Presentation

The Postgraduate Translation Studies programme (PGET) at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina [Santa Catarina Federal University], the first of its kind in Brazil, was opened in September 2003. Its aim is to foster professionals who are capable of translating, research, and lecturing in the area of translation studies

The PGET programme was conceived by the editorial board of the journal Cadernos de Tradução. The programme has now assumed responsbility for the publication, so ensuring its institutional standing and repute.

Key words:

Translation, theory, criticism, history, translated literature, lexicography and foreign language teaching, interpretation studies, Libras.

PROJECT AND HISTORY

History

The proposal for the Postgraduate Translation Studies programme was made due to the developments in the field of translation, which over the past few years has seen significant growth both in Brazil and other countries. The Literature and Language Department at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina [Santa Catarina Federal University] (UFSC) has been directly involved in these developments as the Centro de Comunicação e Expressão [Faculty of Communication and Expression] (CCE) has seen a growing trend towards research projects, publications and qualifications in the field of translation studies.

The professors involved in the programme already supervise research projects and teach in the field of translation at Graduate and Postgraduate levels. The new programme will give institutional recognition to the subject, and in addition will provide an improved environment for further and more extensive research which has previously been undertaken in a fragmented way in the different Graduate (English, German, French and Portuguese Language/Literature) and Postgraduate (English Language/Literature, Linguistics and Literature) programmes.

The creation of the new Postgradudate Translation Studies programme is due in part to student demand for a specialized qualification in translation. However, it is also due to the fact that the above mentioned related courses which host staff from the field of translation studies, have felt pressure from the respective boards for having one or even two of their teaching staff involved in areas of research which are not part of their official lines of research, and which could therefore prejudice their programmes in the CAPES evaluations .

The new Postgraduate Translation Studies programme will embrace the research projects and groups which have led to its creation. Among these is the journal Cadernos de Tradução (ISSN 1414-526X) (published annually since 1996 and six-monthly since 2000); the collection Antologias Bilingües de Textos Clássicos sobre Tradução [Bilingual Anthologies of Classical Texts on Translation] (the bi-lingual [Portuguese-German] first volume was published in 2001, ISBN 85-88464-01-2) and the Núcleo de Tradução [Translation Research Centre] (NUT) which was set up at the CCE in 1999. Cadernos de Tradução provides a recognized national and international forum for discussion and research in the field of Translation Studies. Around 30% of its contributors, both on the advisory board and as authors of articles, are foreign researchers. In 2001 Cadernos de Tradução was given a B grade by Qualis and was included in both the UMIST(2001) and MLA (2002) indexes. The Núcleo de Tradução consists of twelve researchers from 2 departments at UFSC, the Departamento de Língua e Literatura Vernáculas [Vernacular Language and Literature Department] (DLLV) and the Departamento de Línguas e Literaturas Estrangeiras [Foreign Language and Literature Department] (DLLE), all of whom teach on postgraduate programmes and are currently supervising postgraduate and research projects in the field of Translation Studies. The NUT acts as an interdisciplinary centre to coordinate the existing projects at UFSC and stimulate new projects through the context of translational discussion and practice, and it is attempting to implement an institutional context that is better adapted for translation oriented research (see list of supervised projects below). Among the NUT’s other characteristics is its focus on cohesion in its team projects; this can be demonstrated by its two lines of research each with 6 researchers, and which are joined, for now, in one area of concentration.

In 2000 several of the professors / translation researchers who work at postgraduate level began an institutional collaboration with the Postgraduate Linguistics programme at UFMG [ Minas Gerais Federal University ] in the context of CAPES ‘ PROCAD project. This agreement anticipates interdisciplinary Translation Studies research projects that combine Translation Studies and Corpus Linguistics, and encourages communication between the researchers on both the UFSC and UFMG programmes. Several lines of investigation are involved in the project, among these are: (i) corpus linguistics studies in their interface with cognitive categorisation processes and pragmatic / political contextualisation; (ii) studies on the development of translational competence and of didactic / methodological approaches towards translator education, (iii) research on the translation of sensitive texts; and (iv) post-colonial translation theories.

In 2002, the Núcleo de Estudos da Tradução [Translation Studies Centre] (NET) was set up at UFMG following the example of NUT-UFSC and strengthening the research groups in both institutions. Currently NUT and NET also have a joint research group in the Diretório 5.0/CNPq (NUT-NET) in which researchers from PUC-Rio, USP and UNICAMP also participate. When the proposed programme is fully functional it should automatically intensify exchanges between institutions and researchers.

In addition to coordinating current projects and motivating new ones, the Núcleo de Tradução encourages interaction with the other postgraduate UFSC programmes (Linguistics, Literature, English and Philosophy) that work less directly with translation. Many students’ graduate research projects also incorporate research in the field of Translation Studies, and this makes them potential candidates for a Postgraduate Translation Studies programme. The growing interest in lines of research involving translation has also been noted in the language options offered at UFSC – Portuguese, German, Spanish, French, English and Italian – which are in fact no different from those offered by other Brazilian institutions.

Finally, it is important to mention the singular institutional support given by the head of the DLLE (Prof. Dário Pagel), the director of the CCE (Prof. Dilvo Ristoff) and the Pró-Reitoria de Pesquisa e Pós-Graduação [Executive Postgraduate Research Office] (Prof. Álvaro Toubes Prata e Prof. José Carlos Cunha Petrus) to the team which prepared the programme proposal. This came in the form of encouragement and moral support, technical guidance and advice and also in the form of necessary resources such as a permanent fully equipped space for the board and the new programme.

Justification

A large part of what is published and disseminated through the country’s channels of communication is the direct or indirect result of translated texts. This huge textual body has a profound influence on the development of national language and culture and needs to be continually studied and updated by qualified professionals. Thus the education and qualification of researchers who are capable of balancing theoretical reflection, translation criticism and translation history, as well as lexicographical support related to language teaching are the strong points of this new programme. A broad education is achieved through years of study and is cemented by further years of professional experience. In view of this, the new programme is warranted as it optimizes the education process of researchers who are qualified to fully develop various projects connected with translation.

The institutional implementation of the proposed programme will be greatly facilitated by the shared knowledge and experience of its staff. The launch of the new programme will also enable the work that was begun years ago on other postgraduate programmes to continue.

This institutional space for the new Postgraduate programme will facilitate and encourage:

  • publications by the Núcleo de Tradução;
  • DLLE and DLLV research projects with a focus on translation;
  • university extension projects;
  • specific courses on the subject;
  • student exchanges between national and international universities;
  • existing bilateral cooperation agreements.

A research qualification in the field of Translation Studies is desirable for many professionals in the fields of translation, literature and languages. There is a particular need for postgraduate level qualifications in the field of Literature in combination with “minority” foreign languages (French, Italian, German, Spanish). Often, graduates from Foreign Literature and Language courses find themselves obliged to do their Masters degrees in related areas such as Linguistics or Literature. The employment market nowadays demands higher qualifications than 5 or 10 years ago, and this is why there is such a demand for a Postgraduate qualification that considers candidates’ linguistic qualifications. This demand is not only in the state of Santa Catarina, but in the entire southern region of Brazil as well as in neighbouring countries.

Over half of the UFSC Literature and Language students currently involved in Translation Studies research are from the states of Santa Catarina, Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul and São Paulo.

These facts show a strong regional focus by the programme which, after it is fully up and running, should make it a valuable option in the country for professionals who wish to polish their skills and qualify to work in an area that is so vital for information exchange, experience and knowledge acquisition.

The integration of these activities with the Graduate programme has happened naturally and it should continue to do so in the proposed new programme. This should happen firstly because the professors on the Postgraduate programmes also work in the Graduate programmes, thus meaning that the figure of the “Postgraduate professor” does not exist. Secondly, staff who teach Translation Studies generally also teach on the Portuguese, German, Spanish, French, English or Italian Licentiate or Bachelor programmes giving courses such as Translation Practice, Translating into a Foreign Language, Literary Translation, Translation Theory, Translation and Language Teaching, and Lexicography among others. Most of the staff also supervise Scientific Initiation projects and graduate research projects with a focus on the field of Translation Studies, as can be seen from the “course history”. This is reflected in the composition of the groups who apply for the Masters programme (in Linguistics and in Literature), which include various students from the Literature and Languages, Education, History, and Journalism Licentiate and Bachelor programmes. For these students, the new Postgraduate Translation Studies programme (PGET) has become a necessity, as it will meet the needs of both the current scientific-academic trends in the community as well as meeting market demands. Through the new PGET programme we will be able to greatly improve the education and qualification of translation researchers.

The 14 professors/researchers (all on a full time teaching exclusive contract )who will start as NRD6 researchers should be joined in the near future by colleagues who are developing research projects in the field of translation and who at the moment are working on other postgraduate programmes or who are finalizing their doctorate research. This makes viable the proposal to immediately open a Masters programme.

The aim of the Postgraduate Translation Studies programme is to educate and train people to research, translate and teach in higher education programmes in the field of translation. The translation professional should find employment opportunities in higher education institutions as well as in cultural and editorial institutions where they should be able to contribute to the increasingly broad, critical reflection on the subject of translation, as well as to significantly improve the quality of translation in Brazil . For translators who already work in the field, a theory qualification and the wide range of translation research projects should be valuable. The skills that professionals will acquire on the Postgraduate Translation Studies programme will help to emancipate the field of translation.

Aims

The main aim of the Postgraduate Translation Studies programme (PGET) is to establish a broad institutional arena that will unite all the activities in the field of translation developed at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina.

The following are some of the aims, directives and premises drawn up by the professors from the future programme:

  • To contribute to the education and qualification of new Translation Studies researchers in order to meet the requirements of a field whose growing potential is increasingly obvious;
  • To offer continuity to the education process of graduate students in Foreign Language and Literature courses at Masters level, specifically in the field of Translation Studies;
  • To link graduate and postgraduate research through integrated projects, making it possible for graduate (PIBIC-CNPq [Programa Institucional de Bolsas de Iniciação Científica (Scientific Initiation Grant Institutional Program) / Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (Technologic and Scientific Development National Council)], PET [Programa Especial de Treinamento (Special Training Program)], Translation Study Centres) and postgraduate students to work together;
  • To unite and strengthen current translation research at UFSC, research that until now has been fragmented in different institutional contexts, and to encourage joint efforts with the view of educating and qualifying researchers with a specific focus on translation;
  • To create, in the medium term, a reference point for Translation Studies and thus contribute to the development and affirmation of projects connected with Translation Studies in the country;
  • To offer the necessary support for research development through incentives to researchers, professors, students and other participants in the programme;
  • To promote the creation of new research groups and forums for discussion and publicity of developments in the field;
  • To intensify the existing national and international cooperative initiatives as a way of integrating research groups in the field;
  • To create new agreements for cooperation that meet current demands and requirements;
  • To strengthen the initiatives of other existing national and international research, so establishing a reference centre here that will be able to support expansion and knowledge sharing in the field;
  • To motivate the plurality of languages studied, extending research to languages that are not yet available;
  • To contribute to the improvement of translational work tools;
  • To enable the creation of annotated translations of important texts in various fields and from various languages and cultures, so offering translational models which may stimulate new practices among translators.

Growth and development

Multilingualism is one of the characteristics of the socio-historic formation of the state of Santa Catarina. This multicultural reality, principally a result of the strong presence of the German and Italian languages, has also been incremented over the last decade by the involvement of the Spanish, English and French languages – those that are part of our curriculum – due to international exchange in the field of information technology, and above all due to the advent of globalisation allied with developments in globalized communication networks. The importance of foreign languages is now incontestable on the international political scene. However, translational activities are only partly keeping up with these developments as there is still a clear demand for more extensive professional qualifications.

The perspectives for the development and application of Translation Studies are therefore both extremely positive and promising. The demand for sound, critical qualifications in the area of translation is gradually growing and the forecast is that, in addition to researchers, the new postgraduate programme will also be able to count on many translators who are already working in the field, or who are about to enter the professional market. Because of this, we believe that in the medium term we will be able to create another area of concentration, focussed more specifically on the editorial market, with its own courses, such as “Editing and the Book Market”, “Translation Workshop”, “Information Technology and Translation”, “Authorial Rights and Translation”, “Translation Rights”, etc.

Currently the proposal includes only one area of concentration with two lines of research. This means that energies are concentrated on this one area and that the programme does not run the risk of including ‘weaker’ lines of research which may prejudice it in later evaluations. Of the fourteen members involved in the two lines of research in the proposal, eight work or have worked in “Translation Theory, Criticism and History”, while the other six are involved with “Lexicography, Translation and Foreign Language Teaching”. Later, with the expected increase in the number of teaching staff, it should be possible to create two areas of concentration with their own specialized lines of research.