Message from Chancellor

We at the Babel University Professional School of Translation study first of all what translation is. In the process, we also examine indispensable skills, technologies, and business affairs, including what is necessary to both maintain and improve the level of skills or technologies in the business world, because the translation business is so important throughout our society.

Second, we study what kind of role translators play in our modern society.

I do not say that translation is performed only as a business. It is performed in the context of various cultural interchanges and through various forms of communication. It is not unusual to work on translation without recognizing oneself as a translator. In this sense we have to consider both the nature of translation and how translators work and consider themselves.

In addition, what is the goal that a translator strives for? Is it enough if he or she puts a foreign language into another language? I might suggest this from one limited perspective. But in doing so, many things are omitted. It is also necessary to consider the type readers that are being targeted, as well as what the author wants to communicate to these readers.

However, no one can cope with all of these considerations every time they work. So our students learn such important points well in our school, mastering basic skills and technologies, and improve themselves to a working level in order to translate every book smoothly. I can say that this is the primary purpose of the Babel University Professional School of Translation. We set a high technical standard, considering such things totally.

In addition, since the world continues to develop dramatically, people who need translation, such as clients, have different demands depending on the situation of various communication needs. Needs for speed and the choice of the contents for translation have changed considerably, i.e., clients as well as the entire world have come to request quite a variety of different things recently. Thus, the method that was so useful several years ago is no longer usable. Through our training program our students develop effectively, and after graduating, they can utilize what they have learned successfully and freely in the business world and can handle whatever clients want. As Chancellor, I can say that this is another purpose of the Babel University Professional School of Translation, that is, to prepare students for the world of business.

Finally, as a third point, I will talk about what we really pursue in studying what translation is, and through developing translators, who will realize our hopes.

Today close and effective communication is in demand on a global scale. Everyone needs various types of business communication, including person-to-person communication and cross-cultural communication. Under such conditions, many excellent translators play their parts to help realize smooth communication. As a result, business can also be successful and even our own lives can be enriched. Therefore we want to train translators who will help to provide various cross-cultural and business communications smoothly, who will contribute to develop the world, and who will help us to realize a rich and peaceful society, a society in which everyone can always live with hope. Of course we work to achieve our vision while carefully considering our other purpose, namely to study what translation is.

As no one can live completely alone, we communicate with various people every day. So, we define translation as communication. What kind of communication is the most desirable, then? In business, there are many things which can be called communication, for example a contract exchanged with a client, and E-mails exchanged with clients.

Additionally, I would like you to think about the situation concerning medical affairs. If one goes abroad and gets sick, that person has to get medical care in spite of anxiety and poor language skills. Naturally the details on the condition, treatment, treatment costs, and hospitalization must be communicated. It may even be necessary to sign a contract. Actually in our everyday life, translation occurs. We believe that to offer communications in the most suitable form is necessary for translators, for people engaging in the translation business or for people offering business.

We do not consider a nation as one single isolated unit. Beyond the border of countries or cultural barriers, we continue to research various methods for global business, global communication and cross-cultural communication which are the most suitable for various situations. In addition, we develop translation skills and technologies newly needed, and foster translators who can use them freely.

Finally, I want to talk little more about our vision on "What is translation?"

Translation is done based on an original text, as you know. So the first thing to do for translation is to understand the original thoroughly. In other words, a translator is a reader first. When understanding of the original is incomplete, the translated sentences will likely be off target. Thus it is vital to understand the original.

Next, the point is "To whom must the translation be done, and rewritten in another language." There is concern that translation is performed only with basic skills and methodologies unless a translator properly recognizes technical knowledge or the purpose of the sentences or communications. Thus I can say in a sense as follows; the process of translation is to read as a receptor and to examine what is the cause of poor understanding, as a representative of the readers, so that one completely understands the original.

Lastly after considering how readers would take it, a translator expresses again in a way that readers can understand easily. Then it is critical to be faithful to the original. This does not mean a so-called literal translation. In other words, it is how adequately one expresses ideas so that readers can understand them clearly enough. Only the basic construction and constitution have to be faithful to the original.

To make a change, a turn or even delete ideas greatly may be needed, in some cases, by the client or author. However, if this is not the case, translation is generally a process of writing plain and unusual expressions while understanding the basic construction of the text adequately. Therefore it is very important to understand the original, so I wanted to emphasize that a translator is first a reader, then a writer.

バベル翻訳大学院(USA)湯浅学長メッセージ

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