Sample Essay

Another interesting example of the insertion of interpreter discretion drawn from this same documentary was the translation of the Palestinian word “shaheed,” which Baker reported is commonly translated to “martyr” in English.  She observed that martyr isn’t an ideal literal translation of shaheed; further, given America’s current geopolitical engagements the term martyr is fraught with great negative implications.  In the English translation of the film, shaheed is not translated as martyr, but becomes “victim” or “killed.”  These examples are useful to consider because the expectations held of translators, and the expectations translators themselves hold in regard to the applications and significance of their translations, inform the way translations are performed as well as the significance conferred on the translation (for literacy or accuracy and for integrity) by those who receive them.

Translator Professionalism.   Most interpreter programs are conducted in university-settings and some researchers contend that this fact, in and of itself, confers an aspect of professionalism on translator training (Kelly, 2008; Pochhacker, 2010).   Accreditation of training programs or of individual translators is the current benchmark for an official recognition of professionalism in practice, but Kelly (2008) reported that there is a significant need for the field to arrive at well-articulated standards of quality assurance.

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