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Exercises

1 This exercise works well in a teacher-centered classroom; it is a good place

to start for the teacher who prefers to stay more or less in control. Stand at

the board, a flipchart, or an overhead projector (with a blank transparency

and a marker) and ask the students to call out the stereotyped character traits,

writing each one down on the left side of the board, flipchart, or transparency

as you hear it. Then draw a line down the middle and ask the students to start

calling out user-oriented ideals, writing them down on the right side as you

hear them. When they can think of no more, start asking them to point out

similarities and discrepancies between the two lists. Draw lines between

matched or mismatched items on the two sides. Then conduct a discussion of

the matches and mismatches, paying particular attention to the latter. Try as

a group to come up with ways to rethink the national characteristics that don't

match translator ideals so that they are positive rather than negative traits.

The idea is to shift students' focus from the external perspective that sees only

problems, faults, and failings to an internal perspective that seeks to make the

best out of what is at hand. The students must not only be able to believe in

themselves; they must be able to capitalize on their own strengths, without

feeling inferior because they do not live up to some abstract ideal.

Another way to run this exercise is in small groups: break the class up into

groups of four or five and have each group do the exercise on its own; then

bring them all together to share their discoveries with the whole group.

2 This can be done as a demonstration exercise in front of the class: ask for

volunteers, have them plan what they're going to do, and do it while the other

students watch; then discuss the results with the whole class. Or it can be

done in smaller groups, each group planning and enacting their own

dramatization. A demonstration exercise leaves the teacher more control, but

also gives fewer students the actual experience.

3 Here the important thing is pushing the students to generate as much

complexity as possible. Some groups may be tempted to set up a tidy one-toone

correspondence between the specific types of reliability listed in the

chapter and specific translation situations; encourage them to complicate this

sort of neat tabulation, to find problems, conflicts, differences of opinion and

perception, etc. Professionals need considerable tolerance for complexity;

this exercise is designed to begin building that tolerance.

4 Here the temptation may be to settle things too quickly and easily. Set a

minimum time limit: their negotiations must last at least ten or fifteen

minutes. The longer they negotiate, the more complications they will have to

imagine, present, and handle.