Summary

Despite their hard work the students could not meet the deadline. This delay, however, was not the students' fault. In fact, the person responsible for the formatting of the translations suddenly withdrew from the project, so the students had to take care of the formatting as well. This was quite problematic and nerve-racking because they could not find a solution that satisfied them all. In order to facilitate the work for the students, Don decided to give the job to a computer specialist whom he had to pay out of his own pocket. As payment for their work, the translation group received an overhead projector, which is now used in class.

All participants agreed that such real life projects, in addition to more conventional translation exercises, represent valuable experience for their future work as professional translators. A real life project means that students can concentrate on translating professionally instead of just following instructions. Thanks to the group work, an excellent translation was created and the proofreading and exchange of ideas helped each member to improve his translation strategies. In conclusion one can say that the real life project had a very positive effect on the students' competence as translators.

According to a survey, all participants would join a real life project again. Of course there were challenges, but it was possible to overcome them through group work. In the final class session, Don and his students evaluated the project, discussed how to solve emerging problems and suggested solutions for improving the next one. Some are mentioned below:

  1. Create a glossary within the group, which is updated on a regular basis
  2. Translate a standard text together in the first session
  3. Reserve one session for formatting
  4. Require an exact formatting plan from the customer--if possible, a non-formatted text with a free choice of font


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