Translation and Interpretation: A General Need

By Luis E. Canales

Translation & Interpreting is an international journal that focuses on the research, training and professional practice of the art of communicating in different languages.  This is a free online journal that is published by the University of Western Sydney’s School of Humanities and Communication Arts. This journal only publishes high quality, research-based, and original articles that study the importance of translation and interpretation.  This is a journal that looks for help not only from well-established scholars, but also from new-to-the-field scholars who are interested in this subject matter.  This journal focuses on its universality and aims for being accessible to researchers, educators, students, and practitioners of interpreting and translation.

In the past two years this journal has been published three times; once in 2012, and twice in 2011.  In those publications there are some trends that seem to be very important in nowadays life in the field.  There are basically three identifiable trends, technology, law, and medicine, which are thoroughly discussed by different articles that were published by experts on the matter.  These trends show that translation and interpretation have become very necessary in the world due to the diversity that now exists, especially in countries like the United States of America.

The first trend, technology, is discussed by three articles, Translation under pressure and the Web: a parallel corpus-study of Obama´s Inaugural speech in the online media,” by Miguel Angel Jimenez Crespo; “What technology does to translating,” by Anthony Pym; and “Speaking your translation: Students’ first encounter with speech recognition technology,” by Barbara Dragsted, Inger Margrethe Mees, and Inge Gorm Hansen.  All these articles focus on the use of technology in the world of translation and interpretation and how they are affected by technology and vice versa.  Technology, as we all know, has become a necessary instrument used by the masses to communicate on a daily basis and it has become part of the translation and interpretation field too.

The second trend, law, is discussed by two articles, “Court Translation and Interpreting in Times of “the War on Terror”: The case of Taysir Alony,” by Mustapha Taibi, and Anne Martin; and “Legal Interpreters in the News in Ireland,” by Mary Phelan.  These articles show the importance of interpreting and translation in the legal world; where it is mostly used when an individual has a legal problem and needs to be served justice by providing an equal language opportunity.  Translation and interpretation is so important in the legal system, that the United States of America provides training at the federal and state levels to individuals who want to be part of this field.  Translation and interpretation will always be needed in the legal system as a necessary resource to the people who do not speak the language.

The last trend is, medicine, which is discussed in two articles, “The accuracy of medical interpretations: a pilot study of errors in Japanese-English interpreters during a simulated medical scenario,” by Ryoko Anazawa, Hirono Ishikawa, and Takahiro Kiuchi; and “Community accessibility of health information and the consequent impact for translation into community languages,” by Anne Burns, and Mira Kim.  In this field, once again it is proven that the need for translation and interpretation is great and that is important to continue its use in order to provide the best of services, medical services, to the people.  Knowing the difference between right and left, can mean knowing the difference between the right kidney and the left kidney, which needs to be operated on.  Translation and interpretation in this field is used to save lives and not only as a general service.

In conclusion, I recommend this journal to whomever wants to learn more about translation and interpretation as a scholarship.  Being able to read or hear something in your own language goes beyond the luxury of knowing two languages.  Translation and interpretation are very beneficial to both the provider and the recipient of the services, because they both are, literally, on the same page.    

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