Students from the combined interpreting and translation stream of the MITS joined MIDP students at a joint class in which students from each group learnt about the other group. The joint class featured two mock exercises that were designed for students to experience real-life what it is like to interact with practitioners from a field different to their own, but with whom they are likely to work closely in the future.
Interpreters work across a range of fields – law, healthcare, diplomacy, business and with international fieldworkers, program managers and policy developers who work in aid projects, the NGO sector, conflict and crisis management. These are some of the areas that graduates of the MIDP work in.
Those working in the International Development sector are frequently reliant on interpreters and translators in their work. The intention of the joint class was to bring together students from both fields for them to enact in a simulated environment the role that they will later perform as professional interpreters and professional international development workers.
MITS students assumed the roles of speakers of six languages – Chinese (Mandarin), French, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish – and of interpreters in these languages and English to facilitate the work of MIDP who assumed the roles of field workers, project managers, policy advisors and security staff engaging with speakers of these languages via an interpreter.
The scenarios ranged in locality and role of International Development worker and including the following: Emergency Relief Aid to people made homeless in Tibet, China from the recent earthquakes in the Himalayas; Environmental Science Project on the Three-North Shelter Forest Program in northern China; Security arrangements for aid workers in Togo after social unrest after the recent national elections; Review of waste management and pollution control in the Pacific area around Noumea.
Other scenarios included: Interviewing the manager of refugee services for displaced persons from the Donbass region of Ukraine now living in the Rostov region of Russia; WWF efforts for habitat protection of the Siberian tiger; Evaluation of a youth development project in the Dominican Republic; Managing a project on the protection of linguistic diversity in Peru; policies and future priorities adopted by the Korea International Co-operation Agency; Management of the needs of displaced and homeless persons from the Fukushima disaster of 2012.
MIDP students had the opportunity to go through protocols, data collation information-gathering and checking procedures as well as scoping exercises and evaluative interactions with speakers of languages other than English, mediated by an interpreter. MITS students had the opportunity to learn the protocol, procedural and discourse norms that are used in international development assignments.
All students were briefed about the work of the other group before the mock exercises. The joint class featured group-based debriefing sessions as well as a larger common discussion at the end in which questions were asked about how practitioners in each field work and how clarity about the roles and operations of each group contributes to the development of best-practice protocols.
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2016 IIC Prize for Italian Literary Translation
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