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Linguistic translation and interpretation is a $ 50 billion industry, to which Weber State University, in collaboration with the Department of Foreign Languages, will pay tribute during the week of September 27 to October 1 during the 3rd Week of the annual translation.

Spanish teacher and director of the foreign languages ​​department, Isabel Asensio, said she started talking about translation courses to her colleagues and teaching them to her students about 10 years ago. She knew you needed a major or minor for translation and interpretation at Weber State.

“A lot of students don’t know about this area,” Asensio said. “They just think you study languages ​​just to be a teacher, but that’s not true. This is not the only career path.

Once the major started to take shape, Asensio knew the department needed a major event to help students realize the new opportunity. Asensio thought that International Translation Day, which is September 30, would be the perfect time to host the event.

Students play multilingual scrabble at Translation Week 2019. Photo courtesy of Aubrey Jones of the Department of Foreign Languages ​​Photo credit: Aubrey Jones

According to the Department of Foreign Languages ​​website, Translation Week events kicked off on September 27 with bilingual readings, during which students and faculty will read their work aloud. Asensio will read a short story that she translated from Spanish to English.

WSU student Austin Vaughn will read one of his books in Japanese, followed by English.

“It’s more about localizing them than translating them, and I think that’s a pretty important part of translating, so I can’t wait to show it to people,” Vaughn said.

Readings are open to anyone who wishes. Asensio said this part of Translation Week is new this year and looks forward to it.

Students will also have the opportunity to learn about internships from a panel on September 28. Asensio, along with Amelia Williams, Assistant Director of Programming for Career Services, will host the event.

Asensio said they liked to focus these panels on career opportunities for students so they can see what it’s like in the field for interpreters or translators.

Isabel Asensio, from the Department of Foreign Languages, helped raise awareness of WSU on the map of language translation and interpretation.
Isabel Asensio, from the Department of Foreign Languages, helped put WSU on the map for language translation and interpretation. Photo credit: Weber State University

There will be three virtual question-and-answer sessions. The premiere will take place on September 29 and will be with Marta Chapado Sánchez, coordinator of the master’s program in audiovisual translation at ISTRAD and the University of Cadiz. Sánchez will talk about the field of AVT and employment opportunities.

A conference with Vicent Montalt i Resurrecció, Associate Professor in the Department of Translation and Communication at the Universitat Jaume I de Castelló, Spain, will address topics on translation in the medical field and current trends. This will take place on September 30.

The final conference will take place on October 1 and feature members of the ALC Bridge committee who will talk about jobs and career opportunities that students can find in the language services industry.

WSU is the only public university in Utah to have degrees in interpretation and translation. This puts WSU on the map and gives students a bigger opportunity, according to Asensio.

Youn Soo Kim Goldstein, Ambrose Amos Shaw Assistant Professor of Localization and Translation, said, “I hope students and others on campus can see the different ways in which translation is an integral part of our world, that students are able to think beyond language classes to see the different career opportunities they might pursue with the different programs offered by the Department of Foreign Languages.

During Translation Week, there will also be a “Bad Translations” contest where students can submit photos they find in Utah of bad translations. Asensio said this is a problem because translators and interpreters don’t get the credit they deserve.

“They assume that anyone who speaks a language can translate something, and then miscommunication occurs,” Asensio said.

Asensio said she wanted Translation Week to raise awareness and respect for the industry.

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