Scholarly article on topic 'Formation of the Professional Competence of an Interpreter within the Framework of a Course of Film and Video Interpretation (the Chinese Language)'

Formation of the Professional Competence of an Interpreter within the Framework of a Course of Film and Video Interpretation (the Chinese Language) Academic research paper on "Languages and literature"

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Abstract of research paper on Languages and literature, author of scientific article — Evgeniya V. Tikhonova, Tatyana V. Privorotskaya, Ekaterina K. Tagina

Abstract This article deals with methods of interpretation teaching with subtitles during film and video interpretation from the Chinese language to the Russian language. The process of teaching interpretation with subtitles is suggested to divide into two stages. Particular attention is paid to working with the text of film dialogues in the source language even before the beginning of a process of making a subtitle. Elements that should be marked by students by means of a preliminary analysis as subjected to an abolition are demonstrated on the example of utterances from the movie “Mulan” (2009).

Academic research paper on topic "Formation of the Professional Competence of an Interpreter within the Framework of a Course of Film and Video Interpretation (the Chinese Language)"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 200 (2015) 122 - 129

THE XXVI ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL ACADEMIC CONFERENCE, LANGUAGE AND

CULTURE, 27-30 October 2015

Formation of the Professional Competence of an Interpreter within the Framework of a Course of Film And Video Interpretation

(the Chinese Language)

Evgeniya V. Tikhonovaa,*,Tatyana V. Privorotskayaa, Ekaterina K. Taginaa

a Tomsk State University, Lenin Ave., 36, Tomsk, 634050, Russia

Abstract

This article deals with methods of interpretation teaching with subtitles during film and video interpretation from the Chinese language to the Russian language. The process of teaching interpretation with subtitles is suggested to divide into two stages. Particular attention is paid to working with the text of film dialogues in the source language even before the beginning of a process of making a subtitle. Elements that should be marked by students by means of a preliminary analysis as subjected to an abolition are demonstrated on the example of utterances from the movie "Mulan" (2009). © 2015Publishedby ElsevierLtd. Thisis anopen access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of National Research Tomsk State University. Keywords: film texts; film dialogues; subtitle; the Chinese language

1. Introduction

Transformations, which are made in the real world, bring a sensible implementation of a communicative activity to the forefront. The central component of this communicative activity is an interpreter's job quality, what influences the system of the higher vocational education which prepares highly professional specialists who are highly demanded at the labor market in conditions of the competition. Thus, the topicality of a search of new methods in formation of a professional competence of an interpreter for an intensification of an educational process is one of the main issues that have scientists-methodologists at the current age of development (Gural, 2012; Sysoev, 2010).

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +7-3822-529-695; fax: +7-3822-529-742. E-mail address: kulmanakova@rambler.ru

1877-0428 © 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of National Research Tomsk State University. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.08.030

Within the framework of this research, a film text as a model, as a pattern of peoples' behavior in different social groups in different situations of cooperation which gives to the lull the idea about all kinds communication acts of different nature for future interpreters, is considered. Such a cooperation encourages perfection of an interpreter's competence in communication activity.

2. Methodology

2.1. The learning environment

When teaching the Chinese language as a foreign language at the Faculty of Foreign Languages at Tomsk State University, modern educational sphere is modelled taking into account modern knowledge in the sphere of pedagogics, methodology and technology of teaching of an interpretation practice. The formation of a professional competence of an interpreter when working with the Chinese-Russian language pair within the framework of film and video interpretation is based on:

• Mental-comparative, communicative and cognitive approaches in teaching foreign languages (S. K. Gural, O. A. Obdalova, L. Y. Minakova, O. G. Polyakov, T. S. Serova, P. V. Sysoev, etc.);

• Socio-cultural and cross-cultural approaches in teaching foreign languages (S. K. Gural, I. A. Zimnyaya, P. V. Sysoev, S. G. Ter-Minasova, etc.);

• Innovative technologies in teaching foreign languages in linguistic education (M. N. Evstingeev, P. V. Sysoev).

Within the framework of this research, we paid our attention to eliciting of specificity of film text as a model of peoples' behavior of a definite lingvosociocultual group. In this context, these were native speakers of the Chinese language and culture. As our experience of teaching a course of interpretation from the Chinese language shows, a lot of those, who learn this language irrespectively of the educational program specialization ("theory and methodology of language teaching", "regional studies", "international relations", "tourism, etc."), have an ability to understand, analyze, formulate and freely participate in a communication act using the Chinese language. However, without methodically correctly organized course forming a special competence of future interpreters (preliminary training), it is impossible to realize a sensible appropriate consecutive interpretation, which is currently in-demand most of all while working with the Chinese-Russian language pair.

The teaching of different kinds of interpretation of students-linguists of the Chinese department begins since the third year of studying in the Faculty of Foreign Languages in Tomsk State University (legal, economic, technical, literary interpretation, etc.). Having gained knowledge connected with the organization, ways of realizing interpretation and an interpreter's notation, then, at the fourth year of studying within the framework of a course "Film and video interpretation" (36 hours) students apply the gained knowledge. As a result, a formation of an interpreter's professional competence in the sphere of a consecutive interpretation and their developing in the applied way.

2.2. Participants

The experimental studying was organized on the basis of a department of the Chinese language of the Faculty of Foreign Languages of Tomsk State University. It was undertaken in natural conditions within the framework of a profession-oriented course "Film-video interpretation". 15 fourth-year students studying the specialist programme learning the Chinese language as their first language according to the major of 035701 "Interpretation and interpretation studies" were involved in the experimental studying. The sample of subjects was allocated to 1 experimental group (10 students) and 1 control group (5 students).

2.3. Research design

The aim of the studying of consecutive interpretation of students-linguists of the Chinese department consists of the formation of an interpreter's professional competence which includes the row of special competences,

experience and skills, where the central component is the interpreter's having of highly formed automatism of interlanguage exchanges. In order to develop an effective methodology of teaching interpretation we conducted the investigation of the following research questions:

1. Whether a film dialogue, as a mean of teaching, is able to ensure the formation offuture interpreters' professional competence?

2. What are main difficulties of students-linguists of the Chinese department that appear during the realization of a film and video interpretation at the beginning of their studying?

In order to define the effectiveness of the methodology of teaching consecutive interpretation, and also correctness of the choice of an object of education in the function of a film dialogue and a discourse analysis of a film dialogue while working with the Chinese-Russian language pair, students were provided with tests and submission assignments at the initial and the final stage of studying which included:

1. Interpretation of a film-text with subtitles from Chinese into Russian.

2. Interpretation of a film-text with subtitles from Russian into English.

3. Interpretation of a film-text without subtitles from Chinese into Russian and vise versa.

4. Interpretation of song fragments performed by characters, and offscreen songs, interpretations of texts which appear on frames (inscriptions, titles, messages), which play role for reaching the aim of an interpretation.

Exercises were presented by the following formulae: elicit the key information in the given video material which is essential for the further rendering; define ready-made (constant) units of interpretation, denote nationally-cultural specificity of one or another film dialogue, and using this specificity, retell the main content of the message; translate this message into Russian taking into account knowledge of the final addressee.

2.4. Teaching Framework

The key subject matter and the learning tool in our methodology is a film text. This type of discourse is chosen due to having a coherent, complete and accomplished message which is expressed by means of verbal (linguistic)/non-verbal signs (iconic signs/indexes), which are organized in accordance with the intension of collective functionally-differenced author by means of cinematographic signs codes, fixed at the material medium, and also designed for the reproduction on screen and audio-visual comprehension by viewers (Slyshkin, 2004; Privorotskaya, 2013). A film text includes two semiotic systems: linguistic system (captions, film dialogue, inscriptions, etc.), and non-linguistic system (natural noises, sounds, etc.) which should be taken into account when translating from the Chinese language into Russian. An interpreter, making a decision on interpretation of a definite fragment of a film text, can not be confined just to its linguistic constituent, and translate only a sounding speech of actors, subtitles or a text which sounds offscreen. He needs to take into account non-linguistic semiotic system as well which brings an additional information and which is important to reflected in interpretation.

An important constituent of an interpreter's activity when working with film text is its appropriate interpretation. The methodology developed by the authors is based on the cognitive and discourse analysis of audio and video materials. A realization of a film text interpretation as a united whole is impossible without the interpretation of the meaning, without the appropriate rendering of a content, information and a pragmatic potential of every single film dialogue, which combined represent a film plot. Thus, when translating film text from the Chinese into Russian it is necessary to apply to its verbal constituent and namely to the film dialogue which is of prime importance for an interpreter. If do not take it into account, then an interpretation may me whether not completely correct, or non-appropriate at all.

The peculiarity of an interpretation of film dialogues by means of subtitles is that written and oral forms of presenting verbal cinematographic information come into collision, since an interpretation with subtitles is not a complete and full interpretation of dialogues but renders information briefly and ensures only a semantic equivalence. Therefore the notion "interpretation with subtitles" itself is called into question. Nevertheless, in

general terms the aim of any interpretation consists in making the sense of a message understandable for a recipient, that is why "interpretation with subtitles" can not be considered as a separate kind of interpretation.

An element of a film dialogue is a subtitle. We understand a subtitle as a text which locates at the bottom of a movie frame and represents a brief interpretation of a Chinese dialogue into an understandable language for viewers. On that basis, interpretation of subtitles can be defined as a "contracted interpretation of film dialogues, reflecting their main content and accompanying the visual imagery of the movie in its original version in the form of a printed text, locating at the bottom of a film frame" (Gorshkova, 2006).

In our methodology we use the technique of packing interpretation. As it seems from the definition, this technique requires "packing" of original sounding text to present it in the form of subtitles. Therewith, an interpretation with subtitles completely preserves originally sounding text (voice, intonation, rhythm), occupying however a part of video sequence. Hence, one of the main technical restrictions is minimizing the amount of lines of subtitles which appear on a screen in order not to turn watching a film into "reading".

Dialogues in the Chinese language are distinguished with a high speech tempo what makes an interpreter make subtitles informationally rich, eliciting, however, only semantically relevant information. When translating Chinese films, an interpreter faces with a problem when the amount of characters, which decreases in one Chinese subtitle whether it is two-lined or one-lined subtitle, significantly exceeds similar indices in the Russian language. Consequently, when translating some subtitle from the Chinese language into Russian, a situation may arise when Russian subtitle cannot be placed into one frame. Thus, in our teaching methodology we pay particular attention to the teaching students to elicit the most important information that should be rendered to a recipient in a text of a subtitle without damaging the sense.

Thus, the object of studying in our methodology is interpretation of film fragments from the Chinese language into Russian. A film dialogue possesses the following characteristics, which are necessary to be taken into account when using it in interpretation classes: authenticity, which gives students an opportunity to become utterly absorbed into a different environment; a close cooperation of a film dialogue and a video sequence what ensures its informativity, the presence of ethnocultural specificity (speaker's status, religious peculiarities, mindset, etc.), the

presence of subtitles in a Chinese film dialogue (Privorotskaya, 2013; Privorotskaya, 2015).

The formation of the interpreter's professional competence within the framework of the course of film and video interpretation is realized by means of intensive, regular, task-oriented, individual trainings of students (Tikhonova, 2014). In accordance with our new methodology, one of the most important components of studying is an independent analysis of a discourse of proposed videomaterials and working on its interpretation. We build in 64 extracurricular hours to this work by means of tasks for preparation consecutive interpretation of film dialogues fragments.

The principles of formation of an interpreter's professional competence on film and video interpretation classes include: the principle of activity (to a greater extent, an activity is supported by the student himself in order to form relevant interpreter's skills both in class and extracurricular time); the principle of a cross-curriculum coordination (which is required when performing training exercises); the principle of systematicity and a sequence is kept throughout the whole period of working with a film text in order to reach the desired aim of the studying - the formation of the mechanism of switching; the cognitive principle is a developing of personal characteristics of a future interpreter in the sphere of a consecutive interpretation (Tikhonova, 2015).

The process of teaching of interpretation with subtitles is suggested to divide into two stages. At the first stage students are proposed to view a film text as well as film dialogues at the source language, and then a task is given to remove all the excessive elements from utterances, which do not obstruct the understanding of a situation. Main tasks of this stage are:

a) viewing the content and the subject of a film text, viewing with the sphere of knowledge which are necessary for the further interpretation;

b) gaining knowledge on the definite denotation by means of an analysis of film dialogues of different content;

c) prognosing of an informational stock of a targeted audience for whom this dialogue is meant;

d) analysis of utterances in the source language including the speed of pronouncing a text, eliciting semantically relevant information and removing excessive elements in order to create subtitles including not more than 2 lines (from 28 to 32 characters in a line depending on the speed of pronunciation)

Next, at the second stage students are suggested to translate the rest of the material using the most succinct forms of an utterance which do not contradict a grammatical composition and a style of utterances of a film dialogue, and thus to create subtitles, which render the main information to the recipient most exactly, but at the same time being not overloaded with characters (no more than 32 characters per line). It is also important to understand that a translatable text brings just a part of a general sense when a video sequence takes the major meaning. At this stage there is a danger to run to an extreme since under an excessive compression of an utterance one gets an impression of a possibility to render a considerable amount of information by means of just several words, what often becomes the reason of definite divergence between an original text and an interpretation.

Introductory exercises can be presented by means of following wordings: elicit the key information in the given videomaterial that is essential for the further rendering; elicit elements that should be abolished in the process of making subtitles, define ready-made (constant) units of interpretation, denote nationally-cultural specificity of one or another film dialogue, and using this specificity, retell the main content of the message; translate this message into Russian taking into account knowledge of the final addressee. Thus, for example, when analyzing a fragment of film dialogues of the movie "Mulan" (ffi^^) released in 2009, students had to find the following:

1. The presence of words and modal verbs that should be abolished. For example, the expression «t&^iDA^^ №—should be translated as «we will march out with nine tribes», therewith the modal verb which means here «we will be able» is omitted.

2. The presence of excessive utterances partially duplicating the already given information, and consequently, omitted in the process of making a subtitle. For example, in the utterance which is translated as «Jujanians violated borders and troops comes to the border», two parts of one sentence duplicate each other, that is why when making a subtitle it is enough to leave just « Jujanians violated borders».

3. The presence of addresses, ritual politeness formulae. Thus, for example, ,

», should be translated as «Are you having fun, brother, by killing unarmed prisoners?», however when making a subtitle an address may be lost.

4. The presence of utterances which implicit constituent is expressed in interpretation for the purpose of reducing the extent of an utterance and also for more exact and fast perception by the recipient. For example, the utterance «^^^ffiS^iPpffi^^DE? » is translated literally as «Do you want me to depart to my father earlier?», when by the utterance «to depart to my father» a speaker means his death, since his father has already died. That is why this utterance may be translated as «Do you want me to die?».

5. The presence of a big amount of nouns, adverbs, verbs, pronouns, calculating and functional words which may be abolished while making a subtitle. For example, the utterance «ffi^ffi., M^^ffiffi^T» should be translated as «then don't tell all the more», therewith, when translating this sentence literally, it is translated as «that is why you shouldn't tell it to me all the more». In the interpretation, a pronoun, a modal verb and a preposition are omitted.

The level of formedness of special skills was checked by means of two types of control: the control of a completion of a task and an exercise by both a teacher and students and by means of the self-control.

The control of a task completion by a teacher is conducted by the following criteria: quickness and exactness of an interpretation, correct/wrong eliciting of interpretation units, defining and rendering the key information, knowing of the necessary vocabulary, awareness of the informational stock of the third degree by the interpreter, what ensures the presence of additional knowledge on the given topic which make the interpretation of a film dialogue and a film text in general easier.

Thus, when translating with subtitles, the main task for the students becomes not complete, stylistically correct and artistically comprehensive rendering of one or another utterance but eliciting of the important and secondary information build in the source text.

3. Discussion of Results

The degree of acquisition of the "Film and video interpretation" course program materials by students reflects in a different degree of the formedness of speech skills that constitute competences which are the basis of the interpreter's professional competence in consecutive interpretation which formation in their turn corresponds with staged requests and aims of studying.

When regulating the reciprocal control of students and also the self-control when accomplishing tasks and exercises, the most promising, as it seems to us, is using a videorecording of the process of interpretation provided by a student, when every single student translates a film text of its fragment. The usage of a film recording helps to dwell on every single moment which sparks questions or any obvious mistakes and defects. Thus, a self-control of students is performed according to the following directions: information awareness on the context of a text, knowing of the necessary vocabulary, an ability to decide on the interpretation.

In order to ensure a feedback and a perfection of the teaching methodology we conducted the analysis of results of the above listed tasks which were accomplished by students-linguists of the Chinese department. When evaluating the completion of tasks on the initial and final stages of studying, qualitative and quantitative indices were taken into account: qualitative: exactness of interpretation of the message content, exactness of rendering the key information; quantitative: the amount of testees, the time allowed for accomplishing tasks, results of accomplished tasks on the basis of which conclusions were made. Results of accomplishing of each task were estimated on a 10-point scale. Thus, the calculation of results in each single task was made according to the

K =-*10

following formulae: n a , where K is a coefficient of successfulness, x is a total amount of correct

answers, a - the amount of students in a group, n- the total amount of tasks. In the Table 1, the results comparison of control checks of students-linguists of the Chinese department are presented, and indices of effectiveness of students, who were taught according to the traditional and the author's methodology, are reflected.

Table 1.Level of formedness of interpreter's professional competence within the framework of a course Film and video interpretation

Before experimental learning (Average)

After experimental learning (Average)

Control Group Experimental Group Control Group Experime ntal Group

2,3 2,0 5,1 8,1

3,1 2,1 6,7 9,5

3,2 3,4 4,5 8,4

4,1 3,9 7,0 9,7

2,0 1,8 3,5 7,5

Task 1 Task 2 Task 3 Task 4 Task 5

As it seen from the table, the possession of interpretation skills in both subgroups was practically the same at the initial stage. After the experimental studying, students of the experimental group showed a significant growth of the indice of the level of the professional competence in all five tasks. Despite there were positive qualitative changes in all five tasks in the control group as well, the indies of the experimental group proved to be significantly higher. Thus, the found distinctions between the control and the experimental groups at the initial and final stages of studying are quite significant, and, consequently, the level of the formedness of the interpreter's professional competence of students-linguists from the experimental group is significantly higher than the level of students-linguists from control groups.

Besides described above control tasks, students-linguists were proposed questionnaries on defining problems and difficulties which should be taken into account for the further teaching of interpretation. The content-analysis of students' answers showed that the main problem in the beginning of the studying is of psychological nature. Those students who possess information and who can freely discuss a given topic both in Russian and Chinese, often are not able to translate in the given situation or translate incorrectly. The usage of the didactic potential of recording of

accomplished interpretations by students helps them to pay attention to those mistakes they make and it also helps to overcome a psychological barrier, by practicing in particular the automatic reproduction of single phrases and sentences. The conducted questionnaire allowed us to elicit the following typical difficulties during interpretation that Russian students, who study the Chinese language, experienced:

1. Inability to shorten an utterance correctly without damaging its sense in order to the time interval of pronouncing a phrase coincided with the source.

2. Inability to interpret correctly a literary film dialogue.

3. Inability to reproduce automatically ready-made units (stamps, situational cliche) in the target language.

4. Inability to render a pragmatic potential of a source text.

Quantitative results shown in Table 1 confirm the interpreter's professional competence level growth within the framework of the course film and video interpretation when working with the Chinese-Russian language pair. Along with that, as a result of supervising students' work during tasks accomplishment, we point out the following quantitative improvements of their interpretation activity:

1. Students learned principles of consecutive interpretation with the usage of a speech compression.

2. When interpreting, students manage to find stamps faster and more correct, as well as situational cliché.

3. Students learned to analyze a film text eliciting different kinds of information paying attention to the key information.

4. Conclusion

According to the results of the research, we can make a conclusion that the level of formedness of the interpreter's professional competence is higher in those groups which studied according to the created model with the usage of film dialogue rather than in groups which studied according to the traditional method. This proves the practical value and effectiveness of the suggested methodology. Furthermore, the cognitive and discourse analysis of a film text plays important role at the initial stage of teaching of film text interpretation and at the following stages, when the difficulty level grows. The study found that the problem of teaching consecutive interpretation of students-linguists of the Chinese department within the framework of the course "Film and video interpretation" is urgent in the pedagogical theory and practices, and it needs a further investigation. The solution of the problem of formedness and developing of a personality professional competences within the framework of modern educational processes requires developing of new pedagogical technologies and innovative methods in the sphere of teaching of the Chinese language. The usage of a film text on interpretation classes helps to reach the desired result: students not only get the information by means of analyzing a discourse of videomaterials, but also apply gained knowledge on practice developing interpretation skills and experience what allows them to form relevant competences.

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