Information management is of great importance in the translation process. As a new approach to train translators and interpreters with novel ideas to
work, it has proven effective at the University of Camaguey, Cuba. A model lesson in which information management techniques are used, is proposed.
Information management, translation, education, competence, skills.
his is the age of globalized knowledge and information. The world has witnessed intensive and unprecedented development. In any country, workforce
training is an important task to be accomplished. It is also one of the most urgent needs, and a problem to solve. Our globalized world is controlled
by modern technology in the field of information and communication. And far from what was originally believed, translation and interpreting are
nowadays more needed than anytime previously.
Education has yet to go beyond the formal frameworks, and schools must yield place to new realities; persuade students to be the protagonists of the
teaching and educational process (Machado, 2005). Teachers must be involved in the formation and development of certain skills needed in the students'
curriculum, such as information management. This is one of the activities a future translator or interpreter will have to be familiar with.
Translation and interpreting are nowadays more needed than anytime previously.
Today, information management must be a starting point, as well as the key goal of the teaching - learning process, for it is a key element to
development. However, the formation and development of information management skills to train translators and interpreters has not been given due
attention, especially when “little or no cross-cultural information by the translator or interpreter may bring about a great deal of negative
consequences. Thus, one of our globalized world’s imperatives is to promote cross-cultural knowledge, as a necessary investment to stay away from
calamitous results.” (Payne, 2009).
Speaking about scientific information processing, Hernandez and Garcia (2005) stated that it is not just searching for information to then use it as it
comes, but it should also be filtered and given a significance of its own. Relationships, contradictions, and gaps should also be evaluated when
dealing with information.
Translators and interpreters are not mere walking dictionaries as they used to be. Currently information management must do more than to provide the
new professionals with the tools to develop professional competence in their field. Translators and interpreters are to become cultural mediators at
the service of society, aided by the new technologies.
Knowledge is produced when individuals interact with information. Expressions like information culture, informational skills, or informational literacy
are often found in the literature, with the common idea that interaction with information is essential. (C. González).
The University of Ohio has set guidelines for managing information. First, it is the capacity to recognize and act on information needs to find,
evaluate, use, and transmit information as a tool for;learning appropriate reasoning.
Informational literacy is competence in,
Recognition of information needs.
Identification of information needed to solve a particular problem.
Finding the necessary information.
Evaluating the information found.
Organizing the information
Properly use information to solve a given problem.
Figure 1. Digital Electronic Model of Salmon (2002)
Stage 4……………….Knowledge build up
Stage 3……………….Exchange of information
Stage 2……………….On-line socializing
Stage 1……………….Motivation and access
Machado (2005) states that information is the set of qualitative and quantitative knowledge, organized, classified, retrieved and analyzed, used to
give solution to problems; especially in the upbringing of new professionals. Consequently, universities and colleges should insist on developing
information managing skills to train all their graduates.
The quality of information is difficult to measure because it depends on the needs and the information available at the moment. Giving importance to
quality is not a phenomenon in which only companies are involved, but it is also something that has concerned libraries and documentation centers. In
the beginning of the last century, several analyses of production processes were made in order to reduce errors and find a close relationship between
production and what is required. In the field of education. These efforts resulted in multiple ideas being developed, from correction of the curriculum
to new learning methods.
Information Management in the Translation Process
The training of translators should include training in translation as well as in the application of supporting tools, and the information management
process should be among them. Translators must carry out a deep research on a given topic in order to render faithful translations. Nowadays, there are
so many sources that can provide high information volumes in libraries, encyclopedias, dictionaries, glossaries, interviews to experienced people, etc.
Still, there is one that has emerged as the most important nowadays: the Internet. Learning Information management skills will allow the students to
use the Internet in a better way and to look for information from a scientific point of view, knowing that this information must have certain
characteristics: it has to be specific, accurate, consistent and tailored to customers’ needs.
The translation process and the training of future translators is not only based upon the bilingual competence of the translator, but also on their
capacity to analyze the relations between the source text (ST) and target text (TT) in order to produce a translation which, on the one hand, is as
closed to the ST as possible and, on the other, meets all necessary linguistic and cultural conventions of the target-language community. Additionally,
the translator must possess specialized knowledge concerning the subject or field covered by the ST itself.
For the training of future professional translators a number of processes that generate information that can also be reproduced and understood in a
formal logical thought, are required. This recipe, which is difficult to understand so far, is not the product of a process in which the ingredients
were already established, but a matter of cleanliness, putting what is necessary to generate the best dish in order to satisfy the most demanding
Information technology has not only transformed the working practice of the professional translator but also the way in which translation is studied.
The following is a model lesson in which translation training is looike at from a different perspective.
Reading Comprehension, Information management.
English / Spanish
the United Nations
History of the United Nations
At the end of the lesson the students must be motivated to use information management techniques and procedures to build up knowledge on the history of
the United Nations.
The teacher asks the students about the origin of governmental and non-governmental organizations in Cuba. The students are then requested to provide
the names of some renowned international organizations.
· The teacher asks the students to read the text in three minutes and then
provide an oral Spanish version with as many details as possible.
Several students may participate.
· The teacher and the students start to work jointly on the translation difficulties. First, the students provide their own, and then the teacher
suggests solutions to the difficulties found.
· The students are given time out to work through the difficulties using their dictionaries in the classroom; as well as on-line references at the
computer lab. The work is done by teams.
· All difficulties are discussed in class and the solutions proposed are written on the blackboard so that everyone has access to them and the
final translation results of high quality. Thorough examination of information sources will be done to avoid misunderstandings and politically
· Finally, the teacher assigns homework: Students should look for information on all problem expressions in the text and get ready for a seminar
to be held in seventy-two hours´ minimum. (An activity like this should require time enough so students can access necessary information.)
· If the next period is before the deadline, then the teacher may bring visual information on the topic, like a documentary or a movie to stir up
student´s curiosity and fuel debate.
· The second assignment is to ask for a faithfully translated version of the SL text to be handed in in the period following the seminar.
History of the United Nations
The League of Nations failed to prevent World War II (1939–1945). Because of the widespread recognition that humankind could not afford a third world war, the United Nations was established to
replace the flawed League of Nations in 1945 in order to maintain international peace and promote cooperation in solving international economic, social
and humanitarian problems. The earliest concrete plan for a new world organization was begun under the aegis of the U.S. State Department in 1939. Franklin D. Roosevelt first coined the term 'United
Nations' as a term to describe the Allied countries.
The term was first officially used on 1 January 1942, when 26 governments signed the Atlantic Charter, pledging to continue the war effort. On 25 April
UN Conference on International Organization
began in San Francisco, attended by 50 governments and a number of non-governmental organizations involved in drafting the United Nations Charter. The UN officially came into
existence on 24 October 1945 upon ratification of the Charter by the five then-permanent members of the Security Council—France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States—and by a
majority of the other 46 signatories. The first meetings of the General Assembly, with 51 nations
represented, and the Security Council, took place in Westminster Central Hall in London in January
The organization was based at the Sperry Gyroscope Corporation
's facility in Lake Success, New York, from
1946–1952, before moving to the United Nations Headquarters building in
Manhattan upon its completion.
Since its creation, there has been controversy and criticism of the United Nations. In
the United States, an early opponent of the UN was the John Birch Society, which began a "get US out of the UN"
campaign in 1959, charging that the UN's aim was to establish a "One World Government." After the Second World War, the
French Committee of National Liberation
was late to be recognized by the US as the government of France, and so the country was initially excluded from the conferences that aimed at creating
the new organization. Charles de Gaulle criticized the UN,
famously calling it “le machin” (the thing), and was not convinced that a global security alliance would help maintain world peace,
preferring direct defense treaties between countries.
· The teacher goes over the significance of the United Nations as an international organization that affects the destiny of the world. Then remarks on
the importance translators should give to information searching in their quest to turn new information into knowledge.
· Evaluations will be based on how close students got to solving the translation difficulties and their ability to find appropriate information and
disclose it in class.
Though first applied in business management and computer sciences, information management has proven to be a modern and very efficient approach to dealing
with translator training in the new, globalized world. The time when translators and interpreters only lived on glossaries and dictionaries is gone, giving
way to new more efficient tools, like the Internet and all the built-in possibilities it brings in one “basket.“
Translation education has to take a dramatic turn in the twenty-first century, adopting new approaches like information management, with which students
majoring in translation and interpreting will fit in the new era of information and knowledge, proving their competence as professionals.
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