Building Translation Skills to Enhance Linguistic and Cultural Awareness

By Periklis Tagkas.

Published by The International Journal of Literacies

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

Translation is generally regarded as a means of communication and a process through which meanings are transferred from one language to another. Additionally, it is viewed as an activity that can mainly be performed by advanced users of the languages involved. However, translation is not only a means of communication but can also be an important tool that helps students understand and use the target language more effectively. During the past few decades the use of translation in language teaching has been avoided, as foreign language methodology seems to favor methods based on modern theories, and particularly the communicative approach. But since this current focus on communicative skills largely ignores linguistic ability, an interest was observed again in “traditional” methods, such as translation, which is increasingly appreciated as very useful in practicing and improving language learning. Translation is a valuable teaching method, but it does not only improve students’ knowledge of linguistic and cultural differences; it has also practical uses in professional settings, such as business communications, meetings, courtrooms, etc. The paper aims to illustrate that in the framework of a learner-centered approach, translating is a “fifth skill” that can enhance interlingual and intercultural communication.

Keywords: Translation, Language Teaching, Interlingual Communication, “Fifth Skill”

The International Journal of Literacies, Volume 20, Issue 4, November 2014, pp.31-41. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 541.541KB).

Prof. Periklis Tagkas

Council Member of T.E.I. of Epirus, Department of Applied Foreign Languages in Management and Commerce, Technological Educational Institute of Epirus, Igoumenitsa, Greece

Dr. Periklis Tagkas is Associate Professor of English language and translation at the Department of Applied Foreign Languages in Management and Commerce of the Technological Educational Institute of Epirus, Igoumenitsa, Greece. He is also a Member of Council and a Member of the Research Committee of T.E.I. of Epirus. He holds a B.A. from the English Department of the University of Athens, Greece, where he also completed his Ph.D in 1997. In 1999 he received a scholarship for post-doctoral research. His publications include books and articles on language, literature, translation, and educational policy. He has participated in several international conferences and research projects.