of the latter from Stockholm University Library in March of 2018, though I’m still looking for An Accelerated Course.

There is a lot of useful material in both editions of An Introduction, including thought-provoking translation exercises. However, the second edition is from 2003, making it fairly out of date; the third edition has a tighter and more updated focus. Specifically, it excises what is very much an over-reliance on appealing to learning styles from the early chapters of the second edition and includes a section on machine translation and its impact on the profession. The appendix at the end of the book has also been jettisoned in favor of “recommended reading” lists at the end of each chapter, making finding further research on a particular topic much easier. Academia is notorious for an endless churn of new editions that have nothing new in them (the textbook racket is very much a racket); this is a case where the new edition is a measurable improvement over the last one.

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