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News from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań : staying ahead of the present to keep up with future trends

This post is also available in: Français (French)

Authors: Małgorzata Czubińska, Monika Dzida-Błażejczyk, Katarzyna Krajewska, Barbara Walkiewicz and Justyna Woroch (translation trainers)

We all know the image – a man with a long white beard, dressed in a red robe, immersed in reading, a quill in his hand and a skull resting on some ancient books. We can see concentration on his face as he begins to write. This is Jerome of Stridon – one of the Church Fathers, translator of the Bible into Latin, the patron saint of translators – as depicted in Caravaggio’s famous painting. Despite the sixteen-century gap between Jerome of Stridon and today’s translators, their goal has not really changed it is still to create a text in the target language that is equivalent to the original in terms of content, style and function, and that arouses the same emotions in readers.

Although the purpose of translation has remained the same over the centuries, the means of achieving the objective are different. Today, translators have a whole set of tools at their disposal to facilitate and speed up their work. The computer providing access to inexhaustible resources on line, glossaries and terminology databases, automatic translation engines and – last but not least – CAT (computer-assisted translation) and MT (machine translation) software – all this makes it possible to produce high quality translation in the shortest possible time. Without the use of CAT tools, which bring together several functionalities previously available through different software and resources, professional translators would not be able to meet their deadlines or comply with the strict standards set by their clients.

In order to prepare young translation enthusiasts to enter the increasingly demanding and dynamic professional world, we have designed two Master programmes at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. One is addressed to future translators (Tłumaczenie Pisemne i Multimedialne /TPIM – Translation and Multimedia Translation) and the other –to future interpreters (Tłumaczenie Ustne/ TU – Interpreting), with recruitment open every two years in September.

The new law on higher education in Poland that came into force on 20 July 2018 imposed several structural changes in the functioning of universities in Poland. These changes did not have an impact on the programme itself, but the law allowed us to restructure it and register it under a new name. The first change concerns the name: Tłumaczenie Pisemne i Multimedialne (Translation and Multimedia Translation). We wanted to distance ourselves from the old philological tradition. The change of name has increased the visibility of translation studies in the offer of the Faculty of Modern Languages and Literatures. It should also be noted that our programme is unique in Poland.

Translation and Multimedia Translation (TPIM) programme is part of the European Master’s in Translation network, established under the auspices of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation, which ensures the highest quality of teaching in accordance with European standards.

The language configurations available are as follows (Polish is always the A language):

  • French with English;
  • French with German;
  • German with English;
  • German with French;
  • English with French (only available for TPIM – Translation and Multimedia Translation);
  • English with German (only available for TPIM – Translation and Multimedia Translation).

We extensively modified the existing study programmes, thanks to which we have managed to create university courses that include practical subjects. In the case of TPIM – Translation and Multimedia Translation, we are offering, among others, translation of administrative, medical, scientific, economic, literary, tourist and technical texts or audiovisual translation and localisation), in the case of TU (Interpreting), it is consecutive, simultaneous and community interpreting, as well as other courses that will teach young graduates skills required on the labour market. All courses dedicated to future professional translators allow students to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to create and manage their own business and to plan their career path. Students also need to take a compulsory professional internship, which constitutes an opportunity to jump into the world of work. Since mastering new translation tools is essential, the Translator Training Programme offers courses that will allow future graduates to discover the secrets of SDL Trados Studio and Alchemy Catalyst software under the watchful eye of trainers who are also professional translators.

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown perfectly how flexible translators and interpreters must be in order to cope with the new reality of remote meetings. Thus, our students – future interpreters – have the opportunity to master the interpreting tools integrated into videoconferencing software and platforms and to discover all their functionalities by putting into practice the knowledge acquired during their courses dedicated to new technologies in conference interpreting.

Faced with the opportunities and uncertainties of tomorrow, one might ask: what changes does the future hold? What professional challenges will our present and future students face? By offering our candidates original and unique training courses, continuing our efforts to present the profession and answer market needs in our courses and working closely with our partners in the EMT network, we try to stay ahead of the present in order to keep up with future trends.

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